Best walks & dog walks in Poole, Dorset


The Dorset coastline home to the Jurassic Coast, designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site, due to its outstanding geology, is home to some of the most stunning scenery and beaches in the UK. Which makes it the perfect place for walkers and rambling groups to explore. The world famous South West Coast Path, a 630-mile path also ends in Poole Harbour. 

The Best walks in Poole

One thing is for certain, you are never short of walking options in Poole. We’ve included our top three, with varying levels of difficulty to help you explore the Dorset town and its surroundings. 

Studland and the Purbecks 

Studland and the Purbecks is a 12.89 miles moderately trafficked loop trail located near Poole, Dorset. The loop is broken down into thirds: Shell Bay to Knoll Beach, Knoll Beach to Old Harry Rocks and Old Harry Rocks to Swanage. The whole loop doesn’t need to be walked all in one go; you can break it down into smaller sections to complete on different days. 

For the first third of the loop you can choose to stick to the beach or cut in-land and follow the paths behind the dunes. The dunes path is slightly skinnier so the beach may be better for accessibility and it’s easier to follow the route along the beach.

The second third of the loop requires you to leave the path at Knoll Beach, you cross the road to another track which leads around the back of The Pig restaurant, a stunning castle-like building. This track also takes you past a World War Two area of significance which was visited by Winston Churchill. This path meets another road, opposite a National Trust car park, where you turn left down the road, past The Bankes Arms pub, and you will start to see a sign post to Old Harry Rocks. Once you have enjoyed the view you can move on to part three of the loop.

The route from Old Harry Rocks to Swanage is a well trodden path and fairly easy to follow. The key is to follow the path closest to the coast. It is nice to be able to see Swanage to your left. This route ends at the bus stop in Swanage which can take you back to Shell Bay.

Upton Country Park Circular Walk 

Upton Country Park is an easy route of 2.1 miles. The looped walk is an easy-to-follow trail in the grounds of a stunning Country House. The trail takes you through open fields and wooded areas. Dogs are welcome and there’s a cafe and an ice cream shop on-site. 

Brownsea Island 

If you fancy something a little more adventurous, why not book a boat trip to the stunning Brownsea Island? Famous for red squirrels, wildlife and Scouting, this small island just off Poole Harbour is definitely a great place for a day of walking and exploring. 

There are many different routes which are mapped out, meaning you can walk as far as you like, including a whole trip around the island. There is also a cafe and lots of bird hides for you to spend the day exploring. Make sure you check opening times as the island tends to close to visitors over the winter months.

Brownsea Island is visible from some of our stunning apartments at our Vista retirement development. You can find out more here.

What beaches in Dorset can dogs go on?

dog friendly beaches in poole dorset

Finding the perfect beach spot that your furry friend can join you on can sometimes be difficult, especially in the summer months. On 1st January, a new dog-related PSPO was made which includes details about where dogs are excluded at certain times of the year and where they must be on a lead. 

Luckily Dorset is not short of beautiful beaches for you to be able to explore all year round. We’ve included a list of beaches across county of Dorset that are open to dog walkers all year round: Cogden Beach, Eype Beach, West Bexington Beach (all year in designated areas), Church Cliff Beach, Monmouth Beach, Durdle Door, Kimmeridge Bay, Lulworth Cove, Man O’ War Beach, Monkey Beach, Worbarrow Bay, Bowleaze Cove and Chesil Beach. It is always worth checking before you travel. 

Neighbouring county, Wiltshire, is also home to some spectacular dog walking routes. You can read about them here. Our Platinum Skies retirement developments are completely pet friendly meaning you have access to some of these stunning walks right on your doorstep.

Where can I walk my dog in Poole?

If you’d rather stay away from Dorset’s beaches, there are plenty of other places you can enjoy with your dog in the Poole area. We’ve included a few of them below: 

Creekmoor Ponds

Is a 14-acre site with two major ponds. Dog walks here are very peaceful meaning that your dog has the freedom to explore and even enjoy a swim in the lakes. Please note that dogs must be kept on leads during bird breeding season. Creekmoor Ponds also offers routes differing in distance making it a versatile place to explore new trails.

Branksome Park Wood

Is a beautiful, secluded woodland stretching from Branksome down to the coastline. Dogs are able to explore the woodland freely and also take a dip in the sea. The route is approximately 2.2 miles. 

If you would like more information on our retirement developments, please call us on 01202 040996.