Comb beaches from Norfolk to Hampshire with your hounds

From raw North Sea beaches to nature reserves on sedate stretches of the English Channel, and from quaint fishing ports to busy family resorts, eastern and southeastern Britain have a character and a compelling charm all of their own.

Southeast region


A sand-and-shingle stretch at a traditional Victorian seaside resort where you can watch fishing boats unload their catch, Cromer Beach welcomes dogs from October to March. If you’re looking for a year-round spot, quieter Great Yarmouth Beach South is wide and sandy, with grassy sand dunes that will beckon your Rover to have a romp. Nearby Caister Point Beach is another long sandy beach backed by dunes, part of a small family resort with plenty of nearby facilities.

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Sandy Claremont Pier Beach on the “Sunrise Coast” near Lowestoft lures all comers with its beach huts, pier, watersports, and resort facilities, although certain areas are off limits to dogs in summer. Wilder Dunwich Heath Beach is a remote sand-and-shingle stretch backed by National Trust–owned heathland, lagoons, and dunes, and is also open to dogs—as is its lovely tea room. Similarly low key and backed by sand dunes, bijou Walberswick Beach is a short rowing-boat ferry ride from Southwold, with dogs travelling for free.

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A sandy stretch and a large grassy area make sheltered Thorney Bay on Canvey Island a great spot to take your pooch, with a promenade, fish and chip shops, and cafes to hand. Farther north, the gently shelving fine-sand beach at Walton-on-the-Naze is home to Britain’s second-longest pier, or you and your dog can carry on along the coastal path and marked trails around Walton’s boating lake and marshes.

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A rare dog-friendly beach (and beach cafe) in the Thanet area, sandy Dumpton Gap is the starting point for lovely low-tide walks to Ramsgate and Broadstairs, against a backdrop of chalk cliffs. Also near Broadstairs, Kingsgate Beach is the place to bring adventurous dogs to explore the sea caves (some natural, some created as smugglers’ dens). Further in towards London, shingle Tankerton Beach near Whitstable will win you over with its old-fashioned charm, groynes, promenade, and brightly coloured beach huts, and will win your dog’s heart with “The Street”, a natural causeway just right for a romp at low tide.

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Blue Flag–holder West Wittering Beach with its Chichester Harbour and South Downs views is a long-standing family favourite, with miles of sand and acres of grass perfect for picnics. Dogs, restricted in certain areas, adore the shallow lagoons on its extensive sandy flats at low tide. Between Bognor Regis and Worthing lies secluded, stony Climping Beach—in part a nature reserve, where surfers and dog walkers alike appreciate the expanse of sand revealed at low tide. The same is true of Cooden Beach near Bexhill on Sea in East Sussex.

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Isle of Wight views, bright beach huts, an Art Deco cafe, an ice cream kiosk, and a play area make the low shingle stretch of Milford-on-Sea a dream of a beach. Dogs get to stretch their legs on the delightful walk along Hurst Spit to Hurst Castle.

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