Because the New Forest is a pooches’ paradise, that’s why!
According to the New Forest National Park Authority, 25,000 dog walks take place here each day but there is so much space you could walk for hours and never see another hound.
We have more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths, through woods or open heathland, as well as rivers and streams to explore with your dog. Fancy a jaunt along the beach? We have 40 miles of coastline for you to discover, too.
Ferry your furry friend around in style in a dog trailer attached to your bike - Forest Leisure Cycling in Burley, Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst and Sandy Balls Holiday Village all offer dog trailers that can be attached to cycles (advanced booking is strongly recommended particularly during school holidays and weekends).
Our hotels range in price and facilities, from luxury country house hotels with extensive surroundings through to country inns and townhouses with a more relaxed, informal setting.
Dogs can stay in the Classic and Deluxe rooms, as well as the Garden and Burley Suites of Burley Manor, where furry friends will find their own dog mat, a welcome bag of delicious healthy snacks and treats and special bowls to eat and drink from.
At Balmer Lawn Hotel near Brockenhurst, dog-friendly rooms are available in the standard, superior and family categories. There are also pet-friendly dining options in the hotel’s lounge, bar and terrace.
Relax in the beautiful surroundings of The Master Builder’s Hotel at Buckler’s Hard, awarded ‘Dog Friendly Hotel of the Year’ in 2016 by the Good Hotel Guide. Dogs even get their own dog room service menu!
Or rest up at Cottage Lodge Hotel in Brockenhurst and you will find many dog walks close by and several dog-friendly pubs within a short distance of the hotel.
We’ve a handful of B&Bs here in The New Forest that are happy to welcome dogs and owners into their homes. Seraya B&B in Brockenhurst, is family-run and dog-friendly, set in an attractive garden and The Rowans in Lymington welcomes dogs by prior arrangement. Well-behaved dogs are welcomed at The Far Side B&B in Boldre and you can bring your dog (and even your horse!) on a stay at Pinecroft, also in Boldre.
Rather self-cater? No worries – New Forest Cottages have a whopping 72 dog friendly self-catering properties in their portfolio, from big and beautiful thatches such as Beck Cottage (sleeps 12) to dinky and divine bolt holes for two, like Little Cottage, and family friendly retreats with a swimming pool and space to chill out and relax – try Whiteshoot Farm.
You’ll find plenty of other cottages happy to host your pet throughout the Forest, too, providing you with endless opportunities for your daily walks.
Your pet will receive their own welcome hamper (as do owners) if they choose to stay at Pittefaux Cottage, in the grounds of the Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa. There’s also a handy laundry room in the cottage, perfect for drying off a wet hound.
Dogs can stay at Sandy Balls Holiday Village, near Fordingbridge and at Hoburne Bashley at New Milton. There are also pet-friendly options at Oakdene Forest Park near Ringwood, handy for visiting nearby Moors Valley Country Park, and at Shorefield Country Park at Milford-on-Sea.
If you fancy pitching your tent and camping with your dog then choose from our extensive selection of camping and caravanning sites.
And don’t worry if you plan on visiting some of the major attractions and activities for which the New Forest is so well-known – many welcome well-behaved pets.
Give your hound the experience of a lifetime with a 20-minute ride on the miniature steam railway at Exbury Gardens in the south of the Forest. For the rest of the day the grounds feature over 22 miles of pathways with water bowls dotted along the way. Keep an eye out, too, for the gardens’ regular ‘Devoted to Dogs’ days.
At Beaulieu dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds (please note, access is not permitted into Palace House, The National Motor Museum and other indoor attractions) so you can wander around and take in some of the sights of this pretty place. At nearby Buckler’s Hard, dogs on leads are welcome in the village and on the Beaulieu river cruise. Or why not make the two-mile walk between Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard? Passing through woodland, you follow along the route of the Beaulieu river as it meanders its way to the coast past some beautiful scenery, plus the lure of an afternoon tea or a drink at the end!
Dogs are welcome in most areas at the Dorset Heavy Horse Centre, provided they are kept on leads and also at Lepe Country Park, which overlooks the Solent. As well as handy dog waste bins they also have suggested walking routes but don’t allow pets on the family-friendly beach, between April and September. Dogs are also allowed on Milford on Sea beach and Barton on Sea beach out of season.
Discover great places to take your pooch at the New Forest Heritage Centre, in Lyndhurst which also has a museum and gallery space and welcomes dogs through its doors. Dogs are welcome in the grounds at the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, near New Milton. Nearby, you’ll also find the New Forest Reptile Centre where dogs on leads are welcome to visit with their owners.
A visit to Hurst Castle is a treat for any dog – and its owner – as you can both explore the English Heritage site and take in the views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight as well as the castle’s fascinating history. Then walk him or her along Hurst Spit, the shingle bank that links Hurst Castle to Milford-on-sea and take a paddle in the sea. If you don’t fancy this trek then take the Hurst Castle ferry back to Keyhaven where friendly dogs on short leads are welcome aboard.
Well-behaved dogs are also welcome into the woodlands of Insight Activities, near Fordingbridge to join those that are booked on to any of the outdoor activities. Your four-legged friend can also hop onboard on a Canoe tour on Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities!
When you want to stop for a break and something to eat you’ll find plenty of dog-friendly places to go because the New Forest is bursting with pubs, restaurants, cafes and tea rooms who’ll welcome your pet. Browse our dog-friendly places to eat and drink page for ideas of where you can stop off with your four-legged friend for a spot to eat or a refreshing beverage.
And, if you fancy taking your pooch on the best day out ever, put the dates of May 18 and 19 in your diary. Those are the dates of Dogstival, the two-day extravaganza devoted to all things dog where it’s Access All Areas for your pet as well as the chance for him or her to try out all sorts of amazing activities.
Of course, with our free-roaming ponies, cattle and pigs, not to mention the deer, foxes and badgers, there are a few rules to obey when bringing your pet to visit the New Forest.
To minimise disturbance to wildlife, livestock and other people, please keep your dogs close by you and visible at all times – if necessary use a lead. Pick up after him, especially around car parks, on paths and where people play or picnic, and take bagged waste home if there is no litter bin. Check your dog and yourself for ticks when you get back home – a bite from one can lead to Lyme Disease.
We also recommend that you download a copy of the New Forest National Park Authority’s ‘Enjoy the New Forest with your dog’ guide before you visit. This gives useful tips and information on walking in the open forest with your dog as well as some suggested routes. The guide also contains information about keeping your dog safe in the New Forest including the risk of ticks and swimming in the national park’s streams, ponds and rivers.
For specific information on where dogs can and can’t go at the various places to visit in and around the New Forest, we recommend that you take a look at each attraction’s website first as details may be subject to change.