The New Forest is probably one of THE most dog-friendly areas in the country that you can bring your dog for a holiday.  There 220 square miles of natural playground for walks and space for pooches to run and sniff through the woods and vast heathlands. Undercastle Cottage is only a half-hour drive to the coast where you’ll find year-round dog-friendly beaches and cliff top walks.

Ditch the guilt

There’s no reason to be on your holiday thinking how much you would love to have had your dog with you. A stay at Undercastle Cottage  means you don’t have to fret and endure the guilt of leaving your furry friend back home or in the kennels.  We love dogs and have our own, so we know how wonderful it is for them to enjoy our holidays with us and we welcome yours with open arms.

So where can you go with a dog in the New Forest National Park ?

Dogs love walks and runs in the forest

A new walkies experience sniffing and smelling all the wonderful aromas of the forest woods and wildlife will most probably be the most exciting for you mutt. The views on New Forest walks are to die for, and as the New Forest is relatively flat (ok, there’s the occasional hill, but nothing too bad), it’s easy going on foot. If your dog is fantastic off the lead with good recall then great, let them off. However, if you have any nagging doubts that they may go zipping off after one of the famous free-roaming ponies, donkeys, cattle and deer that abundantly sprinkle the forest landscape, then put them on an extender lead.

Log fires and beer gardens

This pocket-sized national park is home to endless historic pubs, Inns and cafes where you and your dogs are most welcome. Expect water bowls, lots of smiles and lots of doggie treats from the bar. When it’s crisp and cold outside, your dogs can cosy around big log fires, and when the sun comes out, there’s nothing better than spending time in a gorgeous beer garden with a tipple in hand and lush green grass as your dogs’ bed for a spot of sunbathing. The ‘local’ pub to Undercastle Cottage is The Horse and Groom which is just a short walk through the wood; they welcome dogs and serve delicious food too.

For days on the beach

Head to Milford-On-Sea and walk the one and a half mile pebble spit to Hurst Castle. Dogs can visit the castle both inside and out. Also worth a look at is Hurst Lighthouse next door, both enjoy fabulous views across to the Isle of Wight. Instead of walking back long the pebbles, hop on the little ferryboat which accepts dogs and chug through Keyhaven Nature Reserve to Keyhaven harbour and walk ten-minutes to Milford on Sea.

Dogs can play on a lot of the beaches all year round

New Forest dog-friendly days out and attractions

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm in Verwood invite well-behaved dogs on leads around most of the farm. Go to see a collection of stunning rare breed heavy horses with take a look how they have worked with us throughout history.

Moors Valley Country Park, near Ringwood, has 1000 acres to explore, and dogs are very welcome there. There are signposted nature trails, a narrow-gauge steam train as well as high ropes, Segway’s, cycling, play park and more. Take a picnic or grab a bite at the café.

Take your dog and camera with you to Exbury Gardens which is set in 200-acres with 22 miles of paths; you’ll find the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. Take a ride with your pooch on their miniature steam train and stop for a cuppa at the café which also sells doggie ice-cream!  

A lovely day out with your dog can be had at Buckler’s Hard. It’s a historic shipbuilding village which also built vessels for Nelson’s Navy on the banks of the tidal Beaulieu River. Park in Beaulieu village and halfway up the cobbled high street is New Forest Activities who offer dog-friendly tours along the river in large Canadian style canoes.  

We even have a dog festival in the New Forest!


Dogstival is a family-friendly festival for dogs and dog lovers with displays, advice and traders selling everything you could possibly think of for your four-legged friend.  

The New Forest has a huge bow-wow factor for dogs and their owners, so book a break at Undercastle Cottage, and you’ll have your dog jumping for joy!

Dog-friendly Undercastle Cottage in the New Forest