Northumberland is a county that was just made for dogs! Four-legged friends (and their owners) will find sandy beaches to explore, historic castles to visit and an abundance of scenic walks to try along the way. There are pretty villages, country parks and of course the Northumberland National Park, home to some of the cleanest air in the UK, where you can sniff out new adventures.
Being dog-friendly is in Northumberland’s DNA and the vast majority of Northumberland holiday cottages - along with shops, cafes and pubs throughout the region - will welcome dogs with open arms. There are so many options for fun dog-friendly days out!
So, what are you waiting for? We’ve put together a dog-friendly guide to Northumberland to help you discover all that this fantastic region has to offer and get your dog’s tail wagging this summer.
Take a leap to:
Did you know that nearly all of Northumberland’s beautiful beaches are dog friendly the whole year round? That means doggies can run in the sand, play with a ball, splash in the sea and generally have a whale of a time all summer long. Beaches are a lovely place to visit all year round, and in the colder months they tend to be quieter of other people too, which can be an added bonus if you are looking to really let them run free.
You’ll find some of the UK’s cleanest beaches in Northumberland, such as Warkworth, Alnmouth, Embleton and Bamburgh, along with peaceful coves, long stretches of sand and dramatic castles perched along the coastline. What’s more, there are plenty of dog-friendly cafes in Northumberland where you can call in for refreshments after all your beachy fun.
Keeping dogs safe on the beach
Although we all want dogs to have fun on the beach, it’s very important to keep them safe during your visit. Remember, this could be a strange environment for your canine companion so keep them on a lead while you familiarise them with their surroundings. There are often lots of other dogs around too, so it is best to keep them on a lead until you feel they are safe.
Beach safety tips:
- Avoid the midday sun and make sure you have lots of drinking water and a shady spot so that your dog doesn’t overheat.
- Keep a close eye on your dog at all times and, if they do go into the sea, don’t let them swim too far out. You could even consider a dog flotation vest to keep them safe in the water.
- Remember that dogs can get sunburnt too so it is worth investing in some doggie sun cream before your day at the beach.
- Consider your dog's temperament and if they are likely to run off or chase other dogs then keeping them on the lead during your visit is probably best.
Having all this fun can be thirsty work, so there is a high chance you will need to stop for a refreshment during your day out. But where to go? Good news! There are plenty of dog-friendly cafes in Northumberland where you can call in for refreshments after all your beachy fun.
Here are some of our favourite dog-friendly cafes near beaches:
• Drift Cafe in Cresswell (casual seafront cafe and secondhand bookshop)
• Beaches Restaurant in Alnmouth (a small and cosy seafood restaurant)
• The Jolly Fisherman in Craster (a historic beachfront inn with great sea views)
• The Ship Inn Alnwick (tasty local produce combined with glorious views)
• Surf Cafe in Tynemouth (a great atmosphere to relax and watch the world go)
There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Northumberland - ranging from more popular tourist spots to secluded coves that are further off the beaten track. To find the perfect beach for your visit, read our guide to Northumberland’s best beaches.
Dog-friendly towns and villages
Northumberland is filled with towns and villages that are perfect (or should that be pawfect) for four-legged friends. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Craster is a small Northumberland village that’s famous for its smoked kippers, handsome fishing harbour and views to Dunstanburgh Castle. Find out more about Craster.
Why it’s so dog friendly: Craster has an assortment of dog-friendly places to eat and drink, including The Ship Inn pub and The Shoreline cafe & shop where you can get a cuppa and cake while browsing local souvenirs.
Our top pick for four-legged friends: Take a walk along the dog-friendly beach from Craster to nearby Dunstanburgh Castle.
Dog-friendly cottage: Harbour View Cottage sleeps four and welcomes two dogs. This is ideally located next to the sea overlooking the idyllic harbour at Craster. Being so close to the sea, you are spoilt with sightings of nature and culture, and the local community vibe is one you won’t forget.
Doggy points: There is a lively local pub which is pet friendly, which offers cottage guests great discounts!
Warkworth is home to the medieval Warkworth Castle, where dogs on leads are welcome, and a pretty main street that’s filled with shops, tearooms, pubs and art galleries. Find out more about Warkworth.
Why it’s so dog friendly: You’ll find some great dog-friendly pubs in Warkworth, including Masons Arms and The Hermitage Inn, and dogs will love playing fetch on the clean sandy beach.
Our top pick for four-legged friends: Take a scenic riverside walk along the River Coquet which runs right through Warkworth, then call in for coffee and a bowl of water at Bertram’s Cafe.
Dog-friendly cottage: 1 Coquet Lodge sleeps four and welcomes two dogs. This is a beautiful converted granary offering an idyllic rural retreat. With plenty of walks on your doorstep, you are bound to be out and about for hours!
Doggy points: Warkworth Beach is within easy reach for full days of play, followed by a long night of sleeping in this homely cottage.
Bamburgh was named Britain’s best coastal destination in a 2019 Which survey so is the perfect choice for a summer holiday to the seaside. The popular Northumberland village is famous for its imposing castle with the added bonus that dogs are allowed within the castle grounds as well as having a sandy beach that dogs can visit all year long. Find out more about Bamburgh.
Why it’s so dog friendly: There are lots of dog-friendly holiday cottages in and around Bamburgh so there will be plenty of four-legged friends for your doggie to play with.
Our top pick for four-legged friends: You can both watch the world go by from dog-friendly Wyndelwell Cafe before grabbing an ice cream and walking up to Bamburgh Castle.
Dog-friendly cottage: Beach House sleeps six and welcomes two dogs. The cottage is situated close to the breathtaking coast and the impressive Bamburgh Castle. The garden is a nice place to sit and enjoy summer BBQs.
Doggy points: There is a spacious enclosed garden and patio area to the back of the cottage reached by French doors from the living room. The wood burner is also a warm place to lie after beachy days out.
Seahouses is a bustling Northumberland village where you can watch the fishing boats come in and then take a boat trip of your own around the beautiful Farne Islands. Find out more about Seahouses.
Why it’s so dog friendly: Dogs are welcome on most of the boat trips from Seahouses Harbour although you won’t be able to land with them on Inner Farne. There are also plenty of dog-friendly places to eat around the historic harbour.
Our top pick for four-legged friends: Pay a visit to Pinnacles fish and chip shop and well-behaved dogs will be rewarded with a sausage!
Dog-friendly cottage: Gable Cottage sleeps six and welcomes two dogs. It is located within the heart of the village and is close to great restaurants, pubs and family entertainment.
Doggy points: A shaggy rug and warming wood burner provides the perfect spot for a tired dog to flop after a busy day!
Fresh air does wonders for the mind, body and soul and walking plays a big part in the human-dog relationship. Taking a dog on holiday is the best way to see the area with fresh eyes. Dogs LOVE exploring, sniffing, digging, running and playing, making a new area even more fun to discover. Northumberland is a massive playground for any dog, and there are a multitude of walks to take on, but here are a few of our favourites for now.
Kielder Water and Forest Park
Kielder, the largest forest in England, is home to the UK’s biggest man-made lake as well as Kielder observatory: an epic astronomical facility for night-time stargazing. The forest itself provides miles and miles of dog-friendly walking trails to enjoy all around this scenic Northumberland park. We recommend taking a shoreline stroll along the Lakeside Way then calling in the Boat Inn Restaurant for refreshments.
- Miles of woodland and foliage to explore
- Plenty of sticks for a good game of fetch
- Popular with other dogs, so a playmate will always be close by
Dog-friendly pad close by: Weavers Cottage, sleeps 4 people and 2 dogs
Northumberland National Park
It’s hard to imagine a better playground for dogs than the 1050 square kilometres of Northumberland National Park which is home to England’s cleanest rivers! Walking trails range from gentle - consider the Simonside Family walk near Rothbury - to the more challenging, such as the scenic Steel Rigg walk along Hadrian’s Wall, so make sure you select a walk that’s suitable for both you and your doggy’s ability.
- Clear rivers and streams to take a dip in
- Plenty of views to enjoy when a break is needed from all the walking
- Woodland, moorland, heathery hills and lakeside locations
Dog-friendly pad close by: Hotspur Cottage, sleeps 2 people and 2 dogs
Druridge Bay Country Park
Druridge Bay Country Park is centred around a lake and includes woodland walks, lakeside strolls, meadows to meander through and (best of all) 3 miles of sandy beach that is ripe for exploring. Why not pack a picnic (not forgetting treats for the dog) and head to one of the designated picnic areas for an al fresco lunch in the sun!
- White sand beach with big sand dunes for digging in
- Wave dodging fun for four-legged friends
- Miles of space to throw and catch balls
Dog-friendly pad close by: Heron's Beck, sleeps 7 people and 2 dogs
Bolam Lake Country Park
Walking the full circuit around Bolam Country Park will take around an hour (longer if your dog likes to regularly stop and sniff) and there are beautiful lake views along with a variety of flora and fauna to spot along the way. The park features well-paved paths to walk on and there’s a large grassy area where dogs can burn off any extra energy after your walk.
- Wildlife and flowers to sniff and smell
- Lots of grassy areas for off-the-lead fun
- Lots of well-marked paths for owner and dog to follow
Dog-friendly pad close by: Whinneycook Cottage, sleeps 4 people and 2 dogs.
When planning days out for you and your family while on holiday, it is nice to be able to go to places that welcome the dog too. Whilst doggy is happy to walk around and take in all the new scents, it's nice to know you can fit in some history and culture with them by your side. It can be hard to do all the research before setting off on your holiday, so we have looked out a few attractions in Northumberland that welcome your fluffy friend.
The dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle date back to the 14th century and the twin-towered keep was a key battle point during the War of the Roses. Now an English Heritage Site, the rich history of Dunstanburgh Castle is well worth exploring - especially as dogs can come along too, although they must be well behaved and kept on a lead.
Location: Dunstanburgh Road, Alnwick, NE66 3TT
Open: Monday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm
Lindisfarne Priory is tranquil, atmospheric and has the beautiful setting of Northumberland’s Holy Island where dogs are welcome in both the priory and the grounds. The island is reached by a causeway only accessible when the tide is low, so make sure you and your canine companion don’t get caught out.
Picnics are also allowed on the grassed areas at Lindisfarne Priory so we recommend packing some lunch, and of course some dog biscuits for your pal, and making a day of your visit.
Location: Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2RX
Open: Weekends through January and February. From Friday 17th open daily 10am - 4pm.
The riverside ruins of Edlingham Castle are free to visit and dogs on leads are welcome at this historical Northumberland site. It’s best known for a dramatically leaning solar tower which is the best-preserved part of this 14th-century manor house. This is a nice dog-friendly thing to do.
Location: Edlingham, Alnwick, NE66 2BW
Open: Monday - Sunday, 24hrs
Cragside House and Gardens
Cragside is a popular National Trust site which includes gorgeous gardens, wonderful woodland walks, an adventure play area and lots of activities such as den building to keep children entertained. Dogs are welcome in all of Cragside’s outdoor areas and with 1,000 acres to explore, including 14 walking routes and a labyrinth, it’s a great choice for a dog-friendly summer’s day out.
Location: Morpeth, NE65 7PX
Open: Monday - Friday, 11am - 3pm
Hexham Old Gaol Museum
The Hexham Old Gaol was built in the 1330s and is thought to be England’s oldest prison. The building is now home to a dog-friendly museum where you can try out stocks and find out more about gruesome medieval punishments. The museum is also home to a collection of historic books, poems and photography where you can learn more about the beautiful county of Northumberland.
Location: Hallgate, Hexham, NE46 1XD
Open: Sunday 11am - 4pm
The coast and countryside of Northumberland are dotted with country inns, village pubs and beer gardens where four-legged friends and their owners will be greeted with a warm welcome and a cold drink. There are far too many dog-friendly Northumberland pubs to list them all, so here is just a small selection to try during your next visit:
• The Joiner’s Arms in Alnwick (luxury village pub with great food)
• The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval (officially the North East’s dog friendliest pub)
• Masons Arms in Warkworth (a friendly local pub with a great beer garden)
• The Boatside Inn, Hexham (a country pub that’s a good choice for walkers)
• William de Percy Inn, Otterburn (a foodie pub that does a mean Sunday lunch)
Cottages in Northumberland has a wide range of dog-friendly holiday cottages to choose from including coastal retreats close to the beach and country cottages in and around the Northumberland National Park. Here is a small selection of the dog-friendly holiday cottages available for a short break or holiday.
Dog-friendly romantic cottages
• Hotspur Cottage, Rothbury (sleeps 2 people and 2 dogs)
• Wamsas Studio, Seahouses (sleeps 2 people and 1 dog)
• Rochester House Barn (sleeps 3 people and 1 dog)
Dog-friendly cottages for families
• Little Panhaven, Amble (sleeps 4 people and 1 dog)
• Star House, Rothbury (sleeps 8 people and 2 dogs)
• Blue Barn, Bamburgh (sleeps 6 people and 3 dogs)
Dog-friendly cottages for larger groups
• The Mill House, Bamburgh (sleeps 8 people and 1 dog)
• Riverside Cottage, Eglingham (sleeps 10 people and 4 dogs)
• Catcleugh Farmhouse, Northumberland National Park (sleeps 10 people and 3 dogs)
Cottages in Northumberland has over 170 dog-friendly cottages to choose from and you can browse the full availability or search for your specific requirements.
Plan your dog-friendly summer visit to Northumberland!
Has this inspired you to treat your four-legged friend to a summer holiday this year? Whether your dog loves splashing in the sea, walking in the countryside or making new friends, we are pretty sure they (and you) will love discovering beautiful Northumberland. Chews from our whole collection of dog-friendly cottages in Northumberland and then get on the dog and bone to book.
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.