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Visiting Studland Bay with your dog

A small dog on the lead standing at the beach
Dog on the lead at the beach | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Studland Bay all year round, with over four miles of dog walking routes along the water’s edge. Take a coastal stroll to Old Harry Rocks or head inland through the dunes and heathland. Wherever you choose to go with your four-legged friend please follow the guidance below to ensure everyone has a good visit.

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.

Studland Bay is a two pawprint rated place.

These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Dog access guidance

Please keep your dog on a lead of less than 2m anywhere on the beach and along paths during the busier seasons between 1 May and 30 September. A dog related PSPO (public spaces protection order) is in place.

Over the cooler months from 1 October to 30 April dogs can be walked on the beach off the lead but please respect others.

The Canine Code at Studland Bay

  • Do keep to the paths: heathland is home to ticks and adders and your dog will be safer on the path. If your dog is bitten by an adder, visit the vet immediately.
  • Do respect other visitors and keep your dog in sight: not everyone loves dogs, so before letting your best friend approach other people, please check with them first.
  • Do bag it and bin it: dog waste can be disposed of in all blue general waste bins which you’ll find in every car park. Please do not bag and then leave your dog waste in this special place, it can be very harmful to local wildlife and children playing.
  • Do protect nesting birds on heathland: rare birds nest on or near the ground so please keep your dog on a short lead when on the heath between March and July.
  • Do keep your dog on a lead near cliffs: every year dogs fall from the cliffs and some are fatally injured. Please don’t let your dog become a casualty.
Dog and child playing in the waves at the beach
Visit Studland Bay with your dog | © Megan Taylor

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

What facilities are there for my dog?

There are fresh water bowls available at Knoll beach, Middle beach and South beach.

Knoll Beach Café and Shop

Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the shop and in the outside seating area of the café where there are shelters, water bowls, dog ties and some shade.

Visitor sat on the beach with their dog
Enjoy a day at the beach with your dog | © John Millar
An aerial view of the beach at Studland Bay in Dorset in spring

Discover more at Studland Bay

Find out how to get to Studland Bay, 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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