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The best dog friendly beaches in the UK

Two corgis sat on the sand on the beach

80 of the most popular dog-friendly beaches in the UK.

© Jus_Ol- Shutterstock

Where to go on vacation with my dog? Every year, many pet owners ask themselves this question. To help you choose your destination, discover 80 of the most popular beaches that accept dogs.

By Emilie Heyl

Published on the 10/07/2021, 18:00

Imagine that: You go on a family vacation, and of course, your dog is here with you. Once on site, the weather is beautiful, it's hot and sunny, and you can’t wait for one thing: head over to the beach. You can already imagine your happy pooch rolling around in the sand while you are building sand castles. The holidays are shaping up to be memorable!

Except... things don't turn out the way you imagined them to be. You haven’t even had time to put your towel down on the sand that you notice with astonishment a sign on which is written "beach forbidden to dogs". Your plans go down the drain, and your enthusiasm instantly vanishes.

To avoid this catastrophic scenario, it is better to do your research before you go on vacation with your dog! A little anticipation is enough to have a wonderful holiday. And to help you prepare for your vacation, we’ve prepared a detailed list of 80 dog-friendly beaches in the UK.

What UK beaches are dogs allowed on: Our top 80 dog friendly beaches

A lot of beaches in the UK will accept dogs in the winter months, or during high season but in the evenings or early mornings. For this list we created, it included beaches that allow dogs all year round and all day access.

Dog friendly beaches in the North of England

  • Bardsea
  • Blackhall
  • Embleton Bay
  • Mappleton
  • Parton
  • Robin Hoods Bay
  • Seahouses
  • Silloth
  • Skipsea
  • Warkworth

Dog friendly beaches on the South Coast

  • Climping Beach
  • Dunwich
  • Isle of Grain
  • Kingston Beach Shoreham
  • Middleton-on-Sea
  • Palm Bay
  • Shakespeare Beach
  • Southwold Pier
  • Thorpeness
  • Walmer

Dog friendly beaches on the South West

  • Beesands
  • East Cliff Beach
  • Harlyn Bay
  • Hele Bay
  • Lantic Bay
  • Mupe Bay
  • Porth Joke
  • Sunny Cove
  • Vault Beach
  • White Nothe

Dog friendly beaches in the East of England

  • Chapel St Leonards
  • Dunwich
  • Happisburgh
  • Horsey
  • Humberston Fitties
  • Moggs Eye
  • Thorpeness
  • Trimingham
  • Waxham
  • Weybourne

Dog friendly beaches on the Welsh Coast

  • Abercastle
  • Blue Lagoon - Abereiddy Bay 
  • Castell Bach
  • Colwyn Bay
  • Harlech
  • Jacksons Bay - Barry
  • Marros Sands
  • Poppit Sands
  • Porth Diana
  • Sandy Haven

Dog friendly beaches on the Coast of Scotland

  • Dalmore Beach
  • Fraserburgh
  • Heads of Ayr
  • Luce Sands
  • Montrose
  • Pease Bay
  • Portobello
  • Sandside Bay
  • St. Andrews East Sands
  • St. Ninians

Dog friendly beaches in Northern Ireland

  • Ballycastle
  • Ballywalter
  • Carnlough
  • Downhill Strand
  • Millisle Lagoon
  • Murlough
  • Nicholsons Strand Beach
  • Rossglass
  • The Strand Portstewart
  • Waterfoot

Dog friendly beaches on the Isle of Wight

  • Atherfield
  • Bembridge
  • Luccombe Bay
  • Monks Bay
  • Mount Bay
  • Orchard Bay
  • Rocken End
  • Seagrove
  • Shepherd’s Chine
  • St Helens

Is the beach a good place for dogs?

Here in the UK, we are so lucky to have beautiful beaches, lakes and rivers. And when the sun is shining, these are wonderful places to go to with your dog. Now, with that being said, there are some hidden hazards at the beach you’ll need to look out for.

Spending a day at the beach is one of the best things, it’s relaxing, you get to go for a swim (if you’re brave enough to enter the cold water), meet up with friends and family and make sandcastles. But a beach day should also be appreciated by your pooch so make sure you keep an eye open for these hazards: 

  1. Heatstroke: It can get very hot at the beach, so make sure your dog has some shade, water and stays cool.
  2. Broken glass or sharp objects: Sometimes, they can be hidden in the sand and your dog could step on them. Make sure you bring a first aid kit with you just in case.
  3. Sand: Your dog shouldn’t be swallowing sand as he could have an upset stomach. Watch out when you throw toys at your dog in the sand.
  4. Seawater: Your dog might be a good swimmer (or maybe not but loves to bark at waves), but salty water isn’t good for your dog. It can cause diarrhoea, or in some cases severe illnesses. Also, make sure to clean your dog’s ears if he goes for a swim as salty water can create infections.
  5. Cliffs: Pay extra attention if you decide to walk your dog near a cliff. It would probably be a good idea to keep your dog on a close lead, especially if your dog loves to wander off.

The beach can be a good place for dogs as long as you keep these hazards in mind. 

What is the difference between ‘dogs allowed’ and ‘dogs restricted’ beaches?

If you see the sign “dogs allowed”, this means the beach is a dog friendly place all year around. Now, if you see the sign “dogs restricted” this means that the beach has restrictions for dogs, these could be restricted hours or a restricted period (usually in the summer).

We hope you and your furry friend have the best time at the beach!