If You Go Down To The Woods
There are loads of beautiful walks on holiday in Dorset where your dog can benefit from the break and fresh air as much as the rest of the family. Dorset boasts some of the best scenery in the South and West so why not enjoy a moment away from the world and take your dog on a nice long woodland walk. Don't forget the picnic basket so you can make a day of it and find yourself one of the best dog walks in Dorset.
Starting off near Shaftesbury, Duncliffe Woods is an area of 92.16 hectares, making it one of the largest ancient woodlands in north Dorset. The wood is well known for its bluebells, but butterflies and woodland flowers also flourish later in the year. The wood is under the management of the Woodland Trust and makes for a tranquil getaway where the dog can explore off lead whilst you take in the surroundings. After your walk, if you have the energy to walk a further few miles, you can head into Shaftesbury for a well-earned drink in dog-friendly pub The Mitre, with fantastic views across the Blackmore Vale. Dogs are welcome and are even catered for here, so whilst you enjoy a pint of traditional Dorset ale, your dog can also be fed and watered.
Another great spot for a peaceful dog walk is Shearwater; a man-made freshwater lake near Crockerton, and part of the Longleat Estate. The lake is surrounded by woodland and so you can literally walk for miles in some stunning woodland and countryside. The 36 acre lake is also great if you fancy a spot of fishing for Perch, Carp and Bream. It's also good for sailing if you want to bring the rest of the family along once your canine friend has stretched its legs. A short walk away from the lake is a beautiful 17th Century pub, The Bath Arms, which offers great food and local beers.
A little further south in Dorset is Thorncombe Wood near Dorchester, a 26 acre site containing a wide variety of trees and listed on the Ancient Woodland Inventory. It’s perfect for a walk with your dog and also runs near Hardy’s Cottage, so you can always drop in for a mix of culture as well as enjoying some quiet time with your dog. It’s also a great place for running and cycling, so the whole family can come too whilst you walk the dog and they can occupy themselves.
One of the most extensive walks you can go on is in Wareham Forest, where you can park at one end and walk with your dog straight through to the other. There are various pubs dotted around, so there will always be places to stop for refreshments. The Silent Woman is nestled in the heart of the Forest and is the only public house designed exclusively for adults. Allegedly once a smugglers haunt, legend has it that an ‘unusual’ landlady (one who talked too much) gave away the smugglers' secrets in Wareham market place. Fearful of capture by the ever-present Excise Men, the smugglers silenced her by cutting out her tongue, thus creating that unique phenomenon ‘The Silent Woman’.