15 of the most dog-friendly beaches in Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 09:32 13 October 2020

South Bay Scarborough

South Bay Scarborough

© Tony Bartholomew

Now’s the time to beat the crowds and discover the county’s coastline with your four-legged friend

Happy woofs in the wavesHappy woofs in the waves

There can be few better places to spend time with a canine companion than on a glorious stretch of sand. The Yorkshire Coast welcomes dogs at this time of year, when beautiful beaches are less crowded. The dog ban which is in place throughout much of the summer, usually starting on May 1, is lifted at the end of September.

If you’re the proud owner of a large hound which needs a lot of room to let off steam, head to Filey, regularly voted one of the best beaches in the country – less than a year ago, this five-mile sweep of golden sand stretching from the famous rocky Brigg at the north end to Bempton at the southern end was named as one of the top six beaches in the world on TripAdvisor, ranking alongside Bondi Beach in Australia and Siesta Beach in Florida. Your dog doesn’t care about such human frivolities, of course – all he’ll be interested in is that spectacular wide-open space to run in…

It's a very posh dog's life at the new Bike & Boot hotel in ScarboroughIt's a very posh dog's life at the new Bike & Boot hotel in Scarborough

More dog-friendly walks in Whitby to try

In this little town of around 7,000 inhabitants, there are over 40 pet-friendly hotels and B&Bs, so you won’t be short of places to stay.

In Scarborough, both the glorious North and South Bay beaches welcome dogs at this time of year. And, perched just above the famous circular Rotunda Museum overlooking the South Bay, the brand new Bike & Boot Inn is at the absolute cutting edge of puppy love. Not only does this chic boutique hotel welcome dogs in many of its stylish rooms, it also has a basement area called the Wadobi (that’s walk, dog, bike, by the way) which includes an area where you can return your pet from filthy to flawless in minutes, with dog wash stations with grooming products, dryers and towels. The hotel also provides dog walking route maps and dog toys – doggie heaven!

Filey beach - miles of sands for the dogsFiley beach - miles of sands for the dogs

Like Scarborough, Whitby has plenty of dog-friendly cafes and pubs, and although its narrow streets can get busy, there’s plenty of room on the beaches and at the magnificent clifftop Abbey, where dogs are very welcome on leads. You can find dog-friendly rooms at the luxurious Raithwaite Estate at Sandsend, just a few miles north of Whitby.

And strung along the North Yorkshire Coast in between these resorts, we suggest you check out the beaches at Hunmanby Gap, Cayton Bay, Hayburn Wyke, Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Boggle Hole, Robin Hood’s Bay, Saltwick Bay, Port Mulgrave, Staithes, and Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Plus, of course – we’ve not forgotten it! – Runswick Bay, between Staithes and Whitby, recently awarded the title of Britain’s Best Beach in The Times’ ‘Britain’s 50 best beaches for 2020’.

Your best friend will thank you for it. Walkies!

Out for a walkOut for a walk

For more information on what’s on across the Yorkshire Coast and the North York Moors this month, including options for all you dog-lovers out there, please visit discoveryorkshirecoast.com and Yorkshire.com or call the Tourism Bureau on 01723 383636. The excellent Walkiees website gives detailed recommendations for walks from dog owners on the North Yorkshire Coast and beyond: walkiees.co.uk

A few p(aw)racticalities…

Beach access for dogs on the Yorkshire Coast varies throughout the year, so do please keep an eye out for signage and, if you’re still unsure, go to scarborough.gov.uk and type ‘dogs’ into the search bar.

Research by Keep Britain Tidy suggests that, in terms of litter, dog fouling is what the public are most concerned about – it’s not just unpleasant, it can also endanger human health. Please remember that cleaning up after your dog isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s a legal requirement. The law, which applies to all beaches and public places, says that owners must take away and properly dispose of the sealed bags and could face a hefty fine for failing to do so: initially, a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 then, if the case goes to court, a fine of up to £1,000. The law also says that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse. More here: keepbritaintidy.org/faqs/advice/dog-fouling-and-law

Harry Briggs, Scarborough Borough Council Environment, Enforcement and Contracts Manager says: ‘A significant number of visitors to the Yorkshire coast each year bring their dogs with them and we welcome all responsible dog owners. We have many miles of beach where dogs can be exercised freely and responsibly, within just a short walk of the main beaches, but dogs should be kept under proper close control at all times, which is especially important when the beaches are so busy with children.’

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