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Visiting Hive Beach with your dog

Couple walking a dog by the sea at Hive Beach, Dorset
Dog walking on Hive Beach | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

The National Trust countryside around Hive Beach is a working landscape criss-crossed by footpaths, perfect for walking and quiet enjoyment. Dogs are welcome, but please take a look at these top tips before you visit to help look after this special place.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Hive Beach is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

Dog walkers are welcome across the countryside surrounding Hive Beach Burton Bradstock, and Cogden but please be aware there are some restrictions. Keep an eye out for signs throughout your visit, and observe local restrictions on West Dorset beaches.

Dogs should be kept on a short lead of no more than two metres long, particularly when the beach or coast path is busy. Please also keep your dog on a lead between 1 March and 31 July when ground-nesting birds are trying to rear their young.

Where can’t my dog go?

From 1 June to 30 September, dogs are not permitted on the beach directly in front of the café (main beach access), unless they are assistance dogs. If you wish to access the beach with your dog, please put them on lead and walk along the beach East past the wooden chalet towards Cogden and Portland Island. You may stop with your dog once you have passed the wooden chalet on the beach front.

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Keeping control of your dog

Our definition of close or effective control is: ​

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
  • Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one

The crumbling nature of the Jurassic Coast cliffs can be dangerous for dogs, so it is recommended you keep dogs on a lead. There are also regular sightings of adders so your dog will be safer if it keeps to the paths. If your dog is bitten, visit the vet immediately.

Facilities available for my dog

Please use the dedicated dog bins to dispose of your waste.

A view along the beach at Burton Bradstock, Dorset, with the sun just peeping from behind the cliff side creating shadows from the rocks along the beach.

Discover more at Hive Beach

Find out how to get to Hive Beach, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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