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The UK’s best dog-friendly beaches MAPPED | UK | News UK News

The summer is almost out but there’s still time to squeeze in a seaside staycation this bank holiday weekend.

No matter how close to home or how short the break, planning is key. For those wanting to take their beloved pets with them, it is essential.

It is no secret that the UK is a nation of dog lovers, pooches numbering some 12 million – almost one for every five humans.

Not everyone takes kindly to canines, however. Fouling fears have them banned on many of the country’s beaches.

Thankfully, experts at PDSA Pet Insurance have pulled together a list of the most dog-friendly destinations so one gets left in the car.

Par Sands, St Austell, Cornwall

Par Sands is a lovely sandy beach surrounded by sand dunes that even has its own little pond. 

Ideal for playing and walking with your dog, who can also have a paddle in the sea. If you do go walking away from the beach, however, keep them on the lead so they aren’t tempted to chase the wildlife.

There are no restrictions – it’s dog-friendly all year round.

Woolacombe, Devon

Woolacombe is a large beach on the north coast of Devon popular with families and surfers alike, so keep in mind it can get a little busy. Next to the beach is Woolacombe village, where there are lots of dog-friendly places to eat and stay.

The beach is split into three zones (there should be signs up to tell you exactly where these are). In zone A (from the north end of the beach to the stream) dogs are not allowed from Good Friday or April 1 (whichever is first) until the first Monday in November. 

In zone B (the stream to Mill Rock) dogs must be kept on the lead between these dates. In Zone C, however, south of Mill Rock, you can exercise your dog off the lead all year round.

Durdle Door, West Lulworth, Dorset

You’re likely to recognise Durdle Door – after all, it is one of the most photographed landmarks in Dorset. 

Part of the Jurassic Coast, not only is it great for scenic beach walkies but it’s also ideal for taking a picture or two. On a good day you can paddle in the sea with your canine pal, too.

Best of all, there are no dog restrictions to speak of.


Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

Weston-super-Mare is an iconic seaside town with an extensive beach. It makes for an ideal family day out with plenty to do even with your dog.

Parks and eateries catering to pooches line the seafront, and on a clear day, you can look out across the Bay to Wales.

Dogs aren’t allowed on the area of the beach between the Grand Pier and Royal Sands from the start of May to the end of September, but are free to go on the rest of the beach all year round.

Holkham, Norfolk

Set near Hollkham National Nature Reserve, this beach is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled and sandy scenery perfect for a day out with your canine pal. 

Once you’ve had a walk and paddle along the shore, why not have a look around the nature reserve or take your dog to Holkham Hall for a walk around the grounds – but do keep them on the lead.

Beach-wise, however, there are no restrictions whatsoever.


Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

Bamburgh is a long sandy beach near the iconic castle. With its impressive walls so close, it makes the perfect backdrop for photos – if your dog is a willing model, of course.

It’s also a great place for long walks and a bit of paddling for the brave. Afterwards, you can take your dog for a walk around the castle grounds.

No restrictions are in place at any time of year.


St Bees, Whitehaven, Cumbria

St Bees is a shingle and sand beach ideal for long walks at low tide. 

At the north end of the beach is St Bees Head, an RSPB nature reserve, where you can find England’s only cliff-nesting seabird colony – great if you want to do a spot of bird watching, but do keep your pooch on their lead so as not to disturb them.

Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round.

How to keep you dog safe at the beach — pro tips

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “While we’re lucky to have so many beautiful beaches in Britain, the beach can also come with hidden hazards, especially for our four-legged friends. Here are three ways to keep your pooch safe when planning a trip to the seaside!”

“Be aware of hazards – eating sand and drinking seawater can cause stomach problems for your dog and may lead to sickness, diarrhoea or even a blockage.

“Be cautious in the sea – while swimming is a great exercise for dogs, the sea can be unpredictable, always pay attention to signs or flags warning you not to swim and try to check currents and tide ahead of time. If the sea looks dangerous, don’t let your dog swim!

“Look out for coastal wildlife – the British seaside is home to all sorts of animals, from birds and barnacles to seals and starfish. Keep an eye out for what’s about and try to keep your dog on a lead until you know it’s safe.”

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This notice was published: 2023-08-26 05:00:00

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