Dog-friendly beaches

Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches in UK

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We’ve been there so many times. You’re looking for a day away by the sea. You’ve spotted a place you like. You’ve found a beach to match. You’re getting your stuff together, and just as the bucket and spade go in, you ask yourself if you can bring the dog.

This special list of dog-friendly beaches welcomes your furry friend all year round. So even if you’re heading to the coast when it's busy, you need not worry about your dog coming along for the ride. From some of the most rural parts of the country to vibrant seaside towns, this list covers up and down, far and wide to bring you a beach that caters for humans and dogs alike. We’ve also nailed down some must-see places to visit, and with a dog-friendly Haven park never too far away, you may fancy extending your stay via a pooch-perfect few days with us.

Bamburgh Castle Beach, Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle Beach

Northumberland’s Bamburgh Castle Beach is the perfect place to bring your furry friend along to. The golden sand is waiting to be explored, and a dog walk here reveals a range of spectacular scenery and some incredible history to boot. The unspoilt coast in this area can only be described as a pooch’s playground.

The horizon here is beautiful, and the mysterious Farne Islands add to the serene feeling in this, one of England’s northernmost areas. You’ll never be too far from the star of the show: the historic castle. Known to have stood here in some form for over 1000 years, the present structure has been here in all its glory since at least the 14th-century. If you fancy paying a visit, dogs on leads are more than welcome within the castle’s grounds.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire (South Wales)

Beaches in England

The gem on Wales’ west coast is a dog friendly beach waiting to be explored. Once described as a true hidden outpost, Barafundle Bay has been growing in prominence with each passing year. Awards have thrust it into the spotlight, and we think it’s not far from winning a canine-inspired accolade too. The beach is remote, with the nearest car park half a mile away.

The route from there to the bay is perfect for a dog walk. You’ll both be met by lush greenery, sweeping hills and the sound of the Atlantic’s waves crashing in the background. When you reach the sand, gently sloping dunes present the perfect setting for your furry friend to dip their paws into. It won’t be long before you see why Barafundle Bay has been talked about alongside the likes of Sydney’s Bondi and Rio’s Copacabana as one of the very best.

Brancaster Beach, Norfolk

Brancaster beach

Brancaster Beach offers mile after mile of dog-friendly sand, attracting mongrels and their owners all year round. In the summer, you’ll both be able to relax with loads of space on the sand, cooling off in the relatively calm seas. In the colder months, take an extended walk along this part of Norfolk’s north coast.

On clearer days, you’ll see Lincolnshire’s coastline to your left. The great range of facilities also cater for your pooch, with a range of eateries welcoming you both. Dog bins are also provided near the toilets. When the tide lowers, you’ll both see the sight of the SS Vina, shipwrecked in 1944 and buried in the sand ever since.

Dungeness Beach, Norfolk

Dungeness beach

Dungeness is undoubtedly one of the strangest places you could bring your best friend to. The dog-friendly beach is made of shingle and extends massively inland to cover the landscape. You’ll see quaint beach huts surrounded by it, with the road to Dungeness running through it. This untouched corner of Kent is also the terminus of the miniature Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

The steam trains welcome dogs and their owners, and you can tie in a visit here with a ride from the livelier Hythe. Regular trains throughout the day give you both the chance to explore this curious nature-filled area. The sight of the brutalist nuclear power station is never far away in the distance, topping off Dungeness’ vibe as a little extraordinary.

Harlech Beach, Gwynedd (North Wales)

Harlech Beach

Harlech Beach sits neatly in North West Wales’ Irish Sea coast. Formed by four miles of uninterrupted sand, each dune is accessible for your dog. This beach really is a great day out at the seaside for humans and canines alike. Sitting within a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, the beach is fantastic for letting your furry friend off their leash while you sit back and relax.

The skyline is dominated by the 13th-century Harlech Castle, providing a constant throwback to the area’s prominence in the English Civil War. A structure that used to sit on the coast, land has conquered sea in the area, and this is now a short walk from the water. Dogs on leashes are always welcome, so it's definitely worth a visit.

Perranporth Beach, Cornwall

Perranporth Beach

It’s great to be able to say that Cornwall’s finest beach is also dog friendly. This vast stretch of sand on the county’s north coast allows both of you to stretch your legs for miles. Save for a couple of the busiest months, you’ll often feel like you have the place to yourself. Considering the amenities just a stone’s throw away in the town, the peace and quiet is something rarely felt at a beach as close to a built-up area as this one.

The pup-friendly experience is at its best when the tide is out. The two-mile walk down to Ligger Point is a great route for some exercise. When you’ve both got that in, head for the village for a lovely taste of Cornwall. The Watering Hole is a fantastic dog friendly pub perched right on the edge of the sand.

Prestwick Beach, Scotland

Prestwick, Scotland

This long, sandy beach on Scotland’s west coast is just a stone’s throw away from the airport of the same name. You and your furry friend are welcome to some plane spotting from the sand. When you look at the horizon, you’ll spot the beautiful sight of the Isle of Arran, located approximately 20km away across the Firth of Clyde.

Whether you come here intending to be active or just to unwind, the beach has numerous walks and great spots for chilling out. There are some great photo opportunities for both of you here. When you’re done exploring, head for Ayr, just a few miles south and home to an array of dog-friendly options.

Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower (South Wales)

Rhossili Bay Beach

Rhossili Bay represents the UK’s first-ever Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and this natural beauty is equally open to your dog. You’ll both love this scenic area, which hasn’t simply been recognised within Wales. It’s featured with growing prominence in articles around the world, with our list of dog-friendly beaches in the UK adding to the list. It’s another great chance to get your camera out and take some mementoes of your pooch in the stunning surroundings.

Dogs aren’t the only animals to crop up on the sand. Seals are a common sight here, loving the rocky backdrop. They often occupy the area around the strange shipwreck of the historical Helvetia, standing here ruined since 1887. Nearby Worm’s Head Island is accessible when the tide is out, with Devil’s Bridge an increasingly popular spot for dog walkers.

Studland – Shell Bay, Dorset

Studland beach

Dogs are welcome on a lead between 1st May and 30th September and free to roam for the rest of the year in this hidden part of Dorset. Studland is a beach with unique geography, perched at the bottom of the peninsula it’s named after. Getting here by land brings through memorable National Trust space full of lush countryside and windy roads.

When you reach here, you’ll be surprised by how close Bournemouth is across Shell Bay. The other side is very much suburban, with Sandbanks Beach accessible via a small ferry ride across. Calm waters allow your friend to dip their fur in the sea, and their paws will love the sand which is nothing short of golden.

Wells / Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Wells/Holkham Beach

Wells-next-the-Sea is a charming town on Norfolk’s north coast with a charming beach to match. A low-lying area, the sand and its surroundings are great for a dog-friendly adventure. At low tide, the walk out to the North Sea is a journey in itself, with plenty of puddles for your pooch to splash in.

Another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wells and Holkham area is home to the largest coastal nature reserve in England and Wales. Spacious in summer and muted in winter, the town is great for tying in some dog-friendly activities with your day out at the sea. The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway gives you the chance to see more of the area and is dog friendly with hourly departures throughout the day.