The Best Dog-Friendly Beaches In The UK

10 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches In The UK

Looking for dog-friendly beaches in the UK?

Over the past few weeks, beaches across the country have made headlines after they imposed bans on dogs visiting. 

While this is fairly common during the spring and summer period, especially in holiday hot spots such as Devon and Cornwall, councils have argued in other areas of the UK that the ban is to keep people safe from various health hazards. 

So which beaches in the UK can you and your four-legged friend visit this summer? 

The research team at have analysed Instagram hashtag data to determine the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK to visit, if you’re looking for inspiration this bank holiday weekend. 

Photo creditKojirou Sasaki via Unsplash

10 dog-friendly beaches in the UK to visit this summer: 

  1. Fistral Beach – 130,056 posts
  2. Hengistbury Head – 64,379 posts
  3. Formby Beach – 58,010 posts
  4. Saunton Sands – 45,271 posts 
  5. Holkham Beach – 35,377 posts 
  6. Holywell Bay Beach – 31,734 posts
  7. Rhossili Bay – 26,454 posts 
  8. Bamburgh Beach – 22,671 posts 
  9. Runswick Bay – 22,221 posts 
  10. Cayton Bay – 19,712 posts 

Fistral Beach

Located in the bustling town of Newquay, Cornwall, Fistral Beach is filled with beautiful stretches of sand that are backed by rolling dunes – perfect for exploring with your furry friend in tow this summer. 

Unlike a lot of beaches in the Cornwall area, that have bans in place for dogs due to the high number of tourists, Firstral Beach is a year-round dog-friendly beach, surrounded by surf shops, bars and restaurants – many of which are welcoming to our canines. 

Location: Newquay, Cornwall 

Hengistbury Head 

If you are thinking about holidaying in Bournemouth this year, why not consider a coastal walk at Hengistbury Head? 

The scenic sand and pebble beach has grassland trails, woodland and so much more for you to explore with your dog all year round – including a pup-friendly cafe. 

Whilst it is preferred that dogs are kept on a lead while on the beach, well-behaved dogs, with good recall are permitted to roam around freely. 

Location: Dorset

Fomby Beach

Formby Beach is one of the Northwest’s most loved and well-known coastlines thanks to its iconic sand dunes. 

Located between Liverpool and Southport, the beach has managed to retain its surrounding nature and is one of the few homes left for red squirrels in the UK. 

Though your dog is free to run around the beach so long as it is well-behaved, it is important you keep them on a lead when walking through the pinewood forest area, to protect the squirrels and wildlife. 

Location: Liverpool 

Saunton Sands 

Saunton Sands is one of Devon’s most popular dog-friendly beaches and for a good reason – it welcomes waggy tails all year round, unlike a lot of other beaches in the area. 

The beautiful and scenic coastline is backed by the stunning Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO reserve, and has long stretches of sand that are perfect to play fetch with your canine companion. 

For those that are looking for a more refreshing walk, going up to Crows Point can be perfect to get some exercise in with your dog, while also basking in some stunning views across the coastline. 

Location: North Devon

Holkham Beach

For those pooches that love to explore away from bustling tourists, why not take a trip to Holkham Beach this summer?

The sandy walkway stretches for over four miles and has plenty of dog-friendly attractions in the surrounding areas. 

Holkham is home to lots of preserved wildlife, which means there are areas of the beach that during summer require your dog to be on a lead, so make sure to be wary of where these are before you visit.

Location: Norfolk

Holywell Bay Beach

Holywell Beach is a peaceful and quaint cove located in the west end of Eastbourne and boasts a popular cafe, beach huts and chalets. 

The beach has charming Italian gardens that are full of life and it’s been the backdrop for many shows and films including Eastenders, Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Miss Marple. Though the beach has complete freedom for pets, make sure to keep your dog under control around families and wildlife. 

Location: East Sussex

Rhossili Bay 

If you’re looking for a beach where you’re treated to spectacular views, Rhossili Bay needs to be on your list to visit with your furry friend this summer. 

Voted by The Times as the UK’s No.1 dog-Friendly beach, the bay has plenty of sand for your canine to relax and play fetch all year round. 

You could even combine your walk with a clifftop hike, so you can experience the views across the beach that disappear into the horizon –  although it’s best to keep your pet on a lead to make sure they stay safe. 

Location: Swansea 

Bamburgh Beach  

Located in the beautiful North East area of England, Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland is the perfect place to go for wind-swept walks with your dog all year round. 

While the seawater stays relatively cold even during the summer, the beach is popular among dog walkers, due to its breathtaking views of Bamburgh Castle, which dominate the skyline as you walk along the sand. 

If you love surfing the beach is also great for catching some waves during the summer months, with surfboard hire and lessons available. 

Location: Northumberland

Runswick Bay 

Just North of the iconic town of Whitby, Runswick Bay is known as one of the most stunning and beautiful beaches on the east coast, which is perfect for dog walkers and families alike. 

Nestled under cliffs, Runswick Bay is a mix of sand and pebbles, which stretches out for miles when the tide washes out.

Not only that, but the beach is home to many fossils, wildlife and nature – including seals, that you may be able to spot when you visit if you’re lucky. 

Location: North Yorkshire

Cayton Bay

Just south of Scarborough, Cayton Bay is a quiet and peaceful cove that is hidden in the Yorkshire countryside and is perfect for your pup to get that much-needed exercise. 

Known for staying quiet all year round, the beach boasts some of the best waves in the region for surfing and is a great spot for fossil hunting. So if you are ready to feel that sea breeze, grab a jacket and get exploring next time you take your dog for a walk. 

Location: North Yorkshire

Have you been to any dog-friendly beaches in the UK?

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