We’ve been enjoying the ability to get out and about more since lockdown restrictions were eased slightly. Across the UK many of us have been making the most of prolonged exercise, with afternoons at the park and woodland walks becoming part of our weekly routine. We thought now was the perfect opportunity to think about dog friendly days out. Whilst days out post-lockdown may look a little different to those before, it is still nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air whilst soaking up the beautiful views. Here we look at some of the top dog friendly beaches in the UK so you can plan your next seaside adventure with your dog.
We would suggest researching each location prior to your visit to see what the specific recommendations are concerning Covid-19. Whilst the beaches are open, always be aware of how busy they are. If a carpark looks full, we’d suggest evaluating your options - there may be a beach just down the road that is a little quieter. As long as you can socially distance yourself safely, then make the most of your time by the coast.
Some of the Best Beaches For Dog Walking
Holkham Bay, Norfolk - A beautiful sandy beach on the Norfolk coast, Holkham is perfect for a walk with your dog. In fact there are miles of unspoilt coastline here to enjoy a long adventure with your canine family members. The beach is very popular and attracts a large amount of visitors, but as it’s such a large expanse of sand it should be easy to socially distance yourselves form the rest of the public.
Lunan Bay, Scotland - Lunan Bay has a lot to offer including a gorgeous cliff lined edge and endless sandy beaches. As well as a great opportunity for a good walk, there are other things to see too, including a cave, the ruins of Red Castle and even a bird hide for the ornithologists amongst you.
Freshwater West Beach, Wales - A wide, open sandy beach that is popular with surfers, Freshwater West Beach is dog friendly and perfect for your next coastal adventure with your dog.
Whitely Bay, North Tyenside - In the North of England sits Whitley Bay. A blue flag award-winning beach punctuated by St Mary’s Lighthouse, it is perfect for dog walks and picnics.
Duster Beach, Somerset - Located on the edge of Exmoor is Duster Beach; a wide beach of sand and pebble. It’s a super popular choice for walkers as the 25-mile West Somerset Coastal path runs through it. So not only is this the ideal beach for a casual stroll and a paddle, but is ideal if you’re a walking enthusiast and looking for a more adventurous walk with your dog. There are plenty of car parks here for your visit, but it’s also possible to drive right up the beach in places too - just take note of how busy it is as it’s a popular spot.
Climping, Sussex - A quiet rural beach on the Sussex beach. Climping (or Atherington as it’s also known) is predominantly shingle with a good stretch of sand at low tide. Climping is one of the quieter beaches in the area, compared to the town beaches, and so should be ideal for a socially distanced dog walk and picnic. The beach has been identified as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” so some of the sand dunes are now fenced off to help prevent erosion
Sandymouth, Cornwall - This is a really beautiful cliff lined beach that sits in-between Bude and Morwenstow, in Cornwall. It’s a dramatic landscape and perfect for an afternoon out. A predominantly pebble beach with sand exposed as the sea retreats, there is something here for everyone; if you’re looking for a more adventurous ramble with your canine companions you might like to try a walk along the South West Coast Path that runs along the cliff top. For a more relaxed day out, a stroll along the water’s edge and a paddle might be more suitable.
Things to Remember When Taking Your Dog to the Beach
Research before you go - every beach is different and so researching the spot you intend to visit is really important. Some beaches will have certain restrictions such as certain times of the year when dogs might not be allowed. Some may ask that your dog is on a lead at all times whilst others will be more relaxed. Be prepared so you can make the most of your day.
Take provisions - There are some obvious items you should take such as your dogs walking set and some poo bags, but also think about what else you might need. If you’re going to be out for an extended period you might take some drinking water and a pet travel bowl for them. A drying coat might be an essential if your dog is a water lover and is likely to venture into the sea. You might take some outdoor dog toys to add some playtime fun to the day trip. If you’re planning a full day out with a long car journey, maybe invest in a good travel bag for your dog with travel feeding bowls and accessories. That way your dog can join in with a picnic.
Be aware of other people - This is more important than ever during these post-lockdown times. If there are a few people about and your dog is likely to run off, then you may consider keeping them on a lead for the whole time you’re at the beach, even if it’s not a requirement of the beach you’re visiting. Social distancing is still incredibly important and you don’t want your dog walking up to strangers or running off amidst a beach with lots of people. Practicing good pet etiquette makes the time enjoyable for both you, your pets and everyone else on the beach.
Pick up your dog’s waste - You may think it less important to pick up your dog’s poo when on the beach; it can be buried in the sand or washed away by the sea, but that’s not the case. It’s just as important to pick up your dog’s mess here as in any other location. Dog waste contains harmful bacteria and causes harm to sea life, children playing in the sea and people walking on the beach. Always clean up after your dog!
Be mindful of the local wildlife - You may see all kinds of wildlife depending on the particular coastline you are visiting. If your dog has a tendency to chase birds or other animals it may be best to keep them on their lead. It isn’t fair for other animals to be chased unnecessarily. In some ares there will be restricted areas for nesting and endangered wildlife. Whilst you may know not to enter, your wandering dog won’t know the difference. Take care and control your dog. You want the day to be pleasant for all, human and animal alike.