Lesser-known UK beach has sand, cows and great nearby pubs

Gaddings Dam cow beach visited by TikTok user

Beaches across the UK fill up in summer with many Britons prepared to travel miles to their nearest sandy shoreline. While there are many well-known places that people flock to, TikTok travel lovers have shared a “secret” spot in a small British town. Visitors can soak up the amazing scenery, visit nearby pubs, and even swim with the cows that roam free on the beach.

The stunning beach can be found in the historic county of Yorkshire, which is home to some of the country’s most amazing views.

While it’s not the first place that spring to mind when considering a day at the beach, Gaddings Dam in Todmorden has earned a unique title.

Unofficially known as the highest beach in the country, the shoreline has been branded “Cow Beach” by many locals who reside in the West Yorkshire town.

It is uniquely positioned on top of the moors above the town and was described as “a hidden paradise for locals and visitors in the know” by The Walking Northerners.

And other visitors have shared the wonders of the tucked-away beach on their social media profiles.

Posting on their TikTok account, @clariceherring filmed a video of her trip to the unique shoreline in West Yorkshire.

She said: “Come with us to Gaddings Dam UK Cow Beach. It’s roughly a 30-minute walk from the nearest pub.

“The cows are free to roam around but they are also free to leave so you have to be very good with your timing!”

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The northern travel-lover continued: “You’re also free to swim in the dam, and so are the cows.”

While the beach is loved for its standout location, the TikTok star noted that it is only accessible via a large mountain to get to it.

But for The Walking Northerners – a group of outdoor adventurers – it is just another perk of visiting Todmorden Beach.

They noted that the spot provides “gorgeous views, cracking walking trails, a soft and sandy stretch of beach, plus one of the best wild swimming spots in the county”.

While it is actually a dam, the beach status stems from the small stretch of sand in one corner of Gaddings Dam.

The Yorkshire spot, sometimes shortened to “Tod Beach”, remains open to the public all year round.

The journey up to the beach takes around one hour, via the most popular route from the Shepherd’s Rest Inn pub.

Visitors can enjoy freshly prepared meals and a selection of lagers, cask ales and wines at the family-owned free house.

There’s also the Top Brink Inn nearby, which is a little closer to the dam. The quintessentially British country inn boasts rural views and a sizable garden, plus a menu of classic pub grub and real ales.

People who have ventured to the Gaddings Dam in the past have raved about the interesting spot on Tripadvisor. One person wrote: “We took the easy route up from the White House Inn and the views were stunning. We have had mixed reviews from others who have visited some great and some not but when we got to the little beach and it is little, we were pleasantly surprised.

“Perfectly formed with soft clean sand lovingly cared for and a delight to visit. The sun was out which attracted a few brave souls to have a dip in the clear water…we left that bit to our pooches Pippa and Eric. Overall a great place to visit.”

Another added: “I read that this was the highest beach in England but that it was actually a small muddy area that was often submerged. I can tell you this is definitely the highest beach in England The sand is soft on your feet and fairly sandy in colour, quite rocky to walk into the water, but if you walk in on the right-hand side it’s softer. The water is very clean and perfect for swimming. Take your picnic, and enjoy this beautiful spot.”

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