BY MEGAN SILCOCKS

Dog-friendly beach holidays

 

There really is nothing like a weekend by the sea, breathing in the fresh salty air and escaping the daily grind. 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 dog-friendly 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 dog-friendly 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 dog-friendly 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 dog-friendly 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 Jurassic 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 dog-friendly 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 

This cosy dog-friendly 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 them. 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. 

Take me there >

Written by
Megan Silcocks

Megan our in-house designer and Winston the whiplington are inseparable whether at home or away. They tend to lead a fairly outdoor life and love a big road trip in the van, but Winston’s whippet side means he’s not really one for the long hikes. A quick sprint along the beach or wander in the woods and he’s ready to sleep for most of the rest of the day, which leaves Megan to free to park him under a pub table and settle in.

        

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