There’s nothing better than a trip to the seaside, but if you’ve got a pooch in tow, it can take a little more planning to find a shore that will welcome your four-legged friends too.

That’s where our top picks of dog-friendly beaches in the UK comes in. We’ve stuck to ones that allow dogs all year round, so they can enjoy a roll in the sand and a paddle in the sea in the height of summer too!

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Harlyn Bay Beach, Cornwall

 

Located on the south-west coast, Harlyn Bay Beach is one of the safest beaches in Cornwall. It’s a favourite with families, couples and surfers who travel here to have fun on miles of golden sands. If you need to keep little ones entertained, there are plenty of rock pools to explore too. It welcomes dogs all year round, but you could beat the summer crowds in autumn or winter and escape the daily grind with some dog walking along the coast. 

Water quality: 5

Beach type: Sandy

Nearest town: Padstow

If you do one thing: A trip to Cornwall isn’t complete without having a delicious Cornish cream tea, so head to Cherry Trees Coffee House for some tasty scones!

 

Slapton Sands, Devon

 

Thanks to its sub-tropic climate on the south coast, Slapton Sands is a lovely calm shore in Devon that’s perfect for pooches to paddle in. The beach has excellent water quality and dogs are welcome all year round – they’ll love running around and playing fetch on the miles and miles of shingle beach! If you get peckish, pop by the beachside cafe for sandwiches or a traditional seaside ice cream.

Water quality: 5

Beach type: Shingle

Nearest town: Kingsbridge

If you do one thing: Walk along Start Point – a beautiful exposed peninsula – to the magnificent lighthouse at the end that has guided vessels for over 150 years.

 

Great Yarmouth South, Norfolk

 

Great Yarmouth South is one of the best dog-friendly beaches to visit with your pooh. It’s much quieter than the town’s main beach, even during the summer months, so it’s the perfect spot for a coastal escape. This Norfolk beach is backed by gorgeous sand dunes, and the seaside town of Great Yarmouth is just a short walk behind them, so there’s plenty to see and do. 

Water quality: 3

Beach type: Sandy

Nearest town: Great Yarmouth

If you do one thing: Explore the Golden Mile, Great Yarmouth’s bustling seafront lined with shops, attractions, restaurants and amusement arcades.

 

Brora Beach, Scottish Highlands

 

Scotland’s beaches are brimming with spectacular landscapes, rich wildlife and scenic coastal paths, and Brora Beach is no exception. Take in the breathtaking views over the North Sea and the inlet of Moray Firth from its shores. The water here is crystal clear and it’s the perfect place to spot dolphins and even minke whales if you’re lucky. Dogs are allowed to roam here all year round, just take care around the seals who often bask on this sandy beach.

Water quality: 3

Beach type: Sandy

Nearest town: Dornoch

If you do one thing: Take the coast path from Brora Beach to Golspie, where you’ll pass the majestic Dunrobin Castle, woodland and tiny harbours along the way.

 

Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire

 

This hidden gem, tucked away in one of the most picturesque parts of Wales, is one of the best dog-friendly beaches. Marloes Sands is backed by dramatic cliffs and fascinating rock formations, and at low tide, you’ll notice little bays and rock pools that appear all over the beach. Seals and porpoises call these shores home, as well as an array of magnificent birds. Bring your pooch here any time of the year and enjoy its wonderful seascapes for yourself. 

Water quality: 5

Beach type: Sandy

Nearest town: Milford Haven

If you do one thing: Take a boat trip to Skomer Island and discover this nature reserve’s unspoilt landscape and diverse wildlife.

 

Filey Beach, Yorkshire 

 

Filey Beach is a delightful sandy beach stretching for 5 miles across the Yorkshire coastline. This historic fishing village has a series of artwork running along the promenade, inspired by its heritage. And even today you can watch the fishermen in the harbour casting nets from their boats. Dogs aren’t allowed on some parts of the beach during the year, so it’s worth checking the restrictions before you visit. 

Water quality: 5

Beach type: Sandy

Nearest town: Scarborough

If you do one thing: You can hunt for rocks and fossils on the beach that date all the way back to the Jurassic period.

 

Southwold Pier Beach, Suffolk

 

This quintessentially English seaside resort in Suffolk has everything you need for a traditional coastal holiday. Pretty beach huts line the Southwold Pier Beach promenade, and a 250m long pier is bursting with restaurants, arcades and gift shops that’ll keep the whole family entertained. Dogs aren’t allowed on some parts of the beach during the summer so be sure to check before you visit. The beach is easily accessed by the car park located just behind the beach.

Water quality: 5

Beach type: Sand and shingle

Nearest town: Southwold

If you do one thing: Walk along the promenade with a portion of some of the best fish and chips in the country, courtesy of the Little Fish & Chip Shop.