11 Best Unknown Coastal Towns in the UK for Dog Owners

View of Craster, a village on the Northumberland Coast

Discovering the UK’s hidden coastal gems offers a unique adventure for dog owners and their cherished companions.

1. Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales

Key Highlights:

  • Historical Charm: The town’s medieval castle ruins offer a glimpse into the past and stunning sea views.
  • Dog-Friendly Beaches: Criccieth’s beaches welcome dogs, providing ample space for play or sitting and enjoying an ice cream cone.
  • Scenic Walks: Proximity to the Wales Coast Path ensures endless opportunities for scenic walks amidst breathtaking landscapes.

2. Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Fishing boats on the cobbles in Robin Hoods Bay

Key Highlights:

  • Historical Intrigue: The village’s history as a smugglers’ haven adds a layer of fascination.
  • Dog-Friendly Walks: The beach, accessible during low tide, and the Cleveland Way National Trail offer extensive areas for dogs to explore.
  • Stunning Views: Spectacular cliff-top views along the Cleveland Way provide a memorable experience.

3. Portscatho, Cornwall

Key Highlights:

  • Artistic Community: The village’s artistic solid presence, with numerous art galleries and studios.
  • Tranquil Beaches: Unspoilt beaches welcome dogs year-round, perfect for leisurely walks or a game of fetch.
  • Scenic Coastal Path: The South West Coast Path offers breathtaking walks along Cornwall’s rugged coastline.

4. Alnmouth, Northumberland

Daffodils at the edge of Alnmouth Beach, houses in the distance

Key Highlights:

  • Broad Sandy Beaches: Ideal for dogs to roam and enjoy the vastness of the North Sea.
  • Dog-Friendly Coastline: Numerous beaches along the coastline welcome dogs, providing perfect spots for swimming and running.
  • Northumberland Coast Path: Offers miles of walking trails through unspoiled beauty, rich heritage, and diverse wildlife.

5. Beer, Devon

Key Highlights:

  • Pebbled Beach and Limestone Cliffs: Offer a distinctive backdrop for walks.
  • Welcoming Atmosphere for Dogs: With several coastal walks featuring breathtaking views.
  • Local Cuisine: Fresh seafood is a highlight, providing a taste of the sea that complements the day’s adventures.

6. Aberdaron, Gwynedd, Wales

Aberdaron at Dusk with sea and 2 small islands in background

Key Highlights:

  • Gateway to Ancient Welsh Culture: Offers a peaceful retreat amidst stunning landscapes.
  • Dog-Friendly Walking Routes: Various adventures, from beach strolls to cliff-top hikes, are available.
  • Rich History and Natural Beauty: North Wales is inspired by its Celtic past and the natural beauty that has captivated poets and pilgrims.

7. Staithes, North Yorkshire

Key Highlights:

  • Historic Charm: Reflects a rich fishing heritage and artistic legacy.
  • Dog-Friendly Coastal Walks: Provide stunning vistas of the North Sea and dramatic cliffs.
  • Vibrant Community Events: Art festivals and heritage days celebrate the local spirit.

8. Kingswear, Devon

Coloured Houses in the Devon village of Kingswear

Key Highlights:

  • Scenic Beauty and Nautical Charm: Colourful houses and picturesque marina views.
  • Access to South West Coast Path: Miles of breathtaking walks along cliffs and countryside.
  • Dog-Friendly Beaches: Numerous spots within walking distance that have fewer tourists than many other beaches.

9. Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland

Key Highlights:

  • Expansive Beaches: The two-mile stretch that is the West beach is an ideal playground for pups, whilst the East beach is popular with surfers
  • Dolphin Sightings: The Moray Firth is known for its marine life, including dolphins.
  • Walk Forest Paths: The Lossiemouth Forest Circular is a 4-mile walk close to the town.

10. Porthdinllaen, Gwynedd, Wales

Dramatic sunset over Morfa Nefyn, Porthdinllaen

Key Highlights:

  • Tranquil Coastal Retreat: Offers a peaceful setting amidst stunning natural landscapes.
  • Dog-Friendly Beaches: The beach at Porthdinllaen welcomes dogs, making it perfect for pet-friendly outings.
  • Scenic Walks: Explore the Llŷn Peninsula’s rugged coastline and sandy beaches with numerous dog-friendly trails.

11. Walberswick, Suffolk

Key Highlights:

  • Nature Lovers’ Paradise: Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, offering diverse landscapes.
  • Dog-Friendly Walks: Abundant trails through heathlands, woodlands, and coastal areas.
  • Crabbing Tradition: Adds a unique cultural experience to your visit.

Enhancing Your Coastal Getaway with Dogs

Dog on a beach with painted beach huts in the background

Choosing the Right Accommodation:

  • Essential Amenities: Look for cottages with enclosed gardens and easy access to dog-friendly beaches.
  • Comfort and Convenience: Prioritise accommodations that offer dog beds, bowls, and other pet-friendly amenities.
  • Location: Select cottages close to scenic walks and pet-friendly attractions to minimise travel time and maximise enjoyment.

Must-Have Accessories:

  • Waterproof Toys: Durable toys that float are ideal for beach play and swimming.
  • Collapsible Water Bowls: Essential for keeping your dog hydrated during beach outings.
  • Doggy Sun Cream: Protects your dog from harmful UV rays, essential for dogs with short or light-coloured fur.
  • Life Jackets: A life jacket ensures safety in deeper waters for dogs that love swimming.

Discovering Scenic Routes:

  • Diverse Landscapes: Explore walks that offer a mix of beaches, cliff-top trails, and coastal paths.
  • Dog-Friendly Features: Choose routes with ample off-leash areas, dog waste bins, and freshwater sources.
  • Accessibility: Consider the difficulty level of the walk to ensure it’s suitable for your dog’s fitness and ability.

Engaging and Safe Activities:

  • Fetch and Frisbee: Classic beach games that provide ample exercise and fun.
  • Swimming and Paddleboarding: Great for water-loving dogs, offering a refreshing way to cool off.
  • Digging and Sandcastles: Allow your dog to explore their natural digging instincts in a safe, controlled environment.

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John Devlin

A lifelong dog enthusiast from Newcastle, John combines his love for pets with discovering the UK’s hidden travel treasures. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his experiences from family-friendly staycations, helping others find perfect dog-friendly getaways.

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