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Walking

Dog Friendly Beaches: UK Guide

We all love escaping to the seaside, just not as much as dogs do… The key word in there is ‘escape’ meaning to break free. Break free from responsibility, normality and well, hoomans. The feeling of the fresh summer breeze through our hair, the first touch of sand between our paws and the splashing of water to imitate white horses to cool us down. Not to mention, the retrieving of balls or sticks on the soft golden sands.

Though, not every coastal destination is suitable for furry friends so it’s good to be clued up on canine beaches throughout the UK if you’re thinking of a seaside staycation. Lots of beaches in the UK will allow your pooch to roam in the quieter winter months or during high season in summer either early in the morning or later on in the evening. In some areas, you’ll have to pay a fee to keep the beach looking well-kept and looked after. Whether you prefer sand over rocks and pebbles, we have the top 8 beaches in the UK which the whole family can enjoy together.

Top 8 Best Dog Friendly Beaches

  1. The South West, Dorset
  2. Porthkidney Beach, Cornwall
  3. West Beach, Whitstable
  4. Rhossili Bay Beach, Swansea
  5. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris
  6. Kingsgate Bay, Kent

📍 The South West, Dorset

Features:

  • Car park
  • Sandy beach

The South West coastal path is on the coast of Dorset, England’s southwest peninsula and forms part of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. The walk should take around 30 days in total though, if you’re looking to walk at a slower pace with time to stop off at tourist attractions that verge off the path you will be looking at around 7-8 weeks which gives you a sense of how long the route really is. We would recommend splitting it up between different holidays and completing it over the years especially if you like the surrounding area and plan to go back. The route is quite challenging with ascends and descends so be prepared with walking equipment including walking boots and walking poles that will keep you on your toes and enhance your overall performance.

If you’re looking to camp with your pup along the way there are various campsites along the trail that you can stop at. Please note that in England and Wales, it is illegal to wild camp so please book official campsites. According to the National Trail, most people start the walk at Minehead and head towards Poole but that is mainly because that is the direction most of the guidebooks are written. As the saying goes… if it’s not broke, don’t fix it…

Camping accessories for your four-legged friends

The collapsible dog bowls are versatile and double-up as flying disc toys! Great for chewing as they are made out from 100% food grade silicone and are BPA free. Perfect for travelling on-the-go as they don’t take up much storage in your bag and can even fit in your pockets!

If you’re planning on camping, we would recommend our LED dog collar that will flash for a maximum of 50 hours. Ideal for overnight adventures outdoors for when dog instincts kick in.

📍 Porthkidney Beach, Cornwall

Features:

  • Car park
  • Sandy beach
  • Lifeguard

It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, especially on a warm summer’s day. The beach has a great span and is wide enough for dogs to run freely without having to worry about other dogs or people. In fact, when you’re there… it’ll be hard to spot other humans (even during peak season). It’s a fantastic backdrop for your photographs and it goes on for around 100 miles. You won’t have a problem getting to Porthkidney either as there’s a large carpark located just above the sand before the dunes. If you follow the coast for another three miles from the car park, you’ll find yourself amongst amenities including cafes and small boutique shops as well as glorious galleries of St Ives.

*Just a kind reminder to not leave your dog(s) in the car on a hot day (even if you know you won’t be away for long) – don’t risk it!

We continue to push the boundaries of innovation and development by improving quality, technology and materials. Product of the year Alaska is a dog cooling vest, designed to keep your canine cool and calm for when temperatures rise whilst exploring on-the-go. To use, just add water. Available in small-extra large.

📍 West Beach, Whitstable

Features:

  • Car park
  • Shingle beach
  • Beach huts
  • Rolling wooden groynes

Whitstable’s beach is a long stretch of beach made up of small pebbles and rocks known as shingle. Despite the lack of sand on this beach, dogs love pounding and splashing into the open water. It’s simplistic but holds so much coastal charm; a line of brightly painted huts, quaint cottages and old fishing boats parked up near the shoreline. There’s so much to see from windsurfing and wakeboarding to sailing as the Whitstable Yacht Club is located at the northern end. As the beach is dog friendly, you’ll pass by different breeds and owners – great for pups who need to be socialised.

Why Whitstable?

  • It’s only a few hours from London
  • Escape the city for fresh air – your dog will thank you for this
  • Delicious fish and chips/oysters
  • Photogenic landscapes – perfect for keen photographers
  • Beautiful west facing sunsets

📍 Rhossili Bay Beach, Swansea

Features:

  • Car park
  • Sandy beach
  • Cliffs
  • Panoramic views

According to Visit Wales, the Rhossili Bay is the first beach to be awarded Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for the second year running. Situated on the southwestern tip of the peninsula in Wales nearest to Swansea. Its natural beauty will have you wanting to pack your bags for a permanent move, that’s for sure.

The beach at low tide is vast and welcoming where you’re able to walk across the bay to Llangennith or Worms Head. The bay is enclosed by large cliffs so it may not be suitable for people with difficulty walking and balance or if you have young kids in prams. This particular location is known for large waves which attracts surfers from all over the country and if you’re an avid bird watcher we would recommend bringing your binoculars so that you don’t miss a thing! If you need to keep your dog on the lead due to the amount of people and distractions, we would recommend a reflective dog leash.

📍 Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

Features:

  • Car park
  • Sandy beach
  • Turquoise water

Luskentyre beach also known as “a little slice of heaven” will draw you in and leave in you awe. No matter what time you visit, the beach will most likely be empty due to the island being hidden away on the western shores of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Your dog(s) will be able to run so fast that they’ll feel like greyhounds on the tracks. Not only is the turquoise water something you have seen from a tropical destination postcard, the sand is the whitest and smoothest you will ever see… in fact, it glistens in the sun on a warm summers day. Not only a dog’s haven but keen walkers and birdwatchers will love everything this beach has to offer.

Parking can be found at the end of the road and it is recommended by Visit Outer Hebrides that you take a short walk onto Traigh Rosamul that presents a wonderful vista of sea, sky and the north Harris mountains.

For the photographers who have a doggy Instagram, the best time to visit is late spring or late summer where the light is somewhat diffused.

📍 Kingsgate Bay, Kent

Features:

  • Sandy beach
  • White chalk cliffs

On the coast of Kent, you are almost too spoilt for choice. From Botany Bay with family-friendly sandy beaches with fossils to Joss Bay that is popular for surfing to Stone Bay which is known for its dramatic white cliffs and multi beach huts. The Kingsgate Bay is in the middle of those and is a great location for young families with dogs. The best thing about the Kingsgate is that it has so much to offer in terms of exploring. You will find coves and hideaways near the cliffside and soft golden sand closer to the shore.

Why Kingsgate?

  • Great sea caves for exploring
  • Dog-friendly all year round (woof woof!!)
  • Calm and secluded
  • Picturesque for photographers
  • Amenities close by for refuelling – The Botany Bay Hotel restaurant is dog-friendly!
  • You’re able to walk a further 15 minutes to another beach

Take only memories leave only footprints with our dog waste bags and remember to roam responsibly wherever you go.

If you’re looking for Top Tips for Walking, Hiking and Camping with your Dog click here >>>