Dog bans come into place at UK beaches

A guide to where you can and can’t go with your furry friend this summer.

For dog owners up and down the country, regular walks with your canine companions are part of your routine. But, if you’ve been heading out to a nearby beach on your outings or exploring new places together, it’s important to know about the dog beach bans that could put a dampener on your excursions.

Not only are dogs seasonally banned from certain beaches in the UK, but you could also face a hefty fine for ignoring the restrictions. That’s why we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to where you can and can’t go with your furry friend this summer.

Are dogs allowed on beaches in the UK?

Simply put, the answer depends on where you are, and the time of year. Dogs are allowed on the majority of UK beaches for most of the year, from 1st October until 30th April every year. However, many local councils have now introduced restrictions that remain in place from 1st May to 30th September every year.

These bans are enforced as a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), and vary in strength, with complete bans at some locations, and partial bans at others. A partial ban could entail pets having to stay on leads, only being allowed outside of busier times, or only walking on the promenades rather than the actual beach.

Because these are PSPOs, council officers can issue fines to those who do not comply with the rules. A fine could set you back anywhere from £75 to £1,000. These restrictions do not apply to guide dogs.

So, if you are heading for a seaside stroll with your four-legged friend, make sure you pay attention to any signage and even check the local council website to find out exactly when and where the rules apply.

Why are dogs banned on some beaches?

The coastal restrictions on dogs are aimed at keeping beaches clean and safe, especially as these areas get busier during the summer months, when more children and families come to visit. While many dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pooches, any dog mess left behind on beaches can be a serious health hazard, especially when more people are in the vicinity.

British beaches are rated using the ‘Blue Flag’ system based on water quality and the cleanliness of the beach. These ratings are valued by councils and business owners, as they help bring tourism to the area and support the economy.

Which beaches can don’t allow dogs?

There are areas across the UK where restrictions have come into place, including:


  • Yorkshire
  • Sunderland
  • Tyneside
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Devon
  • Cornwall
  • Bournemouth
  • Dorset
  • Somerset
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent Sussex


  • Anglesey
  • Bridgend
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Conwy
  • Ceredigion
  • Denbighshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Pembrokeshire


  • Highlands
  • East Lothian
  • Scottish Borders
  • Inverclyde
  • Tayside
  • Nairn

Which beaches do allow dogs this summer?

In the UK, there are an estimated 10.2 million pet dogs, a growing number since a boom in pet popularity during the pandemic. And, as an island nation with many hundreds of miles of coastline, there are still many seaside locations where you can bring your dogs during the summer, including:


  • Cornwall
  • Country Durham
  • Cumbria
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Hampshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent
  • Norfolk
  • Somerset
  • West Sussex
  • Yorkshire


  • Anglesey
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Clwyd
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Gwynedd
  • Pembrokeshire


  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Fife
  • Grampian
  • Hebrides
  • Highland
  • Lothian
  • Scottish Borders
  • Shetland Islands
  • Strathclyde
  • Tayside

Northern Ireland

  • Country Antrim
  • County Down
  • Country Londonderry

To find dog-friendly beaches in your area, or explore which beaches are suitable, explore Snaptrip’s interactive map:

What’s the best dog-friendly beach?

The top-rated dog-friendly beaches in the UK have recently been revealed, with new data based on online reviews used to find the nation’s favourite beauty spots.

Taking the number one spot was Durdle Door beach, in Dorset, with an almost paw-fect score of 8.85/10 based on 4,298 reviews. It is described as being a “perfect seaside getaway for dogs and their owners, the famed limestone arch makes a dreamy backdrop to a game of fetch.”

Rounding out the top three were Man O’War Beach, also in Dorset, and Three Cliffs Bay in Glamorgan, on the Welsh Coast – the first sand beach on the list. Both scored an impressive 8.3/10. Devon claims the most dog-friendly beaches on the list, featuring 22 times on the 148-long list, followed by Pembrokeshire with 20 mentions and Cornwall with 14.

The top 10 best dog-friendly beaches in the UK are:

(Dog-friendly score out of 10)

1. Durdle Door, Dorset: 8.85

=2. Man O’War Beach, Dorset: 8.30

=2. Three Cliffs Bay Glamorgan: 8.30

4. Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire: 8.20

5. Cuckmere Haven Beach, East Sussex: 8.06

6. Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire: 8.03

7. Seacliff, Lothian: 7.99

8. Porth Joke, Cornwall: 7.96

9. Gwynver Beach, Cornwall: 7.93

10. Long Sands North Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear: 7.90

Tips for visiting a dog-friendly beach

If you’re thinking of visiting any of the beaches Britain has to offer with your dog, here are some essential tips:

  • Keep your dog on a leash, to help prevent them from wandering into dangerous situations, especially in busy areas around lots of other dogs.
  • Train your dog with commands, such as ‘stay’ ‘come’ and ‘leave it’ so that you can easily communicate and help keep your dog safe.
  • Monitor your dog’s behaviour; agitation or over-excitement could be signs of discomfort or distress, signalling that you should take a break and move somewhere quieter to calm down.
  • Remember to bring bags with you so that you can clean up any waste left by your dog as dispose of it in a designated bin.

Did you know that A-Plan provides pet insurance? What’s more, we also offer professional dog walker, groomer, trainer, and boarding insurance too! If you’d like to know more, get in touch with your local branch, where our experts will be happy to help you.

Sources: BBC, PDSA, The Mirror, The Beach Guide, The Independent, Snaptrip

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