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Seven dog-friendly beaches near London

London in the summer is a joyous thing. Parks buzz with atmosphere and pop-up events seem like a round-the-clock occurrence. The city is also surprisingly dog-friendly, with tons of green space to enjoy. But even better is its proximity to the beautiful British coast. We’ve listed some of the best beaches in the vicinity, so you and your furry friend can be feasting on fresh fish by lunchtime.

1. Whitstable

Location: Kent

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Distance from London: 61 miles

Forget the popular South West counties of Dorset and Cornwall; Whitstable Beach proves that the east coast beaches have their fair share of fantastic sunsets. Only a 1.5 hour train journey from London, the pet-friendly shingle beach has ample space for your pooch to run free. Why not try their famous oysters or visit one of the many dog-friendly pubs for a lunchtime snack? 

2. Camber Sands

Location: East Sussex

Dogs allowed? Yes, with one restricted section between May and September

Distance from London: 75 miles

Your four-legged friend will be in his element bouncing up and down the white sand dunes of Camber Sands. With five miles of sandy beach to play on you can always find some solitude despite its popularity. But as a favourite spot of kite-surfers, it’s a good idea to pack a windbreak!

3. The Naze

Location: Essex

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Distance from London: 86 miles

If your furry friends like a good run along the beach, look no further than The Naze. The immense cliffs and adjoining nature reserve make it a great beach for roaming, and nearby Walton-on-the-Naze is a perfect choice for dog-friendly holidays. Its row of colourful beach huts are a photogenic backdrop.

4. Kingsgate Bay

Location: Kent

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Distance from London: 80 miles

Kent’s white cliffs take spectacular prominence at Kingsgate Bay, a hidden gem between the busy bays of Joss and Botany. Overlooking one end of the golden sand is the 18th-century Kingsgate Castle, while at the other is a well-located pub, offering superb pub food with a view, as well as handy parking.

5. West Wittering, West Sussex

Location: West Sussex

Dogs allowed? Yes, at East Head

Distance from London: 78 miles

The entire estate of West Wittering is managed by the National Trust, and is a RAMSAR designated wetland. Short walks on the beach showcase the UK’s natural beauty at its very best, filled with wildflowers in summer, as well as nesting skylarks and the possibility of spotting seals near the shore. It’s also near the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty if you fancy extending your day trip.

6. West Mersea

Location: Essex

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Distance from London: 70 miles

The Essex island of Mersea is a special getaway from London, with the unique quality of being all but cut off at high tide. West Mersea is a great family beach, with crabbing spots off the jetties, rock pools and plenty of space to run around. If you’re driving back to London, why not stop by one of Essex’s many picturesque villages? 

7. Cuckmere Haven

Location: East Sussex

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Distance from London: 69 miles

As part of the Seven Sisters Country Park, Cuckmere Haven is a beach in the UK with plenty to discover. The most impressive vista looks over the spectacular Seven Sisters cliffs, but don’t just stop there. Wander along the Cuckmere Meanders, or if your four-legged friend is a fan of a cycle, why not let him accompany you on a bike ride round around the country park?