Finding somewhere to go on a family holiday isn’t overly tricky, nor is finding somewhere to walk the dogs. Finding somewhere which is suitable for both the family and the dogs is a slightly harder task, as not everywhere accommodates for four-legged guests. This is why Cumbria is a top-notch destination for dog-owners, because it’s a picture-perfect holiday destination as well as filled with wonderful beaches to walk, play and soak up the beauty and sunshine.
At the mouth of the Duddon Estuary, an estuary of the River Duddon which connects Morecambe Bay and the west Cumbrian coast, you’ll find Haverigg Beach, a shingle beach. While the pebbles or cobbles might be a nuisance for some, they tend to be rather helpful if you’d rather not be finding sand in your car after the dog’s got inside for the next decade. You won’t miss it, because there’s pretty much sand and ocean for as far as the eye can see, ending only when it reaches the Irish Sea. For this reason, it’s a popular destination for dog-walkers because it means that not only do the dogs get to enjoy the beach, but you do too because you’re not spending the majority of the time yelping for them to stay away from sand castles or innocent tanners trying to sun up their backs. There’s free parking, a charming cafe, a children’s play area, facilities, and virtually no limit for your dogs other than that they must be on a lead around the RSBP Hodbarrow nature reserve.
Though accessible in its own right, Silecroft Beach can be walked to from Haverigg Beach when the tide’s out. Granted, you can’t plan your daily activities solely around the changing tides, so the car park at Silecroft ought to do the trick. Given its position on the edge of the Lake District National Park, that it runs parallel to a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and its proximity to historical towns like Millom, Silecroft Beach ends up being extremely popular for both day-trippers to the region and the locals. This one’s for the sand-lovers, and provided your dogs aren’t likely to get too excited by the Natterjack toads hopping around and oystercatchers sweeping the sky, they can enjoy an unrestricted day of frolicking.
Ravenglass Beach is yet another beach in Cumbria which has no restrictions for dogs, making it a stress-free and enjoyable day out for the whole mutt-ley crew. Ravenglass village is situated on the coastal estuary where the Mite, Irt and Esk rivers converge, before merging with the Irish Sea. There’s a bit of everything when it comes to the sand’s substance, as there is a combination of sand, mud, shingle and even grass. There’s a pub and a castle nearby, plenty of walking routes underfoot, and birds overhead, so there’s something to enjoy for the foodies, culture-vultures, canine wanderers and bird-watchers too.
Up next, Roanhead Beach is an A-Lister when it comes to dog-friendly beaches in Cumbria. Though dogs are not permitted in the dunes, they’re allowed to become one with their inner beach-bums. That said, it’s worth keeping a watchful eye on them as the beach is a sandy nature reserve where rare plants and insects are aplenty, as well as what’s understood to be at least 15% of the UK’s natterjack toad population. The beach has strong currents, so it’s not recommended for swimming. But as dog owners know, a beach that’s not suitable for swimming tends to be a good one for dog-walking, as it means it’s less busy and there’s more unrestricted space to explore for you and your dog.
There are no dog restrictions on Silloth Beach, which is on the Solway Firth, the firth that makes up the border between England and Scotland, between Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway. It’s a man-made harbour which used to be a Victorian seaside resort, and it is kitted out with everything you need for a good day out on the beach with the dogs. When the tide’s in, you might find yourself asking whether Silloth is actually a beach or whether it’s just some stairs leading down to the water. However, when it heads out, you realise it’s a sandy beach with dunes and views for miles.
View all our dog friendly cottages in Cumbria