Dog-friendly Exmoor National Park

“Exmoor is renowned for its dramatic coastal views, heather moorland, ancient woodlands, steep combes and Exmoor Ponies.”

The Exmoor National Park is huge. It runs along the coast and spans 267.5 square miles (692.8 squared kilometres). The park is so vast and there are so many things to do and see, you couldn’t ‘do’ it in a day or even a weekend! Visit once and you will want to go back time after time.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the ‘Beast of Exmoor‘. An elusive legendary creature that has been running wild since the 1970s. So far no visitors have been harmed by any such creature (real or imagined!).

Our trip

We have been to the park a number of times. My favourite place is Dunster and surrounding areas. Dunster is a beautiful town, with an impressive castle, surrounded by miles and miles of dog-walks. We walked from Timberscombe to Dunster Castle through woods and fields – you’d have to ask @KilnCottages for the route as I cannot find it anywhere!

The Castle

Dunster Castle is a beautiful, National Trust owned, estate that stands on the site of the original motte and bailey castle built around 1086. You can’t take dogs into the castle, but you walk around the extensive grounds and visit the watermill museum. There are fun things to do in the grounds that will keep kids and dogs equally entertained. A great family day out.

Dunster Village

Dunster Village is a lovely medieval market town that sits at the foot of the castle.

  • The town has kept much of the Medieval aesthetic making it a must see for history buffs.
  • It is a perfectly positioned base for walkers planning to explore the wider National Park.
  • Pooches and their owners are spoiled for choice with accommodation and restaurants. We really liked the Lutteral Arms where you can eat great food in the large garden.

Things to do and places to see in Exmoor

As already mentioned, Exmoor National Park is huge. I don’t pretend to have covered it all. However, I can recommend visiting Dunster Castle, Dunster Village, Porlock coastline and the beautiful Heddon Valley.

There are lots of dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in and around the national park. Of particular note is the Black Venus Inn on the east side of the park in Challacombe. It was recommended by family friends (foodies) and it didn’t disappoint – if you still need convincing just check out their Tripadvisor page.

Dog-friendly accommodation in Exmoor

We are lucky enough to have friends in Exmoor that we could stay with. They moved to Timberscombe in Exmoor to renovate and provide luxury (dog-friendly) accommodation – The Kiln Cottages and @kilncottages.

They have two self-contained dwellings, the converted barn and the ‘snug’. Plus you get to enjoy homemade cake and granola throughout your stay. See the excellent feedback received so far here.

Full disclosure – this is a genuine recommendation and not a paid advertisement, but I will be expecting a good meal next time we stay!

Other useful sources

Here are some sources that I used while planning our visit, hopefully they will be useful for you:

What to do with your dog in the Exmoor National Park by From One Owner to Another

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