Let's have none of this restricted stuff - where can you take your dog whenever you like?
Here's a list of the dog-friendly beaches in Dorset that let you take your four-legged friend with you whatever time of year you choose to book your holiday cottage. There's shingly, sandy, small and steep. But all of them let your pet splash in the waves and cool down after a long walk. Just don't forget the poo bags!
And so, in alphabetical order, these are the 11 beaches in Dorset that allow dogs all year round.
1) Bowleaze Cove
With a name like that it has to!
It’s on the SWCP so walkies galore followed by a splash around to cool off in the heat of summer. There’s a cafe and lots of facilities as well as an amusement arcade.
2) Church Ope
There aren’t many options on Portland but this cliff-sided beauty is sheltered and in the shadow of Rufus Castle for a spot of cultural heritage. Otherwise watch the birds and dolphins after you’ve clambered down the steps. Just watch for the strong currents further out.
Part of a National Nature Reserve owned by the National Trust, it’s steep and shelved. But dogs can run free!
4) Durdle Door and Man O’War
Shingle beaches either side of the famous rock formation, but they’re a long steep walk to get to. Still, the doggy will enjoy the effort.
Lovely views and a pebbly beach – pretty but limited facilities.
6) Highcliffe Castle
Not only dog-friendly, this one has wheelchair access and safe swimming with views to the Isle of Wight.
7) Kimmeridge Bay
Not only can dogs visit whenever they please, but it’s the best beach for rockpooling and safe snorkelling in the county. There are toilets and disabled facilities, shower facilities and a car park at the end of a toll road.
8) Mudeford Sandbank
Walk out along Hengistbury Head to the Christchurch Harbour shore for lots of beach huts, plenty of facilities and walks out into the bay without any cars to worry about.
9) Lulworth Cove
Needs no introduction, but you can get year-round picture-postcard photographs of your four-legged friend come rain or shine. Pebbles mean no sandy paws and there’s a Heritage Centre to help you figure out the best walkies. There’s also lots of places to eat.
Find some fossils while the dog runs free and forages in the rockpools and offshore reef when it’s uncovered by the tide. There’s a fair old walk from the free car park at the top of the cliffs, mind.
11) Worbarrow Bay
There are some walkies involved to get there (all the better!) but that makes for a less crowded result with a joyful serenity to gaze out over as your dog forages on the shoreline.