We all love an escape to the seaside, including our beloved canine companions. Watching them gallop over the sands and nosedive straight into the waves, filled with pure joy, is something that you and your family can treasure forever. Dogs will enjoy a trip to the beach even if it’s raining, the water’s cold, and even if the ice cream van doesn’t stop by for a mid-day treat (though they certainly won’t object to sharing one if it does!).
We have scoured the landscape for the best dog-friendly beach holidays in the UK and have created a list of six adventures that you and your best friend can explore together.
DOG-FRIENDLY BEACHES IN THE UK
Cornwall remains one of the most popular destinations for staycations, and it’s understandable why: with gorgeous high cliffs, rolling sand dunes and breathtaking big waves, Fistral is one of the world’s top surfing destinations. Since its popular with surfers and tourists alike, you may be asking: is Fistral beach dog-friendly? Good news, yes it is! Plus, it’s open all year round for them.
There are plenty of things to do on Fistral beach, with easily accessible toilets, cafes, restaurants, bars and the all-important Surf Centre, as well as a nearby golf course. Maybe this is the year that you and your four-legged friend take on those waves – hire a surfboard and a wetsuit and take a paddle out to sea with your best friend at your side. If surfing’s not for you, then there’s always the ice-cream van.
We’re moving up north now to the Scottish Highlands. Balnakeil is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK due to its magnificent beauty. The rugged mountain landscape, the crystal-clear waters and the white sands could be mistaken for the landscape of the Mediterranean or Thailand, but the cooler weather makes this the perfect place to relax with your pet. The sea gently bubbles up onto the sand dunes allowing you and your canine companion to leisurely dip your toes, and paws, into the water!
This stunning beach is also near to the ruins of an ancient church and graveyard, meaning if you get restless relaxing on the beach, you and your pooch can explore the Scottish Highlands’ history. Since Scotland is known for its changeable weather and occasional downpour, we recommend packing a fleece or waterproof jacket for your beach trip – just in case.
Venturing across to the East of England, Holkham beach in Norfolk takes a spot in our list of the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK due to its magical atmosphere. If your dog is approaching their golden years or would just appreciate a flatter landscape to bound across, then this beach is ideal for those who prefer a gentler decline into the sea. There are four miles of this beach to enjoy and at low tide the beach stretches out just over a mile from the beach entrance to the sea.
This beach is magical due to being a notable filming location: films such as Shakespeare in Love and The Eagle has Landed were set here. It’s also nearly completely secluded due to the reinforcement of pine woods behind and the nature reserve that runs alongside it. Due to the nature reserve, there are some seasonal restrictions in place when birds are nesting on the ground. However, this beach is ideal for you and your dog to bask in the serenity and silence, whilst also enjoying the majesty of nature.
Is Woolacombe beach dog-friendly? This is another one of our dog-friendly beaches in the UK list that has some restrictions. It is separated into three zones – no dogs, dogs on leads and gone with the wind (dogs off lead) – I’m sure you can figure out which zones we’d rather be in. Woolacombe is popular with surfers as they can ride the Atlantic waves through the gorgeous North Devon sunset. The three mile stretch of golden sand is also the perfect place to play fetch with your canine companion.
Woolacombe is one of the most stunning dog-friendly beaches in the UK and has won many awards. After you’ve roamed across the golden sands, take a dip in the shallow waters or venture to the rock pools to see what your four-legged friend can sniff out. Although Devon is known for being one of the sunniest places in the UK, so we recommend packing a sun hat with you on your beach adventure.
Looking to take your beloved pooch on stunning long walks all year round? Rhossili Bay in Swansea is the place to go. Named ‘the supermodel of British beaches’ by the Independent, voted Wales’ Best Beach in 2018 and frequently claims the title of ‘the UK No.1 dog-friendly beach’, there’s no wonder that Rhossili Bay is a favourite amongst dog walkers and those holidaying with their pooches.
There is a breathtaking clifftop walk that you and your family can enjoy, though we would recommend exercising caution and putting your dog on a lead. We would also recommend a sturdy pair of walking boots for you too, to protect your feet from the rough terrain. And don’t forget your camera – from the cliff or the beach, you may be able to catch a glimpse of dolphins or seals splashing and diving in the distance.
The final destination in our list of the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK is Bispham Beach in Lancashire. For those seeking adventure, there are the remains of a shipwreck that can be seen at low tide. Surrounded by soft white sand, the abandoned shipwreck makes a great activity to explore for the family. The slopes gently decline into the water, allowing your pet the perfect opportunity to run free.
Bispham Beach has been voted one of the UK’s top dog-friendly spots. It is also near the Marton Mere Nature Reserve, so you and your pooch can enjoy the spoils of nature. Home to hundreds of species of wildlife, the reserve offers designated footpaths and bird hides so you can soak up all the beauty that nature has to offer.
That concludes our list of the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK. We hope you’re inspired to take a trip with your furry best friend to explore the best dog-friendly beaches for some much-needed sea air. To prepare for you adventure, why not check out our range of women’s outdoor clothing and men’s outdoor clothing? We’ve got you covered.