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The top dog-friendly beaches in Somerset holiday cottages

Somerset

The top dog-friendly beaches in Somerset

Courtney 09 December 2021

Walking from the car park with your canine companion gently pulling on the lead. They know your destination; they can smell it in the air. The salty perfume of the sea, perhaps some chips frying in a nearby cafe, the scent of other dogs: you’ve brought them to the beach!

Somerset may not have the prestige of other nearby counties when it comes to beaches, but it certainly holds its own, and with 53 miles of coastline across the northern shore, the dog-friendly beaches that we’ve compiled for you here will be hard to beat, whether you’re a lover of sand or shingle.

With soaring cliffs and some of the longest stretches of sand in Europe, you’ll be wanting somewhere to stay after you’ve tuckered out your four-legged friend. We can help with that too - just click below.

Care should always be taken if entering the water and swimming is not recommended at Somerset beaches due to the currents from the Bristol Channel.

 

Blue Anchor Bay

Blue Anchor Bay

The village of Blue Anchor in West Somerset houses this beautiful sand and shingle beach, which has sprinklings of alabaster rocks along its miles and miles of curved shoreline – perfect for looking for fossils if you’ve got time in between ball throws.

The reason that this is one of the great dog-friendly beaches in North Somerset is that its gradient is so shallow, that at low tide there is a huge expanse of sand, meaning there’s plenty of room to stretch four legs whilst you look out to the views of Wales.

Facilities: There is free parking by the beach, or you could get the West Somerset Railway to this destination. Cafe, shop, pubs and WCs nearby.

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Blue Anchor Seaview | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Southern Berrow

Southern Berrow

Another one of the fantastic Somerset dog-friendly beaches, Berrow (South) Beach is a spacious and quiet stretch that utilises the very low tide to create vast regions of soft sand for your pooch to play in – just be careful on the mudflats as these can get very soft and lead to sinking at low tide.

The beach is backed by the Berrow Dunes Local Nature Reserve, which is accessible at various points of the beach. These dunes, classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, will provide a joyful contrast to the flat, open beach and your dog will revel in a spot of hide and seek. Finish the day by settling down for sunset on this west-facing beach.

Facilities: Beach car park (free during the winter); WCs and cafe nearby

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Alstone Cottages Old Stable | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Brean Beach

Brean Beach

Stretching a mammoth 7 miles along the North Somerset coast, Brean Beach boasts the second longest length of golden sand in all of Europe. You are provided with plenty of space but again, like with Berrow Beach, be aware that the mudflats may cause some sinking (and some mess!) at low tide.

You’ll delight in the views as you stroll along next to your best friend, not least at the National Trust’s Brean Down, a towering peninsula and natural pier that monopolises the skyline. This 97-metre-high headland is impressive from the beach but is well worth a trip to the top as well if you want gorgeous panoramas of the Bristol Channel and the Somerset Levels.

Facilities: You can park your car next to the beach or literally on it too (just watch out for high tide); WCs nearby; ice cream and burger vans during busier periods

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: The Castle | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Bossington Beach

Bossington Beach

A large pebble and shingle beach that is fenced in by the hills of the Exmoor coast, Bossington Beach will provide an interesting walk for you and your four-legged friend. Although not suitable for swimming due to the strong currents, you and your dog can traverse the pebbles, which get smaller towards the crest of the beach.

These pebbles provide natural protection to the marshlands laying beyond, where you can spot various rare species of bird…and Rover can try and smell them!

Facilities: National Trust car park in Bossington village 0.5 miles away with WCs and picnic tables; tearoom next to the car park 

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Porlock Sunnyside | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

North Dunster

North Dunster

This beach is located right on the edge of Exmoor and therefore your trip could coincide with a walk along the 25-mile-long West Somerset Coast Path which runs close to the beach. As you walk along the mix of sand and shingle, you’ll be able to take in the wonderful views of Blue Anchor Bay and further out to the South Wales coastline.

After a bracing walk, head to the dog-friendly beach cafe which has water bowls outside for a well-deserved quench.

Facilities: Parking near the beach with WCs and a cafe; the West Somerset Railway stops nearby

Restrictions: Dogs to be kept on leads except on the sandy foreshore (the area of shore between the high and low-water marks)

Stay nearby: Mulberry Cottage - Somerset | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Doniford

Doniford

Another Somerset beach full of sand and shingle…and a fair bit of mud too. Your pup will relish getting messy at Doniford, just make sure you brought a spare dog towel with you! There are plenty of small rocks to climb and rock pools to explore – you might even find yourself a fossil.

See if you can find the rock ledges that resemble some kind of naturally occurring crazy paving, and if you’re up for a slightly longer walk, turn right when you get to the beach and walk for about 30 minutes to St Audries Bay where you’ll be rewarded with a stunning waterfall.

There is a car park by the beach but be sure to keep those eyes peeled as it is well hidden by some bushes.

Facilities: Shops, pub, public WCs by the beach; parking, shops and cafes in nearby Watchet

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: The Flower Room | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Watchet

Watchet

An interesting beach, in that it completely disappears at high tide, Watchet is a harbour beach that sits below the cliffs of its namesake town. Be sure to check the tide times on your visit as the water can come in quickly, but when the tide is out, you’ll be treated to a rocky beach with plenty of interesting smells for your dog to explore and ammonite fossils for you to hunt.

When you’re done on the beach, the town has plenty of maritime history to explore, along with quaint shops and charming pubs.

Facilities: Car park in Watchet town centre, along with WCs, shops and eateries

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Cruckton | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

Kilve

Kilve

Sitting at the northern tip of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in between Minehead and Bridgwater, Kilve Beach was once described by romantic poet William Wordsworth as a ‘delightful shore’ when he lived nearby with his sister. It is a mainly rocky beach, and its geological importance makes it an SSSI (incidentally, this could mean Site of Special Smelleriffic Interest due to all the rock pools your playful pooch is going to have fun exploring).

If you prefer the ground beneath your feet to be a little flatter, there’s a beautiful grassy area just behind the beach which is perfect for dog walking and picnics.

Facilities: Parking can be found 200 metres from the beach; tea gardens near car park with WCs

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Kilve Granary | Sleeps 2 (+ 2 children) + 2 dogs

Porlock Weir

Porlock Weir

This secret little hamlet harbour is an Exmoor favourite for those who know about it, and it keeps people coming back year on year. For dog owners, there’s a quiet marshland area that is good for stretching furry legs, so long as it’s not too wet. And after that, it’s a short walk over a shingle ridge to the stony beach.

Take in the views of the cliffs stretching out in both directions and if you’re lucky/observant enough, you might even spot the Smugglers’ Cave, an old dwelling half-buried under the shingle.

Facilities: The harbour has parking, WCs (including disabled), shops and a pub

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Elf Cottage | Sleeps 5 + 1 dog

Ladye Bay

Ladye Bay

One of the prettiest dog-friendly beaches in Somerset, Ladye Bay is a small cove of sand and pebbles with a beautiful scene of wooded cliffs providing a backdrop. You access the bay via a set of steps and although swimming isn’t recommended, if you’re visiting during the summer, you might catch a glimpse of competitors taking part in the Clevedon Long Swim.

Whilst not providing miles and miles of running opportunities for your canine companion, Ladye Bay does offer a chance for a gentle stroll in picturesque surroundings, and you might even spot some adventurous climbers scaling the rugged, vegetation-covered cliffs.

Facilities: Free parking on Bay Road and WCs, tearooms and cafes can be found towards Salthouse Bay to the south

Restrictions: None. Dogs allowed off lead all year round

Stay nearby: Wrenwood | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Self-catering dog-friendly cottages in Somerset

Are you thinking of em-bark-ing on a Somerset getaway with the dog? Have a look at our dog-friendly cottages in Somerset and get those tails wagging.



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.

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