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November 22nd 2023

The new forest is pawsitively perfect for dogs

The New Forest National Park and the adjacent coastline is super dog friendly and a destination that should be on all dog owners’ bucket lists. The New Forest has some 220 square miles of purple-speckled heather plains, pretty woods, babbling streams and wildflower meadows for your pooch to put their best paw forward to run, romp, sniff and explore.

But this part of southern England isn’t just forest because there are miles and miles of cliff-top walks and golden sandy and pebbly beaches, which welcome furry friends all year round. The region is a natural playground for dogs with oodles of options for a different ramble each time you leave the door. And there’s a limitless supply of exciting sniffari saunters to keep their little brain cells buzzing long into the day.

The New Forest is a popular spot for dog-loving day-trippers who tie in a walk with a visit to an attraction and time at the beach. There are so many Dog-friendly New Forest Attractions to mention in this single blog, but some of our favourites include the coastal fortress Hurst Castle and neighbouring Hurst Lighthouse. Both are accessed from a one-and-a-half-mile pebble spit from Milford-On-Sea, where you can take in some wonderful views across the bay to the Isle of Wight. Exbury Gardens is home to 22 miles of paths set in 200 acres of outrageously beautiful flowers, themed gardens and planted woodland. On a nautical note, you can take your furry friend to the historic and picturesque shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard on the banks of Beaulieu River, where among many others, warships for Nelson’s Navy were built. If you are drawn to the seaside, Highcliffe and Milford on Sea are great beaches which are open all year for dogs.

With Dogstival taking place 3rd – 4th June, why not make your visit a relaxing long weekend? Take a look at New Forest Cottages dog-friendly breaks . From their portfolio of 180 cottages in the New Forest, coast and surrounding area, they have a whopping 92 cottages that welcome dogs! There is a huge range of budget to luxury properties, providing outside space and plenty of room to stretch out and lounge around. Choose from cute little cottages just for two to swanky flats, converted barns, cabins and vast family homes with pools or hot tubs sleeping up to 12 guests. See New Forest Cottages available to rent during Dogstival.

There are some stand-out dog-friendly New Forest pubs and eateries for a great meal, and the option of having your fur baby fussed over – and maybe a doggy treat from the bar. They include The Drift Inn near Beaulieu, for lipsmackingly good food, with a spacious dog-friendly area indoors and an extensive beer garden. The New Forest Inn in Emery Down, near Lyndhurst, is a super popular foodie pub and dogs are greeted with a smile throughout the pub and beer garden. If you’ve enjoyed a sea-salty walk along the beach in Barton on Sea, head to The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top. It’s super dog-friendly inside and out. And when the sun shines, enjoy live music and a bite to eat from their BBQ. Take a pew on one of the garden tables to enjoy far-reaching views across the bay. Then there’s The Potting Shed in Hyde near Fordingbridge. It’s an ode to scrumptiously good home cooking and baking. This dinky café offers Instagram-worthy pretty and utterly delicious food, and they bake little treats for four-legged friends too!

Click to see dog-friendly days out in the New Forest.

Find dog-friendly New Forest Cottages.