There’s nothing better than watching your dog revel in the ecstasy of shoreside scamper. With their sandy paws, flapping tongue and wagging tail in overdrive, it’s a picture of sheer joy. And we totally feel it too. That’s because, in Devon, beach days aren’t like anywhere else. With some of the most stunning coastline in the world, the county’s dog-friendly beaches win us all over.
If you’re looking forward to your dog-friendly retreat in Devon this year, let us share with you some of the best dog-friendly beaches to go to. From the Atlantic-pounded north coast to the balmy climes of the English Riviera in the south, you are guaranteed to find somewhere perfect for you and your pup. With no further ado, here are the 12 best dog-friendly beaches in Devon
Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in North Devon
Woolacombe Beach’s 3 miles of powdery sand naturally attract two and four-legged beachgoers. Divided into parts, two of the beach’s three zones welcome dogs year-round, including one section where dogs can run off lead (Zone C) and one where dogs can walk on the lead (Zone B). The beach also benefits from three car parks and local amenities.
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At the foot of Lynmouth village you will find a picturesque shingle beach that is dog-friendly all year. About half a kilometre wide, it has plenty of space for exploration and has great rock pools to see at low tide. Located on the northern fringes of Exmoor National Park, the area also has some brilliant walks too and is close to the famous Valley of Rocks.
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Saunton Sands is a really dog-friendly beach, welcoming pups throughout the year. With loads of space to play, your dog will love letting off steam with games of fetch along the shore. If you want to avoid meeting too many other dogs, you can also take a shortcut through the dunes (to left of the car park), leading you further down the beach.
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Set between Croyde and Woolacombe, the beautiful Putsborough beach in North Devon is renowned for its cleanliness and beauty. Home to a vast expanse of sand, it’s a popular choice among local and visiting dog walkers. Fortunately, dogs are allowed everywhere on the beach, apart from one small area to the far left of the beach during summer.
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If you want to venture to one of the county’s more remote beaches with your dog, why not try Mouthmill Beach? Following a walk through Brownsham Wood, you will be able to head down to this secluded beach and discover its many rock pools, streams, rock features and arches, including the Blackchurch Rock.
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Broad Sands Beach
Located between Watermouth and Combe Martin, the dog-friendly Broad Sands beach is a sheltered cove backed by jagged, greenery-clad cliffs. Accessed via 200 or so steps, it’s not the easiest to get to but this only adds to the appeal for many. Being somewhat off the beaten track, the beach doesn’t have facilities or lifeguard service.
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Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Devon
A mixture of sand and shingle, Slapton Sands near Kingsbridge is a great option for walks with your dog. In a long, sweeping arc, the beach is sandwiched between the sea and the fresh waters of Slapton Ley – great for cooling off warm paws. As well as being in an AONB, the area around the beach is also an important nature reserve.
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Close to Salcombe but far removed from the crowds, East Portlemouth’s beaches afford the kind of quiet setting many low-energy and senior hounds will enjoy. Made up of a number of little beaches, including Fisherman’s Cove, Small’s Cove and Mill Bay, the dog-friendly collection always has somewhere quiet to sit back, relax and admire the views.
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South Milton Sands
Also known as Thurlestone beach, South Milton Sands is a long stretch of sand not far from Salcombe. Welcoming dogs throughout the year, it is one of the South Devon’s most beautiful places to go to tread soft paws and toes into the sand. Supported by dog-fouling laws, this beach is definitely a real treat for all the pack.
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Featuring a mile of shingle and sand, Beesands Beach is as great for picnicking and bathing in the summer months as walking and playing in the winter. Backed by a freshwater lake called Widdicombe Ley and met with a shimmering sea, it has wonderful views and a timeless feel. Some amenities can be found in the local village.
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Strete Gate Beach
Whether you are using it as a pitstop to start or end coast path walks or as a base for a whole day of relaxation, the year-round dog-friendly beach of Strete Gate will be a real treat. Set at the start of a long coastal spit that extends all the way to Torcross and beyond, it doesn’t have many facilities but offers lots of space for all the pack.
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Accessed via Smuggler’s Tunnel, Ness Cove isn’t patrolled by lifeguards but does benefit from no seasonal doggy restrictions, so we like it. In fact, there is even a designated dog exercise area. Spend time enjoying the beach and if you start feeling peckish, head over to the shops and cafés at the cliff-top end of the tunnel.
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Book Your Dog Friendly Accommodation in Devon
Inspired by our list of Devon’s best dog-friendly beaches? Find a country cottage or seaside holiday home for a coastal getaway to Devon with your dog. Visit the Devon section >