Finding the perfect seaside resort for you and your canine buddy is a top consideration when planning a dog-friendly holiday. We think Eastbourne in East Sussex could be just the place you are looking for; it has all the trappings and features of a traditional English seaside town whilst also acting as the gateway to the South Downs National Park and gorgeous beauty spots like the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. Eastbourne is situated along a particularly gorgeous, unspoiled stretch of coastline, where you and your dog can enjoy miles of beach and amazing walking trails galore. It's also perfectly placed for exploring the rest of dog-friendly Sussex.
To get the most out of a doggy holiday to Eastbourne, why not stay at one of our dog-friendly holiday cottages? We have properties to suit dogs large and small with special features to make your life even more luxuriant and easy going.
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Top dog-friendly days out in Eastbourne
The ruins of Pevensey Castle are a great place for a dog-friendly day out close to Eastbourne. What remains of the 4th-century castle is striking and holds a key place in history as it was the landing place of William the Conqueror's army in 1066. It is one of the last examples of a partially-standing Saxon-era shore fort. All areas of the site are open-air making it a superb pet-friendly destination to visit with your dog close to Eastbourne.
Why your dog will love it: It's a brilliant choice for history buffs who usually have to leave their dogs behind when visiting a site of interest such as this.
A day out in Brighton
Brighton is one of the UK's liveliest cities and it's just down the coast from Eastbourne. Whereas Eastbourne is sleepier, Brighton is the seaside town that knows no bedtime; it's home to every counter-culture and cool vibe in the South of England. There is plenty for you and your dog to enjoy within its boundaries, namely Brighton Promenade, the beach, city parks like The Level, Pavillion Gardens and not forgetting the inependent shopping paradise that is The Lanes and The North Lanes (most of which welcome pooches). As for dog-friendly places to eat, there are pubs and cafes galore to satisfy any number of four-legged gourmets.
Why your dog will love it: Brighton is the biggest human circus on the coast!
A trip to Bexhill-on-Sea
For a laidback day at the coast, head to the seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea which lies halfway between Hastings and Eastbourne. The seafront is characterised by the iconic De La Warr Pavillion, which is an art gallery (dogs cannot enter, unfortunately) that is arguably as pretty on the outside as it is on the inside. The beach doesn't restrict dogs between the end of September and the beginning of March, making it a great destination for a beach trip during the autumn, winter and spring. You won't be short of choices of dog-friendly pubs and cafes in Bexhill-on-Sea either. Once you've walked the prom and enjoy a spot of lunch, venture off to Herstmonceaux Castle where you can show your dog the wonderful landscaped gardens there.
Why your dog will love it: Bexhill-on-Sea is a dog-walker's favourite.
Great dog-friendly walkies in and around Eastbourne
Beachy Head is a superb place for a dog walk. Towering over Eastbourne at a whopping 530 feet high, Beachy Head is the tallest cliff top in the South East of England, and it affords stunning views across the English Channel and the South Downs from the top. Whilst you will need to keep your precious hounds on the lead when you are near the sheer edges, there are still acres of space to run and roam up at Beachy Head. It is one of the best dog-friendly open spaces in the Eastbourne area to visit whilst holidaying in the area.
Why your dog will love it: Beachy Head is popular with dog owners and it’s a chance for your pet to socialise.
Eastbourne is home to a 5-mile-long seaside promenade. You can enjoy the prom all year round as there are strict restrictions during summer months along much of the seafront. The prom follows the beach past the eye-catching order and beauty of the Carpet Gardens, and the town’s Napoleonic-era towers. You can stop off on the benches to watch the sea roll in and enjoy a picnic or raid a local takeaway for a bag of delicious fish and chips.
Why your dog will love it: Dogs of all ages will love the prom; it’s perfect for pups and older dogs, as it is a nice and level walk.
The South Downs National Park
Established in 2010, the South Downs is the UK’s newest national park. It is a fantastic area with huge swathes of protected chalk grasslands, home to uncommon flora and fauna. There is a selection of walks of the ‘Miles Without Stiles’ variety, so that less agile dogs don’t have to needlessly scramble over obstacles. If you are a stargazer, the South Downs are a wonderful destination to visit after nightfall to observe the skies. One of the most famous parts of the national park is the South Downs Way, a long-distance walking path that is a pleasure to discover. Head to the South Downs Centre in Midhurst to plan your visit!
Why your dog will love it: There is an endless choice of walks for dogs of all abilities to enjoy.
Top dog-friendly beaches in Eastbourne
Outside of the summer months, Eastbourne Beach is a wonderful place to enjoy with your dog. The sea rolls out to reveal a wide beach, and you can enjoy miles of the strand with expansive views of Beachy Head to the west to drink in. Eastbourne Pier is closed to dogs, but the best views of this fine Victorian edifice can be enjoyed from the beach and prom anyway. The beach is lined with cafes and pubs, so you will never be short of a dog-friendly place to visit if you are planning a beach day with your pet.
Why your dog will love it: All dogs love a beach, as there is plenty to see and sniff!
Take your dog down to the sea at Birling Gap, a lovely shingle and sand beach that is situated at the base of the Seven Sisters, a string of sheer chalk cliffs that are linked to Beachy Head. It is one of the longest stretches of unspoiled coastline on the South Coast of England. Access to the beach is achieved via a steep, yet sturdy, staircase making Birling Gap a destination for active dogs! Birling Gap is a great place for photo opportunities as the cliffs are iconic.
Why your dog will love it: Birling Gap is one of the best unspoiled beaches for miles.
Just west of Birling Gap is Cuckmere Haven and it welcomes dogs without restriction all year round. This pebble beach offers the best views of the Seven Sisters to the east and is a great place for a beautiful seaside stretch of the legs with your dearest and best. A view you may recognise from postcards and holiday brochures is of the beach looking past the row of whitewashed coastguard cottages to the chalk cliffs beyond. You may also recognise Cuckmere Haven from films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Hope Gap, and one of the Harry Potter sequels.
Why your dog will love it: Cuckmere Haven is home to a gorgeous view and lots of room to scamper about.
The top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Eastbourne
The Lamb Inn
The Lamb Inn is one of the oldest dog-friendly pubs in England. It is found in Eastbourne’s old town and is a popular haunt of dog owners looking for a good meal and pint after local walkies on the beach or in the nearby park.
Why your dog will love it: If your pooch is a pub dog, The Lamb Inn is a cosy prospect.
The Kiosk is a brilliant place to visit after a dog walk up on Beachy Head at the eastern end of the South Downs Way. Found on the way back down the hill into Eastbourne, The Kiosk is a superb choice for long lunches and cool drinks. Freshly cooked meals, delicious homemade soups and cakes dominate the choice. Sometimes, advance booking is required during busy times. Dogs absolutely love it and will welcome the attention of the friendly staff. The position of the café is great, so enjoy the views.
Why your dog will love it: The staff are known to make a fuss of dogs! Treats may be in store.
Just as the name suggests, The Chippy is a traditional fish and chip shop. Located perfectly on the promenade right by the entrance to the pier, you can watch the sunset with a bag of freshly battered cod and chips! Maybe you could save a scrap of batter or a scraggy chip for your patient hound; after all, you are on your holidays.
Why your dog will love it: Most dogs go crazy at the smell of fish and chips! Who doesn’t?
Top dog-friendly places to stay in Eastbourne
Rose Cottage | Sleeps: 5 guests + 2 dogs
Rose Cottage is a stylish Victorian-era property just minutes from the seafront. It is ideal for a family of five guests plus one excited pup! There is a lot of space to unwind in this relaxing home from home, with bags of charm to spare.
Why your dog will love it: There is a lovely garden to explore, plus it's located nice and close to the prom.
The Sail Loft | Sleeps: 3 guests + 1 dog
This bijou fisherman’s cottage is a characterful prospect for a young family’s break to the coast, or perhaps it would be perfect for a couple and their accompanying pet! It’s just moments from the seafront and promises to be a cosy escape from the norm.
Why your dog will love it: It’s a cosy, charming home to return to after a day of busy touring.
Stay at a self-catering dog-friendly cottage in Eastbourne
We have a wide collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages for you to choose from, from small cottages to large family homes. All of our properties welcome dogs and are full of features to make being a holidaying dog-owner a joy, not a bore. Browse our inspirational holiday properties for a dog-friendly holiday in Eastbourne without delay.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.