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Wilders Mouth Beach

  • Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9DA

This beach goes by a few names – Capstone, Wilder's Mouth, Wildersmouth – but whatever you want to call it, dogs love it. It doesn't have the expansive stretches of sand disappearing into the horizon, like some of the beaches further around the coast , but it is close to the village (with excellent dog-friendly cafes and bars to retreat to post-walk), and doesn't get as packed as some of the more golden beaches do in the summer.

With far less surfers to trip up, kids' sandcastles to smash down or picnickers' sandwiches to 'borrow', there is still plenty of space for dogs to chase sticks and swim here. Conditions underfoot (and paw) vary from shingle to sand, and the beach is bordered by rocks, with plenty of nooks and crannies for inquisitive canines to explore. The best bit of news is that dogs and their owners are free to play and socialise here at any time, completely off lead. The usual requirements are, of course, in place, but long as you clean up after your best friend, you can enjoy each other's company here all year round.

Sand type: Sand and shingle

Dog information: Year-round off-lead access

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