Best pubs in Dorset
You might know Dorset for fossils, amazing coastal limestone formations and the works of Thomas Hardy. However, like many coastal counties in the UK, Dorset also has a reputation for its excellent pub scene.
Whether it’s a sunny seaside inn or a gastropub in the country, the pub’s a place that’s filled with all your favourites. Family, friends, dogs, food, drink and laughs. At Haven, we believe the food that you enjoy and the drinks that you sip are essential in making your holiday extra special. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best pubs in Dorset, to help you find your perfect venue for a drink or meal. Where we humans go, our pooches often come too. Fortunately, there are plenty of friendly venues to “pup” into in Dorset, and we’ve made sure that we’ve included plenty on this list.
1. The Ship Inn, Weymouth
Address: Custom House Quay, Weymouth DT4 8BE
This attractive Hall and Woodhouse-owned quayside pub is found in the heart of Weymouth, meaning it is under 10 minutes’ drive from 3 of our fantastic holiday parks: Weymouth Bay, Littlesea and Seaview. The Ship Inn boasts lovely views of Weymouth Harbour and a beautiful sunny courtyard to enjoy in the summer months. The interior is lined with bookshelves and storm lamps, meaning you’ll be in delightful surroundings, whether you should choose to sit inside or out.
An eclectic global menu offers up an excellent choice of food, from light bites to main meals, and even treats for dogs, which are welcomed along with their owners. The Ship is the perfect place to relax and watch the boats coming in and out of the harbour while enjoying a pint of Badger Beer.
2. The Black Dog, Weymouth
Address: 3 St Mary St, Weymouth DT4 8PB
Built some time in the 16th century (making it the oldest pub in Weymouth), this pub is named after the first black “Newfoundland Labrador” dog ever seen in the South West which was owned by the landlord at the time. True to its roots, The Black Dog remains a dog-friendly establishment to this day. Located just a short walk from the seafront at Weymouth, it makes for a great pit stop after a walk on the beach. With great live music on the weekend, excellent food and a decent selection of beer, there’s plenty to love about The Black Dog.
3. The Cove House Inn, Portland
Address: 91 Chiswell, Portland DT5 1AW
Located at the end of the narrow causeway from Chesil Beach, the tied island of Portland is a beautiful natural setting, which also happens to be home to one of the best pubs in Dorset. The Cove House Inn is found in a perfect seafront setting with terrace seating that enjoys a front row seat to see the waves.
Sometimes the quality of food suffers when a pub has such a prime location, but that is not the case with The Cove House Inn which serves up locally caught fish and fresh seafood. However, you don’t even need to eat there to appreciate what a wonderful venue it is - there’s also a weekly folk music evening and on a sunny day there is no better place to sit outside and enjoy a nice cold beer.
4. The Grasshopper Pub, Poole
Address: 139 - 141 Bournemouth Rd, Poole BH14 9HT
The Grasshopper is another Hall and Woodhouse-owned pub. This one is found in Parkstone, once known as ‘The Half Way House Hotel’ because the location is halfway between Poole and Bournemouth. Having been refurbished in 2018, the building and atmosphere are great, but the food is the cherry on top. Every day, they serve aromatic coffee, colourful snacks, and a comprehensive selection of main meals with dairy and gluten-free, as well as a range of vegan and vegetarian options. The Grasshopper Pub even has a mini dog bar with treats, meaning that it passes the dog-friendly check with flying colours.
5. Brewhouse and Kitchen, Poole
Address: 3 Dear Hay Ln, Poole BH15 1NZ
One for the craft beer lovers, Brewhouse and Kitchen is located in Poole, just a 2.5-mile drive from Haven Rockley Park Holiday Park. There is a vast selection of over 50 beers to keep the hop nerds satisfied, as well as a mighty gin and spirit collection. The beers are brewed onsite and are all matched to tasty food items on the menu.
If you still can’t decide on what to drink then the friendly and knowledgeable bar staff will be happy to recommend something to fit your palate. Brewhouse and Kitchen is also dog friendly with a nice big garden and plenty of umbrellas, so you can sit back and enjoy a pint in the company of your pooch.
6. Brass Haus, Bournemouth
Address: 27-29 W Hill Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5PF
This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from Bournemouth. The liveliest town in Dorset has plenty going on and Brass Haus is a wonderful example of the atmosphere and ambience that the town is known for. Unlike any other pub in the area, it takes its inspiration from a German Bier Keller, with the hearty German food to match.
Brass Haus is a great place to catch the footie on a Saturday, though it retains a touch of class with a spacious, low-lit bar and brass fittings, meaning it’s not off the cards for a date or romantic evening.
7. Kings Arms, Wareham
Address: 41 North St, Wareham BH20 4AD
Kings Arms is a lovely old-fashioned pub on Wareham high street with beer of the highest standard, a welcoming atmosphere and arguably the best beer garden in Wareham. Easy on the eye with its traditional thatched roof and flower displays, the pub charms many visitors from the outside. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of nooks and crannies, a fireplace, old memorabilia and most importantly, a simple but delish menu of pub classics.
Kings Arms is extremely dog friendly and your pooch will be made to feel equally as welcome as the human members of your party. If you are looking for a swish wine bar, or a trendy buzzing place, you may find yourself disappointed. But, if you want an honest-to-goodness pub, and a quiet corner, then this is the place for you.
8. The Trumpet Major, Dorchester
Address: Alington Ave, Dorchester DT1 2AB
This family-friendly pub in Dorchester boasts a huge menu full of British classics with a carvery option available. Located just two minutes’ walk from Thomas Hardy’s house, Max Gate, it’s a great place to bring the little ones before or after sightseeing to let them burn off their excess energy in the outdoor play area.
They’re not the only ones who’ll enjoy the outside here though, as The Trumpet Major has a lovely patio and garden area which functions as a beer garden in the summer. Spacious, welcoming, and perfect for both good weather and bad, The Trumpet Major is an excellent choice if you should head inland for an excursion.