Dog-friendly beaches in Scotland

Coastal, Pet friendly, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate A on 24th September 2020

Dog-friendly beaches in Scotland

Mile upon mile of soft golden sand to bound across, crashing waves to chase, and intriguing rock pools to sniff out; we’re talking about the stunning dog-friendly beaches of Scotland. Surrounded on three sides by the sea and with over 700 islands, there is a lot of coastline to explore in this beautiful country, and much of it warmly welcomes the four-legged members of the family.

So, if you’re wondering where to head for a sandy stroll with your canine companion, we have chosen some of the best beaches in Scotland that allow dogs along the west coast, east coast and north coast.

And why not complete your coastal adventures by staying in one of our dog-friendly holiday cottages in Scotland? Just click the button below if you’d like to browse our tail-wagging selection of pet-friendly holidays in Scotland.

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Dog-friendly beaches on the West Coast of Scotland

Langamull Beach

Langamull Beach

Treat your playful pup to a bound across Langamull Beach on the Isle of Mull, one of the best dog-friendly beaches on the west coast of Scotland. This gleaming sweep of white-shell sand rolls into turquoise waters and is often dubbed the Mull Caribbean. Around a half-hour of scampering is required to reach this secluded shoreline, but your efforts will be rewarded with breathtaking views out to the isles of Eigg and Rum on a fine day.

Local info: Reached via a 2-mile track which passes through open grazing land where dogs should be kept under tight control. There are no facilities at this beach. Car parking is available in the Forestry Enterprise car park between Dervaig and Calgary Bay.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round.

Stay nearby: Killunaig Church House, Pennyghael | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs


Mellon Udrigle Beach

Mellon Udrigle Beach

Off the beaten track and backed by undulating Machair dunes, Mellon Udrigle Beach in Wester Ross is another of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in the west of Scotland. The clear shallow waters are ideal for perfecting a doggy paddle, while the sparkling silver sand is a treat for doggy digging. The distant Highland mountain vista along with the peace and serenity here is unparalleled.

Local info: Reached via a wooden walkway from the car park. There are no facilities at this beach and car parking is available just before the village.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round, please be aware sheep regularly graze on the shoreline.

Stay nearby: Mungasdale House, Achnasheen | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs


Saltcoats Beach

Saltcoats Beach

Bring Fido’s favourite ball and enjoy a good game of fetch on Saltcoats Beach in North Ayrshire. Backed by a long, level esplanade, this wide stretch of sand boasts far-reaching views across the Firth of Clyde to the mountainous Isle of Arran, as well as the handsome ruins of Ardrossan Castle. The shallow waters of the bay are great for kids to paddle and dogs to wash off sandy paws.

Local info: Reached via a short slipway from the car park along Montgomerie Crescent – further roadside parking is available. Along the esplanade, there are toilet facilities and a children’s play area. Shops, cafes and restaurants can be found in Saltcoats town centre. 

Dog restrictions:  Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: The Pink Castle, Largs | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


Luskentyre Sands

Luskentyre Sands

One of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland that allow dogs, Luskentyre Sands is a dream for intrepid canine explorers. This 3-mile expanse of powder-fine sand framed by the peaks of North Harris in the Outer Hebrides is set well off the tourist trail so there’s plenty of space to run free. The cerulean waters are so clear that your tufty-pawed pal will feel like they’re on holiday in the Caribbean!

Local info: From the car park, follow a path and small burn through the dunes to reach the beach. There are toilets and parking at the beach, but there are no facilities, so make the most of your day here by bringing along a picnic.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Taigh Ailein, Manish | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog


Westport Beach

Westport Beach

Stretching over 6 miles, Westport Beach in Argyll has long been one of the most popular beaches in Scotland for dogs. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the huge sand dunes offer shelter for a picnic so it's a favourite for families all year round. The beach faces the Atlantic and is a hotspot for surfers – when the conditions are right, it’s possible to swim or even surf with your dog, perhaps in the company of dolphins.

Local info: Reached via a path from Westport Beach’s car park. There are no facilities here.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Ocean Lodge, near Campbeltown | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


Dog-friendly beaches on the East Coast of Scotland

Yellowcraigs Beach

Yellowcraig Beach

Spanning 4 miles from the dunes of Gullane to North Berwick, Yellowcraig is a popular family beach with extensive footpaths through sheltered woodlands and grassland. Because the beach sits within a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest, there is an area allocated especially for walking dogs. The view to Fidra Island across the Firth of Forth is a spectacular sight and is said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Treasure Island.

Local info: Reached via an uneven path from the car park. There is a picnic area, toilets, and a car park within 300 metres of the beach. Dog bins are provided in the dog-walking area.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Robbers Cottage, near Duns | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Eyemouth Beach

Eyemouth Beach

Eyemouth is a pretty harbour town 5 miles north of the border on the Berwickshire coast. As well as offering spectacular views of arguably some of southern Scotland's finest coastal scenery, at low tide, the beach reveals myriad rock pools - perfect for catching crabs and starfish if you're with the family. For adventurous dog walkers, there is an attractive trail following the Berwickshire Coastal Path from Eyemouth to the quaint fishing village of St Abbs, offering fantastic views across the sea and, if you're lucky, a glimpse of the wonderful marine wildlife.

Local info: There is easy access onto the beach – it is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Shops, toilets, cafes and restaurants along the promenade and within the town of Eyemouth. There is car parking on Harbour Road/Marine Parade.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: The Hideaway, Eyemouth | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs


Golspie Beach

Golspie Beach

When it comes to east coast dog-friendly beaches, Golspie Beach in Sutherland is a lovely choice. Enjoy a walk with your happy hound along the sand and shingle while admiring the panoramic views of the Moray Firth. The village itself is a popular seaside resort, close to Dornoch, offering a network of pretty walks around the area including a picturesque wander to the Big Burn. Known as Golspie's 'hidden gem', this is a short stroll leading to a magnificent waterfall and well worth a visit.

Local info: Easily accessible along Shore Street by the front. Shops, cafes and toilets within Golspie village. There is a beach car park as well as further parking in the village.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Customs House - Littleferry, Littleferry | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


Dornoch Beach

Dornoch Beach

With miles of beautiful golden sand waiting to be discovered, Dornoch is one of the best beaches in Scotland for dogs. Great for families too, enjoy wide views, gentle shallows, foraging the rock pools at low tide and building sandcastles in the soft clean sand. Adjacent to the beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, perfect for nature lovers with a variety of nesting birds, flora and fauna to admire.

Local info: Easy access. There is car parking at the beach close to a children’s playground and toilets.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Rose Cottage - Culrain, Culrain | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


Rosemarkie Beach

Rosemarkie Beach

Rosemarkie is a charming little village on the south coast of the Black Isle Peninsula and is said to have one of the finest pet-friendly beaches along the Moray Firth coastline. It is backed by red sandstone cliffs that provide a welcome haven for an abundance of wildlife during the various seasons. Overhanging trees and creepers add to the unique character of the beach and the western end is a great spot for finding fossils.

Local info: Reached via concrete paths and a small bridge. The dog-friendly Rosemarkie Beach Café offers a selection of food and drink or you could enjoy a meal at The Anderson, an award-winning gastropub that welcomes dogs in the village of Fortrose a mile away. Car parking is available near the beach.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round but must be kept on a lead.

Stay nearby: The Little Small House, Avoch | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Dog-friendly beaches on the North Coast of Scotland

Balnakeil Beach

Balnakeil Beach

Teetering at the north-western edge of the mainland, Balnakeil is one of the wildest dog beaches in Scotland. Overlooked by a ruined church and graveyard, this atmospheric stretch of white sand and grassy dunes lapped by turquoise waters offers endless fun for canine companions. Time your visit around sunset to catch the most magical display of light as the sun sinks below the North Sea.  

Local info: Easy access from the adjacent car park. Facilities are limited here but there are shops and a cafe at the Balnakeil Craft Village nearby.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: The Beach Bothy, Durness | Sleeps 2 + 1 dog


Big Sand Beach

Big Sand Beach

Looking across to the icy peaks of Skye and Torridon, the sheltered bay of Big Sand Beach is perfect for a laidback day by the water’s edge with your dog. Something of a hidden gem, pups will love feeling the wind in their fur as they zoom across the sand. You can even extend your walk to the impressive cascade of Flowerdale Falls in Gairloch.

Local info: The beach is accessed via an extensive network of sand dunes. There are toilet and shower facilities as well as a small shop and car parking.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: 15 Fasaich, Gairloch | Sleeps 7 + 2 dogs


Sandwood Bay

Sandwood Bay

If you’ve got an energetic pup in your pack who loves nothing better than a nice long adventure, then Sandwood Bay in Sutherland will be at the top of your dog-friendly beaches in Scotland list. There is no road access to this secluded stretch of sparkling pink sand, so your dog will need to be fit enough to conquer the 4-mile jaunt to get there. It’s worth the effort though, as they will go barking mad when they see the glistening aquamarine waves rolling in the distance.

Local info: Reached via a well-trodden and fairly flat path from the hamlet of Blairmore, 4 miles away. The nearest parking and facilities are 4 miles from the beach in Blairmore.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. Please keep your dog on a lead during the 4-mile walk to the beach as there are free-roaming sheep. 

Stay nearby: Corrachbeag, Kinlochbervie | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Nairn Beach

Nairn Beach

Nairn may be famous for its great golf courses and local school of dolphins, but the long sandy beach is one of the town’s top attractions. Having been described as ‘a piece of heaven’ by visitors, Nairn Beach is a delight for dog walkers. The sand is divided into East, Central and West Beach: Central Beach occupies the area closest to the town’s leisure facilities; West Beach is bursting with nooks, crannies and rock pools for pups to sniff out; and East Beach is a huge expanse of sand where pups can run free before exploring the forest behind.

Local info: Easy access to Central Beach. There are lots of places to eat and drink in Nairn along with plenty of parking.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Washingwells House, near Nairn | Sleeps 8 + 4 dogs


St. Combs Beach

St. Combs Beach

Nestled in reputedly one of the sunniest spots in Scotland, St. Combs Beach is sure to set tails wagging. This remote dog-friendly Scottish beach is backed by hills and a series of grassy dunes which stretch south all the way to Peterhead. Take a wander along the shore to Rattray Head and drink in the views – chances are, you’ll have this sandy spot all to yourselves. Plus, there’s a good possibility of seeing seals basking in the sunshine.

Local info: Easy access onto the beach via numerous paths. There are no facilities at the beach, but there are a shop and public toilets in the village of St Combs where you’ll also find parking. More extensive facilities can be found in Fraserburgh, just under 6 miles away.

Dog restrictions: Welcome all year round. 

Stay nearby: Lon Magh Cottage, near St Combs | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog


Scotland’s best dog-friendly beaches on a map


Need more inspiration?

If you can’t wait to get out and explore with your canine best friend, why not read our other guides to get you even more in the holiday mood?


Stay with us in Scotland

Why not make your dog’s day and treat them to a tail-wagging adventure along the coast of Scotland? Our dog-friendly cottages in Scotland offer a warm welcome to four-pawed members of the family, and many are in close proximity to some of the country’s best pet-friendly beaches. Click the button below to browse our full collection.

All dog-friendly cottages



Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.