Leisure has emerged as a prominent research theme within the growing body of knowledge on dementia, with a focus on physical activity. Yet participation in any form of leisure presupposes an ability to freely choose to partake in activities and to negotiate one's way around key barriers. In the case of dementia, the ability to undertake leisure activities is subject to a greater range of barriers, structured in a hierarchical manner that contributes to social exclusion if not addressed. This study based on focus groups with people with dementia and their family members conducted in Dorset, UK illustrates a range of barriers to leisure participation. How to create or maintain leisure opportunities for those living with dementia where households affected by dementia do not adopt avoidance behaviour, compounding a sense of isolation and exclusion is a challenge. Leisure can be an important strategy framed as a form of resistance to the social disabilities experienced by those living with dementia and it is potentially isolating impact.