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Dog-friendly beaches in Devon holiday cottages

Dog-friendly beaches in Devon

Here at Stay In Devon, we love the beaches that our wonderful county boasts. We also love the fact that our four-legged friends get to enjoy them too during a dog-friendly holiday in Devon!

To make it easy for you to find the perfect stretch for a pootle with your pooch, we've compiled a list of our top 20 dog-friendly beaches in Devon - including award-winning and Blue Flag beaches.

Stay in a self-catering, dog-friendly cottages in Devon. Read our helpful blog, where we have compiled a list of our six favourite properties that welcome pets. 

Dog-friendly beaches in Devon

Our Top Dog-Friendly Beaches in Devon!

1. Putsborough, North Devon

Putsborough

Putsborough Sands is one of the finest beaches in North Devon with long reaching views of the surrounding headlands. Whatever time of year you visit the beach will be packed with surfers making the most of the high-quality waves found here. Dogs will love playing chase on this large expanse of golden sand.

Restrictions: Dogs banned in selected areas from 1st April to 31st October.

Stay at: The Pine Cabin, Georgeham (1.5 miles from Putsborough)

2. Saunton, North Devon

Saunton

Three and a half miles of golden sand greet you at Saunton Sands perfect for long walks with your pooch. At the back of the beach are dunes that provide plenty more opportunity for activities.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year on certain parts of the beach.

Stay at:  West Saunton Cottage, Saunton Sands

3. Westward Ho!, North Devon

Westward Ho!

A long stretch of soft sand on the North Devon coastline that is a firm favourite for dog-walkers in the region. At low tide a large expanse of sand is revealed, even at high tide, there is grassland to explore on the other side of the pebble ridge. Your pooch will love splashing about in the waves at Westward Ho!

Restrictions: Dogs welcome at the north end of the beach all year, restrictions apply in the south during the summer months.

Stay at: Ocean Sunset, Westward Ho!

4. Croyde, North Devon

Croyde

Although not dog-friendly all year round, Croyde is rewarding for those who choose to visit during the spring, autumn and winter. The small bay is backed with sand dunes that dogs will love exploring.

Restrictions: Dogs not permitted between May and September.

Stay in: North Hole Farmhouse, Croyde

5. Woolacombe, North Devon

Woolacombe

Regularly listed in polls of the top beaches in the UK - and it’s easy to see why when you first step on Woolacombe beach! A three-mile stretch of golden sand means that there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy this natural wonder, particularly your four-legged friend.

Restrictions: Zonal restrictions apply between 1st April and the first Monday in November. Dogs must be on a lead from the stream to Mill Rock but no lead is required in the other direction.

Stay in: Barclay House Apartment, Woolacombe

6. Hele Bay, North Devon

Hele Bay

On the outskirts of the popular seaside town of Ilfracombe in North Devon, Hele Bay is the ideal beach for those who like a little peace and quiet. Dogs will love a paddle in the safety of the many rock pools that line the beach.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Harbour Cottage, Ilfracombe (1 mile from Hele Bay)

7. Instow, North Devon

Instow

At Instow beach, you’ll find sand dunes and a small stretch of sand on the banks of the River Torridge that offer spectacular views across the estuary to Appledore and beyond. Dogs will love running around on the sand dunes here.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Sandy Patch, Instow

8. Rockham Beach, North Devon

rockham

This small pebble and sand beach is popular with walkers who are looking for a break after a walk on the South West Coast Path. Dogs will love the wide variety of landscapes that are found on this beach.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Surf's Up, Woolacombe (2.5 miles from Rockham Beach)

9. Wild Pear Beach, North Devon

wild pear

This little-known beach near Combe Martin delights all that visit it. A mix of rocks and sand awaits those who make the trip to the beach with dogs sure to love the peace and quiet of this tranquil location.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Rubydene, Combe Martin

10. Soar Mill Cove, South Devon

Soar Mill Cove

One of the most picturesque beaches in the region is accessed by a mile-long walk along the South West Coast Path but is well worth the effort to see the beauty of this small sandy cove. Dogs will love both the walk to the beach and playing on the sand.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Granary Retreat, Salcombe (2 miles from Soar Mill Cove)

11. Beesands Beach, South Devon

beesands

A mile-long stretch of shingle beach in South Devon, Beesands beach has stunning views of the surrounding peninsula, with views of cliffs and hills all around. Dogs will love splashing about in the calm waters of this beach.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Ferndale Garden View, South Allington (2 miles from Beesands Beach)

12. Ness Cove Beach, East Devon

ness cove beach tunnel

Uniquely accessed through a tunnel, this is one of the most secluded and picturesque beaches in the county. Dramatic red cliffs back the beach which gently slopes into the sea. Your pooch will love the running in and out of the tunnel at this unique location.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Otter Lodge, Dawlish (4.5 miles from Ness Cove Beach)

13. Salcombe, South Devon

Salcombe

Salcombe has two beaches both equally as beautiful as each other in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The beach is completely submerged at high tide but Salcombe is such a pretty village that there is plenty to see in the area. Both you and dog will love exploring the surrounding area in this beauty spot.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Charnwood Cottage, Hope Cove (4 miles from Salcombe)

14. Blackpool Sands, South Devon

Blackpool Sands in Devon

This privately owned beach has won several awards over the past few years. The beach’s turquoise waters give it a Mediterranean feel, a treat to visit all year round. Dogs will love splashing in the clear water on this beach.

Restrictions: Dogs not allowed on the beach between 1st March and the end of autumn half term.

Stay in: Clarence, Dartmouth (3.5 miles from Blackpool Sands)

15. Exmouth Beach, East Devon

Exmouth Beach

Exmouth beach is a long sandy arc with dramatic views of the surrounding coastline. Wander along from Exmouth harbour and enjoy this wonderful two-mile stretch of sandy beach. Your four-legged friend will love long walks along this beach.

Restrictions: Dogs banned between 1st May and 30th September.

Stay in: Folgate at the Old Workshops, Exmouth 

16. Wembury Beach, South Devon

Wembury Beach

Flanked by rock pools either side, Wembury beach is popular with visitors due to the large expanse of sand that is revealed at low tide. Parking is limited at the beach but why not take a relaxing stroll along the South West Coast Path to reach it? The beach is perfect for a day out with your dog on the South Devon coast.

Restrictions: Dogs banned between 1st May and 30th September.

Stay in: Sunny Daze, Newton-Ferrers (2 miles from Wembury Beach)

17. Dawlish Warren, East Devon

dawlish

Dawlish Warren beach has the feel of a traditional British seaside location with amusements, shops and ice cream stalls lining the beach. Our four-legged friends will be more interested in the miles of soft golden sand on the beach.

Restrictions: Limited access between 1st April and 30th September.

Stay in: Warren Roost, Dawlish

18. Bantham Beach, South Devon

bantham sands

Bantham Beach is one of the largest stretches of sandy beach in the county that has beautiful views across the estuary to Bigbury-on-Sea. Rock-pools and sand dunes are found at Bantham Beach making it one of the most complete beaches in Devon. Dogs will love exploring the rock pools and dunes on this beach.

Restrictions: Dogs banned of the main beach between 1st May and 30th September.

Stay in: Little Pear Tree Barn, Kingston (3.5 miles from Bigbury-on-Sea)

19. Strete Gate Beach, South Devon

strete

Located the start of a coastal spit, Strete Gate Beach is a wide open, shingle beach that dogs will love playing a game of fetch on. The coastal spit is the perfect destination for a long coastal walk in Devon with your four-legged friend.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round

Stay in: Ferndale Orchard View, South Allington (6 miles from Strete Gate Beach)

20. East Portlemouth, South Devon

East Portlemouth in Devon

Nestled on the banks of Salcombe Harbour this pleasant village boasts a stretch of sandy beach that welcomes dogs all year round. A ferry is available across to Salcombe so you experience more than one of Devon’s great beaches in a day. Dogs will love running about on this quiet beach.

Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round.

Stay in: Pypard Retreat, Salcombe (1 mile via ferry from East Portlemouth)

Read on to see the full list of beaches where dogs are allowed all year round, where there are restrictions, and where there are annual bans.

Dogs allowed all-year round

The beaches included on the list below generally have no restrictions on walking your dog at any point during the year. However, some locations request that pets are kept on a lead, and rules and regulations can be changed throughout the year. Make sure you check the signage at the beach you are visiting to be sure you're safe.

  • Appledore
  • Beesands Beach
  • Crow Point
  • East Portlemouth
  • Greencliffs / Abbotsham
  • Hele Bay
  • Ilfracombe (The Cove, Raparee, Larkstone, Cheyne)
  • Lee Bay
  • Lynmouth
  • Mill Bay
  • Mortehoe
  • Ness Cove, Shaldon
  • Rockham
  • Salcombe North Sands
  • Slapton and Torcross
  • Strete Gate
  • Teignmouth River Beach
  • Thurlestone / South Milton
  • Watermouth
  • Wild Pear
  • Wildersmouth, Ilfracombe

Seasonal dog ban in place

  • Bantham
  • Beer
  • Bigbury
  • Blackpool Sands
  • Breakwater Beach
  • Broadsands Beach
  • Budleigh Salterton
  • Corbyn Head
  • Coryton Cove
  • Croyde
  • Dawlish Town Beach
  • Dawlish Warren Beach
  • Exmouth
  • Goodrington Sands - North Sands
  • Goodrington Sands - South Sands
  • Holcombe Beach
  • Hollicombe Beach
  • Instow
  • Meadfoot Beach - North-East
  • Meadfoot Beach - South-West
  • Ness Cove Beach
  • Northam Burrows (grazing animals so exercise caution as severe penalties for sheep worrying dog owners)
  • Oddicombe Beach
  • Paignton Sands
  • Preston Sands
  • Putsborough
  • Seaton
  • Shaldon Beach
  • Shoalstone Pool
  • Teignmouth Town Beach and River Beach
  • Torre Abbey Sands
  • Westward Ho!
  • Woolacombe

Although there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in Devon, some only allow man's best friend for parts of the year. As a rule, seasonal bans run from Easter Day up until 1st October. However, as previously stated, make sure you check the signage at the beach to be certain.

There are seven beaches in Devon on which a year-round dog ban is in operation: Hartland Quay, Salcombe, Hope Cove, Challaborough, Mothecombe, Wembury, and Bovisand.

NB: The information was correct at the time of writing and will be checked and amended regularly to ensure it remains correct. However, if you believe some of the information needs updating, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

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