Portsmouth has a huge number of brilliant walking spots for dog owners — seashores, vast open fields, quiet parks, and forested footpaths are never far away. We’re always spoiled for choice when we want to take our French bulldog Dexter (pictured below!) out for a galavant. Here are five of our favourite dog walking places in Portsmouth and Southsea.
Southsea seafront and the common
There’s nothing like throwing on some warm clothes on a cold winter morning and taking your four-legged friend for a frolic along the frosty seafront. One of our favourite routes is around Southsea Castle, with some amazing Solent views and the perfectly-sized Castle Field.
Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw away from Southsea Common, a vast space where you can let your dog off their leash. Both the seafront and Southsea Common are lined with plenty of poop bins, so be sure to clean up after your pupper!
A charming detour to the seafront is through the Southsea Rock Gardens, where you’ll have to keep your dog on their leash.
There are restrictions on the seafront between Southsea Castle and the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney from 31st May through 30th October each year, so during the hotter summer months, bearing more towards Southsea Common is advisable, but dogs are also allowed at the Southsea Bandstand, so long as they’re kept on a lead.
Park in Mountbatten Leisure Centre’s car lot, walk down to the water’s edge, and stroll along to the Alexandra Park field, where you can let your dog off their leash.
It’s a beautiful open space with a couple of goalposts, if you and a friend fancy a kickabout while your dog’s galavanting around — and if you don’t mind your ball potentially becoming a chew toy!
A couple of warnings: the path along the water’s edge can get a touch busy with cyclists, walkers, joggers, et al, so it’s typically a good idea to keep your dog on a leash along this path.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, there may also be a few stray beer cans on the ground in the park, but keep an eye out and all will be well.
Old Portsmouth and its pubs
Old Portsmouth is a beautiful place to explore with your dog, with lots of history for you to enjoy and open spaces around the Royal Garrison Church to let them off their leashes.
Foxes Forest and Hilsea Lines
Head north from Alexandra Park and you’ll find yourself on the Hilsea Lines, also known as Foxes Forest. It’s a relaxing woodland path where you’ll easily lose yourself to nature.
There are old ramparts to admire, trails to explore, and loads of room for man’s best friend to run around. And with all those sticks to throw, it’s doggy heaven!
Milton Common and Great Salterns
You’ll find two of the best open spaces for dogs on the eastern edge of the island: Milton Common and Great Salterns Recreation Ground.
Vast expanses of grassy terrain, easily-accessible earthy and stony shorelines, intertwining trails, and plenty of benches along the way — this part of Portsmouth sometimes feels like it was created especially for dog walkers!
The only things you’ll need to be wary of are wildfowl on the lakes of Milton Common, and crossing the Eastern Road. A favoured route from Milton Common to Great Salterns is through Sword Sands Road, a footpath which runs past Portsmouth College.