One of my resolutions this year is to explore more of the UK, which I’m doing alright at so far!
On my travels I’ve found some dog friendly beaches. Even beaches with actual sand, not just shingle! Walking across a sand beach kind of feels like I’m abroad..
Is that feeling at all possible whilst defying gusts and single figure temperatures in the dead of English winter?
Well, actually it is! Just this year I’ve already been to two of the most natural, unspoilt beaches I’ve seen in my life – both in the UK!
Holkham National Nature Reserve – North Norfolk
Most recently I took a trip to Norfolk to visit Holkham Beach which is on the northern coast of Norfolk. It is around 2.5 hours from London with good levels of traffic.
It speaks very loudly about my knowledge of the UK when I say I didn’t realise there were any beaches in Norfolk before I researched the area!
Not only did I discover a beach at Holkham but theres miles of sandy beaches all along the Norfolk coastline.
At Holkham Beach there’s miles and miles of unspoilt sand to revel in at low tide. At various points the question of ‘I wonder how far this beach stretches for?’ was batted about. It really never seems to end, I could spend hours walking along the shoreline.
We also continuously spoke about how nice it would be to visit in the summer with a picnic, some booze and a spot of sunbathing!
It is one of the most dog friendly beaches I’ve come across in the UK. There were plenty of dogs off their leads scattered about playing with each other. There’s so much open space for the dogs to run around at low tide which is great for our pup because she can’t help but say hello to every dog and beg them to play with her.. But it’s also equally wide enough that you can give a wide berth from people/dogs if need be!
The beach backs onto white, soft sand dunes and in the distance a perimeter of pine trees line the beach.
Holkham is also part of a Nature Reserve that welcomes flocks of wintering birds so would be perfect for any bird watching fanatics.
Just after crossing the sand dunes from the beach there was a cordoned off area for nesting shore larks.
Unless your dog is well behaved, unlike Caramel who has selective hearing and will run off and chase every bird in sight, it is advisable to put your dog back on the lead once over the sand dunes, or in advance of!
Camber Sands – East Sussex
My second favourite beach in the UK. Not quite as expansive as Holkham but still a lovely, big, sandy, white beach.
It can get very busy, both with people, dogs and even horses so beware dogs running after them! Another red flag for our Caramel, I’m sure she thinks horses are just big dogs.. which she isn’t a bit scared of either!
I like that there’s a few shops right on the beach and after a long walk you can grab a quick bacon sarnie or some water for your dog. Also there’s some restaurants/bars on the roadside just next to the beach.
The sinkable sand dunes to get up to the beach are enough to make you stop off for a drink at the start! Not for the faint hearted conquering these.
Whilst Brighton beach isn’t a sand beach it would be impossible for me to leave it out. It is still one of my favourite beaches to soak up the sun on a summer’s afternoon. I spent 3 years in Brighton for University and it is my favourite City outside of London.
The best part about Brighton is the massive array of restaurants, bars and quirky beachfront shops you can work your way along.
From 1st May – 30th September dogs are only allowed on certain beaches but otherwise dogs are allowed on all the beaches. Unfortunately, during these summer periods, dogs aren’t allowed on the main stretch, near the pier, where most of the shops are so it’s not the most ideal of beaches for dogs.
Have you been to any of these beaches? Do you have any suggestions for where Caramel and I should head next? Please leave all your suggestions in the comments below, or DM me on insta!
Dog lovers – you can also follow along on Caramel’s adventures to all the best seasides.
I will update this post as I work my way around seaside towns throughout the year!