Dog owners know it well – most dogs love beaches. Your pooch can run free, splash in the surf, chase seagulls, burrow in the sand and more. You’ll both return from a beach walk happy, refreshed and a little bit tired.
Of course, a beach is in complete contrast to London life. London dog owners do their best. They make the most of the city’s parks and green spaces so that their urban pet can run round and enjoy himself. But a beach trip is the ultimate treat.
There are plenty of beaches that welcome dogs, but it often depends on the time of year. Outside of the summer months (October to the end of April) is usually ok on most beaches, but here’re some beaches near London that will happily welcome doggies all year round.
Here are our recommendations for 10 dog-friendly beaches near London:
Canvey Island, Essex
Located in the Thames Estuary, you get great views of the Kent coast from this beach and you can watch the ships travelling on the Thames. Look out for the beach-front restaurant, the restored 1930s Labworth Café. About one and a half hours from London.
Canvey Island, Thorney Bay, Essex
Half a mile away from the other Canvey Island beach, there’s a large grassy area with a playpark so kids and dogs are bound to enjoy themselves. About one and a half hours from London.
Mersea Stone Beach, Essex
This sand and shingle beach is on the eastern-most point of Mersea Island. You’ll see the remains of a Second World War pillbox and well as a Tudor fort as the beach was of strategic importance for centuries.
Osea Island Beach, Essex
Access to the beach from the mainland is via an ancient tidal causeway that was built in Roman times. It is a private island, though, and only accessible to guests who book accommodation on the island. About two hours from London.
Camber Sands Beach, Sussex
Unlike many of the Sussex beaches, Camber Sands is… well, sandy. It’s also home to the only sand dunes in the county. It’s a popular beach for windsurfing and kite surfing. Dogs are allowed on the beach between May and September but must be on a lead, and they can only be on certain areas. About one hour and 20 minutes from London.
Dungeness Beach, Kent
This huge shingle beach is only one hour and ten minutes from London – and it is Britain’s only desert. You can also see Prospect Cottage with its unusual driftwood garden – once the home of film director Derek Jarman.
Holywell Beach, East Sussex
The name might come from a mineral water spring which was used for its supposed restorative powers. Holywell Beach includes a collection of blue and white beach huts, one of which was used by King George V and Queen Mary during a visit to the area. About one hour and a half from London.
Tankerton Beach, Whitstable, Kent
An old-fashioned shingle beach, it’s backed by a promenade. At low tide you can walk out to sea on a natural causeway too. About one hour ten minutes from London. About one hour and 30 minutes from London.
Walton-on-the-Naze Beach, Essex
This fine sandy beach is also home to Britain’s second longest pier. From 12st May to 30th September, dogs are banned from certain areas, but this is still a nice family beach with plenty of cafes and things to do.
Minnis Bay, Kent
Dogs are banned from 1st May to 30th September, but outside of those times this safe and secluded sandy bay is well worth a visit. There are coastal walks and cycle routes to add to your experience. About one and a half hours from London.