The Canine guide to Hunstanton holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Hunstanton

Kate Atkin 14 March 2024

Famed for its unique striped cliffs, dramatic sunsets and beautiful beaches, the elegant resort of Hunstanton on the Norfolk coast is the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday with your waggy-tailed family members.  

Split into Old and New Hunstanton, this charming seaside town is a hound’s heaven, with gardens to nose around, dog-friendly attractions to explore, and a variety of places to eat, some which even feature special doggy menus!

Our guide to dog-friendly Hunstanton highlights some of the best things to do with your pack, from windswept walkies to cosy places to rest weary paws after your exciting adventures. Read on to discover the best dog-friendly places in Hunstanton to visit with your canine companions. You can also find more dog-friendly things to do in Norfolk with our comprehensive Canine guide to this unforgettable seaside destination.

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Great dog-friendly days out in Hunstanton

There are so many dog-friendly attractions in Hunstanton to enjoy with your pack. Here are a few of the best.

Searles Sea Tours

A dog enjoying a boat trip around the Norfolk coastline

Best day out for salty sea dogs: Jump aboard Wizzy The Wash Monster at the central promenade in pet-friendly Hunstanton for an exciting journey out to sea where the largest colony of common seals in the UK can be found. 

Over 3,000 seals can be glimpsed in The Wash and Searles Sea Tours offer a variety of boat trips to see them basking in the sunshine. As long as pups are kept on a lead and are well behaved, they can join you. Although, as the seating on these amphibious vessels is bench style, it may suit smaller dogs.

Why your dog will love it: Excursions range from 20 minutes to 2 hours, so pups who struggle to keep their paws still can opt for one of the shorter tours. They are sure to be astounded by the breathtaking coastal views and the fascinating stories of local legends.

Norfolk Lavender 

Norfolk Lavender in full bloom on a sunny day

Best scenic day out: Excite your hounds’ senses with a scamper around Norfolk Lavender. One of the most beautiful dog-friendly places in Hunstanton, canine pals on leads are welcome to roam the 100 acres of scented grounds by your side. 

The summer months are the best time to visit when the vibrant purple fields are in full bloom. While those with four legs aren’t able to go inside the shop or tearoom, humans can take turns to pop in for some lavender-scented mementoes such as oils, perfumes, soaps and plants after your walk.

Why your dog will love it: The lavender fields make an enchanting backdrop for some canine selfies – be sure to take your camera to capture your handsome hound looking their very best.

RSPB Snettisham and Titchwell

Hundreds of birds in flight at RSPB Snettisham

Best for doggos with a nose for nature: There are two RSPB nature reserves within 7 miles of dog-friendly Hunstanton which welcome tufty-pawed pals on leads. RSPB Snettisham adjoins Snettisham Beach and offers the chance to witness two of the UK's great wildlife spectacles: the Snettisham Wader Spectacular, and the flight of the pink-footed geese. 

RSPB Titchwell Marsh is renowned for its soaring marsh harriers as well as ducks, waders, seabirds and geese amongst its sandy beaches, lagoons and reedbeds.

Why your dog will love it: From migrating birds who make their home here over winter to the arrival of swallows and cuckoos in spring, there is always something for curious canines to see. And if you time your visit just at the right tide time, Fido will be bowled over by the most amazing show of nature as an enormous display of wading birds take flight en-masse in swirling flocks.

Lovely dog-friendly beaches in Hunstanton

For pups who long to feel the sand between their paws, check out these top dog-friendly beaches in Hunstanton.

Old Hunstanton Beach

Fluffy white dog on Old Hunstanton Beach

Best for spectacular sunsets: Loved by many as the best Hunstanton beach for dogs, Old Hunstanton Beach can be found slightly north of the resort’s main beach. Miles of fine golden sand backed by rolling dunes and iconic striped cliffs offer plenty of space for zoomies. And the shallow waters are perfect for perfecting that doggy paddle. 

This dog-friendly beach in Hunstanton is also well-known for being one of the best kite surfing beaches in the UK, and is a huge draw for anyone looking to enjoy a gorgeous sunset as it faces west. There’s even a pet-friendly beach café where your furry little water baby can enjoy a bowl of water and some doggy snacks after their sandy adventures.

Why your dog will love it: They are welcome to bound across the shore all year round without any restrictions. 

New Hunstanton Beach

A view of Hunstanton Beach on a clear day

Best for family attractions: The town’s main beach, also known as New Hunstanton Beach, is predominantly covered in shingle and is a lot busier due to the variety of visitor attractions on offer, including amusement arcades and fairground rides. 

While kids will enjoy hunting for fossils along the shore and sea creatures in the rock pools all year round, there are some restrictions for dogs. During the summer months, pups are not allowed on the beach from the powerboat ramp to the northern end of the promenade - they might prefer to stretch their paws on the Norfolk Coast Path instead during this time.

Why your dog will love it: It’s a great spot for blustery winter walkies – see if you can spot the wreck of a 1907 fishing boat used in WWI and WWII as you explore.

Heacham South Beach

A wide expanse of sand at Heacham South Beach

Best for peace and quiet: One of our favourite dog-friendly beaches near Hunstanton is Heacham South Beach, also known as ‘Stubborn Sands’. This long sweep of sand mixed with shingle is backed by low dunes and boasts far-reaching views across the bay towards Lincolnshire. 

At the northern end of the beach, there is a promenade and from here it’s possible to walk all the way to Hunstanton (3.5 miles) if you and your pack have the energy to burn. With no dog restrictions here, this is a paw-friendly choice for blissful beach strolls all year round.

Why your dog will love it: The water here is relatively calm and shallow if your sandy-pawed pal fancies getting their fur wet.

Wonderful dog-friendly walks in Hunstanton

If your pup still has the energy to burn, why not grab the lead and set out on one of these dog-friendly walks in Hunstanton?

Hunstanton to Holme

Looking down on dog walkers on Holme Beach

Best coastal walk: Starting at Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, this 4-mile scamper along the Norfolk Coast Path to the small seaside village of Holme-next-the-Sea is very easy and wonderfully dog friendly. 

Once you reach Holme, you can enjoy a paddle on Holme Beach which is pet friendly all year round or head inland for a bite to eat at The White Horse pub (also dog friendly), and then catch the Coastliner bus back to Hunstanton.

Why your dog will love it: The route is fairly flat, so brilliant for pups of all walking abilities. Plus, if you fancy exploring further, you can continue following the coast path through the picturesque NWT Holme Dunes Nature Reserve and onto Thornham where you’ll find more places to stop for refreshments.

Snettisham Woods

A happy dog bounding through Snettisham Woods

Best woodland walk: Just 5 miles from the town, Snettisham Woods is an enchanting spot for woodland walkies during dog-friendly holidays in Hunstanton. A 2.6-mile trail leads you beneath the swaying boughs of the woodland canopy, and there are some spectacular views over The Wash from its fringes. 

If you’ve worked up an appetite, there are a couple of dog-friendly pubs in Snettisham where you can enjoy some well-earned refreshments afterwards and rest those paws for a while.

Why your dog will love it: There’s gorgeous scenery to admire and so many new sights, sounds and smells to sniff out.

Sandringham Country Park

Well-manicured lawns at Sandringham Country Park

Best nature walk: Spanning 243 hectares, Sandringham Country Park is a haven for canine adventurers. Surrounding Sandringham House, the country park is open daily with a myriad of tail-wagging treks to enjoy. Follow one of the two waymarked nature trails (one is 1.5 miles long and the other is 2.5 miles), or explore one of the winding woodland paths for a casual stroll with your woofer.

Why your dog will love it: There’s always something new to see, whether you visit in spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom or autumn when the woods are blazing with colour and your pup can dive into piles of fallen leaves.

Top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Hunstanton

After a day of adventure, nothing beats a refreshing bowl of water in one of these top dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Hunstanton.

The Lodge

A black pug holding an empty food bowl

Best for pub grub: After a long walk along the Norfolk coast, there’s no better place than The Lodge to relax with a refreshing drink and some delicious food. One of the top dog-friendly pubs in Hunstanton, the whole pack is welcome in the spacious bar, the casual dining area, and the charming beer garden. 

Traditional pub classics like fish and chips, burgers and steak feature on the menu, as well as mouth-watering specials like chargrilled swordfish, slow-braised bavette of beef, and pan-fried pork belly.  

Why your dog will love it: Four-legged diners are provided with brimming bowls of water and there are dog treats available at the bar too.

Cliff Top Cafe

A big fluffy dog relaxing on the decking of a cafe

Best for coffee and cake: Just a short walk from the beach, the Cliff Top Cafe offers mesmerising sea views and a menu featuring everything from hearty breakfasts to afternoon tea. 

Tuck into a plate of ham, egg and chips with Rover by your side - this dog-friendly cafe in Hunstanton offers lots of fuss for canine companions.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs can sit inside or outside and from the café’s cliff-top position, they can survey the coast and plan their next sandy walk.

The Orange Tree Restaurant

A poodle enjoying a snooze on their owner's lap

Best for doggie menus: When it comes to dog-friendly restaurants in Hunstanton, it doesn’t get much better than The Orange Tree Restaurant. Not only are humans well-catered for with an award-winning menu of innovative dishes, but furry diners are treated to their very own ‘Canine Cuisine’ menu! 

Delicacies include pigs ears washed down with gravy, doggie sausage rolls, and probiotic salmon, chicken or lamb. Pups can settle down to enjoy their meal throughout the restaurant, at the bar, or in the large garden, and water bowls are readily available.

Why your dog will love it: An exclusive menu for dogs; what more is there to love?!

Exciting dog-friendly Hunstanton cottages to stay in

As night draws in, head back to one of our cosy dog-friendly cottages in Hunstanton to rest weary paws.

The best dog-friendly cottage for family getaways

The Burrow: Sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans

A view of the cosy lounge at The Burrow with the fire lit

Situated right on the coastal path, the foaming surf is only a 1-mile stroll away from this spacious dog-friendly holiday cottage in Old Hunstanton. Humans will enjoy soaking up the sunshine on the roof terrace, while happy hounds make the most of the enclosed garden, perfect for fun games of fetch, or the cosy lounge with a crackling open fire – the ideal spot for a post-walkie snooze.

The best dog-friendly cottage for seaside adventures

Willow Cottage – Norfolk: Sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans

The beamed kitchen at Willow Cottage - Norfolk

Invite the whole pack to this characterful cottage, where pups can soak up the sunshine in the relaxing conservatory or out in the enclosed garden. Just 1 mile away is Old Hunstanton Beach which is dog-friendly all year round – and there’s a beach hut for your exclusive use (an additional charge applies).

The best dog-friendly cottage for a relaxing break

Waveney House: Sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans

Garden at Waveney House, Hunstanton, including patio furniture and hot tub.

Offering a large lawn that your canine companion will go barking mad for, this homely family getaway is surrounded by sandy windswept walks. This retreat has been lovingly renovated into a stylish home from home, perfect for a special group getaway. For the ultimate in relaxation, unwind on the sun loungers, fire up the BBQ to dine alfresco at the table and chairs, and enjoy a dip in the hot tub.

Waveney House

Dog-friendly holidays in Hunstanton

For the ultimate backdrop to your staycation, choose one of our self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottages in Hunstanton. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a family or a group of friends, you’ll find a wide range of pet-friendly accommodation within our collection which will place you perfectly for memorable holidays in this glorious part of Norfolk.

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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