A Guide to Dog Friendly Holidays in Devon 2021


A dream destination for dogs and their owners, Devon truly has it all. From the wilds of Dartmoor with its tangled woodlands and windswept plains, to the county’s undulating countryside, to the fantastic dog-friendly beaches of the coast, adventures here are nothing short of pawsome. Particularly popular amongst four-legged friends, Devon’s expansive natural playground is a haven for all members of the pack.

In the wake of 2020 and the sell-out of dog-friendly retreats, sights are firmly set on 2021 breaks. With the allure of staycations greater than ever, cottages are already being booked well in advance for next year. If you want to be spared the hassle of foreign restrictions and are thinking about a 2021 holiday in Devon, now is the time to secure your favourite dog-friendly retreat. Within our beautiful range of self-catering cottages peppered across the county, you are sure to find one that steals your heart and sets tails wagging in excitement.

And, making sure that all the family has plenty to look forward to during your stay, we’ve put together a dog-friendly guide to holidays in Devon 2021.

What’s New for Devon in 2021

If you are all but packing your bags in anticipation of your holiday, you might be interested to know about some of the county’s exciting new developments planned for the year ahead.

Exmouth Waterfront

One of the most exciting new plans for Devon in 2021 is the development of Exmouth’s waterfront. Undergoing an extensive transformation, the project will see the opening of a brand-new water-sports centre, clothing retailers, and dining facilities next year. Run by award-winning celebrity and Exeter-born chef Michael Caines MBE, the new eateries will include a casual dining restaurant, a beach bar and, most importantly for our canine companions, a dog-friendly café where lots of delicious goodies will be served fresh each day.

St Sidwells Point

The UK’s first Passivhaus-standard building is set to open in the middle of Exeter in 2021. An ultra-low carbon leisure centre called St Sidwells Point, the construction has been designed with climate change in mind and is predicted to save up to 70% of annual energy costs. Among its array of features, the state-of the-art complex will house two swimming pools and a spa – the latter of which will be perfect for dog mums and dads to visit after enjoying the city’s dog-friendly attractions.

Devon Dog Beach Bans Review

If your dog loves nothing more than bounding across the sand, chasing after waves and hurtling after their favourite ball, the powder-fine expanses of Devon’s beaches will be a real delight. Fortunately, dogs are welcome to enjoy the majority of Devon’s beaches during the shoulder months, with some restrictions in place between May and September, meaning there is plenty of opportunity to bag hours by the shore. In addition, some great news for our beach-loving pups, plans to ban off-leash dogs on the Tarka Trail and introduce summer dog bans on Saunton Sands, Woolacombe, Putsborough, and Instow are set to be scrapped for 2021 too.

Doggy days out in Devon

Devon’s Top Events 2021

Subject to coronavirus restrictions, next year will see the return of many of Devon’s favourite annual festivals, along with some excellent one-off events that will pique the interest of all generations, both two-legged and four.

Woofstock UK

A festival for dogs, by dogs, Woofstock is one of the most popular events in the UK amongst canine communities. Held in a stunning 25-acre location just outside of Dartmouth, this ultimutt dog-friendly festival is packed full of tail-wagging attractions. Think dog shows, pawsome displays and demonstrations, doggie-related treat stalls and toy stands, live music and tasty food and drink.

Foodie Fayres

What better way to set wet noses a’sniffing during your holiday in Devon than with a visit to one of the counties delectable food festivals? Famed for its rich supply of local produce and traditional food and drink (cream tea, anyone?), Devon’s food festivals provide a wonderful opportunity to tease your palate with local delicacies – and we’re sure your pup won’t mind a sample or two! Pencil in the Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (28th – 30th May 2021), the AbbFest Food and Drink Festival (17th – 19th September 2021) and the Dartmouth Food Festival (22nd – 24th October 2021) and fill your dog-friendly holiday with flavours galore.

Music Festivals

Planned to go ahead in 2021, Devon’s music festivals are held throughout the county. One of the first to take place, the Dart Music Festival (7th – 9th May 2021) hosts music throughout the town, both in the open air and in indoor venues, including dog-friendly pubs. Later in the summer, the Sidmouth Folk Festival will liven up the streets of this coastal town between 30th July and 6th August 2021. A much-anticipated spectacle with over 700 events, there has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August since 1955.

Seaside Events

Get May off to a timber-shivering start with Brixham’s Pirate Festival (1st – 3rd May 2021) before celebrating the Spring Bank Holiday weekend with Brixfest (28th – 31st May 2021). A week-long affair, Salcombe’s streets will be transformed during the famous Town Regatta (7th – 14th August 2021), with dozens of rafts taking part in sailing competitions and visitors and locals alike going head to head in a hilarious ‘greasy pole’ climbing challenge. For a fun August weekend, book a dog-friendly cottage in Dartmouth for the Dartmouth Royal Regatta (26th – 28th August 2021) and enjoy the area’s year-round dog-friendly beaches too, including Castle Cove, Sugary Cove and Slapton Sands.

The Top Dog-Friendly Attractions to Visit in 2021

Whether this is your dog’s first staycation in Devon or your pack are seasoned veterans, there is always plenty going on across the county and lots of attractions to lure you out of your cosy dog-friendly self-catering retreat.

Dog enjoying the view on Dartmoor in Devon

Moorland Discovery

The largest of the South West’s moors, Dartmoor comprises 386 square miles. One of the best destinations in the UK for holidays with dogs, this incredible national park abounds with walking opportunities, boasting rivers, forests, moorland, waterfalls and mirror-topped lakes. Hike to the top of Hound Tor (yes, really), picnic beside Kennick Reservoir, follow trails through Wistman’s Wood and listen to the thrum of Mother Nature at Canonteign Falls. If you are lucky, you and your pup may even get to spy some of the majestic Dartmoor ponies during your walkies, whose herds have graced the moors for over 3,500 years.

Dog-Friendly Walking Trails

If your four-pawed pal has lots of energy to expend, you’ll be pleased to hear that Devon has some of the best walking trails in the country. With hundreds of miles of coastline, the county boasts over 200 miles of the South West Coast Path, the UK’s longest walking trail, ranked amongst the best in the world. Affording endless views of the sea and mile upon mile of well-maintained trail, you can pick up sections of the SWCP throughout the year and treat your dog to exhilarating adventures. And, if you’re up for more walkies another day, you can also take to the Tarka Trail, the Tamar Trails, the Exe Estuary Trail and the Dart Valley Trail for more dog-friendly rambles.

Year-Round Dog-Friendly Beaches

Devon is famous for its coastline, setting a world-class standard for beautiful beaches. Happily, many of these beaches are dog-friendly, meaning you can share these stunning locations with your tufty-eared pal. In South Devon, South Milton Sands, a large sandy beach backed by grassy dunes, and Wonwell Sands, a sandy beach on the east bank of the river Erme, are two year-round favourites. Meanwhile in North Devon, no dog-friendly retreat would be complete without a visit to the vast 3-mile Saunton Sands, or Ilfracombe, which not only has three dog-friendly beaches (Harbour Strand, Rapperee and Wildersmouth) but also has a very dog-friendly town centre with lots of shops, pubs and restaurants welcoming dogs on leads.

Other Dog-Friendly Attractions

Often dubbed ‘dog-friendly Devon’, Devon is home to many brilliant attractions that welcome pups. For a novel way for the pack to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, why not hop aboard the South Devon Railway or take a boat cruise up the Dart River or from one of the many harbours? Some stately homes, such as the regal Killerton House, have gardens and grounds that are accessible to dogs on leads, while Bicton Park also invites two and four-legged visitors to explore its luscious botanical gardens together.

Book Now for Dog Friendly Holidays in Devon in 2021

If your dog is urging you to book your next self-catering retreat, have a look through our dog-friendly cottages in Devon and secure your favourite for an unfurgettable holiday in Devon in 2021.

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