Where are the top dog-friendly beaches in the UK?
The best environment to tire out our four-legged friends has got to be along the British coastline. We’re spoilt by the miles of sand and shingle beaches right on our doorstep, and while there are a number of restrictions on doggy access, we’ve shortlisted our top dog-friendly beaches in the UK to suit all canine personalities and day trip itineraries.
We’re lucky enough to have miles of rolling coastline in the UK, along which your pooch can run at full speed or happily trot. It switches up their workout and even allows them to finish it off with a doggy-paddle – and you’ll certainly cover some distance without even realising.
It’s a great idea to get your furry friends covered during trips away so that you can take them to the most remote beaches and not have to worry about a thing. We recommend that you take a look at some fantastic deals and compare dog insurance quotes so that everything is covered for your trip, no matter where you go.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK and our favourite places to stay (paws included) nearby.
Camber Sands, Sussex
Camber Sands is a sure contender for a doggy paradise. It is blessed with sandy shores compared to its neighbouring beaches of shingle and stone, meaning that your dog will happily bound along with not a care in the world. With one of the purest dune systems on the South Coast that are often used as desert doubles in a number of movies, you’ll capture the perfect Kodak moment to remember your doggy holiday.
It’s worth noting that in 2019, lifeguards will be present on Camber Sands for the summer season. This means that dogs are not allowed on all beaches in zoned areas between the 1st May and 30th of September, but there is plenty of space otherwise.
A dog-friendly place to stay: The Gallivant, Camber
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £160
Soar Mill Cove, near Salcombe, Devon
This small cove is particularly great for dogs all year round, as there are no cars in the vicinity, and it gives your pooch a taste of having a paddle along some of the most picturesque locations on the Southwest coast. The nearby accommodation also welcomes doggies and will serve a series of snacks for you to enjoy throughout the day. This truly is an idyllic spot, as it’s framed by dramatic rock and cliff faces, and your dog can choose to dip into the waves or a stream in the centre of the beach. They can explore the rockpools, and if your pup is a social being, they’ll be sure to bump into other people and fellow canines. The cove is backed by the rolling hills of the South Hams, which means they can dry off in the grass after a paddle in the sea.
A dog-friendly place to stay: The Soar Mill Hotel, Devon
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £167
Perranporth Beach, Cornwall
Perranporth Beach in Cornwall is the perfect destination for your four-legged friend, and allows dogs all year round. During the months of July and August, however, you should keep them on a lead between 10am-5pm. Located close to the town, it’s often busy with other dogs which makes it the perfect spot for socialising with other pooches. This bustling beach town is home to plenty of dog shows during the summer months and a number of pubs for you to enjoy a drink as they bask in the sun. At low tide, the sands of Perranporth and Penhale combine giving you extra-long strips of sand on which to play fetch.
Cornwall remains firmly at the top of many holidaymakers’ lists due to its rolling countryside, unique culture and stunning beaches. It’s important to note that as of 2018, however, Cornwall has recently enforced a new “beach ban” on dogs between the tourist months of May and September on a number of beaches across the region. Break the ban and you could face an £80 fixed penalty fine - but Perranporth allows dogs all year round.
A dog-friendly place to stay: The Slate Studios at The Rosevine
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £112
Hengistbury Beach, Bournemouth, Hampshire
Also known as ‘Solent Beach’, this beautiful spot is a mix of sand and shingle so not only is it perfect for running and playing, but also for exploring among the woodland, wetland, and grassland. Extending off the headland, Hengistbury is a stunning beach with its own car park nearby. Owners and doggies alike can enjoy stunning views across to the Isle of Wight, Bournemouth and Mudeford. Dogs are welcome year round, and we recommend working up an appetite for some dog biscuits, as it’s a great spot for a picnic. Alternatively, there’s a restaurant on the beach itself.
A dog-friendly place to stay: Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa, Christchurch
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £179
Whitley Bay, Northumberland
If your dog loves to mingle (safely) among other wildlife, then the Northumberland Heritage coast is the perfect option. There is a lot of hearsay in the press about dog restrictions in the North East that put many dog owners off visiting. The North East coastline, however, is charmingly rugged, and dogs are more than welcome as long as their owners are responsible, read the signs for the zoned areas and pick up after them. This part of the UK is particularly wild and home to breeding birds, so dogs might need to be kept on leads - but otherwise, it makes for an incredible place for a windswept walk.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Park Lodge Hotel, Whitley Bay
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £95
Whiteford Sands, South Wales
Owned by the National Trust, this beach is a wildlife haven and is home to two miles of sandy beach for your dog to explore. In these tourist hotspots, there are some months when dogs can go on beaches and others where they must be on a lead, but at Whiteford Sands dogs are allowed all year round. A word of warning - the beaches along the Gower coastline have the most spectacular wide sandy beaches for galloping dogs, but you should watch out when the tide comes in.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Greenways of Gower Premier Leisure Park
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £111
Cable Bay, Anglesey, North Wales
With 125 miles of coastline to bound along, your dog is sure to love Anglesey. This beach has a variety of landscapes, from rock pools to sand dunes. As it’s located in a sheltered inlet, it’s a safe place for doggies to paddle in the water, and you can visit without having to brave the north-easterly winds. An invigorating walk for dogs and owners alike - with enough seaweed to play with for a lifetime.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Foryd Waterside Cottage at Plas Dinas Country House, Aberffraw
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £POA
Dalmore Beach, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
The views surrounding Dalmore Beach tucked away on the Isle of Lewis are of a pedigree class, and your dog will love it. The active atmosphere is perfect for outgoing doggies who love to play alongside people, as it’s also a hotspot for surfers camped nearby. If you’re looking for what beaches are dog-friendly in Scotland, we suggest Dalmore as a fantastic choice.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Cabarfeidh Hotel
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £149
Fraisthorpe Beach, Yorkshire
For large sandy plains, look no further than Fraithshorpe in the East Riding area. It stretches for many miles to the south and is popular with horse riders, so if your dog is friendly and loves to bound alongside some taller friends, then this is a great choice. It’s popular with dog owners all year round as it is with those who like to swim in the North Sea. There is no lifeguard service, but a quick paddle with your dog is a moment you’ll always remember. The clay cliff-top scenery is particularly spectacular, and you won’t be far from the village of Fraithshorpe for local amenities about a mile from the beach including pubs, shops and shellfish eateries.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Skipsea Sands Holiday Park
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £POA
Holkham Beach, Norfolk
The east coast of England is home to some of the most incredible sunsets for you to witness while walking your favourite pup. Here you can park near the entrance to Holkham Hall, and enjoy a leisurely walk through shaded pinewoods where they can scratch and sniff to their heart’s content. The boardwalks will take you directly to a large stretch of fine golden sand that will feel heavenly for paws big and small.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: The Wensum Lodge Hotel, Fakenham
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £129
Ringstead Beach, Dorset
You and your canine will love Ringstead, as you can pause here for a while and go foraging for ancient fossils. It’s home to an offshore reef and a series of rockpools for your dog to explore and sniff. It’s the perfect spot for letting your pooch cool down after a long walk. Dogs are allowed all year round, too, so there are no worries about restrictions. This shingle beach is quite unlike the miles of golden sands of other beaches, but there are many dogs that love nothing more than clambering over rocks and pebbles, looking for what’s below.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Limestone Hotel, West Lulworth
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £125
Formby, Sefton Coast
Oh, they do like to be beside the seaside, oh they do like to be beside the sea! In this corner of the UK, it doesn’t get much better for puppy paws than Formby as there are no seasonal restrictions on dog access. Your dog will love the expansive woodland and sandy shores for a good old dig and dipping their paws in the sea afterwards.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Britannia Prince of Wales, Southport
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £42
Helen’s Bay Beach, Co. Down, N. Ireland
With shallow, clear waters, this is the perfect place to get those little paws wet. Located within the Belfast area, it’s also close to a country park with plenty of facilities to mingle with other dogs. If it’s warm down at the beach, your pooch can cool off with a run in the wooded headlands.
A dog-friendly place to stay nearby: Coach Road Cottages, Co Down
Average price per night for local stays according to TripAdvisor: £70
If you’re planning a dog walk on a beach near you, here are a few handy things to remember:
- Allow your dog to bathe in shallow waters only - British currents can be stronger than you think.
- Keep dogs on a lead or nearby when there’s wildlife or children around.
- Keep your doggies on a lead if there are cliff edges nearby.
- If there’s a restriction on dog walking in the summer, it’s probably for the better. Leave walking for the early morning or evening to make the most of the cooler temperatures.
- Watch out for the quickly changing tides – it’s easy to get cut off when walking around the headland.
Protecting your pooch with dog insurance
Are you feeling inspired to take your dog to the beach of their dreams? Keen to have them bounding up and down and exploring some of England’s best seaside landscape? Before you set off, you can compare dog insurance quotes to take away any stress while you’re away. We’ve compiled some of the best quotes on pet insurance here. Get a quick and easy quote today.