Blog

10 best dog friendly beaches in the UK

Who doesn’t love a day on the beach… and that includes our favourite four-legged friend.

Meet Angus, he’s a happy little chap, despite his rather solemn border terrier appearance. When he’s on the beach he skips across the sand with nearly as much joy as the kids, and if he’s not on the beach with us, well it’s just not the same.

Countless times we’ve rocked up at a beach only to find it’s not doggie-friendly and that’s a serious ‘bone’ of contention. We have, however, discovered some sensational beaches that let dogs, as well as their owners, enjoy a day on the sand.

The following beaches are all dog-friendly. Not only that, they’re amongst the most beautiful we have ever visited.

 

1. WALES: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West is a must-visit beach in Pembrokeshire. It’s wild and breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for adventures and a big hit with water sports enthusiasts.

The beach is practically perfect for families, with so much to see and do. It boasts a curving stretch of golden sand to have fun building sandcastles or kite flying. There is a huge expanse of rock pools where our mini explorers loved delving and discovering all sorts of marine creatures.

Freshwater West is regarded as one of Wales’ best surfing spots, with consistent swells and waves. But families take note, it’s for the more experienced surfer as there’s a strong rip current – lifeguards are on duty between early June and September.

And (my tummy is rumbling at the thought of this one) in the car park next to the beach, you’ll find Café Mor, a humble beach shack selling the most delicious food that I have ever tasted. Don’t leave without trying the famous lobster roll, it’s something very special*.

What’s special?

Dramatic rock pools. Golden sand. Café Mor.

Dogs

Dog-friendly all year round.

*NB: Comment from tight husband, ‘Ten quid for a sandwich. It was nice but, really?!’

 

2. CORNWALL: Perranporth

Everything about the beach at Perranporth is massive. From the miles of golden sand, the huge surf, the sand dunes, to the imposing rocky cliffs… it’s a pretty impressive place.

When the tide goes out the beach is even more enormous, and the walk to the surf through the sea air and spray is exhilarating. Chapel Rock stands proudly in the middle of the beach, boasting rock pools and a hidden tidal swimming pool.

Perranporth village is just a stone’s throw from the beach, so if you’re loaded with paraphernalia, it’s easy to park up and fab if you’ve got little ones (and dogs) in tow. And because the beach is so huge, you can always find a spot to throw down your towel, even in the height of summer.

It’s fair to say we appreciated the short stroll across the sand to The Watering Hole, the UK’s only bar on a beach, to soak up the relaxed beach-café vibe and enjoy a sundowner whilst playing with the kids for an extra hour of fun on the sand.

What’s special?

Tidal swimming pool. Miles of golden sand. Sundowners at The Watering Hole.

Dogs

Dog-friendly, but hounds must be kept on leads between July and August, 9am – 5pm on the main area of the beach.

 

3. YORKSHIRE: Robin Hoods Bay Beach

Robin Hoods Bay is special at any time of year. It’s charming and picturesque, and the beach is especially good for rock pooling, fossil hunting and exploring.

To appreciate this beauty of a beach you’re going to have to stretch out your calves and mop your brow, there’s a hill involved.

Leave your car at the top of the village and enjoy taking a step back in time, as you meander down the cobbled streets past traditional village shops, pubs, and cafés on your way down to the beach.

Once you’re there, woah is it worth it. Spectacular cliffs, a massive expanse of rock pools and, in summer, the most perilously parked ice cream van you will ever see.

Robin Hoods Bay has a magnetic quality that draws us back every year, we simply love it.

What’s special?

Rock pools. Fossil hunting. A bag of hot chips from the chippie at the top of the slipway.

Dogs

Dogs allowed all year round.

 

4. DEVON: South Milton Sands

A friendly camper recommended South Milton Sands but it wasn’t particularly close to where we were staying, he told us it was worth the drive, and we weren’t disappointed.

The beach is glorious, with a long sweep of golden sand, crystal clear waters and an iconic rock archway. But two things stand out about South Milton Sands… rock pools and food!

First, the rock pools. We spent hours exploring the oversized craggy pools, discovered an amazing, underwater world. The rock pools are teeming with life and we spotted limpets, sea anemones, crabs and even a starfish. But a word of warning, be careful you don’t get caught by the tide. The pools stretch out a long way and you can easily get cut off when the tide turns.

Next, the food, and we do love our food. The Beachhouse café has an awesome menu, specializing in freshly caught fish and seafood. It’s found yards from the beach and we managed to bag a seat outside, where we enjoyed grilled mackerel, moules mariniere and kid-friendly fish goujons, with fabulous views and a chilled glass of wine. Apparently, it’s becoming a bit of a foodie destination, and we can see why.

What’s special?

Rockpooling. The Beachside Café

Dogs

Dog-friendly all year round.

 

5. DORSET: Lulworth Cove

Lulworth is such a beautiful cove, it’s almost make-believe just how pretty it is.

Shaped like a scallop shell with calm blue sea and arc of bright white pebbles, Lulworth Cove is world famous and attracts lots of visitors who come to enjoy the panoramic views and crystal clear waters on this stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We went along early morning and had a great time scrambling across the rocks, and having a chase with the dog along the beach.

As well as the incredible scenery there’s a lot do here, from rock-pooling and water sports to walking and relaxing with an ice cream. It’s a must-visit destination on the Dorset Coast because it’s just so unique.

What’s special?

Breathtaking views. Clear blue sea.

Dogs

Dog-friendly all year round.

 

6. CORNWALL: Coverack Beach

The first time we explored Coverack the tide was in and we completely missed the beach.

Luckily for us, we popped back, and the retreating tide revealed a stunning crescent-shaped arc of sand, and a sheltered beach with calm blue water.

The beach is perfect for young families. We played for hours in the shallow sea and dipping out nets in the rock pools. For the fit (and brave) there are water sports galore, paddle boards, windsurfing, scuba diving or take a steady swim across the bay.

Coverack is a traditional fishing village with a quiet harbour and RNLI launch. Like the rest of the Lizard Peninsular, it’s friendly and relaxed, we love it.

What’s special?

Calm waters. Shallow beach. Seriously relaxed.

Dogs

Dog-friendly all year round.

 

7. NORFOLK: Wells Beach

Wells Beach is a seemingly endless expanse of golden sand, backed by dunes and pine trees. It’s perfect for strolling along whilst throwing a ball for your happy hound.

The beach is perfect for enjoying simple pleasures, building sandcastles, paddling and searching for shells. At low tide, there are miles of sand and shallow channels to keep the kids entertained, but when the tide comes in, the beach is transformed into a harbour, busy with yachts, fishing boats and small sailing boats.

The local wildlife is a sight to behold, seals, lots of them, are always close by. And Wells beach is home to the most picturesque beach huts you will ever see.

But wait… before you set foot on the sand you’re in for a treat. You can travel to the sea in style by taking a diesel locomotive from the town, down to the beach.

What’s special?

Noisy seals. Miles of sand. Safe paddling.

Dogs

Dog allowed to the west of the beach, no dogs to the East.

 

8. SOUTH WALES: Rhossili Beach

Described as ‘The supermodel of British beaches’ by The Independent and nominated as ‘The UK’s No.1 dog-friendly beach’ by The Times, Rhossili has won multiple best beach awards and more accolades than we can mention, but here’s why we love it…

Let’s start with the 3 miles of sandy shoreline, where surfers can benefit from the mighty Atlantic swell, whilst sand-castle builders can enjoy the fine golden sand.

Next, well the views, they’re incredible. Check out Worms Head, one of Gower’s most famous landmarks, or spot basking seals and dolphins playing in the surf.

And of course, not forgetting our four-legged friends, Rhossili welcomes dogs all year round!

From the car park at the top, it’s a fair way down to the beach, but the views are breath-taking and definitely worth the walk. You won’t find a more beautiful spot in the UK!

What’s special?

Stunning views. Miles of sand. Mighty surf.

Dogs

Doggie friendly all year round.

 

9. CUMBRIA: St Bees Beech

We probably wouldn’t have discovered St Bees Beach, but luckily for us, we have friends that live in the village, right next to the sea!

The beach is a one-mile expanse of coastline that stretches out below the dramatic sandstone headland of St Bees Head. And it is proof that Cumbria has more to offer than just its lakes.

Boasting red cliffs and colourful boulders that radiate a dramatic glow, the beach slopes gently to the sea with magnificent pebbles (perfect for skimming), turning to soft sand that’s accessible at all times, give or take a few hours on either side of high tide.

At the northern end of the beach is a promenade and the St Bees RNLI lifeboat station. If the kids get tired of the sand, there’s a lovely playground just off the beach, with a play galleon, zips wires, agility assault course and a 6ft climbing web. All with beautiful seaside views of course.

What’s special?

Dramatic red cliffs. Skimming pebbles in the sea. Fantastic children’s play park.

Dogs

Doggie friendly all year round.

 

10. YORKSHIRE: North Landing Beach

North Landing is quite a small beach, but it thoroughly deserves a mention on our list. It’s so picturesque, and when we trooped down to the beach it felt like we were stepping back in time.

Surrounded by stunning chalk cliffs, it’s a natural cove on the north side of the Flamborough headland. At low tide, the beach is a mix of soft sand and pebbles and is a great place to hunt for marine life in the rock pools. But take care, the rocks are slippery, and we all ended up on our bottoms.

We loved watching the birds, especially the beautiful puffins that live in the cliffs, and how they expertly throw themselves off the cliff edge to take off. If you know what you’re looking for, you can spot cormorants, kittiwakes and razorbills.

Snorkelling and kayaking are popular, and if you fancy a trip around the headland in a little fisherman’s style boat, these were departing regularly.

What’s special?

Snorkelling and kayaking. Watching the puffins.

Dogs

Doggie friendly all year round.

So go and explore these fabulous stretches of coastline, with the added bonus of having your furry friend enjoy the day too. And if you have any beaches to add to our list, please share, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *