UK's dog-friendly beaches

Best days out summer inspo!

Heading to the beach in summer and can't leave your furry friend at home? With good research, you can find the best dog-friendly beaches for a fantastic holiday with your pup. Most dogs love paddling in the waters and running around in the sand. Don't deny yours this fun!

  1. Harbour Cove, Cornwall
  2. Westward Ho! Devon
  3. Wells-Next-The-Sea beach, Norfolk
  4. Cayton Bay, Scarborough
  5. Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset
  6. West Beach, Whitstable, Kent

The British coast has diverse terrains, micro-climates, beach sizes, and shapes. Plenty of them are dog friendly beaches, spanning across the rocky coast of Southwest England. No matter where you plan to go with your puppy along the East Coast, be sure to check beaches that allow dogs. See the top spots your pooch will enjoy taking a dip.

1. Harbour Cove, Cornwall

Why do dog owners love Harbour Cove? you ask. There is an extensive area of sand on this open beach, especially at low tide, meaning that furry friends have plenty of space to run around it. Since Harbour Cove is close to Padstow, the destination is quieter in summer than most UK beaches, so usually you will be able to play a good game of fetch without trampling over other families. The ocean conditions are also perfect for swimming and paddling, and the pools of water scattered around the beach are for you and your pooch to explore. Check out the dunes sitting on the Stepper Point sheltered from strong breezes, but don't forget to carry lifeguard covers because they may not be available here.

Facilities: car park services, classic cottages nearby allowing pets

Dog restrictions: No restrictions year-round

2. Westward Ho! Devon

Westward Ho! is one of the best beaches for dogs. Offering a 2-mile sandy expanse, it is easy to access on two legs or four and visitors come here for dog-walking holidays for the majority of the seasons. Enjoy rock-climbing at the northern side and later walk your dog along the path at the edge of a golf course. For any tourism information, check out the visitor centre. An extensive area of grass surrounds Westward Ho! but beware of restrictions for when livestock is grazing. Parking is available, and you can shop in nearby cafes and stores. During summer, stroll around Northam Burrows road and set foot on the beach through the pebble ridge bridge walkway. Dog fouling rules apply, so make sure you pick up after your furry friend.

Facilities: Lifeguards

Dog restrictions: Dog-friendly year-round at the north end, no dogs allowed at the south end in summer

3. Wells-Next-The-Sea beach, Norfolk

Welcome to the pooch paradise, one of the best dog-friendly beaches with endless sand for stretching legs. After exploring the pine forest of Wells-Next-The-Sea beach, let your furry friend paddle in the shallow waters. Play in the dunes and consider taking a dip on the way to Holkham. Satiate your palate at a café near a parking area at Wells end. The site allows dogs to play in water bowls as they get cleaned up at the doggy wash station. To appreciate better the vast open space, visit the beach when the tide goes out and follow the weather forecast to know the best days to take your dog out.

Facilities: Doggy wash station

Dog restrictions: Dogs allowed throughout the year, restricted areas are signposted

4. Cayton Bay, Scarborough

When you need some peace with your pup, head to Cayton Bay, among the top dog walking beaches in the UK. Three miles of the south of Scarborough, it is made up of an expansive sweep of sand engulfed by cliffs offering some wild air. In fact, surfers love Cayton Bay since the region is exposed to strong offshore winds from the North Sea. There's a lot to see if you love nature, with many fossils and birds to be seen, as well as cliffs formed during the Jurassic era about 150 million years ago. Up the coast is Robin Hood's Bay town, which welcomes dogs throughout the year. Enjoy a family day out in old fishing cottages, independent shops, and dog-friendly cafes.

Facilities: Pets and bar areas

Dog restrictions: Welcomes dogs year-round

5. Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset

An incredibly long and sandy shore presents beautiful sights across Studland Bay and the Isle of Wight, one of the UK's best dog friendly beaches. Offering some shingle, Southbourne is proudly an award-winning Blue Flag beach. Waters here are very safe for bathing while the chilled-out environment is less commercial compared to the busy Bournemouth end. Accessible by vehicles and Walk Cliff Railway, it is very popular with locals, though some areas do not allow dogs. Enjoy refreshments on the promenade flocked with beach huts about four miles from Bournemouth. Cycling along this path is permitted except in July and August.

Facilities: Pub, kayaks, canoes, parking

Dog restrictions: Dogs allowed year-round in some parts

6. West Beach, Whitstable, Kent

The long stretch of shingle making up West Beach is divided by wooden groynes. If you are not a fan of sand, the pebbles at the beach will be right up your street. Your pup will enjoy running in the vast space and playing in the shallow sea, which is perfect for little legs. Water bowls with fresh water are available at the shops and cafes. Explore the exciting town of Whitstable and sit back to enjoy the ocean view, and then let your pup explore the shingle or snooze at your feet in the afternoon.

Facilities: Beach hut hire, weatherboard cottages, pubs

Dog restrictions: Dogs permitted throughout the year

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