Holiday inspiration & travel tips

Dog walks in Devon

5 alternative places to walk the dogs in Devon

When you think of the shire county of Devon, the expansive beaches tend to jump to the forefront of one’s mind. It’s a notorious dog-friendly area for this reason – we all know how much our furry friends love to swim (despite the decidedly frightful British sea-temperature), and stunning beach-walks from Soar Mill Cove, near Salcombe, to Wonwell Sands, near Modbury. However, not everybody is a beach-lover, and people who live close to Devon will want some variety to their exercise. Well, while the beach may be a draw to this coastal region, it is teeming with other natural options for dog-walking. 

Haldon Forest Park

Haldon Forest Park

It’s actually a little hard to believe that just 15 minutes from the historical hub of Exeter, you’ll find 3500 acres of woodland. Well, you have to visit Haldon Forest Park to believe it. Perfect for the whole family, and especially those of the paw-bearing variety, an outstanding outdoor adventure is in store. There are running routes, hiking trails, cycle paths, and plenty of picnic spots with facilities (no parched pooches allowed). If you’re a local, it’s well-worth buying their membership, which means free parking and ends up acting like a very large back garden, readily accessible for walks within their opening hours.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs allowed at Haldon Forest Park.

Website: Haldon Forest Park

Forestry England

Stover Country Park

Stover Country Park

Just outside the quaint market town of Newton Abbot, you’ll find the local nature reserve of Stover Country Park in all its natural glory. Steeped in history dating back to its acquisition by Devonian entrepreneur James Templer, and spanning 80,000 acres, the estate runs no risk of being too small-scale to match your dog or fitness needs. The trails and pathways weave around Stover Lake, but a quick cool-down in the water is not allowed. It’s recommended that you keep your dogs on their lead, not just for the sake of other walkers, but also to be mindful of the other inhabitants of the area, which includes otters, snakes, newts, badgers, deer and a chirping chorus of birds. A top tip: make sure you take change for the parking machines.

Visiting with dogs:

Stover Country Park is dog friendly and is popular with dog walkers. Dogs should be kept under close control at all times.

Website: Stover Country Park

Stover Country Park in Devon

Fingle Bridge

Fingle Bridge

Fingle Bridge, owned by the National Trust, links Fingle Woods and Castle Drogo, connecting two top-notch opportunities for dog walking in the Devonshire area. Depending on your scenic preference (and you can be fussy, given the variety on offer to you), there are woods to explore, ancient trees admire, grand gorges to climb, or babbling rivers to traverse containing salmon and other fresh-water creatures to spot. The entire experience is very picturesque, and views of the bridge from the river are almost impossible to enjoy without whipping out a camera.

Visiting with dogs:

Fingle Bridge is  dog friendly but please keep dogs under control.

Website: Fingle Bridge

National Trust

Eggesford Forest

Eggesford Forest

Dogs are pretty easy-going when it comes to where they are walked, provided there’s room to stretch their legs and use up that paw-fect doggy energy. However, it can be argued that forest-walks are a “best of both worlds” set-up, because they offer a bit of distraction and intrigue for dogs, subsequently slow them down, and therefore gives you the opportunity to take it slow, enjoy your surrounds, and worry less about your pup sprinting away from you and disturbing other walkers. If you like the sound of these forest perks, then Eggesford Forest in Devon is a fine choice. It was planted within Flashdown Wood as per the Forestry Commission in 1919, meaning it’s been structured and laid out in a way that best optimises the space.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs are allowed in all areas of Eggesford Forest.

Website: Eggesford Forest

Forestry England

Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall

An area like Devon does a lot of the work for you when it comes to prime dog-walking locations just by existing. So, when you’ve got Dartington Hall sitting between Dartmoor National Park and the English Riviera coast, it’s almost like nature’s showing off, isn’t it? In its own right, dogs aside, it has so much to offer, from shops and restaurants to exhibitions, shows and events. However, when your puppy pal is in the picture, the woodland walks and riverside trails are what steal the show. The walks cater to all abilities, with 880 acres to enjoy.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs are welcome at the estate but we ask that visitors with dogs follow the Countryside Code & are kept off the gardens on their leads around livestock & car parks.

Website: Dartington Estate

Dartington Hall in Devon

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View all our dog friendly cottages in Devon

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