A person with long hair in a ponytail is walking a golden retriever on a leash through a wooded area.

Dogs and horses

Dogs and horses are welcome at Moors Valley. Please use the information below to help you plan your visit. 


Due to a deterioration in water quality, it is recommended that dogs don’t enter or drink from the rivers or lakes. This has been reported to the Environment Agency.

Dogs are welcome at Moors Valley. In the busy areas of the park and forest, dogs must be kept on a lead – this includes the car park, picnic areas, Play Trail, around Moors Lake, on the paths below the Go Ape Course and in and around the Visitor Centre. 

In all other areas dogs may be allowed off the lead however they must be under close control, in sight of their owners and on the footpath at all times and respond to a call to return. This is especially important during nesting season (March – September). Dogs are not permitted to run across heathland or wooded heath due to protected species nesting. Please keep them under close control on the main tracks and in sight at all times. 

Please be considerate to other park users, especially children, cyclists and horse riders. Please be aware that horses may be encountered on the bridleway that runs through the centre of the forest area and around the top of Moors Lake.

Dog Walking
Gift Shop6

Visitor Centre and restaurant 

Dogs on leads are welcome inside the Visitor Centre and in the restaurant. There is a dog-friendly seating area inside the main restaurant. Picnic tables are also provided for restaurant customers on the patio behind the Visitor Centre and dogs on leads are welcome in this area; water bowls are provided. 

Play Areas and Play Trail 

Well-behaved dogs are welcome along the route of the Play Trail, including the Tree Top Trail, but must be on a lead at all times. Please do not allow your dogs to climb on the play equipment. 

Dogs are not permitted in either of the Play Areas near the Visitor Centre. A dog park is provided at the entrance to the Junior Play Area.  

Play Trail Spiders
A wooden signboard and map display at Moors Valley, indicating paths to the Golf & Activity Centre and Visitor Centre. Greenery and cloudy sky in the background with a dog waste bin on the ground to the side.

Dog waste bins 

Please come along prepared to clear up after your dog. 16 dog bins are located around the park and forest; these are marked on the walking trail map leaflets. The closest Dog Bin to the Visitor Centre is located near to the Walking & Cycling Totem Pole. 

Dog Wash 

Discover Moors Valley’s self-service dog wash, conveniently located next to our Visitor Centre. This easy–to–use facility is ideal for washing your dog. The machine provides warm water, a range of shampoos and a two-speed dryer – all at a low cost. 

No more muddy paws – leaving your car and home clean and everyone ready to relax after your walkies. 

A brown and white dog is being bathed with a showerhead by a person in the Moors Valley Dog Wash.
Dog Water


Water bowls are provided at the front of the Visitor Centre, on the patio area behind the main barn and in the dog park area. These can be topped up using the water fountain at the front of the Visitor Centre or by asking a ranger to assist inside the Info Point.   

We’re aware that it is popular amongst dog walkers to allow dogs to wander (or jump) into the river and lakes for a quick dip to cool off during a long walk. This is damaging banks and disturbing wildlife in some areas. There are two designated dog paddling areas at Crane Bridge and at the top of Crane Lake at the north of the park; please do not allow your dogs into other areas of the river, lakes or ponds. This dog paddling area is only for a quick dip and not for dogs to enter and then swim the length of the river. Thank you for your co-operation. 

Moors Valley Railway 

For safety reasons no dogs (except guide or assistance dogs) are allowed on the train. Please contact the Moors Valley Railway team directly on 01425 471415 if you have any questions.  

Railway Dogs
A person wearing a harness and safety gear participates in Go Ape ropes course, climbing wooden ladder steps suspended among trees.

Go Ape 

Dogs on leads can be walked along footpaths beneath the majority of the Go Ape high ropes courses. Well-behaved dogs on leads are also welcome in the Nets Adventure area. Dogs cannot be left unattended at the Go Ape cabin and cannot be taken on Forest Segway sessions. 


Dogs are not permitted on the Golf Course. 

Aerial view of Moors Valley golf course with several fairways, sand bunkers, and tree-lined areas. Surrounding landscape includes dense forest, residential buildings, and open fields.
Aerial view of Pedals at the Park, a large outdoor event in a green park with a gathering of people, food stalls, and activity tents. The surrounding area features trees, paths, and Moors Lake.


Other than assistance dogs, dogs are not permitted at events, please contact the rangers to inform them if you have an assistance dog. 


Horse riders are welcome to ride through some areas of Moors Valley although a number of restrictions are in place.

Bridleway and permits

There is a bridleway that runs through Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. Normal access rules apply while on this Public Right Of Way, if you wish to deviate from it a permit is required. More information on Public Right of Ways can be found here: Rights of way – Dorset Council

Other users

We encourage all users of the park to be respectful of other groups and where possible to give way to pedestrians. Please be aware that Moors Valley parkrun follows much of the bridleway route, and therefore horse riders may encounter up to as many as 1000 runners between 9am and 10am every Saturday morning. Marshals are positioned along the route to help all users navigate their way around safely.

Riding permit conditions

Full terms and conditions will be provided on purchase. For further information on permits and riding in the forest at Moors Valley email ku.dnalgneyrtserofobfsctd@snoissimrep.nrehtuos