The Canine guide to Devon holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Devon

Discover dog-friendly Devon with our guide – we consider it to be one of the best places in the UK for a holiday with pups in tow. Set all four paws down on Devonian soil and start exploring the sandy dog-friendly beaches and dramatic moorland the area is known for.

From endless walking trails on dramatic Dartmoor to the breathtaking views you can enjoy while dining by the coast, you and the pack are sure to have a wonderful getaway. There are even family-friendly attractions that welcome dogs who want to join in the fun, so the canine never has to be left out. We’ve used our expert knowledge of dog-friendly Devon to create this guide and make it easy for you to pick and choose where you and the pups could go during your break.

A golden retriever on a beach on a sunny day

We are committed to ensuring canines and their puppy parents enjoy top dog holidays with our selection of dog-friendly accommodation. If you have yet to book your holiday retreat, take a look through our wonderful collection of dog-friendly cottages in Devon.

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The best dog-friendly W-A-L-K-I-E-S in Devon

A dog with a long stick in its mouth in a leafy and sloping woodland

From the dramatic north coast to the tranquillity of the south with all the breathtaking countryside and moorland in between, Devon has varied and exciting terrain for you and the canine companion to uncover.

You and the playful pup could burn off energy on a long winding walk that includes coast and country or if you’re walking with an old dog in tow, pick out a beautiful woodland or quiet country route for the pair of you to explore together while on your Devon dog-friendly holiday.

Walk the city of Plymouth

Plymouth from the air on a sunny day

One of the top places in Devon for dog walks is the scenic port city of Plymouth, known for its maritime heritage, great shopping and wonderful harbour.

Walk along the front on the circular city nature trail or visit National Trust’s Buckland Abbey for a choice of three walks you and your dog can explore.

Dartmoor’s breathtaking views

Dartmoor Devon

The rugged and unforgettable Dartmoor National Park is another favourite place for dog walkers and perfect for those looking for long hikes across dramatic moorland or short, relaxing strolls through pretty woodland.

The Tavy Cleave and Hare Tor Walk is a great way to see classic Dartmoor as you will pass by natural landmarks, see the sheep and ponies who make this stretch of national park their home, and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The renowned Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail

It’s almost impossible to plan a walking holiday to Devon without scheduling a stroll along the beautiful Tarka Trail.

While walking this route, you’ll pass through the dappled light of scenic woodland, venture into bustling towns and peaceful villages, and trail along the dramatic coastline that North Devon is famous for. It’s a fantastic walk that you and your canine companion will have an excellent time uncovering. This trail stretches for 180 miles so pick out a section that you can conquer during on a day out; we recommend the Fremington Quay to Barnstaple stretch of path. (The cakes at the Fremington Quay Cafe are to die for though, so make sure you factor in time for a stop here).

Let the dog lead the way across this beautiful country on coastal trails, paths with unforgettable views and walks that end at a welcoming dog-friendly pub. Here, we've just touched the surface, so for more inspiration on where to stretch your legs, take a look at our full guide on the best dog walks in Devon.

The best dog-friendly beaches in Devon

Best dog-friendly beaches in Devon

The South West is famous for its wonderful sandy beaches and wealth of surfer hot spots, wide family-friendly beaches, secret coves and hidden shorelines that can only be reached after a long walk. With so much coastline within reach, there is a fantastic choice for doggos and their owners to have fun down by the seaside too!

Saunton Sands, near Braunton

Dog-friendly Saunton Sands

First on any list, this wide, sandy stretch of beach has long been a favourite among canines. As it’s located on Devon’s dramatic north coast where swells roll in from the Atlantic, Saunton Sands is a hit with surfers and water sports enthusiasts alike so take this chance to get out on the water.

Aside from the long sandy beach, there are dunes and grassy areas to explore so the pup will have a great time discovering every inch of this terrific dog-friendly beach.

Combe Martin Beach, Combe Martin

Combe Martin Beach for dogs

A relatively small section of sand but with seemingly endless coastal trails, Combe Martin is ideal for dogs ready to burn off some energy on a long walk by the sea.

High cliffs make this a dramatic and beautiful part of North Devon to explore with the doggo in tow; they’ll have a great time wandering the rocky paths, playing in the waves and digging in the sand. The town itself is a popular attraction with a delightful selection of cafes, pubs and shops to delve into when your group are ready for that well-deserved coffee, cake and bowl of water.

North Sands, Salcombe

North Sands in Salcombe

Down on Devon’s scenic south coast sits North Sands, a dog-friendly beach that’s ideal for canines and their humans year-round. Soak up the sun from this beautiful shoreline, regularly named one of the best dog-walking beaches in the area.

Take your dog here to meet other playmates and splash through the gently rippling waves. It has amenities allowing humans the chance to chill out and relax along with their canine companions who’ll have a great time exploring together.

From small coves in coastal towns to huge expenses of sand perfect for playful pups to race across. Pick out a dog-friendly beach from our list of Devon's dog-friendly beaches and you’ll soon be sinking your feet into the sand with Fido by your side.

Sniff out the best dog-friendly attractions in Devon

Dog-friendly attractions in Devon

Walkies are always a top dog activity among canines, but what about the rest of the family? It’s time to step up your holiday game with a trip to a dog-friendly attraction in Devon. With excellent things to do for families, adult groups and couples, ranging from historical and National Trust attractions to the more unusual and quirky dog-friendly days out, you’ll be all set for a fun holiday with the pup by your side.

Whatever kind of holiday the dog and its human companions are after, we reckon we can recommend an exciting day out for you. Check out these three entertaining holiday options.

If your dog loves woodland adventure… Arlington Court

Arlington Court

Cast your eye over the wonders collected during years past at this ancient estate. The treasure on show at Arlington Court includes all manner of curiosities from model ships to shells that have been gathered over several generations by the Chichester family, who’ve held this estate for over 500 years. 

Of course, dogs can’t step paw over the threshold into this ancient property but the ground holds more than enough intrigue including a man-made lake with never-to-be-finished piers, formal gardens and a secret den-building site that kids will love. 

There are plenty of sticks lying around here for the pup to play with too! There are endless grounds to explore. Let doggo enjoy sniffing his way through the woodland and seeking out nature trails. Dogs on leads are welcome on the grounds around the property.

If your dog loves getting wet...Becky Falls

Becky Falls

Not just a waterfall, but home to a variety of exotic animals as well including polecats, degus and meerkats, Becky Falls is a terrific place to explore with children and doggos in tow. As it can be found in Dartmoor National Park, there are plenty of wonderful woodlands to sniff out with trails you can follow and activities for kids. 

Keepers' talks take place throughout the day and you can get up close to the animals during Animal Encounters. And, of course, the spectacular waterfall itself is 70ft high and is part of the Becka Brook where many smaller falls can be spotted during the waterfall walk. 

The waterfall walk takes you past granite boulders, along the banks of Becka Brook and through a scenic forest where the rustling trees, scents of wildlife and rushing water create endless interest for an adventurous and curious canine. 

If your dog loves magical walks… Lyford Gorge

Lydford Gorge

Several trails wind their way through the grounds of magical Lydford Gorge. Trees tower above you on the forest walks and this massive gorge, the deepest in Devon, is home to attractions with legend-inspiring names of the Devil's Cauldron and the Whitelady Waterfall. 

Especially astounding after heavy rain, the Devil's Cauldron is a whirlpool that has formed in a pothole in the ground; just make sure you don’t fall in and end up at the gates of Hell! While the Whitelady Waterfall sounds far more serene, it is just as atmospheric with a 30m drop for the waterfall. 

This woodland is full of sights, smells and sounds which will delight all of your pup's senses. Dogs are welcome on leads.

The best dog-friendly places to eat in Devon

Places to eat with dogs in Devon

It’s easy to get bogged down when hunting for the perfect dog-friendly pub when you should be looking forward to all the adventures you're going to have in dog-friendly Devon. Let us lead the way to a few top-dog pubs, cafes and restaurants that we think you and Fido will love. Spend a relaxed lunchtime or fun evening out at one of these three dog-friendly places to eat.

Best for that surfer vibe: The Thatch, Croyde

Live music, a vibrant atmosphere and a beer garden to chill out in, The Thatch is a great spot for canines who enjoy meeting people and making friends. Watch a band over one of their local ales or go during the day for a peaceful midday meal in a warm and welcoming environment. Although Croyde Beach has seasonal dog bans, parts of nearby Saunton Sands are dog friendly all year – ideal for those pre-dinner walkies. 

Best dog-friendly pub: The Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

A beautiful stone pub with delicious local produce, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Dartmoor, The Rugglestone Inn is the ideal place for long walkies before settling down for a tasty Sunday lunch. There are even farm animals on site – although this does mean you’ll need to keep the pup on a lead. You can walk into the centre of this quaint village if doggo needs to stretch their legs then sit and relax inside the cosy inn with a tired but happy dog by your feet.

Best for catching the sunset: The Pier House, Westward Ho!

The ideal setting for holiday dining, The Pier House is right on the shore of North Devon’s coast with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic. Westward Ho! Beach nearby is partly dog friendly year-round (check restrictions) while Northam Burrows Country Park just next door is always dog friendly and often plays host to friendly ponies and sheep.

Dinner with the dog shouldn’t involve so much research, so relax and browse our favourite pubs, restaurants and cafes in our post on dog-friendly places to eat in Devon.

Sit, stay and lie down in Devon's most dog-friendly cottages

Devon's dog-friendly cottages

Like you, we love dogs. Energetic pups, old dogs and cultured canines are all welcome to holiday with us and we can bet we have the perfect holiday cottage to suit every kind of doggo and their human companions.

If you are searching for a Devon holiday escape but can’t bear to leave the pup behind, we have a wonderful selection of dog-friendly getaways for you and your canine companion to enjoy.

Best cottage for salty sea dogs

Instow Breakers

Instow Breakers, Instow | Sleeps 3 dogs and 6 humans

Got a pack of beach-loving canines to bring on holiday? This seafront cottage by the fantastic pup-friendly Instow Beach has wonderful walks and cycling trails close by; it's ideal for you, your family and up to three dogs in need of a break. Let the team race around the beach, take them out exploring the local Tarka Trail, and let sleeping dogs lie on the patio on warm summer days.

Best cottage for a luxury dog-friendly holiday

Beach End

Beach End | Sleeps 3 dogs and 12 humans

Doggos deserve five-star indulgence on their holidays too! Take a trip to this stylishly decorated retreat set on the River Dart where beautiful surroundings contend with opulent interiors. Head out for riverside walkies or snuggle up in the lounge while your canine companion snoozes by the wood burner.

Dog-friendly self-catering stays in Devon

We welcome all breeds, have escapes in all corners of the county and some of our holiday retreats even allow up to five canines meaning you can bring the whole pack! Read the full post detailing our favourite dog-friendly holidays in Devon. If it's a romantic retreat (with the dog!) that you're after, our romantic dog-friendly cottages in Devon are sure to fit the bill.

Fetch the lead, the dog bed and the treats and get packed for a holiday to dog-friendly Devon. With the canine companion by your side, you’ll have a fantastic time and you'll get to uncover the best that this county has to offer by staying in one of our dog-friendly holiday cottages in Devon.

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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