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!
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
Ilfracombe is a gorgeous town with a stunning harbour and lots of places to eat and explore.
Arrive, unpack and explore all that Ilfracombe has to offer – Ilfracombe Welcomes Pets | Visit Ilfracombe
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.
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.
Dog-friendly Devon trip 2 – South Devon
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.
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.
Dog-friendly Devon trip 3 – Central Devon
Moretonhampstead is a lovely town in Dartmoor National Park.
Arrive, unpack and explore Moretonhampstead.
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.
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
Sidmouth a beautiful town on the Jurassic Coast.
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
- Bovey Tracey
- Budleigh Salterton
- Great Torrington
- Newton Abbot
- North Tawton
- Ottery St. Mary
- South Molton