Soft sand, interesting smells, wide open spaces, crashing waves, seagulls to chase, frisbees, footballs, sticks, picnics and rockpools to explore. These are just some of the reasons any self-respecting pooch loves a day at the beach.
Here are our reviews on 11 real dog-friendly beaches and the reasons why every dog-owner should consider these locations when booking a holiday with your four-legged friend.
Dumfries and Galloway – Southerness Beach, a Real Gem
Southerness beach is a wide stretch of sand, with the occasional rocky areas and is the ideal place for a walk with your companion whatever the time of year.
Located on the Solway Coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty dogs are welcome on this glorious beach all year round and as it goes on for miles there is always plenty of space to run and play games.
There is a golf club nearby, along with a campsite, toilets, fish and chip shop plus parking at Southerness Point where you can visit the second oldest lighthouse in Scotland.
Dumfries and Galloway is a paradise for dogs, Galloway Forest with over 300 square miles of woodland walks is enough to tire out even the most energetic of hounds, plus tons of dog-friendly attractions such as Caerlaverock Castle and Cream 0’ Galloway, where dogs are more than welcome in the outside areas.
Newquay – No less than 12 dog-friendly beaches
There can be few places in the UK that can beat Cornwall when it comes to dog-friendly and Newquay really is the star of the show for doggie beach bums.
Whether you stay in a dog-friendly caravan site, holiday park or go self-catering you will never be far from the sands. Most allow dogs all year round, but a couple have restrictions during high season – you can find them here
Fistral Beach is perhaps the well known of all Newquay’s beaches, famous for surfing it can compete with the best in the world and there are tons of facilities nearby.
Great Western Beach is just a 2-minute walk from the town and best visited at low tide when it joins with Towan and Tolcarne beaches to become a vast stretch of golden sand. There is also an excellent dog friendly café – The Ohana, on the cliffs above, one of many in the town.
For a stunning range of dog friendly properties in Cornwall, see here.
Norfolk – Old Hunstanton, the perfect place to watch the sun go down
Just north of the resort town of Hunstanton with its pebbly main beach you will find the charming village of Old Hunstanton with a superb dog-friendly one.
The huge expanse of sand gently slopes to the sea and whilst it does get busy during the summer, it never feels crowded.
Norfolk is on the East coast of England and Old Hunstanton is one of the few beaches which face West, making it more sheltered than some and the ideal spot enjoying the magnificent sunsets.
The coastline is a popular holiday destination for dog owners with lots of canine properties in Norfolk within easy reach of this outstanding beach.
There are tons of attractions which welcome dogs such as the Bure Valley Railway and Holt Park. Plus, there are two excellent pet-friendly pubs in the village serving delicious food, what more could you ask for?
Rhosilli Beach – The Gower Peninsula – An Award-Winning Pet-Friendly Beach
This stunning National Trust beach has been described as one of the best in the world and was nominated by the Times newspaper as the #1 dog-friendly beach in the UK in 2017,
Rhosilli can be found on the south west tip of the Gower Peninsula, near to Swansea. When the tide goes out this beach boasts an impressive 3 miles of soft golden sand, which is a dog heaven all year round.
At low tide the more adventurous can take the causeway to the tidal island of Worm’s Head where grey seals can be spotted sun-bathing, remember to check the tide times though to avoid being cut off from the mainland.
The views here are stunning, the air fresh and the Kings Head pub nearby is the perfect place for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy some refreshment.
Scarborough – A Traditional Dog-Friendly Seaside Adventure
There are two main beaches in Scarborough and while both have restrictions during the summer months dogs are still allowed on a wide section of both South and North Bay beaches, with flags displaying these areas.
South Bay is the busiest of the two, due to its sheltered position, south facing sands and proximity to the town’s facilities, many of which are dog-friendly.
Alternatively, North Bay is the town’s Blue Flag beach, this is our favourite- with its pretty beach huts, excellent facilities and stunning views. It is also close to Peasholm Park one of the best in the country with a large oriental themed boating lake and some beautiful dog walks.
Dog friendly cafés like the BellyRub and Emma’s Coffee House mean there’s always somewhere to stop for a bite to eat in Scarborough and there is plenty of pooch-friendly accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets in the town and surrounding area.
Bamburgh Castle Beach – Northumberland – Windswept Walks, History And Nature
Overlooked by an ancient castle, this huge, pristine, beach is the perfect spot to frolic with Fido. Dogs are allowed all year round and there are plenty of bins, along with toilets and a café nearby.
You and your best friend can explore the fascinating rockpools and enjoy the spectacular views of the castle and rural Northumberland beyond.
As you would expect in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty there are plenty of places to stay with your canine companion from luxury hotels to pet-friendly caravan parks.
A trip to the Farne Islands for some puffin spotting, is a must for visitors to Northumberland and the good news is; well-behaved dogs are allowed on the boats although not on the islands themselves.
Another great day out with your four-legged friend is Dunstanburgh Castle and from there you can walk to Low Newton, a beautiful route recommended by the National Trust.
Ravenglass Beach – The Lake District
The big draw of this small canine-friendly beach is the fact that it lies within the Lake District National Park which boasts more dog-friendly attractions, eateries and accommodation than you can shake a stick at. Making it a paradise for dogs and their owners alike.
The beach itself is sand and shingle and lies in front of a row of traditional fishermen’s cottages. It is usually fairly quiet, there are no dog restrictions and plenty of signposted walks in the village which lead into the hills or along the coast.
Muncaster Castle is close by – which is a “pawsome“ dog-friendly day out or, you and your furry pal could take a trip through spectacular countryside on the Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway.
If you fancy a bite to eat there are tons of dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District such as The Ratty Arms and The Inn at Ravenglass.
Sandymouth Beach - Cornwall – Perfect for families, water-sports and dogs
With over 300 beaches it’s no surprise that another one features on our list of the best beaches for dogs, in fact the whole list could be made of the gems of the Cornish Coastline.
Owned by the National Trust, Sandymouth beach is popular with dog-walkers as there are no restrictions and whatever the time of year, there always seems to be something going on.
This stunning beach has its own waterfall and excellent facilities with a seasonal café, surfboard hire and toilets nearby. In addition, some glorious coastal walks can be accessed from either end of the sands.
The nearby town of Bude is exceptionally welcoming to our four-legged friends there is plenty of dog friendly stays, places to eat and tons of attractions.
Spend the day at the fantastic Eden Project, take a steam engine ride on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway or explore the Camel Trail.
West Wittering Beach -West Sussex, Unspoilt, Beautiful And Pooch-Friendly
Dogs are only allowed on certain parts of the beach from May to September but have full access the rest of the year.
There is parking nearby, plenty of dog waste bins, a lovely beach café which also sells takeaway food, a shop and toilets.
Chichester with its rich history is close by where you will find plenty of pubs and cafés which welcome dogs and there are some fascinating canine-friendly attractions too. The Weald and Downland Living Museum, West Dean Gardens not forgetting the stunning South Downs, which is a doggy heaven, right on the doorstep.
Roseisle Beach – Fife, Offering Our Four-Legged Friends The Best Of Both Worlds
Located halfway along the Moray Coastal Trail this glorious sandy beach is accessed through a pine forest meaning Fido can have a good sniff before running around on the miles of soft sand
There are picnic benches, places to have a barbeque, toilets, children’s play equipment and space for a host of fun activities. Parking is also available for a small charge nearby.
With jaw-dropping views across the Moray Firth you may even spot the bottlenose dolphins which are regular visitors and if not, you will still see a plethora of wildlife here
Roseisle beach is a hidden gem, never too busy and well worth the visit for a doggy paddle and the surrounding area has pubs, cafés and attractions that welcome our pooches around every corner. A huge variety of places to stay from canine hotels to budget B & B’s means you and Fido will be spoilt for choice.
Talacre Beach -Prestatyn, Canine Friendly Beach With A Lighthouse
The popular beach boasts miles of golden sand that your pooch will love. Backed by sand dunes Talacre has plenty of space to relax or take a leisurely stroll while your pup frolics in the sand.
Whilst you are there you can’t fail to notice the Point of Ayr lighthouse dating back to 1776, the lighthouse rises 18 metres out of the sand and at low tide you can stroll across for a look- don’t linger though or you could end up having to swim back to dry land.
The surrounding area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is teeming with wildlife such as seabirds and a rare colony of natterjack toads.
Prestatyn has a lovely promenade which is popular with dog-walkers and with a host of dog-friendly days out nearby, is it any wonder this area is a popular choice with families and couples looking for a dream break in the UK.
f your faithful companion loves playing in the sand, these 11, real dog-friendly beaches will be sure to please and with all of them being close to attractions and pooch-friendly places to eat, you are guaranteed a holiday to remember.
When looking for dog friendly holiday homes, make sure they are close to the coastline if you love the beach, otherwise you’ll spend a fortune on trying to get there regularly.