For most of us dog owners there’s nothing quite like a walk on the beach with our canines. For our dogs it’s the chance to run absolutely free whether chasing a ball across the sand or fetching a stick from the water. For us it’s the soul soothing bonus of fresh air and sea views, with perhaps a coffee or an ice-cream as a treat after.
Living near the coast is a delight for anyone who has dogs, and for those of us who don’t, it’s certainly a tick box on our top requirements for a pet-friendly holiday. And while it’s true that we all love the warm summer months when we can spend days sunning ourselves on sandy stretches or paddling in the surf, dog owners are all too familiar with the seasonal dog ban on many of our beaches between May and October.
Thankfully it isn’t all bad news. Many of the South West’s best coastal towns have beaches that allow dogs all year round, and being somewhat less frequented than most of the main beaches, they provide us with the chance to enjoy coastal walks with our dogs no matter what the season.
With that we’d like to showcase a list of some of our best dog-friendly beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Some are unavailable during the summer months and some aren’t, but together they make up a pretty awesome list of places to enjoy beach days with your fur-babies no matter the time of year.
A truly picturesque beach in North Devon, Instow lies on the Taw Estuary across form the pretty seaside town of Appledore. Its lovely atmosphere and fine sand means that it tends to get very busy during the summer. Dogs are allowed on some of the beach all year round although restrictions apply near the town end from May 1 and September 30.
The ever-popular English Riviera has a clutch of gorgeous beaches to offer its visitors and Meadfoot’s shingle crescent is one of them. Lying at the foot of spectacular cliffs it’s set away from the busier areas of Torquay and provides a peaceful setting for both you and your dog to enjoy the seaside. The North Eastern portion of the beach welcomes dogs all year round whereas the south western does not permit dogs.
This beautiful seaside town has an equally attractive pebble beach which lies close its town centre. With its red cliffs and calm bay, it’s a really love place for a wander, with its eastern end adjoining the Otter Valley wetland nature reserve. Dogs are allowed all year round at the far ends of the beach (not in the middle which has a seasonal dog ban), so east from Lime Kiln carpark, and West from the west end of the prom.
Back in Torquay, is where we find our next top pick for dog-friendly beaches. Lying right in front of Torre Abbey and its gardens, this beach is perfect for families and young children wanting to swim in its gentle waters. If you’re holidaying in the area outside of the busier summer season, this is a terrific place to walk your dog, especially if he likes to socialise with other canines.
North Devon’s Saunton Sands which is backed by a large sand dune system (the UNESCO claimed Braunton Burrows) is a fantastic dog-walking beach with miles of open space to run free and welcomes dogs all year round!
Stay in our pet-friendly lodges near Saunton
This lovely beach lies in the heart of the Quantocks and is set on the cliff-backed Jurassic coastline. Though its shoreline is mostly rocky there are plenty of rockpools to explore towards low tide and it has a large grassy clifftop behind the beach which is ideal for picnics.
This peaceful section of the beach near Burnham-on-Sea is a lovely, place for a quiet stroll with your pooch and is set around the iconic Low Lighthouse on wooden stilts, which was built in 1832.
The beach around the lighthouse is dog friendly all year round, unlike Burnham-on-Sea’s main beach which has a seasonal ban from May to September.
Sand Bay lies just north of busy Weston-super-Mare and has a long, level stretch made up of sand and shingle. It is backed by grassy dunes which give it a wonderfully wild atmosphere; perfect for you and your four-legged family members to get back to nature. This beach allows dogs all year round.
A wonderful beach which lies at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary, Porthkidney Sands is a fantastic place to spend time whatever the weather, and its miles of golden sand and clear water are perfect for dog-walking. The beach is dog friendly all year, however, they are required to be kept on a lead on the footpath leading from St Uny Church to the beach.
Lying just outside of Newquay, this National Trust beach is dog friendly all year round with a vast sandy stretch and dunes for your furball to explore.The beach is popular with families due to being calmer and partially sheltered by Pentire Point West.
The perfect combination of wild dune-backed beauty and one mile of sprawling golden sand, make this beach a dream dog-walking destination on Cornwall’s north coast. Dogs are welcomed all year round and the surrounding South West Coast Path offers even more opportunity for exploration.
Further north near the seaside resort of Bude, the National Trust owned beach at Sandymouth is a favourite for local dog-owners. A mile and a bit long, at high tide it is mostly shingle, however when the tide recedes a great expanse of sand is exposed. This beach welcomes dogs all year round but please check the tide times as it can be inaccessible at very high tide.
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