Top five dog-friendly beaches in the UK

Published: Friday 13th Feb 2015

Written by: Alice de Courcy-Wheeler

Holidaying in the British Isles means you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the coastline. There are so many fabulous beaches it’s sometimes difficult to choose one that’s right not only for you, but also for your beloved hound! From rugged cliffs and caves, to vast expanses of gleaming sand and shingle, here are a few to get both parties excited and ones you can enjoy all year round!

Marloes Sands, Wales

Marloes Sands in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, is a National Trust beach that looks out on to the Celtic Sea with St George’s Channel to the north and the Bristol Channel to the south. The beach itself is mostly sand, littered with volcanic rock that protrudes from soaring sandstone walls that flank its cove. Up on the cliff tops you can join the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path which tracks this Welsh perimeter from St Dogmaels to Amroth. At this height you and your furry friend can enjoy views that are truly magnificent and even caught the eye of Hollywood who chose this dramatic location to film Snow White and The Huntsman.

Runswick Bay, Yorkshire

If perhaps your pack would prefer something a little more social than the wild of Marloes Sands, then Runswick Bay in Yorkshire is the place for you. Located just north of Whitby in the North York Moors National Park, Runswick Bay is an attractive sandy beach that stretches south in a gentle curve from Runswick village. This characterful fishermans village is comfortably perched above sea level and within full view of the bay and all its seafaring activities. What’s more, with around 30 pet friendly cottages to choose from, all in a 5 mile radius of the beach, you can’t go too far wrong!

 Marloes Sands  Stroll into the sunset

Lantivet Bay, Cornwall

When in Cornwall, why not plan your holiday around a visit to Lantivet Bay, a rugged expanse of coastline less than 8 miles west of Looe. The roof of this bay is home to grassy cliffs which give you an excellent viewpoint of the surrounding and changeable seascape. There is much to explore here as you and your canine pal scamper across the exposed rocks beneath the cliffs where secluded sandy coves invite you to paddle in their clear azure waters. From the bay you can also join the National Trust Lantivet Bay Circular Walk which has been graded ‘moderate’ and takes you over varied terrain for 2.75 miles which your dog will just love!

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Now for a beach where you can walk for miles across windswept sand flats without ever having to retrace your steps. Partly managed by Holkham Estate, Holkham Beach is one of Norfolk’s finest! From the air the extent of Holkham’s sand, carried by North Sea currents, can be truly appreciated as it dissipates into the sea. Here, under the seamless Norfolk sky, your pooch can rollick all day long, through woods, over dunes and across the many tributaries that cover the beach with the changing tides. This great space is also where the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment make their annual appearance to train amongst the waves - an unforgettable sight it you’re lucky enough to catch it!

 Play on the beach  Holkham Beach

Crow Point & Braunton Burrows, Devon

Devon is our last stop and home to Crow Point and the Braunton Burrows which are well worth a visit and renowned for having one of the largest dune systems in the UK! This extraordinary part of North Devon’s coastline is prized as Britain’s first UNESCO wildlife biosphere reserve making it a hotspot for flora and fauna. The beach lies west of Braunton village, cradled by the River Taw estuary that carves its way between the pretty village of Appledore and the Braunton Burrows before spilling into the sea. Bounding over hummocks and running at full pelt across the 5 miles of gleaming sand will satisfy your pup’s needs no end, so you can rest assured his exercise needs are fulfilled!

Alice de Courcy-Wheeler
Alice de Courcy-Wheeler


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