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The Canine guide to Torquay  holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Torquay

Kate Williams 26 April 2023

Take your pampered pup to dog-friendly Torquay and discover a cliff railway with views all along the coastline, secret beaches and coves, and enchanting pubs welcoming the four-legged and two-legged alike.

Retreat to the tranquillity and serenity of Torquay on South Devon’s palm-tree-laden coast. Once the home of Agatha Christie and an inspiration to many writers and poets before and since, the English Riviera is a gem and Torquay sits at the heart of this idyllic region.

There are so many dog-friendly things to do in Torquay that you and your waggy-tailed companion will be spoilt for choice as you get out and about. Begin planning your next getaway to pet-friendly Torquay today by booking one of our holiday cottages or read on to get to know all the best bits of this welcoming coastal town.


What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Torquay’s...

🐶 Top days out

🐾 Top walkies

🏖️ Top beaches

🍴 Top dining spots

🌿 Towns and villages

🏡 Top places to stay


Great dog-friendly days out in Torquay

Babbacombe Model Village

Babbacombe Model Village

A true delight for humans and dogs alike, this miniature village and railway is the perfect place to idle away a few hours roaming the miniature streets of Torquay and Babbacombe. With an estimated population of 13,160 figurines among 425 buildings, this village is full of stories, personalities and interactions for you to look out for.

There’s a 'Little Enders' soap set, World of Movies, and a celebrity mansion where you might spot a few familiar faces. There are exquisite miniature gardens, and a life-size tearoom and gift shop where you can grab a cake and cuppa.

Why your dog will love it: Your four-pawed friend will enjoy the chance to feel like a giant among these miniature houses and figurines.


Bygones Museum

Bygones Museum

A recreated Victorian street lies at the heart of the intriguing Bygones Museum which boasts a range of memorabilia from throughout the ages. There are three floors for you and your faithful friend to wander – along the Victorian street, you can see the Blacksmith making horseshoes, smell the sugary treats from the sweet shop, and see the lady having a new outfit tailor-made in the Milliners.

When you reach the wartime exhibition you can hop on a 27-ton steam engine, walk through the recreated First World War trench to get a sense of what it was like on the frontline and take in their vast collection of medals, uniforms and militaria.

Why your dog will love it: Any old dogs will enjoy a relaxing amble around this intriguing old museum.


Babbacombe Cliff Railway

Babbacombe Cliff Railway

This cliffside railway links the Babbacombe Downs with Oddicombe Beach, two fantastic dog-friendly places to visit for walkies during your holiday travels.

Babbacombe Cliff Railway was completed in 1926, with the Mayor of Torquay at the time, Alderman John Taylor, making the first trip on this wonderful new transport. In 1941, the cliff railway and beach were closed due to wartime restrictions, reopening 10 years later in 1951. Take a ride aboard this historic dog-friendly attraction in Torquay for breathtaking coastal views and stroll along stunning Oddicombe Beach without having to tackle the more challenging walk down to the seafront.

Why your dog will love it: If your pup loves surveying his or her territory, they’ll be in awe of the wonderful view of the bay.


Wonderful dog walks near Torquay

Circular walk - Occombe Valley, Marldon, Scadson

Circular walk - Occombe Valley, Marldon, Scadson

With plenty of trails to explore, Occombe Valley and Scadson Woods provide a lovely woodland dog walk for you to traverse on your break. Get close to nature in this captivating setting, looking out for birds in the treetops and signs that mammals have passed your way in the night.

Dogs are welcome off the lead in parts and there is never-ending interest in a forest like this. A circular walk around the perimeter is around 6.2 miles but you can always switch to a shorter trail if you’d prefer a calm stroll.  

Why your dog will love it: There’ll be wildlife trails to sniff out, sticks to chase and curious sounds of birds and creaking wood to keep ears pricked for as your hound explores.


Daddyhole Plain

Daddyhole Plain

Daddyhole Plain is a headland boasting a wealth of wildlife from rare plants to the endangered horseshoe bats, and there are coves, cliffs and quarry exposures to see along this route.

Walk this Daddyhole Plain Trail that follows part of the ever-popular South West Coast Path for a fantastic coastal dog walk. This short stroll of 2 miles does have some steep ascents and descents, including steps, but it provides a wonderful view of the bay and harbour.

Why your dog will love it: This clifftop is the perfect place to sit and take it all in - with miles of sea and coastline views to admire, so your dog will feel like king of his castle. 


Greenway, Broadsands and Galmpton Creek

Greenway, Broadsands and Galmpton Creek

Stretch your legs (and paws) with something a little longer by choosing to walk this 6.9-mile trail along Greenway, Broadsands and Galmpton Creek.

Beginning at Agatha Christie’s holiday home of Greenway, which she once described as ‘the loveliest place in the world’, with a walk along the banks of the River Dart, this trail winds along country lanes and village streets until you get to the coast and beach at Galmpton. Enjoy a short coastal stroll before venturing back inland towards Greenway and the River Dart.

Why your dog will love it: This scenic, picturesque location offers plenty of places for your dog to stretch their legs and wildlife trails to sniff out too. 


Best dog-friendly beaches in Torquay

Babbacombe Beach

Babbacombe Beach

A slipway leads down to the shorefront of Babbacombe Beach, an arced section of coast offering tranquillity in delightful surroundings. Soak up the fresh sea air and take in serene views of the coast in this quiet cove whose clear blue water provides a wonderful place for scuba diving or sailing.

Keen fishermen will relish the chance to sit on the rocks and cast out their line in this lovely setting. Let the dog snooze at your feet while you wait for your first bite.  

Why your dog will love it: If you’ve got a pet that’s half dog, half fish, they’ll have a great time playing, swimming and paddling in the water.


Churston Cove

Churston Cove

Another enchanting cove, this time close to popular Brixham, this Torquay beach for dogs is just the place for a coastal stroll. Paddle out into the turquoise waters and take a dip or roam the grassy hills on either side at this peaceful dog-friendly beach.

After exploring this delightful South Devon beach with the dog by your side, you could follow the South West Coast Path into Brixham for dinner and drinks at one of the dog-friendly pubs in this seaside town.

Why your dog will love it: They’ll get the chance for a short walk and possible titbits if you head into Brixham after your visit to Churston Cove.  


Elberry Cove

Elberry Cove

Escape with your faithful friend to this wonderful dog-friendly beach near Torquay, said to be a favourite of Agatha Christie’s, for the option of long coastal walks before settling in for a beach picnic on the shingle shoreline. It’s just down the coast yet a world away from the sandy Broadsands Beach, which you could also venture to during the cooler months, although dogs are banned in the summer.

Meanwhile, dogs can head to alluring Elberry Cove at any time of year to swim, play or snooze beside the sea. The 18th-century ruined remains of Lord Churston’s bathhouse sit at one end of the beach while the wooded hillsides frame this seaside setting.

Why your dog will love it: Surrounded by woodland and fields, your canine companions will be thrilled at the adventures you could have here.


Pet-friendly pubs and cafes in Torquay

The Devon Arms

The Devon Arms

In the heart of town, The Devon Arms is a welcoming dog-friendly pub in Torquay and a delightful place to share a dinner with your travel companions with the family pet at your feet.

It’s a sociable space with darts and pool so you can challenge your friends to a game, while Live Sports ensure you won’t miss a thing during your pet-friendly Torquay holiday. You can also look forward to real ale and live music in this traditional dog-friendly pub in Torquay.

Why your dog will love it: Any playful pups and sociable hounds will enjoy the chance to meet the locals at this friendly pub.


Meadfoot Beach Café

Meadfoot Beach Café

A quaint and characterful cafe filled to the rafters with charm, Meadfoot Beach Café is the perfect place for a meal with a view.

Hit the South West Coast Path to get the blood pumping before you pop inside this delightful café by the sea. Look forward to some freshly-cooked food in an unforgettable location, and make sure you try their sprinkle-covered hot chocolate!

Why your dog will love it: The north of Meadfoot Beach is dog-friendly all year, so you could head down to the shorefront for an after-lunch stroll with your pampered pup.


The Kents Torquay

The Kents Torquay

If you’re searching for a super stylish dog-friendly restaurant in Torquay, The Kents may be the place to go. This bar and restaurant offers up tasty cask ales alongside homemade burgers, locally-sourced seafood, and a sharing menu. Check out their craft gin or the wine list while there and make sure you book ahead if you’re planning on trying their popular Sunday lunch.  

It’s right in the heart of Torquay too, so if you are staying in town, you can simply walk home after your belly-filling meal – you might be ready to stretch your legs after all that tasty grub.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs are welcome in the bar area or in the beer garden (not in the main restaurant) and we have no doubt your dog will be very happy to sit outside in the fresh air while you dine alfresco.


Towns and cities around Torquay

Paignton

Paignton

Visit Paignton Pier with your dog, head to one of the sandy beaches, or shop your way down the high street in this fantastic coastal town.

The whole pack can join you on the Dartmouth Steam Railway where you can take in the sights from the comfort of your train carriage, and dogs can also explore the grounds of Oldway Mansion, the ideal place for a picnic!

Why your dog will love it: Walkies, beach days and gardens to explore all add up to a great day for both you and your four-pawed companion.


Brixham

Brixham

Known for its working harbour, this seaside setting is a great place to try locally-caught seafood from Devon’s own waters. Rockfish, Simply Fish and the aptly named Brixham Fish Restaurant are a few places to grab a bite, or if you’re travelling as a family, you could take the kids crabbing so they can see where their food comes from.

Other excellent places to go with the dog in Brixham include Berry Head Nature Reserve, the gardens of Coleton Fishacre, and the estate grounds at Agatha Christie’s holiday home of Greenway.

Why your dog will love it: The scent of fish in the air may drive your pup crazy, and they’ll be tail-wagglingly happy to share a pack of fish and chips with you by the harbour.   


Exeter

Exeter

Hit the high street in Exeter for big brands, independent boutiques and a mishmash of eclectic coffee shops and bars during your getaway.

This bustling city is ideal for the more metropolitan traveller, and offers great choices for evenings out dining with your dog. The River Exe winds its way through the heart of the city, creating a beautiful riverside walk so you and your faithful friend could enjoy a relaxing stroll between city adventures.

Why your dog will love it: Northernhay Gardens, Haldon Forest Park, Killerton House – you might be surprised at the number of fantastic outdoor spaces where you and your dog can go near all the amenities Exeter has to offer.


Pet-friendly places to stay in Torquay 

Pet-friendly places to stay in Torquay Top: Meadow Thatch | Left: Waves End | Middle: Swanston Lodge | Right: Courtyard Annexe

We have a host of tail-waggingly wonderful cottages in Torquay and throughout the surrounding area for you to discover - you and your four-pawed pal will be spoilt for choice! Book a property with sea views, a family-friendly holiday home or a two-person bolthole for a romantic escape - we have a wealth of places to inspire you! Find out more about this county by reading through our full guide to dog-friendly Devon or get planning by browsing our pet-friendly holidays in Torquay.

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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