Are dogs allowed on West Bay beach?

Whilst Bridport and West Bay are really dog friendly areas, if you’ve ever tried to read Ulysses by James Joyce then you’ll have found it marginally less confusing than when and where dogs are allowed on West Bay Beach in Dorset. The short answer to whether dogs are allowed on West Bay Beach is… yes, no, sort of, it depends, sometimes.

west bay beach dog friendlyThe long answer is a little more detailed, so let’s try and unravel the dog friendly beaches of West Bay.

The two areas of West Bay Beach

Here’s the thing – West Bay consists of 2 different areas of beach, and they have their own rules. Let’s start with the good news: there’s an area that is dog friendly all year round.

The Dog Friendly Beach at West Bay

That area is to the west of the town, by the Esplanade car park. It is separated by a large rock groyne, and can be accessed from the West Bay promenade. It’s only a short walk back into town, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can also take on the South West Coastal Path for a walk.


The main beaches at West Bay

However, the main beaches at West Bay are not dog friendly all year round, meaning if you want to capture a beautiful snap of your dog in one of the sweeping vistas featured in Broadchurch, you need to be selective about when you visit Bridport and West Bay.

The two main beaches, simply called East Beach and West Beach (depending on which side of the West Bay pier they’re on) have date restrictions applied to them. Dogs are only allowed on these beaches between 1st October and 30th April. They’re allowed off-lead too, which is a bonus. That means that they’re not allowed on West Bay’s main beaches between 1st May and 30th September.

Dog friendly adventures around West Bay

Fortunately, even if you’re visiting Bridport and West Bay in the height of summer, this is a wonderfully dog friendly area. Whilst your options to go onto beaches are limited, you’ll find plenty of dog friendly places to eat, drink, and enjoy. Check out our full guide to dog friendly West Bay and Bridport.


  • Anthony
    November 9, 2023 at 16:56

    Hahaha love this – West Bay beaches are so confusing. As a local I’m forever helping tourists avoid the confusing rules by guiding them from beach to beach 😆

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