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 dog walk in the South West, with beautiful scenery for you, and plenty of muddy trails and open fields for them to discover.
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 a few of the best dog walks in the South West to find a brilliant place to walk your dog next time you visit.
Dog walks in Cornwall
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 holiday, 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; take to the shores any time of year for a delightful dog walk in the South West. 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 the shore.
Sink your toes and paws into the soft sands that rest all along Cornwall's stunning coastline on long beach walks with the dog, or take to the scenic trails that weave through rural inland Cornwall with our Canine guide to dog walks in Cornwall.
Dog walks in Devon
Watermouth Bay Beach near Ilfracombe
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 tracks and trails, so we’ll let you do that hard bit! There are so many dog walks in this South West destination 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 during your dog walk in the South West.
Discover all that Dartmoor has to offer from our dog-friendly Devon cottages.
Plan your route across this impressive South West county with our guide to our very favourite walkies across Devon. You'll find rugged, clifftop walks along the renowned North Devon Coast and serene seaside strolls in beautiful South Devon that you and your dog will both love in our Canine guide to dog walks in Devon.
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 it's quite possibly one of the best dog walks in the South West for rewarding views. 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.
Abbotsbury Beach - Chesil Bank and Fleet Lagoon
On a dog walk along Abbotsbury Beach you'll see the old World War II defences
This sand and shingle dog-friendly beach in Dorset welcome owners and their canine companions all year round to its shores and is right by the intriguing Chesil Bank and Fleet Lagoon Nature Reserve. Chesil Beach does have restrictions on part of the beach during the summer months which is why we'd recommend Abbotsbury as your first choice for a delightful South West walk, however, if you time your visit right, Chesil Beach is a unique and wonderful place to explore too complete with pebble ridge and remarkable coastal views.
Stay in our Dorset dog-friendly cottages to discover even more of the region's delights.
Continue exploring this underrated coastline which hides a wealth of ancient history and stylish towns and villages to explore with the dog by your side. Take a look at our Canine guide to dog walks in Dorset and begin plotting your walkies.
Dog walks in Somerset
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, making it one of the best dog walks in the South West 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 4-mile cliff walk provides you with a whole new perspective of this spectacular landscape.
Porlock Weir Beach
Dogs are welcome at this beautiful beach on Exmoor all year so you and your four-pawed furball can enjoy a lazy summertime stroll and go paddling in the sea, or a blustery New Year walk in this spectacular location. With Porlock Ridge backing this pebble dog-friendly beach in Somerset, and Porlock saltmarsh to the east, there are plenty of places to explore as you get to know this scenic destination on a dog walk in the South West.
Soak up even more Somerset sights by basing yourself at our dog-friendly Somerset cottages.
Get to know all the dog-friendly corners of this wonderful holiday destination, full of family-friendly attractions, dog-friendly pubs and exquisite cottages welcoming you and your best friend, with a read of our Canine guide to Somerset.
Dog walks in the Cotswolds
Tranquil lanes and woodland make up this beautiful scenic dog 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 South West dog walk in springtime, when the bluebells adorn the forest floor with a carpet of colour.
Around 30 miles out of the Cotswolds you and your canine companion could discover this 8-mile circular route. This walk takes in varied and ancient woodland, with plenty of interesting sights to see on the way, making it an unforgettable South West dog walk for you to enjoy during your travels. 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.
We have more fantastic Cotswolds walks for you to sniff out with trails winding through the traditional villages the region is known for and sublime nature trails too. Enjoy a read through our Canine guide to dog walks in the Cotswolds.
After your South West day out...
Return to one of our dog-friendly cottages in the South West after a day spent tackling one of these beautiful South West dog walks. All of our properties welcome your magnificent mutt, ensuring both humans and dogs have a comfortable and truly wonderful stay.
Wonderful dog walks wherever you are
Don't worry if these South West dog walks aren't quite for you - we've hunted out the best dog walks all over the UK!
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.