Winter Beach Walks with Dogs in Devon & Dorset
The end of October is a time that local dog owners look forward getting back to winter beach walks with dogs in Devon & Dorset on the Jurassic Coast.
We’re now dog owners and our gorgeous lab cross loves to be outside running around – the beach is perfect. So now the question is where are the best walks and dog friendly days out. We are keen to get going and beach walks on the Jurassic Coast really are a great thing to do in the winter.
I am sure you have your favourite spots and I’m happy to hear your recommendations and top tips for all across the South West.
For this guide I’m starting in West Dorset at Burton Bradstock and then heading to Lyme Regis – it’s surprising how different each beach is in terms of allowing dogs. There’s also a post for across the border into Devon. Please feel free to correct me it I’ve got anything wrong!
A lovely beach owned by the National Trust with a range of walking trails around the coast and the beautiful South West Coast Path.
According to the council website there are no restrictions on dogs on the beach but please double check. Dogs are certainly welcome on at least part of the beach all year round (see signage at the beach for more details) and allowed everywhere from 1 Oct – 31st May. The NT also run kids activity trails at Easter and other times.
Parking: National Trust car park £1 per hour (free for NT members with a valid card).
Eating: try the fabulous Hive Beach Café – great for a lazy brunch as well as fabulous main meals.
Public Toilets – yes, open at the same times as the cafe.
Here at this working fishing harbour you have shops and cafes galore to browse at the location now famous for being Broadchurch. Dogs are not allowed on the main beach area between 1st May and 1st October, except in the port area where they must stay on a lead. However dogs are allowed on the large beaches off to the East and West where the cliffs start. Please read the signs to check areas. There is also long walk along the seafront that is perfect for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
Parking – there are a number of council run car parks and parking on the seafront, the cheapest is the first Long Stay at the entrance to West Bay on the left.
Eating – oh where to start, try pizza at The Watch House Café on the beach, fish and chips from one of the outdoor huts by the harbour or lunch and a lovely ice cream sundae from Cherries Ice Cream Parlour. There’s plenty of choice whatever your budget.
Public Toilets – yes
Tucked away down a country lane, Eype Beach is accessible off the A35 near Bridport (DT6 6AL). Expect a beach, not much else! Dogs are welcome at all times
Parking in the private car park right on the sea front cost £4 per day. Alternatively you can park at Eype House caravan park up until mid November for £1.50 and also make use of their café.
Also for tea and cake and a great walking base try the Downhouse Farm Cafe – up the hill from the beach open from March to the end of October from 10am, with last orders at 6pm. (closed Monday’s except Bank Holiday’s). I’ve heard their cream teas and apple cake are to die for!
In the village of Eype the New Inn , is dog friendly.
No public toilets on Eype Beach.
Chideock – Seatown
Turn off in Chidoeck for the beach at Seatown. There is a private car park opposite the Anchor Inn, parking is £2 per day. According to the signs this beach which is also privately owned is “dog free” at all times but I am not sure how much this is enforced. However I decided it was worth a mention anyway for non dog owners and there is also a lovely walk up along the coast path, it’s 2 1/4 miles to Eype or head up the hill to Langdon Woods and Golden Cap if you are feeling energetic enough.
For refreshments the Anchor Inn is lovely – it’s compact inside but there are plenty of outdoor tables. You can also buy food, ice creams and takeaways from the caravan park shop (until Mid November) or drive back into Chideock for pubs and cream teas.
A lovely town, with a beach famous for it’s fossil. The dog rules are a bit confusing but from October to the end of April you are free to roam!
There are no dogs allowed on West Beach from 1st May until 30th September (that’s the beach to the right of the Heritage Centre).
On the East Beach in July and August no dogs are allowed between the hours of 10am to 6pm. Sadly the cliff path up to Stonebarrow has become too dangerous and the diversion is not very good. However walks along the beach are stunning especially in the morning and evening light and there are other footpaths to link up with such as the Monarch’s Way.
Parking – quite a choice. The cheapest is the West Dorset Council Car park just off Lower Sea Lane (3 minutes walk to the beach)
Just before the beach on the left it’s a private car park £3 all day or 60p after 6pm. The seafront car park is Charmouth Parish Council’s, £4 all day or £1 per hour.
For food Charmouth has a range of options from tea shops and pubs to fish and chips and a bakery as well as two convenience stores on the High Street. The seafront cafe is seasonal.
Public toilets – yes, behind the Heritage Centre.
Lyme Regis is a popular town and at the weekends the promenade is full of dogs and their owners. Dogs are allowed on the main Front Beaches (the pebble one) outside the summer months (1st October – 30th). Officially on lead restrictions apply on the adjacent Cart Road, Marine Parade and Sea wall beaches in the winter months as well so please check the signs.
However dogs are freely allowed all year on Monmouth Beach which is the pebble beach to the right of the harbour. On the other side of town East Cliff Beach is also dog friendly. At low tide you can walk to Charmouth but make sure you check the tide times.
There is plenty of parking but for the cheapest options try Holmbush or Charmouth Road carparks (£2 all day) you will need to walk a bit further for these one. There is parking closer to the beach but expect to pay short stay prices.
There are numerous options for eating and drinking – too many to mention to be honest so just see what takes your fancy.
Public toilets – yes plenty. The best ones are on Marine Parade that have been recently refurbished.
Do take care when walking either on top of the cliffs or along the beaches. The cliffs are very unstable at the moment and climbing cliffs or getting close the edge of you’re on the top or the base of the cliffs is potentially very dangerous. Take a serious note of any signs or warnings.
Finally thank you to Neil Bigwood, a local photographer, for letting me use 2 of his Lyme Regis photos for this post.