UK beaches: Can I walk my dog on the beach - what does the law say?

Rain, hail or shine, beaches are among the most popular places dog lovers like to take their pet pooches for walkies - but what are the rules?

Now that it is officially spring time in the UK and with the clocks going forward the days are longer, dog walkers are undoubtedly excited to ditch the same boring winter route and explore some of the nicer areas in the coming months.

A popular destination for dog walkers throughout the year  is the beach, where dogs (if trained) can be let off the lead, and given more freedom to run around a large area, and even go in the sea.

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But, with a change in the weather, can also come a change in rules. In the summer, beaches become tourist hotspots in places such as Bournemouth, Weymouth, Brighton, Newquay and more.

As these types of destinations become busier with holidaymakers and tourists flocking to beaches, some beaches actually ban dogs, with most of these bans coming into play from May 1 until the end of September.

However, these dates can differ in certain areas, so it is best that you check your local council websites for more precise information. Some beaches will also have signs detailing all the information you need about when you can walk your dog.

Despite this, there are only a few areas in the UK that actually ban dogs from beaches during the busier months. But, failing to adhere to the rules could land you a hefty fine of anywhere from £60 to £100.

Some beaches may have zones where dogs are permitted, giving them the chance to enjoy the sand and sea during the months that thousands of tourists do as well. This should be clearly signposted, and information made available online.

For information on dog friendly beaches throughout the UK visit www.thebeachguide.co.uk and for a list of dog friendly beaches all year round go to www.purina.co.uk

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