Get your swimsuit ready, bring your windbreaker and your bucket and spade! ( and of course don’t forget your Gencon All in One Dog Head Collar!) With miles of sandy beaches and endless waves for leaping through, it’s no wonder dogs love going to the beach. The UK is home to some of the best beaches in the world but not all of them welcome dogs.
Here at Gencon we have put together a list of the top 10 dog friendly beaches in the UK coast so when you and your four-legged friend are planning a holiday, you can make sure you’re staying near to a dog friendly beach.
1. Sandymouth, Cornwall
The huge expanse of sandy beach at Sandymouth in North Cornwall welcomes dogs year round. Easily accessible with good parking and facilities, this is a great spot for a long leisurely walk or a fun-filled day at the beach. Coastal walks along the cliff path in both directions can also be accessed from Sandymouth.
2. Perranporth, Cornwall
Perranporth beach, also in North Cornwall is also dog-friendly all year round and offers 3 miles of golden sands. Dogs on holiday during July and August need to be kept on a lead between 10am and 5pm.
3. Westward Ho!, Devon
Westward Ho! in North Devon is doggy heaven, offering miles and miles of open sand to run on, shallow water to swim in and a fresh water tap to drink from at the end of a long walk. Even when restrictions are in place during the summer months, there is still a huge area of beach and grassland for dogs to enjoy known locally as ‘The Burrows’. Here ponies and sheep roam freely so doggy guests must be on their best behaviour or on a lead.
4. Babbacombe, Devon
Babbacombe beach in South Devon is a small sheltered shingle and sand beach, great for a quiet walk with your four-legged friend. There is a small car park near-by and slipway access to the beach. Dogs are welcome all year round and there is a cafe/pub within walking distance. Next door is Oddicombe beach, Babbacombe’s nosier neighbour with attractive red sand but no dog access during the summer.
5. Berrow, Somerset
Part of a seven mile stretch of sand running from Burnham-on-Sea to Brean Down, Berrow Beach is one of Somerset’s most picturesque beaches. Its flat wide sands, backed by sand dunes, make it a very pleasant place for walking. Avoid the shoreline at low tide where a dangerous area of soft sand and mud is exposed.
6. Holkham Bay, Norfolk
Part of the Holkham Estate, this is one Norfolk’s most beautiful beaches. Here you could walk for absolutely miles along pristine golden sands with your pooch. At low tide, the sea pulls back revealing the untouched sands with the water, often almost half a mile away which makes a great short stroll if your pooch likes to paddle their paws. You can walk as far or as little as you like at Holkham. Head east and you can walk all the way to Wells-next-to-Sea or west will take you to Burnham Overy Staithe.
7. Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire
Visit Milford-on-Sea in Bournemouth, Hampshire and find a long shingle beach backed by low cliffs and lined by colourful, characteristic beach huts. One of the few all-year-round dog friendly beaches in Hampshire, Milford-on-Sea is popular with locals and visitors alike. Parking and toilet facilities are near-by as well as a cafe. The beach backs on to a nature reserve and the Land Fouling Act is enforced so carry your poop bags as always.
8. Lepe Country Park, Hampshire
Lepe Country Park in in Hampshire, offers acres of beach and woodland walks for you and your dog. There is no entrance fee to the park as you only pay for parking. Walk along the cliffs or beach for fantastic views towards the Isle of Wight and see the many boats sail across the horizon. Also on-site are a children’s play area and a cafe. Follow the signs to the dog friendly section of the beach during the summer season and make sure to read about the history of the beach during World War Two.
9. West Wittering, Sussex
West Wittering beach in Chichester, Sussex is an unusual type of beach – privately owned by a group of shareholders dedicated to preserving the environments and providing a clean and enjoyable place to relax. Between September and May, the entire beach is open to dogs but certain areas are restricted during the summer. With miles of sand and 20 acres of grass lawn, this is a great place to explore on two feet or four!
10. Marloes Sands
A huge expanse of sand at low tide with rocks and interesting cliff formations. Rockpools can be found at the western end of the beach. At high tide the beach can disappear altogether, but at low tide, there’s plenty to explore. The rock strata has divided the beach up into numerous little ‘bays’ for even more privacy.Climb over the rocks at the western end to discover Albion Sands, a perfect little sandy beach. At low tide you can see all that’s left of a wrecked ship sticking out of the sand; its prop shaft. Scenes from the Hollywood film “Snow White and the Huntsman” – featuring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart – were shot here in September 2011! If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times to make sure you’ve plenty of beach to play on and that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide!