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The Canine guide to Dartmoor holiday cottages

Destinations

The Canine guide to Dartmoor

Kate W 12 April 2021

Get to know dog-friendly Dartmoor National Park in the South West on your next holiday with your four-pawed pal. Begin planning your adventures with a read of this Canine guide. 

When we think of Dartmoor, we picture the miles and miles of rugged moorland, breathtaking views and ancient monuments scattered across the national park.

However, between the impressive landscapes, there are glimpses of civilisation too, including wonderful dog-friendly family attractions in Dartmoor, cosy pubs, and idyllic towns and villages waiting to be explored.

Dog-friendly Dartmoor

There’s one thing your dog will certainly love about Dartmoor, and that’s the many varied and beautiful W-A-L-K-I-E-S! It’s well-known walking country and below we’ve got a few ideas on where to stretch your legs, attractions to visit, and places to refuel on Dartmoor with the dog after those busy days out. You’ll also find our top towns and villages across Dartmoor and places to stay too.

For more wonderful Dartmoor holidays with dogs, take a look at our full Canine guide to Devon. Keep reading to find out all about this fantastic dog-friendly holiday destination in Devon.

What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Dartmoor’s...

🐾 Top walkies

🐶 Top days out

🍴 Top dining spots

🌿 Towns and villages

🏡 Top places to stay

Dog-friendly walks on Dartmoor

Haytor Rock

Haytor Rock

Best challenge with a rewarding view: This iconic granite rock that towers above the tor is a popular walker’s destination with the option of a short, sweet (but steep!) walk straight up to Haytor Rock or longer walks through the local landscape where you can admire the beautiful natural landmark from a distance.

You’ll often see the famed Dartmoor ponies grazing on the moor too; just be careful to keep close control of your dogs when near these wild animals. You may also want to wrap up as it can get especially windy this high! Good walking boots are a must.

Why your dog will love it: This has to be one of the best walks on Dartmoor with dogs and offers a heart-pumping hike for your energetic hound.

Wistman's Wood

Wistman's Wood

Best dog-friendly woodland walk: For an enchanting wildlife walk, step into Wistman's Wood and make your way past the gnarled and twisting branches of old oak trees. It’s claimed this magical forest was planted by druids and nearby Cherrybrook Bridge is said to be haunted by the ‘Hairy Hands’.

Wistman’s Wood is an easy, quarter of a mile walk on a waymarked path. You’ll see many lichen-covered rocks – there are over 100 different species of lichen here – which can get very slippery, and these rocks have protected saplings from being grazed by the local roaming cattle and ponies.

Why your dog will love it: Your pup will uncover plenty of sticks to chase in this ancient oak woodland although, during this Dartmoor dog walk, your four-legged pal may be more preoccupied with scrabbling over those slippery lichen-covered rocks.

Burrator Reservoir

Burrator Reservoir

Best accessible walk in Dartmoor: Escape to the beautiful Burrator Reservoir with your dog by your side. There’s a dog-friendly circular walk that’s under a mile and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and perfect for soaking up the beauty of this natural destination.

There are many more dog-friendly walks at this Dartmoor nature reserve of varying lengths and plenty to see from tors to historic settlements. Begin your adventures at Burrator Discovery Centre where you can pick up a map of the reserve.

Why your dog will love it: This excellent Dartmoor dog walk has plenty for adventurous dogs to sniff out, from wildlife trails to follow to long grass to run through.

Things to do on Dartmoor with dogs

Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park

Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park

Best family day out: Anyone searching for family-friendly things to do on Dartmoor with dogs has got to begin at Becky Falls. It’s rare to find a family attraction that welcomes our faithful friends but this woodland park is a unique and fun place to get to know on your holiday.

Of course, it’s best-known for the waterfall that tumbles over granite rocks, but there are even animal shows with meerkats and pigs to see, and an animal petting area home to friendly goats.

Why your dog will love it: They’ll get to meet goats and other farm animals from the other side of a fence, and wander through beautiful woodland. It gets steep and slippery in places so perhaps not one for older dogs or little legs.

South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway

Best for taking in the landscape: When you're ready to slow it down and relax during your dog-friendly Dartmoor trip, hop aboard the South Devon Railway in Buckfastleigh on the south-east border of the national park. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque countryside and seascape roll past with your dog asleep at your feet.

You can also stop off at Totnes during your railway journey in South Devon, perhaps a bag of fish and chips!

Why your dog will love it: Your four-pawed pal will have the chance to snooze before enjoying an afternoon by the river in Totnes.

Dartmoor Prison Museum

Dartmoor Prison Museum

Best for families and history lovers: Visit one of the UK’s most notorious prisons that was running for over 200 years and is now a museum full of objects and artefacts spanning those two centuries. Dartmoor Prison Museum began as a Prisoner of War Depot for French and American prisoners of war and there are life-size figure wearing uniforms from that time.

Guides and plaques tell stories of the men kept here, and there are even a few tales of prisoners who made daring escapes to freedom. Dogs are welcome throughout the entire exhibit and even in the café.

Why your dog will love it: History-loving hounds can sniff out a host of intriguing stories while most pups will be quite happy to spend the day out and about by your side.

Top dog-friendly places to eat on Dartmoor

The Warren House Inn

The Warren House Inn

Best dog-friendly pub: This welcoming watering hole is just the place for hearty grub after busy days roaming the moorland. The Warren House Inn is a dog-friendly pub in Dartmoor that welcomes canine companions in the bar area and it’s bursting with history with old oak beams and log fires adding to the cosy atmosphere.

The menu consists of homemade steak and ale pies, Ploughman’s lunches and hearty, warming soups.

Why your dog will love it: Your faithful friend will love the chance to curl up by the fire after days of trekking Dartmoor's rugged landscape.

Café on the Green

Café on the Green

Best dog-friendly café: Dine at this pet-friendly café and tearoom in Widecombe-on-the-Moor, which is just the place for a delightful cream tea – Café on the Green a must-visit during any break to Devon.

It’s a family-run business with a wonderful range of cake, toasties and waffles, and even offers a Dartmoor breakfast plate, perfect for starting your mornings right.

Why your dog will love it: It’s right by Widecombe village green so your dog has the chance to stretch their legs and there’s outside seating here too.

Two Bridges Hotel

Two Bridges Hotel

Best for fine dining: This is a fantastic place for dogs and their owners to dine in style! Your pup cannot enter the main restaurant at Two Bridges Hotel but is welcome to join you in the cosy bar with log fires, or the elegant lounge for a taste of their delightful menu.

Local produce on the menu includes Brixham fish, Devon pork and Dartmoor beef, and there’s even an afternoon tea and Sunday lunch menu.  

Why your dog will love it: This stylish eatery has a circular walk to Wistman’s Wood!

Towns and villages to explore on Dartmoor

Bovey Tracey

Bovey Tracey

Best for cyclists and artists: This town is full of character and small-town charm with parkland, old stone cottages lining the streets and the River Bovey meandering through the centre of it.

You could follow the Wray Valley cycle route that passes nearby, pick up fresh produce at the Farmers’ Market or pop into the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, a small gallery by the river.

Why your dog will love it: There’s the opportunity for a riverside dog walk and a picnic in the park.

Okehampton

Dog-friendly Okehampton

Best dog-friendly town for walkers: This wonderful Fair Trade town sits right at the top of Dartmoor and is a great base for walkers as you are close to Dartmoor’s two highest tors – High Willhays and Yes Tor.

Okehampton Castle is an English Heritage-managed ruin where dogs are welcome, while The Granite Way cycle route stretches from Okehampton to beautiful Lydford, home to Lydford Gorge.

Why your dog will love it: It’s the ultimate destination for pups who love to stretch their legs with long moorland rambles.

Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh

Best for soaking up heritage and old architecture: There are lots of delightful old houses to admire on a stroll around Buckfastleigh, which has a fantastic history of wool production, quarrying, mining, tanning and paper making.

Take in impressive Buckfast Abbey in the neighbouring village of Buckfast, before hopping aboard the South Devon Railway for a trip down to the tranquil southern coastline.

Why your dog will love it: There’s plenty of opportunity for just walking and taking in the atmosphere of this ancient Dartmoor town.

Top dog-friendly places to stay on Dartmoor

Estrayer Park Farm, Okehampton | sleeps 13 and 2 dogs

Estrayer Park Farm, Okehampton

Best for big groups: This large property is the perfect place for a big getaway with your human and canine friends and family. On the outskirts of Okehampton town, you’re in the perfect position for picking up fresh local produce and other supplies while soaking up views of the remote Dartmoor landscape.

This character cottage boasts acres of private land with a large lawn perfect for games and walking routes nearby for local exploration. Head out for a day on the moors before returning to sit in front of the fire in this warm and welcoming sitting room.

Why your dog will love it: The fireside rug is the perfect place to stretch out for an evening snooze.


Granary Cottage, Chagford | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

Granary Cottage – Chagford

Best for a grown-up family holiday: This wonderfully stylish Grade II-listed holiday cottage is just the place for a family to use as a base between getting out and about.

It’s a luxury choice with seating outside and a warming wood burner inside, as well as a beautiful kitchen/diner for cooking together or enjoying that morning coffee.

Why your dog will love it: You can step out on a long, leisurely walk right from the doorstep.


River Avon Pod, Avonwick | sleeps 2 and 1 dog

River Avon Pod, Avonwick

Best for a quirky getaway: Right down in the south of dog-friendly Dartmoor is this quaint and quirky holiday pod for two. Complete with a hot tub for evening soaks and a firepit for dining under the stars, it’s a fantastic setting for a holiday with your partner and your four-pawed pet.

Enjoy a romantic retreat in this glamping pod and get close to nature while surrounded by the beautiful landscape of dog-friendly Dartmoor.

Why your dog will love it: There’s plenty of outdoor space for your dog to race around and play – just keep an eye on them near the river!


Escape on a dog-friendly holiday to Dartmoor to take in views from iconic Haytor Rock, walk along the shores of Burrator Reservoir and delve into the past at Dartmoor Prison Museum.

Get ready for an unforgettable Dartmoor holiday with your faithful friend by your side.

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.

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