With dog friendly beaches, miles of coastal footpaths and acres of natural woodland perfect for walks, Milford on Sea is a pretty exciting place if you’ve got a wet nose and a wagging tail.
Dog friendly attractions such as Hurst Castle add to Milford on Sea’s woof factor, as well as plenty of places to stay where canine friends are more than welcome.
Discover the best dog friendly places to visit, eat, and stay in Milford on Sea with our guide below:
Activities & Attractions
Our furry friends love exploring Henry VIII’s mighty Tudor fort, Hurst Castle situated at the end of Hurst Spit. The day’s excitement can start on board the Hurst ferry, departing from Keyhaven, where dogs go for free. Most dogs take prime position at the bow of the boat and enjoy the wind in their fur as they meander down the Keyhaven river. Once at Hurst Castle, dogs are free to go inside, but they must be kept on a short lead.
SUP with your PUP
Our friends at The New Forest Paddle Sport Company offer a 1 hour 1-1 session at Keyhaven for you to get your dog on board.
Based at Keyhaven Quay you and your four legged paddling buddy will work with a SUP instructor to get your dog comfortable on a Starboard Avanti solid board, which is wide and stable enough for you and your dog. A doggy life jacket will be provided but this activity is only suitable for dogs that are comfortable with the water.
To book please visit https://www.thenewforestpaddlesportcompany.co.uk/supwithyourdog
If you’ve forgotten anything for your dog whilst on holiday, pop into Paddy’s Pool, a well-stocked pet shop in the village, also offering the luxury “Ruff and Tumble’ drying coats.
Your pooch could also get pampered on holiday with a groom or a session in Paddy’s hydrotherapy pool.
Milford on Sea is home to spectacular sea views towards Christchurch Harbour and the Isle of Wight. Milford on Sea beach has an extensive beachfront, with two different locations for visitors – Hordle Cliff beach and Hurst Road – both dog friendly all year round.
At Hordle Cliff beach, there are two main car parks for visitors – Paddy’s Gap and Hordle Cliff (sat nav: SO41 0NS) with toilets and a kiosk offering refreshments at Hordle Cliff car park.
The Hordle Cliff beach here is sandy at low tide, revealing a sand bar where groups gather to splash in the surf or enjoy a game of beach cricket. It is home to the colourful Milford on Sea beach huts and the beach is popular with swimmers, kite surfers, kayaks, paddle boarders and dogs.
Visitors also flock to Hurst Road to enjoy Milford’s vast beachfront with its new look play park, Needles Eye café and award-winning concrete beach huts. You can enjoy spectacular views from the top of the beach huts with your dog, as a walkway runs along the top, enabling you to walk its full length and enjoy views of the Solent from an elevated position.
Here dogs and their owners love the Needles Eye café as it’s very dog friendly and offers treats that many local dogs are seen queuing outside for!
Milford on Sea and Keyhaven Walks
Walks around Milford on Sea are one of the best ways to explore with your canine friend. There are many Milford circular walks and Keyhaven walks to enjoy and best of all it’s free! You can leave your car in any one of the car parks around the village and head off!
A simple walk is the Milford on Sea to Keyhaven harbour circular walk, via the Milford crabbing bridge at Keyhaven beach.
One of the best hidden Milford walks is the 14 acres of Woodlands known as The Pleasure Grounds with a network of footpaths along the Danes Stream, which runs parallel to the coast.
The Danes Stream forms part of the Milford on Sea conservation area and runs the length of the parish, through the Pleasure Grounds, Westerly towards Studland Common, Sharvells Copse and Eastwards along the rear of the Milford on Sea shops towards Sturt Pond.
This area is popular with children as a number of rope swings can be found. Free roaming cattle can be found on Studland Common so please keep dogs on a lead.
Another fantastic route with unrivalled views is the Lymington Nature Reserve and Keyhaven marshes walk, starting from the pretty village of Keyhaven. You can also access this area by bike via Sturt Pond along New Road down to Keyhaven or parking is available opposite the Gun Inn pub in Keyhaven.
There is no direct access on to the Keyhaven Marshes but the site can be viewed from the sea wall that runs from Keyhaven to Lymington. The seawall, suitable for cyclists and walkers, offers stunning views across the mudflats, where a wealth of different bird species come to feed. Large numbers of Brent geese seek refuge here in the winter, along with roosting dunlin, black-tailed godwit and grey plover.
Places to Eat
In Milford on Sea, dogs are welcome at most establishments as we know that our furry friends are just as important as our human ones. Check out Saltwater café recently voted as Hampshire’s best café by Tripadvisor, The Paddle on the Green, located on the village green and then there’s the Needles Eye café where dogs are also welcome too.
Dog friendly restaurants include Ray’s Italian Kitchen, where dogs can sit at the front, The Lazy Lion and The Beach House, both with large gardens and dogs are welcome inside too. There’s also The Gun Inn at Keyhaven, the Smugglers Inn and The Cave wine bar where dogs are accepted and The Lighthouse on Hurst Road also allows dogs in its seated area outside.
Places to Stay
Dogs can be perfectly at home on holiday at one of our dog-friendly accommodation. The South Lawn hotel, found at the entrance to the village welcomes pets and Meadow Cott, a new stunning four-bedroom holiday house and Plover Cottage, both found in the centre of the village accept dogs too.
Also check out our friends at New Forest Escapes and New Forest Cottages who have lots of properties available for owners and their dogs.
Dogs are also welcome at Shorefield Country Park, who offer stunning self-catering accommodation and a range of fantastic on-site facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and entertainment.
You can also take your dogs camping at either Lytton Lawn Touring Park and Muddycreek Farm Campsite both located at the entrance to the village.