Dorset is known for its cider, stunning cliffs, dog-friendly beaches, and picturesque towns—and it’s not a bad place to take your little buddy for a long, meandering walk either. If you fancy going for a drink in Dorset with your bezzie mate in tow but you’re not sure which boozers allow dogs, we’ve got you. We’ve scoured this cracking county for pubs that welcome you and your furry pal with open arms. Here’s our pick of a few of the best dog-friendly places to have a nice drink in Dorset.
Address & Map: Wimborne, BH21 7JH
Situated in the heart of Thomas Hardy country amid Dorset’s rolling hills, Drusilla’s Inn is a striking traditional, thatched, free house. It’s got charm for days, courtesy of its wobbly walls, low ceilings, inglenook fireplaces, brick floors, and exposed beams. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar area, where you can enjoy a nice meal with them by your side. But don’t worry, your dog won’t feel left out, she’ll be treated to a bowl of water and some lovely biccies. There’s also a contemporary dining room with views overlooking the historic Horton Folly Tower but that’s off limits to dogs.
The Inn offers bar snacks, a lunch menu from Monday to Friday, and a specials board. Where possible, they make all of their dishes from scratch using local produce (including free-range, hand-reared meats) from within a 30 mile radius, so they can cater for any specific dietary requirement when told in advance. Like any good Cask Marque accredited pub it also serves local ales and ciders, plus international wines.
Address & Map: Norden, Wareham, BH20 5DU
Four-legged visitors and their owners will be given a warm welcome, not just by the staff but by Zorro, the friendly resident dog at The Halfway Inn. Along with a relaxed ambiance, the cosy 16th century thatched pub has two large gardens (with bowls full of fresh water dispersed throughout for thirsty dogs), a play area, and an enclosed heated courtyard. In the winter you and your little buddy can cosy up to one of their two wood-burning stoves.
And while your little friend chows down on a nice dog biscuit, you can sample one of the local libations on offer. The team take great pride in serving Badger beers and ales which are crafted in an independent, family-owned brewery in the heart of Dorset. They also have a list of wines carefully selected to compliment their main menu on which you can find delicious pub classics plus vegetarian and vegan options. There’s also a daily specials menu as well as Sunday roasts, and all of their produce is delivered daily by local independent suppliers. And the best part is that your dog can sit with you while you eat!
Address & Map: Mudeford, Christchurch, BH23 4AB
This small nautical pub is set in a magical location at the end of Mudeford Quay overlooking the golden, sandy beach. Though the inside of the bar is dinky, there’s a lovely outdoor area with cracking views of the Isle of Wight across the Solent. Inside there are two brick fireplaces at opposite ends of the pub and a flagstone floor. Though children and wetsuits aren’t allowed, your furry little mate is more than welcome if he’s well-behaved and kept on his lead.
If you’re in need of refueling after a brisk walk around Christchurch Harbour, Haven House Inn serves hearty pub food, and your dog can sit with you while you tuck in. After a nice bite why not take a five-minute ferry-ride over to Mudeford Spit where you’ll find over 300 cute little residential beach huts.
Address & Map: Commercial Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5RT
If you and the dog have been for a wander around Bournemouth and decided it’s time to wet your whistle, stop by The Four Horsemen. The contemporary watering hole and music venue boasts that few pubs in Bournemouth come close to stocking the huge selection of craft beers and ales that they do. They also keep a range of unusual spirits stocked on the back bar as standard, plus they’ll give your dog a refreshing bowl of water. You can also enjoy tasty pub grub in the form of burgers, doorstep sandwiches and range of salads, with your dog by your side.
Not only are there acoustic open mic nights every Monday, The Four Horsemen regularly host local bands, and feature DJs every weekend. Dogs are welcome here throughout the day until 9pm when it gets quite crowded and the live music gets a bit too loud for their sensitive little ears.
Address & Map: Sutton Road, Weymouth, DT3 6LW
If you and the dog have been for a wander along the South West walking trail you might have noticed one of The Springhead’s signs along the way which state “dogs, muddy paws and wet wellies welcome.” In fact the pub doesn’t just welcome dogs, it treats them like VIPs. While you choose between real cask ales, fine wines and spirits (they stock over 80 gins, and hold gin-tasting sessions), your dog can decide if she’s in the mood for a classic bowl of water or some Bottom Feeder beer for dogs. They also serve fresh home-made fare made from locally sourced ingredients where available, as well as sausages and Billy + Margot iced treats for furry customers! You can eat in the bar area and outside with your dog, just not in the restaurant.
Throughout the winter months you can warm up beside their log fire and enjoy their gorgeous garden come summer. The Downs, the River Jordan, and a beautiful duck pond are right on the pub’s doorstep, plus there’s a great view of the Osmington White Horse from its marquee. And if that wasn’t enough they throw a Dog, Sausage and Cider Festival every year where there’s cake, a barbecue, kids’ activities, live music, wood-fired pizza, a very competitive sausage throwing contest, and the main event, the Springhead Dog Show. All of the proceeds from the festival go to an animal rescue centre. Sign us up!
Address & Map: Preston Road, Weymouth, DT3 6BJ
The owners of The Spice Ship near Weymouth like to make it known that they love dogs. In fact, in 2015 they even bagged the title of Nation’s Most Dog-Friendly Pub at the Be Dog Friendly Awards—“a Kennel Club campaign to encourage, recognise and reward non-pet businesses and places that go that extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 8 million dogs and their owners.” Winners of the awards were chosen by public vote and to the delight of The Spice Ship team, they received more votes than any other pub in the UK.
As you’d expect, four-legged patrons are given lots of fuss here as well as a bowl of water and delicious treats. If you fancy something to eat as well, there’s a terrific selection of food to choose from—from traditional pub favourites to modern British and international cuisine—lovingly made with produce sourced from local suppliers. Your dog can sit with you while you eat in the bar area, just not the restaurant. If you’d like to stay the night, they also have four rooms available.
Address & Map: East Street, Weymouth, DT3 4DS
The Turks Head Inn is an idyllic country pub in the picturesque village of Chickerell. Dogs are welcome in their bar and outdoor areas, and they’ll be treated to delicious dog biscuits and a bowl of water on arrival. With any luck you and your little buddy will get to meet Parker, the adorable resident pub dog who loves to make new friends. The pub serves a great range of lagers and real ales as well as wine, plus there’s a top-notch selection of pub grub. The team pride themselves on their eclectic menu which features daily specials and roasts from their carvery, plus they’re committed to sourcing ingredients from as many suppliers from Dorset as possible!
There’s nothing better than grabbing a wee drink with your best friend. But not all dogs enjoy hanging out in bars—and that’s fine. You’ll be able to find loads of local sitters who provide dog boarding in Bournemouth and throughout the rest of Dorset on Rover.com—it couldn’t be easier to find your dog’s perfect match.