Inspiration - 5 min read

Our best dog-friendly beach breaks

By Ella Perryman

There really is nothing like a weekend by the sea, breathing in the fresh salty air and escaping the daily grind. It’s even better when you’ve got your four-legged-friend right by your side – after all the beach is their favourite place too. We choose six places perfectly positioned for long weekends on dog-friendly beaches, chasing sticks, leaping in the surf and scampering up the coastal paths.

 

Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Watergate Bay Hotel sits directly above the two-mile long beach of the same name, one of the best in the UK. It’s all about the views here, through walls of glass in the huge cafe, or from the 25-metre infinity pool and a terrace strewn with loungers.

Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, but if you’re up for a longer walk there are miles of coastal paths that you can take from the hotel and in either direction. Heading north will lead you to Mawgan Porth and Bedruthan Steps, whilst going south will take you to Newquay and further on to St Agnes. After a long day exploring the coast, head back to the hotel for a sundowner – there’s a lovely lounge with views directly out to the sea, or a terrace if it’s a sunny day.

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The Gallivant, Sussex

This cool hotel stands across the road from Camber Sands, where five miles of pristine beach are home to kite surfers, beach cricketers and sun worshippers alike. Located close to Rye in Sussex, Londoners can be out of the city and breathing in beach air in just an hour.

A refurbishment brought a stunning new look to every corner – it’s now a chic beach pad with excellent food, a New England feel and stylish bedrooms. The garden rooms are dog-friendly, designed in Scandi-style and have double doors that open out into your own terrace. Enjoy your morning drink outside, with the sun on your face and flowers all around you.

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The Lifeboat Inn, Norfolk

You’re in heaven here, under the big skies of Norfolk’s north coast with its sweeping salt marshes, nature reserves and sandy beaches. The Lifeboat, tucked down a lane in pretty Thornham, is smooth and stylish, with glowing fires, scrumptious seafood and the comfiest of rooms.

Nearby Holme beach is a true hidden gem and is likely to be empty, even in the height of summer. It’s also the beach where The Peddars Way ends its journey and the Norfolk Coast Path crosses so you’ve got a handful of trails to choose from. We suggest heading west along the beach all the way to Snettisham, or east to Sea Palling.

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The Henley Hotel, Devon

A small house above Bigbury-on-Sea with fabulous views out to Burgh Island, super bedrooms and some of the loveliest food in Devon. Inside, there are colourful interiors with wooden floors, potted palms and big windows that frame those breathtaking views.

Set within an AONB, the village sits across the South West Coast Path, backed by sand dunes and the rolling hills of the South Hams. If you go before May 1, you’ll be able to take your pooch on the nearby Bantham Beach – known by many for its good surf and great little gastrobus, a mobile beach café serving delicious food. At low tide, you can walk along the sands and over to Burgh Island where there’s a lovely pub. Otherwise, head up onto the cliffs and follow the coastal path over to Challaborough beach.

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Short House Chesil Beach, Dorset

A light-and-colour filled cottage with gardens and sea views on the UNESCO World Heritage Jurrasic Coast. There’s plenty of room to roam and no main roads nearby; sheep graze the surrounding farmland, so keep the lead handy.

Only an unspoilt meadow stands between you and the 18 miles of shingle, Chesil Beach. The house is set up perfectly so that you can take in all the views – watch the waves as you wake up in the morning and have breakfast on the terrace. Take a 45-minute walk along the beach to Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens – the tea and scones are very good and dogs are welcome too.

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Aspen Lodge, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

This cosy lodge is on a little-known Peninsula in the remote and rugged Scottish Highlands. Panoramic views of a sparkling loch and moorland await, and there are beautiful views from almost every window.

A number of stunning beaches are right on your doorstep: Camas Nan Geall, covered in glittering golden sand, Sanna Bay, which looks like it should be in the Caribbean, and the Singing Sands that squeak oddly as you walk across it. Inside, everyone can snuggle up in front of the open fire and there’s a big, open kitchen to cook up plenty of hearty meals. Dogs have plenty of room to roam free – particularly in the garden, where you can also marvel at stars on clear nights.

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View our Britain’s best dog-friendly places to stay Guide >

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