Devon holidays with dogs are a breeze. One of the most dog friendly counties you’ll find, paws aren’t tolerated here, they’re welcomed with open arms, drinking bowls, dog treats and, often, an exclusive doggy-themed menu. Pups and pooches are seldom turned away, with many attractions, theme parks, pubs and restaurants ready to cater to you and your pets. We’ve got the low down on Devon’s dog friendly beaches, campsites and more to make your stay that little bit easier.
Dog friendly beaches
Rules and regs vary from beach to beach in this county, with Blue Flag beaches having the strictest limits on when and where your pooch can play. Thankfully, there are plenty of dog friendly beaches across Devon where you can walk, paddle and swim, year round. One of the best beaches in Devon – Woolacombe, welcomes dogs on the beach all year – though from April to September there’s a dog ban in Zone A – a relatively small section of the gorgeous coastline. In the south, Dawlish Warren beach – and the dunes behind, welcome dogs. Though, keep in mind, you can only walk as far as groyne 9 – where you’ll spot plenty of signage to keep you from straying into the nesting grounds. For unrestricted access, all year, head to Ness Cove in Shaldon, Slapton Sands in Torcross and Heddon’s Mouth in North Devon.
Dog friendly campsites
To pair sea views for you and open fields for your pups, take your tent to Caffyns Farm. You’ll find a 150 acre campsite that welcomes dogs – and lets them stay for free. There’s no booking here – just arrive and choose a spot. The site’s so sprawling, they’re confident you’ll find a suitable place to pitch your tent. Explore the acres, wander down to the beach and, if you have little ones in tow too, book them a pony trek at the farm’s onsite stables. Expect gorgeous sunsets and, occasionally, a sighting of the local red deer herd during your stay.
Travellers Rest - Mamhead
Not sure you can sleep under canvas with your canine companions. Glamping in Devon is the answer. More specifically, a few nights at one of the best campsites in Devon. The Travellers Rest has three gypsy caravans for you to bed down in. All neatly parked in a woodland setting, your dog will think they’ve hit the big time with woodland smells, rustling wildlife and plenty of country air. As it’s a working farm, dogs have to be kept on leads here, but you’re just a short drive from south coast beaches, estuary walks and estate parkland to play in.
Dog friendly pubs and cafes
Double Locks Pub - Exeter
Dog friendly holidays in Devon aren’t just about finding a nice walk or two. Pubs, like the sprawling, canal-side stunner Double Locks, welcome dogs with open arms. Doggy biscuits on the bar, space in front of the log fire in winter and pooch-friendly ice creams in summer. A four-legged haven that’ll wow doggy parents too. The waterside location practically demands a selfie from the picnic tables perched on the canal – and the huge beer garden (and we mean huge) has plenty of space for endless games of fetch. That’s of course if the mile long walk from the quay hasn’t worn out energy-filled paws first.
Orbzii tip: Hire a doggy trailer from Exeter Quay’s Saddles and Paddles to cycle with your four-legged friend along the canal to the pub. Or, pop everyone in a canoe and paddle to the pub.
The Old Market House - Brixham
Not all dog friendly holidays are spent roaming the moors and beaches in Devon, so it’s handy to have some urban options. The Old Market House in Brixham is split over two floors. Downstairs, your dogs can join you for a pint and a bar snack, but the upstairs restaurants is reserved for humans only. The outside terrace is a great place to take in views of the harbour, while letting your dog rest their paws after a sniff and a stroll around the town. The menu is peppered with Westcountry ingredients and locally sourced sea food – but as part of a pub chain, the mussels may not be straight from the boats you look out over.
Dog friendly attractions
In Devon, holidays with dogs in tow needn’t mean missing out on the region’s big attractions. You might expect to be able to wander the parkland of the county’s country estates – such as Knightshayes and Arlington Court. But taking your furry friends to attractions such as The Milky Way Adventure Park, Babbacombe Model Village and The Donkey Sanctuary? That takes Devon’s dog holidays to the next level. In North Devon, you can hop on the funicular railway from Lymouth to Lynton and visit Quince Honey Farm. In the south of the county, Bygones museum, Totnes Castle and the South Devon Steam Railway are all paw friendly. East Devon’s the place to hop on a Jurassic Coast cruise or visit Pecorama – another Devon theme park that welcomes dogs.
Dog friendly walks
Let’s face it, few walks aren’t dog friendly. But there are places in Devon where leads are a must and livestock make it a no go for dogs who like to chase. So snuffling out places where you can roam care free are handy to have in your travel itinerary. Pop along to Fingle Bridge where your dog – and you, can swim and paddle along the River Teign. For more woodland romps – Haldon Forest has a network of trails to follow – with activities for children, cycling and segway tours. Expect to see the occasional deer – along with more wildlife in the trees. North Devon’s Tarka Trail offers mile after mile of mixed use path – though your four-legged pals will have to be bike aware. On the English Riviera, Cockington Court estate has plenty of open fields for games of fetch or galloping sprints through the grass.