You know the routine. You pick up their lead, say the ‘W’ word and their tail starts wagging so fast they might just take off. Walking comes only second to eating in the case of most dogs’ favourite pastimes, so we’ve compiled a list of the best places for you and your canine companion to take a stroll in the South West, with beautiful scenery for you, and plenty of muddy trails and open fields for them.
These dog walks cover the diverse landscapes of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, taking in beaches, forests, National Parks, sweeping valleys and natural wonders. Take a look at our favourite dog walks in the South West to find a brilliant place to walk your dog near you.
It may be an obvious choice, but it really is hard to compete with such a renowned and impressive route as the 630-mile coast path. Stretching from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset, confident trekkers have been known to conquer the entire route in one go, some with their hound by their side, whilst many others prefer to walk sections of the path over many years. There are plenty of parts suitable for dogs, and though certain sections are clifftop or through fields of livestock, dogs are still welcome to walk the areas on a lead.
Dog-friendly for the whole year with no restrictions, this stunning stretch of sand and sea is ideal for a summer stroll or bracing blustery walk in winter. Your pooch will love the freedom of exploring so much space, and you get to enjoy the soft sand between your toes and the relaxing sounds of the sea lapping against it.
Dog walks in Devon
The beaches of Ilfracombe in North Devon are all dog-friendly, all year round, making them ideal if you find yourself in the area on holiday. Whilst many beaches can have restrictions for your pet pooch playing on the sand, this idyllic seaside town welcomes your crazy canine to splash in the sea to their wagging tail’s content. Walk the lengths of sand and shingle, revelling in the beautiful surroundings as your dog wears itself out on glorious beaches.
Put your paws up after your beach walk at our dog-friendly cottages in North Devon.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to choose between all of Dartmoor’s amazing paths, so we’ll let you do that hard bit! There are so many trails and tracks for you to walk with your peppy pup that it really is down to you, depending on whether you want a nice gentle stroll, or perhaps a harder hike. Check the official site for any rules regarding times your dog must be kept on a lead.
Dog walks in Dorset
Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and beyond
Part of the South West Coast Path, this stretch in Dorset can be challenging, but the views it offers make it all the more rewarding too. From the village and bay of Lulworth, your journey will keep going up before it goes down again. And then back up, and back down. The stunning sight of Durdle Door is a real spectacle, and if you and your pooch have got energy to spare, the path continues on to the White Nothe, but be aware the path gets much steeper and more remote.
Stay in our Dorset dog-friendly cottages to discover even more of the region's delights.
One of Somerset’s finest landscapes, Cheddar Gorge is a truly magnificent, awe-inspiring sight. As England’s largest gorge, its grandeur is quite spectacular, and a must-see natural wonder when visiting the area. Take your pawfect pet on a circular walk that gives you the chance to spot the varied wildlife and flora, as the four-mile cliff walk gives a whole new perspective of this spectacular landscape.
Soak up even more Somerset sights by basing yourself at our dog-friendly Somerset cottages.
Tranquil lanes and woodland make up this beautiful scenic walk, taking a circular route through trees and along the valley. It’s a gentle amble, allowing you to take in the beauty of your surroundings, exploring the wonderful Wiltshire and spending some quality time with your pawfect pooch. It’s a particularly pretty walk in springtime, when the bluebells adorn the forest floor with a carpet of colour.
Forest of Dean Beechenhurst Trail
An eight-mile circular route, this walk takes in varied and ancient woodland, with plenty of interesting sights to see on the way. A peaceful and relaxing stroll, plenty of dogs walk the trail with their owners, and after completing the full course you can put your feet up and have a bit of respite while they curl up in bed for a well-earned snooze.
Enjoy even more frolics in the forest from our dog-friendly Cotswolds cottages.
After your walk...
Return to one of our dog friendly cottages in the South West after your days of walking and wearing one another out. All of our properties welcome your magnificent mutt, ensuring both humans and dogs have a comfortable and truly pawsome stay.
North of England walkies
Don't worry if these walkies aren't quite for you, we've also hunted out the best walkies in the north of England and the best walks in Scotland too!