One of the best seasons in the year for walks, winter in Britain is full of magic. Churning out crystal clear days where brilliant sun shines down on empty beaches and delivering moody evenings with backdrops brimming with drama, it provides two and four-legged walkers alike with unmissable opportunities for joyful walkies.
Fortunately, no matter where your coastal dog-friendly retreat is in Britain, you’ll never be far from a picturesque setting for seaside strolls. Picking out our favourites, we’ve put together a list of the top dog-friendly beaches for winter walks, so you can get up, wrap up, and lap up the atmosphere together.
Balnakeil Bay, Durness, Scotland
Boasting the kind of natural beauty that would land the front cover of National Geographic, Balnakeil Bay in Durness is hard to beat for winter walks. An elegant crescent of white sand, the bay is truly spectacular, untouched by human developments. Bundle up in layers, grab a frisbee for your pup and head over on the ebbing tide for huge expanses to play with. Chances are you’ll be the only souls there!
Dog friendly cottages in Sutherland >
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales
The recipient of countless awards over the years, Barafundle Bay has received global recognition for its Caribbean-esque beauty. Backed by grassy dunes, carpeted in syrup-coloured sands and kissed by turquoise seas, it has to be one of the most breath-taking settings for a walk with your dog whatever the weather. While your canine companion may not be overly bothered about the views, though, they’ll love the feeling of the beach’s powdery sand under paw.
Dog friendly cottages in Pembrokeshire >
Embleton Bay, Northumberland, England
Overlooked by the craggy remains of Dunstanburgh Castle is Embleton Bay. A large sandy bay face-to-face with the North Sea, this beach is on a stretch of largely unpopulated coast. Seemingly stretching on for miles and miles, it is the perfect destination for long walks with energetic dogs, with the undulating dunes on one side and the inky mass of the sea on the other.
Dog friendly cottages in Northumberland >
Mellon Udrigle, Wester Ross, Scotland
A space where craggy mountains tumble down to meet white sand beaches, Mellon Udrigle is a real heaven on earth. Flanked by dunes and framed by rocky promontories, it’s a stunning location that makes for unforgettable winter walks. Gather up some dog treats and a towel and wander along the beach, revived by the cool wind and sea air. While the crystalline waters may look paradisiacal, though, even in summer they are bitingly cold!
Dog friendly cottages in Ross and Cromarty >
Holkham Beach, Norfolk, England
Holkham is yet another one of Britain’s beaches to have captured the hearts of many – including that of the actress Gwyneth Paltrow during the filming of Shakespeare in Love. Dubbed the jewel of the North Norfolk Coast, it is considered one of the most unspoilt stretches of sand in England. For an invigorating winter walk with your dog, venture over at low tide when huge tracts of sand are revealed.
Dog friendly cottages in Norfolk >
Perranporth, Cornwall, England
Perranporth is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall, offering 365 days of playtime. Home to an enormous plain of sand that grows with the receding tide, it is perfect for games of fetch and wintry walks snuggled up in woollies. As you make your way across the beach, cast a glance at the sea and watch the hardcore surfers who come to take on Perranporth’s glassy swells throughout the winter months.
Dog friendly cottages in Cornwall >
Rhossili Bay, the Gower, Wales
Home to three miles of sand, Rhossili Bay is always a great choice for embarking on new walks. Receiving award after award for its showstopping beauty, including the title of the best beach in Europe, it will no doubt become a favourite for you and your paddy-pawed pal. Again, low tide is the best time to visit, and caution is always advised when the tide starts to come in again.
Dog friendly cottages in the Swansea area >
Saunton Sands, Devon, England
An immense 3.5-mile-long beach in North Devon, Saunton Sands is so long that is occasionally cordoned off in the summer for use as a military airstrip. Offering bags of space for your furry friend to run along the shore chasing their favourite toy, hours here will easily fly by. Pop a flask of tea in your bag (and a few doggy snacks too) and cuddle up in the shelter of the dunes to watch the world go by.
Dog friendly cottages in Devon >
Uig Sands, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Found in a remote corner of Lewis some 20 miles from Stornoway is Uig Sands. Exuding the kind of beauty that has to be seen to be believed, the landscape here is a mix of dramatic hills, vegetation clad dunes and pristine golden sand. Well-known for being the discovery site of 12th Century Viking chess pieces, it’s not hard to imagine Viking longboats tracing the rugged Atlantic coast and landing on the beach here.
Dog friendly cottages in the Western Isles >
Ogmore-by-Sea, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Located along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Ogmore-by-Sea is a year-round dog-friendly beach that tempts sandy paws with lots of open space. One of the most sparkling beaches in the region, it will be a joy for dogs to dash across the sand and let off steam. A fun activity for you while your dog is having a ball, it’s not uncommon to find interesting fossils along the beach here, so keep your eyes peeled!
Dog friendly cottages in Vale of Glamorgan >
Book Your Dog Friendly Retreat this Winter
If you’ve been inspired by this list of the best dog-friendly beaches for winter walks, why not book a stay? We a great selection of dog-friendly cottages and holiday homes close to these and other spectacular beaches throughout the UK and Ireland. Find the perfect retreat for a winter getaway with your dog.