Dog-friendly Devon Planner

In this post you we share four dog-friendly Devon weekend trip plans that you can use to help plan your own trips. Make sure that you share this post with friends on Pinterest and subscribe for all future posts!

About Devon

The county of Devon in south west England borders Cornwall to the west and Somerset to the East. North Devon coast stretches along the Bristol Channel. South Devon coast stretches along the English Channel and includes the ‘English Riviera‘ parts of the Jurassic Coast. Devon is lucky to have two national parks within its borders: Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park.

It is an exciting county that has lots to offer families and pooches.

Take care of your dog

Before we go any further, please note that we recommend some long walks (up to 10 miles) involving some hills and off-lead running opportunities for your pooch. You should only do the distances and the routes that are best for you and your dog, and take breaks whenever you or your dog need to. We are big fans of AllTrails where you will be able to find lots of different routes in most of the places that we cover below. Please remember to pack appropriately for you and your pooch including water and snacks. Speak to your dog’s vet if you have any concerns.

Dog-friendly Devon Weekends

These weekend trips (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) exclude cities, as they’re usually worth a full visit, and include places within one hour’s drive of the base. We will recommend dog-friendly place to eat, but please remember that this is a difficult time for the hospitality industry and so we cannot promise that these places will still be open once the restrictions are lifted. Double check before you travel. 

Choosing a base

A base is the place where you stay. Of course you could travel and stay in different places, but I find that using one base for both nights saves time with backing and unpacking. Plus it’s more settling for your dog. We prefer a base that has a bit to offer for an evening meal, local amenities (I always forget something) and entertainment.

Dog-friendly Devon trip 1 – North Devon

Base:

Ilfracombe is a gorgeous town with a stunning harbour and lots of places to eat and explore.

Included locations:

Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Westward Ho, Appledore, Northam Burrows, Bideford, Bideford Bay and Hartland, and South Molton.

Friday pm:

Arrive, unpack and explore all that Ilfracombe has to offer – Ilfracombe Welcomes Pets | Visit Ilfracombe

Saturday am:

Get up early and head to Barnstaple for breakfast at one of their dog-friendly eateries. Stretch your legs along the South West Coast path stretch from Barnstaple to Westward Ho. This is a long stretch (28.2km) and we don’t recommend that you do it all! Go as far as you feel comfortable with for you and your dog. Depending on your dog’s preferences, you might want to drive to Westward Ho and walk back along Northam Burrows Beach towards Barnstaple (stopping at Appledore or Bideford) – see here for a map. Once finished make your way to Bideford, either as the destination of your walk or by driving there afterwards.

Saturday pm:

Have lunch in Bideford at one of their dog-friendly eateries – this site recommends the Pilchard. After lunch head to Bideford Bay and Hartland to spend the afternoon exploring the Peppercombe Valley.

Sunday am:

After breakfast, head to Castle Hill near South Molton for a morning exploring their gardens before heading home.

Dog-friendly Devon trip 2 – South Devon

Base

Kingsbridge is a lovely market town in South Devon that is a short drive from some of the most popular places to visit in Devon including Salcombe, Paignton, Torquay, Totnes, Ivybridge and Dartmouth.

Included locations

Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Start Point Lighthouse, Paignton and Torquay.

Friday pm:

Arrive and explore Kingsbridge, look at their guide for ideas.

Saturday:

Have breakfast and drive to Start Point Lighthousehere are instructions on how to find it. You might spot some seals, here are some helpful tips on seal spotting.

You could leave your car at Start Point and walk along the South West Coast Path to Salcombe. This is a long 9.1 mile walk, you can drive to a place closer to Salcombe if you want a shorter walk.

Have lunch in Salcombe at one of their dog-friendly eateries. After lunch, make your way back to your car and drive back to Kingsbridge for dinner.

There doesn’t appear to be any public transport between Kingsbridge and Start Point. You could pre-book a dog-friendly taxi. Although, you can get the 164 bus from Salcombe to Kingsbridge. For most walking the stretch twice (there and back) will be too much. Always consider the limits of you and your dog. Look at the map to find where you want to park your car.

Sunday am:

Get up early and have breakfast in one of the dog-friendly eateries in Paignton. Spend sometime waking around the bustling town before heading to Torquay.

There is lots to see and do in Torquay, we would visit the ruins of Berry Pomeroy Castle and then Greenway House (Agatha Christine’s Holiday home) before heading home.

Dog-friendly Devon trip 3 – Central Devon

Base

Moretonhampstead is a lovely town in Dartmoor National Park.

Included locations

Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor National Park and Chagford.

Friday pm:

Arrive, unpack and explore Moretonhampstead.

Saturday:

The day will be spent exploring Dartmoor National Park. Starting with the 7.5 mile/12.1 km Castle Drogo and Cod Wood circular walk. Castle Drogo is the last castle built in the UK (between 1911 and 1930). The castle itself isn’t dog-friendly but they are welcome on the grounds and in the gardens.

You can have lunch at the Fisherman Pub on the Castle Drogo and Cod Wood walk or find somewhere else to eat close by. Here are some dog friendly places to eat in Dartmoor.

After lunch, visit the Kestor Rocks and enjoy the views from the top. If you still have energy to burn, you can include this as part of a longer 5.6 mile/9km circular walk from Chagford. Find a dog-friendly place to eat dinner before heading back to Kingsbridge.

Sunday am:

Have breakfast where you’re staying and head out to Dartmoor National Park for a bike ride. Our dog would be very tired after the Saturday walks and so we’d try to hire a dog buggy/chariot. Find a spectacular place to explore.

Dog-friendly Devon trip 4 – East Devon

Base

Sidmouth a beautiful town on the Jurassic Coast.

Included locations

Sidmouth, Seaton, Colyton, Ottery St Mary and Exmouth.

Friday pm:

Arrive, unpack and explore Sidmouth. Make sure that you visit Sidmouth beach and, if you get there in time, the dog-friendly donkey sanctuary. Sidmouth offers a number of dog-friendly places to eat.

Saturday am:

Get up and drive to Seaton for breakfast at one of their dog-friendly eateries. Then, head to Seaton’s beach for a morning stroll (or run for your dog).

After your walk, take a trip on the Seaton Tramway to the beautiful historic town of Colyton for lunch.

Saturday pm:

Once back in Seaton head to start of this short (2.8 mile) circular walk. On the way back to Sidmouth stop at the historic town of Ottery St Mary and see the tumbling weir.

Sunday am:

Get up, pack and head to Exmouth. For brunch, make your way to the award winning River Exe Café (which is dog-friendly!), see their sample menu here. After, explore all that Exmouth has to offer, including the Jurassic Coast.

Click here for more information about the towns and villages in Devon
NameTypeSuggested WalksMain attractionsLocation
AshburtonTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbashburton.htmlWild Swimming at DartmeetSouth Devon
AxminsterTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbaxminster.htmlAxe Vale Festival of Gardening and Crafts in JuneSouth Devon
BarnstapleTownSouth West Coast Path: Barnstaple to Westward Ho! (pick a section of the 17.5mile stretch)Castle and ElephantNorth Devon
BeerVillageBeer and Branscombe CircularBeachSouth Devon
BidefordTownBideford Bay and HartlandMost people travel to Lundy Island from Bideford but it’s not dog friendly.  Instead, walk along the beach to a small island.North Devon
Bovey TraceyTownBovey Tracey and the Parke EstateWalk Dartmoor South Devon
BradninchCivil parishhttps://www.bradninchtogether.org.uk/bradninch-walksSt Disen’s ChurchSouth Devon
BrixhamTownBest trails in BrixhamDartmouth Castle and Berry HeadSouth Devon
BuckfastleighTownBest trails in BuckfastleighBenedictine AbbeySouth Devon
Budleigh SaltertonTownWoodbury Castle CircularThe Jurrasic CoastSouth Devon
ChagfordTownChagford and Kestor RocksPretty TownSouth Devon
ChudleighTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbchudleigh.htmlPretty townSouth Devon
ChulmleighTownOtterton CircularPretty townNorth Devon
ColytonTownhttp://colyton.co.uk/country-walks/Pretty townSouth Devon
CreditonTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbcrediton.htmlChurch of Saint BonifaceNorth Devon
CullomptonTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbcullompton.htmlCulm Valley, Bickleigh Castle and Killerton House South Devon
DartmouthTownDartmouth Castle and Church of St PetroxRiver cruises and Dartmouth CastleSouth Devon
DawlishTownhttps://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/blog/read/2019/02/dog-friendly-dawlish-and-dawlish-warren-b303Beaches and nature reserveSouth Devon
ExminsterTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbexminster.htmlThe oldest canal in the UKSouth Devon
ExmouthTownThe Jurassic Coast (pick a section of the 99.2 mile stretch)Beach, jurassic coast and River Exe cafe (dog-friendly!)South Devon
Great TorringtonTownhttps://walkiees.co.uk/dog-walks/devon/torrington-commonPretty town and walks Noth Devon
HartlandVillagehttps://walkiees.co.uk/dog-walks/hampshire/hartland-country-parkThe Hartland PenninsularNorth Devon
HatherleighTownhttps://www.tarkatrail.org.uk/exploring/routes/hatherleigh/Pretty townNoth Devon
HolsworthyTownhttp://www.classicguide.co.uk/things-to-do/near/holsworthy/walks.htmlPretty townNorth Devon
HonitonTownRoundball HillJurassic coastSouth Devon
IlfracombeTownhttps://www.ilfracombecarlton.co.uk/top-5-dog-walks-ilfracombe/Beaches, life and covesNorth Devon
IvybridgeTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbivybridge.htmlThe Ivy BridgeSouth Devon
KingsbridgeTownhttp://www.classicguide.co.uk/things-to-do/near/kingsbridge/walks.htmlLively townSouth Devon
KingsteigntonVillagehttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbkingsteignton.htmlHistoric houses and churchSouth Devon
MoretonhampsteadTownhttps://visitmoretonhampstead.co.uk/things-to-do/dartmoor/Castle Drogo, Parke Estate and Dartmoor Nationa Park South Devon
Newton AbbotTownLemon River and Newton AbbotPretty townSouth Devon
North TawtonTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbN_tawton.htmlMarket squareNorth Devon
NorthamTownhttps://walkiees.co.uk/dog-walks/devon/northam-burrows-and-westward-hoNortham BurrowsNorth Devon
OkehamptonTownOkehampton to Belstone TorOkehampton CastleNorth Devon
Ottery st MaryTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbottery1.htmlTumbling Weir and Parish ChurchEast Devon
PaigntonPart of the unitary authority of TorbaySouth West Coast Path: Paignton to Exmouth (pick a sectio of the 21.6 mile route)English rivieraSouth Devon
SalcombeTownSnapes PointWatersportsSouth Devon
SeatonTownSeaton to Beer HeadWatersports, Jurassic coast, south west coastal walk, Seaton wetlands nature reserveSouth Devon
SidmouthTownhttps://www.visitdevon.co.uk/sidmouth/visitor-information/blog/2021/1/22/great-dog-walking-routes-in-and-around-sidmouth-a6544Jurassic coastSouth Devon
South MoltonTownhttps://bestofnorthdevon.com/2018/05/28/north-molton-and-south-molton-walk-idea/Watermouth Castle, abbey, market townNorth Devon
TavistockTownTavistock Canal TowpathBeautiful market townSouth Devon
TeignmouthTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbteignmouth.htmlTeignmouth river beachSouth Devon
TivertonTownGrand Western Canal: Tiverton Road to Canal HillGrand Western Canal, Bickleigh Castle and Knightshayes CourtSouth Devon
TorquayTownhttps://www.passpawt.com/dog-walks-torquay/English rivieraSouth Devon
TotnesTownhttps://www.pinns.co.uk/devon/mobile/mbtotnes.htmlCastleSouth Devon

One thought on “Dog-friendly Devon Planner

  1. I love the infographics, it makes me want to take a trip to Devon and follow these exactly. I’m sorry if my comments haven’t been coming in, I don’t think they work if I’m not logged in to WordPress.

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