23 great dog friendly attractions in Hampshire
- Credit: Lauren Osborne
From Beaulieu Motor Museum to Exbury Gardens, Hampshire is full of days out that both you and your dog will enjoy
Make like our cover star and treat your pet to a bluebell extravaganza this month as one of the county’s most famous spots bursts in to bloom. Dogs are fully welcome, so let off the leash and enjoy the photo opportunity.
Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
Treat your pooch to a peruse of Hampshire’s most desirable designer names, as long as your four-legged friend is kept on a lead, the staff at this sensational shopping destination love to see your pups.
Free to enter: Parking charges apply, gunwharf-quays.com
Beaulieu Motor Museum, New Forest
Dogs are welcome in Beaulieu’s gorgeous grounds, which are especially beautiful in spring and summer. If you don’t have a doggy bag, pick up a scoop at reception. While dogs aren’t allowed in the main buildings, there is a special area for them to go while you go round.
Adults £23-£26, child £22-£25, beaulieu.co.uk
Blackgang Chine, Shanklin
Click your heels (well drive your car) and escape to Blackgang Chine’s fun fantasy lands with the family – and just like Toto, your trusty pup can come along too. Dogs are welcome on leads, and owners are asked very nicely to clean up after them.
Butser Ancient Farm, Chalton
Step back in time and enjoy remarkable houses from a range of eras, spanning from the Romans to the Saxons, all while taking in the breathtaking South Downs scenery. Be sure that your pup is on a short lead at all times.
Adults £10.50, child £6.50, butserancientfarm.co.uk
Chawton House, Alton
Here you can sniff out the finest women written literature. Dogs are only allowed on the grounds, so while they wait for you to read, another family member or friend can take them for treats at the Old Kitchen Tearoom.
Adults £10, under 16s £5, under 5 free, chawtonhouse.org
Buckler’s Hard, New Forest
Treat your dog to a day out on the river and step back in time at Buckler’s Hard Maritime Village. Dogs on leads are welcome in all of the outside spaces, as well as on the river cruise so you can bask in the tranquil scenery as you pootle along the Beaulieu River.
Parking is charged at £5 for up to 3 hours and £7.50 for over 3 hours, a small fee applies to the river cruise, bucklershard.co.uk
For the whole of April, the island is still open all areas for dogs and their owners. From May to September your dogs won’t be allowed on the beaches, but they are still able to watch you take a ride on the log flume at the funfair.
Free: Dependent on activity, funland.info
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, Southampton
As well as dogs being welcome on short leads in the gardens and on the railway, Exbury hosts special Devoted to Dog Days throughout the year. Pooches are also welcome at Mr Eddy’s Restaurant, which serves canine ice cream.
Adult £13, child £4.50, exbury.co.uk
Gilbert White’s House and Gardens, Selborne
Of course the natural world is celebrated here, with Gilbert White having been a big fan of dogs. They’re welcome on a lead in the grounds, which has flowerbeds, herb garden, meadows and orchards to experience.
Adults £16, under 16s £5, under five free, gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk
Hurst Castle, Lymington
Pups can get stuck into the action of this artillery fortress, as they’re allowed to explore the whole site. They’ll be right at home, as the Castle even has its own castle dogs, Poppy and Lily.
Adults £4.50, child £2.50, hurstcastle.co.uk
Itchen Valley Country Park, Southampton
Set beside the River Itchen, the beautiful 440 acres of woodlands and meadows are wonderful and open, perfect for your dog to discover. It has 10 green flags, as well as picnic benches for outdoor dining. Just keep in mind the café is dog free.
Mottisfont Abbey, Romsey
Enjoy a stroll along the River Test and take in the external grounds of this stunning neo-classical 1930s home, or take your dog further afield to roam the 1600 acres of Hampshire countryside, owned by the National Trust.
Adult £16, child £8, nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont
New Forest Activities, Beaulieu
Take in the breathtaking sights of the New Forest and Beaulieu River by canoeing or partaking in a spot of archery. If you choose to canoe, be sure to bring a towel or blanket so the boats don’t get scratched, as well as a lead.
Family canoeing £37, child £21. Family archery £29, £17 child, newforestactivities.co.uk
The Needles, Alum Bay
The coloured sands are a gorgeous location for dogs to frolic. The whole family can take a boat trip, where you can choose a slow or fast tour. Do note that only guide dogs are allowed within the buildings.
Entry to park free, boat trip £5-£15 depending on trip and person, theneedles.co.uk
Houghton Lodge Gardens
Keep your dog on a short lead and you can both enjoy a leisurely stroll round these beautiful gardens majestically overlooked by Houghton Lodge, an 18th Century Grade II listed Gothic Cottage Orné, idyllically set above the tranquil waters of the River Test. With traditional kitchen garden, an orchid house, topiary dragon, peacock garden and new for 2022, an oriental garden, there’s plenty to inspire.
Adult, £10.50, child £5.50, houghtonlodge.co.uk
Robin Hill, Newport
There’s plenty here to keep your dog’s tails wagging such as 88 acres of parkland, open countryside and water gardens. Tickets include a seven-day free return too – perfect if you want to enjoy over a week away.
Peak £19, off-peak £15.50, robin-hill.com
Queen Elizabeth Park, Farnborough
No matter what season you visit, Queen Elizabeth is a shining showcase of beautiful trees and shrubbery. With 24 acres of land, plus clear paths throughout, it has a wide landscape to explore. Be mindful of the pond, which can change depending on the weather.
Watercress Line, New Alresford
Stroll along the Hampshire countryside between stations, as well seeing the sights on the train too. Handily, dogs get a free ride. They can also join you in character during the themed experience days too – dog costumes, anyone?
£16 per adult, child £8, watercressline.co.uk
Stokes Bay, Gosport
This shingle beach has a special area dedicated for dogs to roam free, so they can join in the splashing and sunbathing too. Filled with plenty of stones to sniff and views of the Isle of Wight, it makes for a unique place to paddle and play.
The Vyne, Basingstoke
Walk along the easy circular routes and catch the best of the year’s colourful flowers at this beautiful Tudor property, which allows dogs on leads in the grounds. It often hosts family events, so be sure to check before planning your trip.
Adults £13, child £6.50, nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne
Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley
Meander the parklands and woodlands here, before setting up on one of the on-site barbecues (pack plenty of food for your pup!). After, there’s a dog wash fit with a shower and shampoo, so no muddy pawprints in the car.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park, South Downs
Follow the Countryside Canines Code and you and your pooch can be footloose and fancy free as you roam around the stunning South Downs National Park. With a simple traffic light system, you can work out the trail that suits you, your family and your four-legged friends the best.
Parking starts from £2 for up to one hour, hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryparks/qecp