The best dog-friendly beaches in Suffolk
Love taking your four-legged friends to the beach all year round? Steer clear of the beach restrictions with our pick of the best dog-friendly beaches in Suffolk that welcome Fido every month, come rain or shine.
Is there anything more annoying than pitching up for a perfect beach day with your four-legged friend in tow only to find a sign saying “No dogs allowed on the beach”? Try telling that to Fido once he’s seen all those miles of glorious sand and waves to play in.
While some of the most popular beaches in Suffolk only let dogs gambol about in the sand during the winter months, there are some stunning stretches of sand where the whole family, including your faithful friend, are allowed all year round. Grab the Chuck It and let your dog loose on our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Suffolk…
The beach: The north of the Suffolk coast is generally much more open to dogs than the south and one of the nicest beaches that dogs can access all year round is Kessingland. It’s one of those rare beaches that is actually growing instead of receding, so there’s plenty of space for your dog to stretch its legs and for you to throw the ball without knocking some poor unsuspecting walker out. The sand and shingle beach is backed by low dunes so feels nice and safe to let the dog off the lead.
Facilities: There’s parking along Church Road, next to the beach and cafes along the beach front, as well as in Kessingland itself.
Stay/ Eat: The Hog Hotel in Pakefield. A few minutes drive north and you’ll find this newly refurbished and fun hotel, that has some dog-friendly hotel rooms. It’s also a wonderful place to eat once you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach.
2. Gunton Denes Beach
The beach: Oh là là, Corton Sands at the far end of Gunton Denes has a bit of risqué reputation in these parts… for many years it was a nudist beach! Don’t worry though, you don’t have to avert your gaze every five paces anymore. Naturism has been revoked here since 2009 so it’s just you the gorgeous beach and your ball-loving friend splashing around int he waves. Gunton Denes is just north of Lowestoft, which is Britain’s most easterly point, so it can get a bit breezy, so avoid windy days here.
Facilities: There’ a car park with direct access to the beach, but no other facilities to speak of on the actual beach, although at the far end of the beach in Corton there’s a shop.
Stay: Fritton Lake, a ten minute drive away, has recently become a private holiday club along the lines of Soho Farmhouse, with beautiful lodges in the forest around the attractive lake, and awesome facilities like a smart heated outdoor pool and a very dog-friendly restaurant. Some of the privately-owned woodland retreats are open to the public to book and many are dog-friendly.
The beach: You’ll find this pooch-friendly beach between Southwold and Kessingland and it’s an absolute stunner. So lovely in fact that it was included in The Daily Telegraph’s list of Britain’s 40 Best Beaches. It’s soft and sandy with interesting tree sculptures as a result of the coastal erosion. You can only get to it by foot or bicycle, and there aren’t any facilities, but this is the beauty of it… you and your dog will have the serene surroundings all to yourselves.
Facilities: You can park near the church and access the beach via the footpath.
Stay: In the nearby village of Wrentham, you’ll find lovely self-catering cottage, Lime Blossom Cottage, which has space for 6 guests and a pet. Get you instagram fingers ready, this smart cottage has been featured in interiors magazines, suffolksecrets.co.uk
4. Walberswick and Denes Beach, Southwold
The beach: The Walberswick end of Southwold is the place to go if you’ve got a dog in tow, because the main beach, with its candy-coloured huts, bans dogs from April until October. The stretch of beach from Gun Hill cafe down to and including the beach at Walberswick is open to dogs all year round though and has miles of white sand and huge dunes for dogs to play in.
Facilities: Plenty! There are cafes and seaside shops along the front here as well as a great dog-friendly pub The Anchor in Walberswick and restaurants that allow dogs along Ferry Road. You can park in Southwold or Walberswick and in the summer months a farmer opens his fields opposite Gun Hill Café for people to park in.
Stay: The Swan Hotel (read my review here) in the main square of Southwold is THE place to stay in this chic seaside town. The garden rooms are dog-friendly and you’re allowed to leave your dog in the room while you make the most of the delicious food and Adnam’s drinks in the main hotel.
The beach: Don’t throw the ball too far into the sea at this lovely little Suffolk seaside village, your dog might just discover a city underneath the waves! I’ll explain: Dunwich was once a thriving sea port that disappeared beneath the sea centuries ago. Now, it’s a teeny tiny village, with an amazing pub, a cute tearoom, and glorious nature reserve. The beach here is shingle and is in a gap between two cliffs making it beautifully sheltered.
Facilities: This area is run by The National Trust so it has great facilities. There’s a car park, a tea room and the delightful The Ship at Dunwich.
Stay: The Ship at Dunwich is dog-friendly throughout and has 16 beautifully styled en suite rooms for you to curl up in with your pooch after a long day on the beach.