Whether your dog is a sand warrior, a wave chaser or a pebble stroller, Devon’s beaches offer a variety of different styles for you to enjoy wanders with your woofer. There’s lots of choice on both sides of the county, with North Devon famed for its surfing, and South Devon home to the English Riviera and many a picturesque cove, so wherever you’re headed on holiday there’s a sublime stretch or ten to explore. Devon isn't the only place with wonderful dog-friendly beaches; to discover the best beaches in the UK for walkies, take a look at our post on the top dog-friendly beaches in the UK.
Once you’ve exhausted your four-legged friend (and your own two legs!), head back to one of our dog-friendly cottages by the sea to rest up ready for another day of adventure tomorrow.
Which is you're favourite out of these dog-friendly Devon beaches?
Dog-friendly beaches in North Devon
These gorgeous beaches allow dogs on them all year round with no bans!
Location: Between Braunton and Croyde
For the sat nav: EX33 1LQ
Parking: Pay and display parking is available right by the beach
Accessibility: An easy stroll from the car park to the beach, as you’ll be parked up right by the sand!
Facilities: Toilets for the humans, a café/restaurant, and a shop for any last-minute beach goodies needed
About: One of the most popular beaches in the UK let alone Devon, you and your dog will go barking mad for how beautiful this stretch of sand is. It has made appearances in music videos by Robbie Williams and Coldplay and featured in many films, but above all it is loved by surfers – even those with four legs, having formed the first ever dog surfing school on its shores, Paws on Boards! There are always plenty of paws enjoying the sand, sea and dunes, so it’s a particularly good spot if your pooch is a socialite at heart that loves making new furry friends.
Location: Just west of Clovelly
For the sat nav: EX39 6AN
Parking: There is a National Trust car park situated uphill from the beach, but be advised that there is a walk to the beach itself
Accessibility: A fairly steep walk of around 15-20 minutes to the beach itself, so be sure your dog is happy with a stroll before their main fun at the beach!
Facilities: Lower Brownsham Farm Tea Room is situated by the car park, but there are no facilities on the beach itself – just you, your hound and an extraordinary beach
About: Though there’s no direct access to the beach without a fair walk, it’s worth it at the end, with a stunning shore to explore with your pooch that is often quiet and secluded thanks to its distant location. Mainly rocky with sand in places, the woodland stroll to the beach is in itself a wonderful experience, and there are plenty of rockpools to explore if you have little ones in tow, as well as your furry ones.
Location: Just down from Lynton on the north coast of Exmoor National Park
For the sat nav: EX35 6EN
Parking: There is parking on the Esplanade at Lynmouth and at Watersmeet, as well as a large car park up the hill in Lynton
Accessibility: Dependent on which car park you use, it is a level walk to the beach itself once you’re in Lynmouth
Facilities: The village has lots of lovely shops and restaurants, so you won’t have to worry about taking a packed lunch as the smell of pasties will be more than enough to turn you off your pre-packed sandwiches
About: This pretty shingle beach is surrounded by the dramatic cliffs and woodland of North Devon and Exmoor and is divided by the River Lyn. On rare occasions, this beach becomes small yet mighty, providing one of the best surfing spots in the county, and is popular with walkers of the South West Coast Path, sun seekers and wildlife spotters as dolphins are often visible when there are breaks in the waves. If you decide to head up to Lynton, take the historic cliff railway, where your pooch can join you for the unique experience for just £1!
Location: Just east of Ilfracombe
For the sat nav: EX34 9QZ
Parking: Roadside parking is available, and there is a pay and display car park just down the road
Accessibility: Easy walking down to the beach where you’ll find a flat sand and shingle cove
Facilities: Hele Bay has a café overlooking the beach, and there are public toilets and a shop too
About: This idyllic little suntrap bay has been popular with swimmers for many years and is a firm family-favourite thanks to its calmer waters. There’s lots of rockpools to explore, and some secret smugglers caves to investigate if you’re feeling really adventurous! Whether you’ve got a pooch that loves lazing in the sunshine, or one that just can’t help but splash in the sea, Hele Bay is just pawfect for a dog-friendly day in Devon.
For the sat nav: EX34 9BZ
Parking: Ilfracombe has lots of pay and display car parks around the town, but it also has a frequent bus service to much of the local area if you’d prefer to leave the car behind
Accessibility: A small slope takes you down to this lovely sand and shingle bay
Facilities: Just back from the beach there are many shops, pubs and cafes, as well as an amusements, theatre, museum and crazy golf course
About: Your inquisitive furry friend will love sniffing around this quiet little cove, where many dog lovers frequent as well as coast path walkers. At high tide, this bay can often be completely submerged, but when the tide goes out and the sun hits the shores it’s a slice of doggy heaven for you and your canine companion.
Each of these beaches has different rules in place throughout the year, but many are restriction free in the off-peak months
Putsborough Sands, near Croyde
Restrictions: Dogs are welcome all year round, however there are selected areas where dogs are banned from April 1st until October 31st
Location: Just down the road from Croyde
For the sat nav: EX33 1LB
Parking: There is a pay and display car park right by the beach
Accessibility: There are steps and a ramp, so the beach is easily accessible for all abilities
Facilities: There is café right by the slipway which also sells beach goodies, public toilets are available for the humans and there are dog bins for the four-legged visitors’ mess!
About: Just along from its more famous neighbouring beach at Croyde, Putsborough boasts golden sands and is a firm favourite for families in the area. The café offers delicious food for the humans, and there’s lots of coves to discover together when the tide is out. If you’re feeling like you’ve had enough of sea-splashing fun, take a stroll on the South West Coast Path, when Croyde is one way and Woolacombe is the other.
Restrictions: Certain sections of the beach will now only permit dogs
Location: Across the water from Appledore, close to Bideford
For the sat nav: EX39 4JH
Parking: There are two pay and display car parks at Instow, and there is also roadside parking available
Accessibility: Instow is mainly flat, and the beach itself is soft and level
Facilities: The village has some lovely little shops offering souvenirs and local produce, and there are some pleasant pubs scattered along the shore that welcome dogs too
About: The calm waters of this pretty beach make it ideal for a relaxing afternoon lazing on the sand, or for early morning walks with your canine companion. With views over towards colourful Appledore and its bright cottages, you can even get a ferry across the estuary to see what delights its neighbouring village holds. Protected from the swell of the sea by its sandbanks, Instow is a safe and sheltered option for families searching for some sandy fun.
Restrictions: Dogs are allowed on the north section of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the estuary, but are not allowed south of the bridge, and must be kept on a lead on the promenade. These rules apply from May 1st until September 30th.
Location: Westward Ho!
For the sat nav: EX39 1LL
Parking: There is plenty of parking available at Westward Ho!, with multiple pay and display car parks around the town
Accessibility: Parts of Westward Ho! beach can be very pebbly, and not as smooth underfoot, however when the tide is out there is plenty of sand to stroll along
Facilities: There are plenty of shops, stalls and cafes along the coastline of Westward Ho!, with plenty of places to sit with your pooch off the sand. There are also public toilets just off the slipway.
About: Ever popular with tourists and locals alike, there’s so much space on this huge expanse for your pooch to play and wander that you can spend your whole day here if you like! Backed by a pebble ridge and Northam Burrows Country Park, there are lots of places to walk your woofer in the area, and the surf is quite spectacular when the sea swells.
Restrictions: Dogs are banned in the zoned area of the beach from May to October, but are allowed in adjacent areas if kept on a lead
For the sat nav: EX34 7DN
Parking: Woolacombe has lots of parking options, including a large pay and display car park right by the beach, and other spaces further up the hill
Accessibility: The beach is easily accessible and made of soft sand, so even little toes and paws can wander along this beauty
Facilities: Woolacombe has a selection of shops and cafes, as well as a large pub overlooking the sea, and plenty of places to nip in and grab an ice cream – or two!
About: Frequently featured in TripAdvisor’s top beaches in the UK and even Europe, this sandy heaven couldn’t more pawfect for a seaside trip with your pooch. Several miles of sand are lapped by crystal sea water, backed by colourful beach huts and plenty of things for families to do. For a romantic spot to watch the sun set, take a stroll up to one of the benches on the east of the beach and sit in awe with your plus one, and plus one with paws.
Combe Martin beach
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1st until September 30th
Location: Combe Martin
For the sat nav: EX34 0DJ
Parking: The Kiln and Parade car parks are both pay and display from March until October
Accessibility: The main car park overlooks the beach, so you’ll be able to spot your car from the sea while you paddle!
Facilities: Combe Martin has many lovely cafés and shops, and there are public toilets at the car park
About: This gorgeous cove is in a wonderful location on the north coast of the county, set between towering cliffs with stunning views out to sea. A combination of shingle and pebbles, when the tide is out there is plenty of sand at the water’s edge to splash in, and there are lots of rockpools to peer in to and see what creatures lurk there. In the winter months, many dog owners congregate on this beach, so be prepared for Fido to make some new four-legged friends!
Dog-friendly beaches in South Devon
These gorgeous beaches allow dogs on them all year round with no bans!
For the sat nav: TQ7 2EA
Parking: The Slapton Memorial car park towards the middle of the beach is a pay and display, and there are further car parks at either end of the beach
Accessibility: There are plenty of different ways onto the long stretch of beach, with lots of wall space to sit and daydream if you and your pooch would rather look at the sea from afar!
Facilities: There are public toilets and a shop available, and there’s also a pub nearby at Torcross where dogs are welcome outside in the sunshine, and a dog-friendly restaurant
About: This long stretch of sand has distinct historical interest having been used before the D-Day landings to practise prior to attacks, however a combination of unfortunate circumstances led to almost 750 American soldiers dying here. The stone monument offers a moving tribute to those whose lives were lost, so it’s a key point to visit if you’re interested in wartime history. The beach itself is backed by a large lake and nature reserve, and is popular with families, canoeists and body boarders thanks to its calm waters.
Location: Just east of Torquay
For the sat nav: TQ1 3LX
Parking: There are a few spaces close to the beach within walking distance, or alternatively there is parking available at nearby Princes Street car park
Accessibility: The road down is fairly steep, however you could always catch the Babbecombe Cliff Railway for a different mode of transport
Facilities: Public toilets for the humans are seasonally open (April to October) and there is a café and deckchair hire available
About: This pretty little cove is a popular diving spot, covered in sand and shingle and backed by thick woodland – so there’s plenty of options for walkies! There’s a breakwater at one end of the beach, so if your pooch is happy to sit and sunbathe, you can cast a line and see what wonders of the deep crop up. Of all the bays along this stretch of coast, Babbacombe is up there with the best!
For the sat nav: TQ8 8LD
Parking: There is ample parking close to the beach
Accessibility: A 15-minute level walk from Salcombe itself, the beach is easily accessible from both the town and nearby car park and there is disabled access onto the beach
Facilities: There are public toilets on site, as well as a café/restaurant for visitors
About: Completely submerged at high tide, this sandy beach may be small but it’s hugely popular with families and dog owners as it welcomes pooches all year round. The sea here is very calm, so there’s plenty of time for swimming and paddling together, and when the tide’s out there’s lots of space for sunbathing – or digging holes if your dog can’t deal with laying still for more than five minutes!
South Milton Sands
For the sat nav: TQ7 3JY
Parking: Free for National Trust members, the charge is otherwise £5 a day
Accessibility: There are boardwalk ramps over the dunes, and access from the car park to the beach is level
Facilities: The beach café is open everyday serving delicious food and drink, and there are toilets for the humans too. We’d recommend taking a picnic to enjoy in the sunshine!
About: Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this stunning National Trust beach is a swathe of golden sands and crystal waters, with lots of rockpools at low tide and an iconic rock archway to rival that of Dorset’s Durdle Door! The Beachhouse Café is open year-round for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and there are lots of watersports to be enjoyed. As one of the south coast of Devon’s most popular beaches, it’s wonderful that dogs are welcome to enjoy it with their humans all year.
Location: Near Plymouth
For the sat nav: PL8 1HE
Parking: There is some parking available nearby at Revelstoke Park, but as it’s situated on the South West Coast Path you may want to just pitch up here for an hour or two on your stroll along the coast
Accessibility: The cove is accessed via Revelstoke Caravan Park, and there are lots of steps down to this beach. Though they are well maintained, the beach is not accessible for those with disabilities
Facilities: This is a very secluded beach at the far end of Bigbury Bay, so unfortunately there are no facilities here
About: Secluded as can be, you and your dog may well have the run of the beach if you time it right! Pawfect conditions for rock pooling means little ones will love exploring the cove, whilst dog owners are likely to make many new friends on one of the busier days with lots of canines and their humans making use of this idyllic bay.
Each of these beaches has different rules in place throughout the year, but many are restriction free in the off-peak months
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on this beach between May 1st and September 30th
For the sat nav: TQ7 4HZ
Parking: There is parking available right by the beach, however it is a fairly small area. For more parking, head to nearby Bigbury and park up, as the walk back to the beach is only 15 minutes
Accessibility: There is slipway access and pathways onto the beach, which is sandy with rocks and rockpools in places
Facilities: Just off the beach there is a shop and café, so you don’t need to lug anything with you if you don’t want to!
About: A horse-shoe-shaped cove on the south coast, Challaborough is one of the few beaches in South Devon where waves can become surfable at times. The flat sand makes strolls with your pooch out of season a walk in the park… or on the beach. The sheltered aspect of the bay means it’s beautiful any time of the year, so being restricted to the off-peak months is no bad thing, and as it is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty you’re guaranteed a stunning day out.
Restrictions: Hope Cove is split into two beaches, Inner and Outer. Outer Hope allows dogs all year, however they must be kept on leads. Inner Hope (or Mouthwell) has a seasonal dog ban between May and September
For the sat nav: TQ7 3HW
Parking: There is parking available close to the beach
Accessibility: There is disabled access to the beach, and plenty of easily-accessible paths leading down to each end of the bay
Facilities: There is a dog-friendly pub just off the smaller of the beaches, and there is also a café and public toilets
About: A true coastal sanctuary, this pretty cove is popular with locals and travellers alike, with many flocking to its shores to enjoy the pristine sands and picturesque surroundings. It’s also popular with divers thanks to the many shipwrecks found just out to sea. Backing onto Hope village, there is a delightful dog-friendly pub called the Hope and Anchor, just pawfect for a relaxing drink or evening meal after a day at the beach.
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on the beach between May and September
Location: In the middle of Paignton and Brixham
For the sat nav: TQ4 6HL
Parking: There is a large pay and display car park just a short walk away
Accessibility: The promenade is level, however there are steps down to the beach itself
Facilities: The beach is fully kitted out for lots of visitors, offering a café/restaurant, public toilets, disabled facilities, deck chair and beach hut hire, and a lost child centre
About: If this is the first of South Devon’s beaches you’ve experienced, the reddish sand is sure to come as a surprise, however it only adds to how wonderful this bay is. This large, curved stretch with beach huts along its edges is situated between rocky headlands and has a large grass area just behind where dogs and their owners are welcome. It’s time to make some sandcastles and have a paddle!
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on this beach from May 1st until September 30th
For the sat nav: TQ14 8AY
Parking: Teignmouth has lots of parking available
Accessibility: There is plenty of easy access ramps and steps to the beach directly from the promenade
Facilities: Teignmouth boasts many shops and pubs, as well as a free summer entertainment programme in July and August on the beach itself, pleasure boat cruises and deckchairs
About: This firm family-favourite boasts everything a traditional British beach holiday should have, particularly in the summer months. However, with dogs only permitted in the off-peak season, stress not as the town is still pup to its ears with facilities to help make your stroll on the beach unpawgettable. There’s lots for little ones to do on the pier, but the beach itself is wonderful in the autumnal period when crowds die down and you’re free to wander with your woofer along the deep red sands – you may even want to have a paddle if it’s warm enough!
Restrictions: Dogs are only allowed on certain parts of the beach
For the sat nav: EX12 3DP
Parking: There is parking right by the beach, and additional parking in Branscombe however be advised that it is a fair walk.
Accessibility: The beach is shingle and pebble, so be advised that it is not suitable for those who are unsteady on their feet, or for those in a wheelchair
Facilities: There’s a café right on the edge of the beach and public toilets for the humans
About: This stunning beach right on the border of Devon and Dorset is a true beauty spot, with miles of shingle being lapped by crystal waters that continue on to Beer Head. The pawfect place to lay back and relax or wander along with your pooch. There are plenty of local walks if the pebbles get too much underfoot, with the South West Coast Path running along the cliffs and a woodland stroll to the village of Branscombe. It’s a real gem on the south coast!
If our top dog-friendly Devon beaches have you head over paws in love already, head to our Devon coastal cottages to discover a pawsome property in the area. You could be exploring the sand and sea with your four-legged friend before you know it!
For more beautiful dog-friendly beaches in the South West, why not head over to our post on the top dog beaches on the stunning shores of Cornwall? Find the perfect South West holiday for you and your pampered pooch.