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, to 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.
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.
Northumberland’s dog-friendly beaches
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.
You’ll find some of the UK’s cleanest beaches in Northumberland, such as Warkworth, Alnwick, 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.
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)
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. Other beach safety tips to follow include:
- 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 sunburned too so it is worth investing in some doggie sun cream before your day at the beach
- Consider your dogs 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
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.
Northumberland’s 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.
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.
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 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.
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!
Northumberland’s dog-friendly walks
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.
Where to stay nearby: Woodburn Barn, 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.
The Falstone Circular Walk is one of our favourite Northumberland National Park walks to try - it follows an old railway line and takes in the banks of the River North Tyne where you may even see some salmon jumping upstream.
If any of these adventures have caught your eye, browse our range of Northumberland National Park cottages.
Where to stay nearby: 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) three 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 alfresco lunch in the sun!
Where to stay nearby: Poppy Cottage, sleeps 4 people and 1 dog.
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.
Where to stay nearby: Whinney Cook Cottage, sleeps 4 people and 2 dogs.
Dog-friendly Northumberland attractions
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. Stay nearby at one of our cottages in Alnwick.
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.
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.
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 1000 acres to explore, including 14 walking routes and a labyrinth, it’s a great choice for a dog-friendly summer’s day out.
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. Take a look at our Hexham holiday cottages.
Dog-friendly Northumberland pubs
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 gastro 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)
Northumberland’s dog-friendly cottages
Cottages in Northumberland have 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)
• Harbour Snug, Seahouses (sleeps 2 people and 2 dogs)
• Rochester House Barn (sleeps 3 people and 1 dog)
Dog-friendly cottages for families
• Little Panhaven, Amble (sleeps 4 people and 1 dog)
• Sweet Melody Cottage, Rothbury (sleeps 4 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)
• The Moorings, Beadnell (sleeps 11 people and 2 dogs)
Cottages in Northumberland have 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.