Imagine a deserted beach, sand stretching as far as the eye can see, with the gentle sound of waves crashing in the distance. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? Well, if you visit some of the country's best beaches in winter, you can often have a little slice of paradise all to yourself.
Wrap up warm, pack a thermos and don't forget your four-legged friend, who will be free to run the length of the beach without getting distracted by stray picnic hampers. Many beaches place seasonal restrictions on dogs, so winter can be a great time to visit.
Here are a few of our top UK beaches for visiting with you dog.
Packed with holiday-goers in the summer, Whitby beach is much more tranquil in the winter and is plenty long enough for you and your furry friend to stretch your legs. There's a lovely beach walk northwards from Whitby to Sandsend but just make sure that the tide is out. The route takes about an hour each way but there are many great dog-friendly pubs in both Whitby and Sandsend, allowing you to warm up in front of an open fire and escape the cold. Find an extensive list of dog-friendly pubs in the area here. Don't forget to pop into the Fuzzy Dog Bakery in Whitby before you go for some homemade treats for your dog made using locally sourced ingredients!
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall but a few of our favourites are Bude, Perranporth and Padstow. Pop in to Slickers Doghouse in Padstow for eco-friendly dog treats, toys and even doggie ice cream! Discover a full list of dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall here.
With miles of wide open space, a trip to Holkham Bay is good for the mind, body and soul. Undulating sand dunes peppered with soft grasses make for great spots to watch the tide roll in, and if you're there at the right time, beautiful colourful sunsets can be seen. For a more structured route, try the official Beach Walk.
St Andrews beach (West Sands) is just a short walk from the beautiful, historic town, and is famous for being featured in the film Chariots of Fire. West Sands is nearly two miles long, and is great space for dogs to tire themselves out. Visit Scotland has mapped nearby attractions, accommodation and food and drink locations, allowing you to fully plan your trip.
White Rocks Beach near Portrush in Northern Ireland is home to stunning cliffs and glorious white sands. With the iconic Dunluce Castle nearby, and breathtaking views of the Antrim Coast, it's a wonderful spot for sightseeing along the Causeway Coastal Route.
Navigating The Tides
There's nothing worse than setting out for a day of discovery at a new beach only to find out that you've misjudged the tides. This can be dangerous as well as disappointing, so why not set one of our ClimeMET Tide Clocks to track the tides at your favourite beach? All you need to do is insert a AA battery, and set the tide clock to high tide at the right time (according to your local tide table). Your tide clock will then track the tides for you so you'll know when it's the right time to head out to the beach.
The sea can be dangerous for people and dogs, so be sure to read the RNLI's tips on safe dog walking by the coast. Please note, local authorities do update their dog restrictions so please do check with them directly before travelling.
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