Whether you’re looking to catch some rays in the heat of the summer, or yearning for a picturesque stroll, beaches are an excellent place to relax and enjoy nature. They provide access to the ocean for swimming or surfing, sandy surfaces for lounging and picnicking, and sometimes even cliffs or dunes for hiking. Days at the beach are perfect for the entire family, providing ample activities for those young to old. However, for those hoping to bring their family pet along with them, finding beaches that are dog-friendly is often a challenge. And once you find a beach that allows dogs, rules restricting the time of day or time of year that they can be there often put a damper on your plans. So to make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog-friendly beaches in the United Kingdom with no restrictions.
1. Holkham Beach, North Norfolk, England
Holkham Beach has multiple ties to pop culture—Queen Elizabeth has brought her children and her corgis here, and Gwyneth Paltrow walked along the sand in the closing scenes of “Shakespeare in Love." It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. Holkham is one of the most pristine stretches of beach in the country, and there’s a semi-circular basin that creates a shallow lagoon at high tide, which is perfect for playful pups. Do note that it is within a nature preserve, so keep a watchful eye on your dog during bird nesting times.
2. Snettisham Beach, Norfolk, England
While Snettisham beach is also in Norfolk, it is the only west coast beach in the county, earning it the nickname “the sunset coastline”. Snettisham is also known as being a wildlife beach due to its marshes and scrub, and many venture here to watch the birds all year round. Despite the attraction, the beach rarely gets crowded, and having no dog restrictions makes it a great place to bring your four-legged friend.
3. Reeth Bay, Isle of Wight
An island off the southern coast near Southampton, the Isle of Wight has a number of beaches that are pet-friendly all year long. Reeth Bay is the southernmost point on the island and is a quiet beach with plenty of room for dogs to run around. It even has a natural fence system, with steep cliffs surrounding the secluded spot. The island also boasts many dog-friendly cottages and apartments for those looking for those looking to stay a bit longer.
4. Milford-on-Sea Beach, Hampshire, England
If you’re looking for a beach with all the works, Milford-on-Sea is the way to go. Not only does it have great views of the Isle of Wight, but there are plenty of cafés and eateries nearby, not to mention a children’s playground for the little ones. The beach also boasts a plethora of colorful beach huts for changing, lounging, and hiding from the sun. Just make sure to pick up after Fido does his business because the beach is covered under the Land Fouling Act!
5. Moggs Eye Beach, Lincolnshire, England
One of the only truly sandy (and not rocky) beaches on this list, Moggs Eye has an expansive area for dogs to roam, and is surrounded by countryside, making it an excellent choice if you’re looking for something secluded. It is a great beach for swimming, surfing, and fishing, and even has a picnic area on the other side of the dunes.
6. Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea, Wales
Commonly known as Three Cliffs, this beach is one of the most photographed areas of Gower. The views are spectacular, and the cliffs attract hikers and climbers. The beach itself is often frequented by riders on horseback, adding to the unique experience. And better yet, there are no summer restrictions on dogs like at the other Gower beaches! So bring your camera and your pup and check out the gorgeous vista.
7. Rhossili Bay Beach, Swansea, Wales
Rhossili Bay Beach has been reached the top four of Britain’s Best Beaches by TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards four years running, and has been nominated by The Times as “The U.K.’s #1 dog-friendly beach.” So, we obviously couldn’t leave it off this list. Located on the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili Beach has 3 miles of sandy shores and hosts one of Gower’s most notable landmarks, Worm’s Head.
8. Sandymouth Beach, Cornwall, England
Miles of expansive beach made up of both sand and pebbles are at the heart of Sandymouth Beach. The surrounding cliffs make for an alluring backdrop, and there are coastal hikes for both those looking for a mellow stroll as well as those looking for something more challenging. Just note that the access between the car park and the beach is steep, so it’s not recommended for those with small children or the less mobile. However, dogs are welcome all year round!
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