Holiday inspiration & travel tips

5 dog friendly beaches in Devon

Devon is a truly special part of the world – between the beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks, you’d be hard-pressed to be bored when the sun is shining and the crashing waves are calling. The beaches in this southwest English shire county are what it’s most well-loved for, with holiday makers flocking with their dogs in tow to enjoy the Summer months. Here are the best dog-friendly beaches to visit. 

Saunton Sands 

Saunton Sands
Credit: Tim Coleman

The name gives you a clue: this beach is all about the gloriously smooth, golden sand. Dogs are welcome throughout the year, meaning it’s not just great for holiday-makers who’ve brought along their fury friends, but also a go-to for local dog-owners – and when the locals say it’s good, you know it’s true. It is structured to ensure there are no canine-disruptions for those not looking to match your pet’s boundless energy, so you’re required to keep them on a lead for a certain demarcated time. That takes about five minutes of walking, though, and after that it’s free-reign in the framing of rock-formation coast line. 

Clovelly Beach 

Clovelly Beach

Given that this is a smaller, pebbled beach, dog-walkers tend to find it a great spot because it doesn’t attract quite so many people or surfers, giving you what seems, when walking, like endless room to roam and walk your dogs. It’s best-known aesthetically for its old harbour wall, which are not only a treat to look at but also a great barricade for the wind and waves, meaning the walk is as peaceful as it is scenic. There’s a nearby pub for all the necessary bits and bobs like hydration (for both you and your walking buddy!) The biggest downside – though not a game-changer, because it’s a truly beautiful stretch of beach – is that dogs need to remain on their leads the whole time. 

South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands

This national trust tourist attraction is a beacon of pride for the area, proffering an angelic arc of sandy beach in the heart of the South Huish in Devon. On the coast, as part of the South Huish wetlands reserve, this walking location is the perfect hybrid of British countryside scenery as well as British seaside surroundings. You can alternate, or decide between, the coastal path for your dogs, or the sand and water, depending on their favourite frolicking habits! Dogs are welcome all year round and off their lead – just keep an eye on them! Dog-owners really make the most of this beach, meaning there are some four-legged friends to be made for your four-legged family member.

Woolacombe beach

Woolacombe Beach
Credit: John Bointon

This three-mile long beach boasts ample space for you and your pets to enjoy, with beautiful scenery to behold, public houses and attractions to visit. There is local accommodation and pubs that welcomes dogs, waste bins and fresh-water taps. There are limitations, but they are so clearly outlined that you’ll never be in fear of breaching them. Dogs are not allowed on the rocks on the north end of the beach, or the stream throughout the summer months. But with a beach as expansive as Woolacombe, you barely notice the restrictions because there is so much other space available. 

Salcombe beach

Salcombe beach
Credit: John Lord

This popular beach in the town of Salcombe, a popular holiday resort in the South Hams district of Devon, is right by the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary and a really lovely place to spend your time, especially if you’ve got a happy-pup to exercise. North Sands is the best spot to visit if you’re looking for a sandy beach to enjoy, because while most beaches in the area are welcoming to dogs, this is regarded as the best and dogs are allowed year-round. There are eating facilities, so all the toilet/bin/water needs you might have are covered. 

If you haven’t guessed it by now, Devon is a pretty amazing part of the world to explore and better still if you’ve got a fluffy family member to enjoy it with you. There’s something in it for everyone, with the most exquisite walks for your dog and breathtaking views for you! A real double-whammy.