The best dog-friendly beaches in the UK

April 20, 2021
Image credit: Jamie Street on Unsplash

The UK is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and a trip to experience one of our sandy shores is a must this great British summer. The only problem is, while we all love going on holiday, we hate leaving our pets behind....

With 60% of dog owners admitting to missing their four-legged friends more than their partners or children while on holiday*, knowing the beaches where dogs are welcome is essential.

To help you plan your seaside trip with pooch included, Dog Friendly Cottages has scoured the UK’s shores to map** the best sandy spots without restrictions for our four-legged friends...

Interactive map: Embed code: <ahref="" target="_blank"><iframesrc="" width="640" height="480"></iframe>

With dog-friendly beaches lining the UK’s shoreline, we’ve shared some of the stand-out spots below that your pup is sure to enjoy:

Cayton Bay, North Yorkshire

Best for: Surfing and fossil hunting

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car Park: Paid parking, adjacent

Instagram: @bethhayne13

Sat three miles south of Scarborough, this peaceful, unspoilt beach is a bit of a hidden gem, as its grand sweep of fine sand stays quiet year-round. Backed by towering cliffs formed in the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago, it’s also an excellent spot for fossil hunting.

The picturesque region of Yorkshire has also been revealed as the second most popular staycation location this year!

Bispham Beach, Lancashire

Best for: Discovering shipwrecks

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car Park: Paid parking nearby

Instagram: Our Lovely Home

Sat across from the Lancashire Coastal way, near the Marton Mere nature reserve, this beautiful beach was voted one of the UK’s top dog-friendly spots. At low tide, a vast stretch of golden sand slopes gently down into the water, providing the perfect place to let your dog run free. Best of all, the remains of an abandoned shipwreck appear, partly buried in the sand.

Hunstanton Beach, Norfolk

Best for: Searching rock pools and fossils

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car park: Multiple paid car parks nearby

Instagram: @dp1965

One of the only west-facing beaches in East Anglia, this sandy stretch is sheltered from sea breezes, while being one of the best spots to take in a spectacular Norfolk sunset. The immaculate shoreline is cleaned daily, making it a safe and pleasant place to let your dog exercise. The shallow water is perfect for paddling and bathing, while creature-filled rock pools and fossil-filled rocks provide no shortage of treasures to uncover.

Prussia Cove, Cornwall

Best for: Exploring the rocks

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car park: Paid, short walk away

Instagram: @postcardsofcornwall

Secluded and romantic, this intimate cove has a poetic, old-worldly feel to it. One of the most picturesque beaches in Britain, it’s perfect for a quiet game of fetch or a photo opportunity in front of the stunning Cornish rocks. At low tide, the sea gives way to a smooth patch of golden white sand, famous for once being home to the Carters, a family of 18th-century smugglers.

A great staycation spot too, Cornwall has seen a huge 180% increase in bookings this year compared to last.

Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Best for: Long walks

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car Park: Paid parking nearby

Instagram: @lizabuff77

Perfect for walkers, water sports and wonderful views, this three-mile stretch of golden-white sand was voted Wales’ Best Beach in 2018. Its long and scenic walking routes are the perfect place to let your dog exercise while taking in some of the area’s best views including Worms Head and the widerGower Coast Path.

St. Combs Beach, North East Scotland

Best for: A private getaway

Dogs allowed: Year-round

Car park: Parking available in a nearby village

Instagram: @andydmakethetea

Tucked, unnoticed, down the coast from Fraserburgh, this beautiful beach is one of Scotland’s hidden gems. Perfect for a private getaway, chances are you’ll have this sandy spot all to yourself. It offers incredible views out over the North Sea, and at the right time of day, you can spot seals sleeping in the sand.

Discover more dog-friendly beaches across the UK at Dog Friendly Cottages.

*Survey carried out by Dog Friendly Cottages

**Embed code for interactive map: <a href=""target="_blank"><iframesrc=""width="640" height="480"></iframe>