Dorset is blessed with beautiful coast and countryside, which means there are an abundance of scenic dog walks to enjoy during the festive season. A dog walk is a great way to spend time with your loved ones and work up an appetite ahead of Boxing Day lunch!
If you’re hoping to get some fresh air during the festivities this year, take a look at some of our veterinary team’s favourite boxing day dog walks in Weymouth, Portland and the wider Dorset area. You’ll enjoy beautiful views and quality time outside with your nearest and dearest – the perfect way to end what has been a very challenging year.
Weymouth Beach is one of our favourite places for a Boxing Day dog walk. The sandy beach is perfect for letting your four-legged friend burn off some pent-up energy. They can run off lead until their hearts content and play with new-found canine companions. They can even go for a paddle or a swim if they’re feeling brave!
During the winter months dogs are permitted along the whole length of Weymouth beach, so you can walk right the way from the Pavilion to Greenhill and on to Bowleaze if you’re wanting to get some miles in. If you have a pushchair in tow, you could walk along the esplanade instead, but please note dogs must be kept on a lead and under close control.
The Grove, Portland
There are many fantastic dog walks to choose from on the Isle of Portland, but the old railway line from the Grove to Church Ope Cove has to be top of the list. Start at the top of the cliff near the prison and follow the winding path down onto the gravel track.
Once you reach the path it’s a flat and level walk for a mile or so. You’ll be treated to wonderful views of passing ships out to sea as well as adventurous climbers scaling the rocks on your right. If you want to continue your walk, make your way down the steps at the viewing area to Church Ope Cove. Keen hikers can walk all the way to Portland Bill.
Dorset dog walks don’t get much better than an afternoon spent at Moreton! It truly is a doggy paradise with a river and woodland to explore. Park in the village and make the short walk to the ford. There’s a bridge to walk across but your dog may choose to swim! This is a great place to throw a ball and let your dog paddle. Sometimes it’s very shallow, but the depth of the water does vary, so always check the conditions before letting your dog off the lead. If you’re unsure, or think the water is flowing too fast please don’t let your dog go in.
On the other side you can follow the mud track through the forest – there are beautiful trees and heathland on both sides. Further along the path there is a rope swing to keep younger members of the family entertained!
The Fleet Lagoon
The Fleet is a hit with dog walkers and it’s not difficult to see why! The South West Coast Path stretches along the shoreline and there’s ample opportunity for your four-legged friend to go for a paddle should they choose. In our opinion this is one of the best places for a bracing winter walk thanks to the beautiful views over Chesil Bank and towards the sea in the distance. It’s the ideal destination if you’ve only got an hour or so to spare whilst you wait for Boxing Day lunch to be served!
Like most people, many of our team choose to park at the bottom of Camp road in Wyke and follow the path to Pirates Cove and on to Ferry Bridge. Alternatively, the Langton Herring section is a great option - it less busy, and you can easily walk to Abbotsbury and back in a day.
Dorset is perhaps best known for the Jurassic Coast, so it would be criminal not to include a walk along this famed coastline in our round up of Boxing Day dog walks. There are a lot of hills to navigate on the section between Osmington and Durdle Door, so it is best suited to seasoned walkers who are experienced on rough terrain.
If you do choose to walk close to Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove or Worbarrow bay over the festive season, the elevated position affords walkers spectacular views along the coast. Please bear in mind though, that most of this stretch of the coast path runs along a cliff edge, so we highly encourage you to keep your dog on lead at all times.
Maiden Castle is an Iron Age hill fort, just a short drive from our Dorchester Veterinary Practice. The undulating ramparts mean it’s a bit of a climb to the top, but those that make it will be rewarded with stunning vistas over the surrounding countryside. Kids will love sliding down the hills and can learn more about the settlers who have called it home throughout the ages via information boards.
Sometimes there are grazing sheep here, so please check signage to see whether a lead is required.
The team at Dave Cumber Vets in Weymouth and Dorchester would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ve created plenty of helpful Christmas themed content on our blog to ensure your pets remain happy and healthy over the festive season. If your pet needs urgent veterinary care, please remember we are open for emergencies 24/7 a day, every day of the year. This includes Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.