Published: Tuesday 27th Mar 2018
Written by: Katie Bessant
At Marsdens Devon Cottages, we believe everyone deserves a holiday...including our four-legged friends!
What can I do with my dog in Devon?
With breathtaking coastal walks, two national parks and stunning countryside criss-crossed with dog-friendly bridleways and footpaths, you and your pooch have a huge natural playground to explore. And here at Marsdens Devon Cottages we have gone the extra mile, and created an interactive map to showcase what Devon can offer you and your pet.
Where are the best dog-friendly walks?
You are truly spoilt for choice in Devon, but the coast is as good as any place to start. For a lovely introduction to its beauty, take a short and comparatively gentle saunter up around Baggy Point where you can enjoy some of the most amazing views in North Devon – towards the golden sands of Croyde beach and across to Bideford Bay and Hartland Point. Begin the walk at the Down End of Croyde village (looking out for the remains of the whale bone washed up in 1915). This will take you along the edge of the cliffs, where there are lots of opportunities for spotting sea birds. Just short of three miles long, it’s ideal if you’ve also got a little one in a pushchair.
For a more challenging route, you and your dog will love the variety-filled terrain of Watersmeet. Taking in woodland and riverside paths, as well as tumbling waterfalls, this is a walk of exploration and discovery – whether with eyes or, in your dog’s case, nose! Stop at the National Trust’s Watersmeet House café, renowned for its delicious cream teas, when you reach the bottom of the valley. You and your four-legged friend will deserve a rest – and will need your strength for the return journey!
Are there any pet-friendly beaches in Devon?
Yes! North Devon has lots of pet-friendly beaches just a stone’s throw away from many of our cottages. Fortunately for you, they also happen to be some of the coast’s most beautiful too.
Although one half of lovely Putsborough beach has a restriction from 1st April to 31st October for families and surfers, the other half has more than enough space for you and your dog. This is the place to let them run themselves ragged!
Saunton Sands is another cracker of a beach, three and half miles of glorious sand and dunes, the perfect place for chasing sticks and balls. Dogs are welcome all year but restricted to an area south of the red dog bin in Zone C.
Backed by sandy dunes, the magnificent and very popular beach at Croyde is an ideal swathe of sand to let your pooch off the lead for a good run (and paddle). Dogs are not welcome between May and September but that still leaves autumn, winter and a chunk of spring to enjoy the beach.
Over in South Devon, there are also plenty of beaches that welcome dogs, but some restrictions may apply during the summer months.
Are there any good pubs that welcome dogs?
If you’re walking the South West Coast Path west of Ilfracombe, try and time lunch to coincide with Lee, a pretty village just off the path in a wooded valley. The Grampus Arm serves up an excellent selection of local ales and organic wines and a hearty menu of British classics like bangers & mash with more European style mains, such as Hungarian goulash or gravlax with potato rosti and poached egg. The pretty garden is a lovely spot for lunch in the summer and dogs are very welcome.
Another dog friendly boozer, the Muddiford Inn in Barnstaple serves up very generous portions of traditional pub grub, particularly their famed steak pie. But there’s also an exotic twist to the menu, with dishes like Mexican spiced pulled pork burger making an appearance, as well as locally landed fish dishes, such as Lundy Island sole fillets with chorizo and paprika. Dogs are very welcome in the pub’s huge beer garden as well as in the bar area (make sure they’re on a lead). For your pooch, it’s a chance to meet Yogi, the pub’s friendly Newfoundland, who’s often seen dozing in the sun or curled up in the bar.
Take a look at our range of dog-friendly self-catering cottages in Devon.