If you just love to get away with your four-legged friend then be sure to put the New Forest top of your agenda. We have loads of fantastic things to see and do with your dog, whether it be visiting beautiful gardens, resting up in a pub or booking a short break in a dog-friendly abode.

Within this blog, we explore some of the amazing reasons you should plan a doggy day out or break to the New Forest…

Dog walking heaven

If “walkies” is one of your dog’s favourite words then your dog will love the huge variety of walks that you can do here, with 140 miles of paths, we’re the perfect place. Perhaps head along the Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard walk taking in the scenes (and scents!) of the Beaulieu River as you amble towards the historic maritime village. Or embark on a longer walk such as elements of the Solent Way walk, which encompasses our beautiful coastline.

Within the New Forest National Park you will find large puddles perfect for a quick dip, brooks where dogs often love to play and some amazing woodlands to explore. Dogs are also allowed on the beaches at Lepe, Milford-on-sea and Barton-on-sea (please see seasonal restrictions here) – perfect for a quick paddle!

Plan a visit to the lovely Exbury Gardens and your dog is welcome too! There are extensive pathways throughout the gardens taking you through rhododendron dells, passing over small brooks and following along a river walk beside the Beaulieu River. Well-behaved dogs are also permitted to hop aboard the garden’s miniature steam railway! And after all the exploring, your dog can enjoy a canine ice cream from Mr Eddy’s tearoom, what more could you ask for?!

You can find lots more information on dog walking (including routes) and dog friendly things to do on our website. 

Dog-friendly places to eat and drink

With lots of al fresco opportunities for eating and drinking in the New Forest, it’s not a surprise to hear that there are lots of places to eat and drink that are dog friendly.

Why not combine a long walk with a well-deserved rest for both you and your dog at one of our dog-friendly cafes, tea rooms or restaurants?


Festival dedicated to dogs!

Did you know that the New Forest is home to its very own dog festival? Dogstival is an annual event taking place at Burley Park. For 2021, it’ll be held over the weekend of 5-6 June. Here, you’ll find all kinds of dog-related fun including agility courses, dog displays, a shopping area where you can buy a fantastic dog-related products and merchandise, dog aqua displays and animal behaviouralist talks. Tickets are now on sale for this dog-tastic weekend.

Come along and stay with your dog

Whether you are planning to book a break over the Dogstival weekend or perhaps you are simply looking for a rural getaway with you and your dog, there is a wide range of accommodation options that are dog friendly. Look out for accommodation to suit all budgets and desires, from campsites which allow your dog to stay through to cosy self-catering cottages with roaring open fires that your dog can sleep in front of after their busy time exploring.

The Master Builder’s House Hotel at Buckler’s Hard has been awarded “Dog Friendly Hotel of the Year 2021” by The Good Hotel Guide thanks to its dog-friendly service which includes a menu just for dogs, dog-friendly bedrooms and lots of fantastic walks nearby.

Take a look at New Forest Cottages’ list of over seventy dog-friendly places to stay – some with direct access into the New Forest National Park, just perfect for lots of outdoor explorations for you and your dog.

You can see more details of dog-friendly accommodation on our website.

We hope we’ve given you lots of inspiration for you and your dog for your next family adventure! We look forward to seeing you in the New Forest soon.

Please always ensure that you are a responsible dog owner when in the New Forest. To minimise disturbance to wildlife, livestock and other people, please keep your dogs under close control - if necessary use a lead. Do not let dogs approach or chase any animals. Pick up after your dog, especially around car parks, on paths and where people play or picnic, and take bagged waste home if there is no litter bin.