A dog-friendly guide to the New Forest

Days out, Pet friendly

Posted by Ed Roberts on 25th January 2021

New Forest Dog-Friendly Guide 1

Famed for its nature and vast open spaces, the New Forest is a superb choice of destination for a dog-friendly holiday. There is a good selection of dog-friendly attractions in the New Forest for you to discover as well as pubs and restaurants where you can take your pet along. From the swathes of common land and heaths that dominate the area to the woodlands of the area, there is an endless collection of New Forest days out with dogs for you and your pack to enjoy. The New Forest is also within a very short driving distance of the South Coast, where you can enjoy some fantastic dog-friendly beaches.

New Forest Dog-Friendly Guide 2

For a staycation to remember, stay at one of our New Forest dog-friendly holiday properties. We have self-catering accommodation all over the New Forest for you to select. Find your perfect holiday property after you have planned your dog-friendly holiday by reading our helpful guide to the New Forest.

Dog-friendly cottages in the New Forest


Discover the dog-friendly New Forest

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Dog-friendly attractions in the New Forest

Dogstival

Dogstival

Coincide your holiday with Dogstival, a canine event that typically takes place each June. Coming across like a mini Crufts, a day out at Dogstival is one of the most rewarding things to do in the New Forest with dogs. Taking place in Burley, there is a whole programme of events to enjoy like agility displays, best in show and workshops. Don’t miss out!

Stay nearby: Cott Cottage | Sleeps: 9 guests plus 2 dogs


Beaulieu River Cruise

Beaulieu River Cruise

Beaulieu is one of the prettiest villages in the New Forest, and it’s home to the Motor Museum, Buckler’s Hard and the winding, woodland-fringed Beaulieu River. Head to the village of Buckler’s Hard, an open-air museum where Nelson’s warships were built to take a river cruise with your dog. If your dog loves boating, enjoy taking in the gorgeous New Forest scenery from the water.

Stay nearby: The Old Telephone Exchange | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog


Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

For the perfect New Forest days out with your dog, venture out to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. There are trees galore, wildlife to sniff at, walking and exercise trails and much more to keep your dog happy. For adults and children, there is the Rangers’ Den, cycle and Segway hire, audio trails and places to buy refreshments after all the activity! 

Stay nearby: Abbots Well Annexe | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 2 dogs


Calshot Spit

Calshot Spit

See the world at large from this beach located just beyond the southern fringes of the New Forest. Calshot Spit is a great place for a day out as it’s home to one of the best dog-friendly beaches near the New Forest. With views across the deep-water estuary of Southampton Water and The Solent to the distant Isle of Wight, the pet-friendly beach is long, and shingle covered, lined by colourful beach huts. There was once a small naval base at Calshot (where the explorer TE Lawrence was once stationed) and a small sea fort, Calshot Castle to see. It’s a great place to observe the many ships, yachts and boats out on the water.

Stay nearby: Sandalwood | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 1 dog


Dog walks in the New Forest 

Sea Air Trail

Sea Air Trail

The 5.5 mile-long Sea Air Trail is one of the most rewarding dog walks in the New Forest area. Joining up with the Solent Way, the trail links Milford on Sea to Emsworth Harbour. You and your dog can see amazing views of the yachts and boats sailing into Lymington. The path leading to Keyhaven is a quiet nature reserve and one way to access the sea spit where the former stronghold Hurst Castle stands. There’s so much space out along the Sea Air Trail your dog can have a lovely run and a play.

Stay nearby: Solent Retreat | Sleeps: 6 guests plus 1 dog


Wilverley Inclosure

Wilverley Inclosure

For a woodland dog-walk, check out Wilverley Inclosure, home to a 3.5 mile-circuit of wide, level pathways. It’s a picturesque backdrop for a relaxing countryside walk in the New Forest with your four-legged friend. Wilverley Inclosure covers an area of 500 acres; at the edge of the woods, you will find a wild dog agility course on Wilverley Plain for a bit of extra dog japery.

Stay nearby: Kingfisher Cottage | Sleeps: 7 guests plus 2 dogs


Beaulieu River Walk

Beaulieu River Walk

Take a 2-mile amble up and down the stunning Beaulieu River from Buckler’s Hard to Beaulieu Estate and back. It’s a very pleasant circuit with pubs at both ends if you fancy a spot of liquid refreshment. You can see the Gipsy Moth IV, Sir Francis Chichester’s globe-spanning yacht, as well as the aforementioned prettiness of Buckler’s Hard. Along the river, there is nature galore for you and your dog to enjoy.

Stay nearby: Crow's Nest Cabin | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog


Lepe Country Park and Beach

Lepe Country Park and Beach

Lepe seems to be a hidden place, far from the crowds yet it’s hard to understand why this beautiful part of the coast near the New Forest is always quiet. Lepe Country Park and Beach is a great place for an escape with your hound where you can enjoy its simplicity, the open spaces and the lovely shingle beach. Head here for a peaceful day out to remember surrounded by coastal beauty and views across The Solent.

Stay nearby: Rooksbridge Barn | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 2 dogs


Dog-friendly places to eat and drink in the New Forest

The New Forest Inn

The New Forest Inn

At the heart of Lyndhurst, you will find a warm welcome at the dog-friendly New Forest Inn. Dogs can accompany you into the bar where you can enjoy a slap-up meal in comfort. The Sunday lunches at the New Forest Inn are legendary, so book a spot at this fabulous establishment to avoid missing out.

Stay nearby: Bench Cottage | Sleeps: 7 guests plus 1 dog

The Drift Inn


The Drift Inn

For a family meal with the dog as your special guest, take a trip into Brockenhurst where you will discover the pet-friendly New Forest pub, The Drift Inn. With a varied menu full of firm family favourites and some more exotic dishes, you won’t leave feeling hungry. You could also enjoy a beer at the bar or a lovely glass of wine in the garden in sunny weather too; The Drift Inn is an easy-going choice.

Stay nearby: Verderers Upper Loft | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog

Steff’s Kitchen


Steff’s Kitchen

If you like garden centres, then seek out Fairweathers, which is home to a great dog-friendly restaurant, Steff’s Kitchen. Great for brunches, light lunches and quick snacks, this is a cosy spot to unwind with the dog after you have filled your trollies with the plants on sale in the garden centre. Dog bowls and treats are sure to make this a big hit with your pooch too!

Stay nearby: Forest Escape | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog


The Old Station Tearooms

The Old Station Tearooms

A great place to unwind, the ambient and atmospheric Old Station Tearooms in Holmsley is a good spot to indulge in some tea and cake, or perhaps a small lunch. All kinds of meals and confections are on offer, and there are some serious cakes to tempt the tastebuds here. Dogs receive a warm welcome and a treat if they are lucky. The staff here just love dogs.

Stay nearby: Oxford Cottage | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog


More inspiration for your New Forest dog-friendly holiday

Read some of our other guides to the New Forest so that you can plan your holiday.


Map of dog-friendly places in the New Forest

Find out where these dog-friendly attractions and walks are.


Stay with your dog in the New Forest

Planning a dog-friendly holiday to the New Forest? Take a look at our collection of holiday cottages in the area. Set close to pet-friendly attractions and places to visit throughout the New Forest, you’re sure to find your perfect home-away-from-home for your adventures near the South Coast. Whether you are looking for New Forest dog-friendly accommodation in a cosy cottage for two, a family home, or larger houses for group get-togethers – there’s something dog-friendly for everybody.

Dog-friendly cottages in the New Forest

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.