Devon LivingIssue #05
Dog days in Devon
Whether you and your pooch live here, or you’re visiting with your pup, Devon is a great place to explore on two feet and four.
With hundreds of miles of coastline, one of the best ways to explore Devon is on foot. If you’re drawn to the sea then following the South West Coast Path (SWCP) is perfect for you and your dog. This way-marked footpath is England’s longest and allows you to discover Devon in all its glory. Choose from a gentle stroll or a longer hike and discover everything from seaside towns to ‘off the beaten track’ coves on the way. The south Devon stretch of the SWCP includes many of the main towns in the region including Seaton, Sidmouth and Salcombe. Over on the east coast, which is also known as the Jurassic Coast, you’ll find nearly 100 miles of footpath that will take you from Exmouth in Devon as far as Studland in Dorset.
“Dartmoor is a ‘walkies’ paradise with miles of open moorland, shady forests and plenty of rivers and streams to cool off in”
Inland, you’ll find lush valleys and stunning moorland just waiting to be explored. Dartmoor is a ‘walkies’ paradise with miles of open moorland, shady forests and plenty of rivers and streams to cool off in. There are times throughout the year when you need to be mindful of new born lambs and ground nesting birds but well-behaved dogs (and their owners!) are always welcome.
If you and your pup prefer a more leisurely pace then a visit to one of Devon’s dog-friendly gardens or castles makes for a great day out. The National Trust has some excellent places to visit full of fun things to do with your dog – Saltram, overlooking the river Plym, and the gothic splendour of Knightshayes are some of our four-legged favourites. You can also sniff out some of Devon’s rich history at both Dartmouth and Totnes castles.
No trip to Devon would be complete without a walk across one of our amazing beaches. Take a ball, or find a driftwood stick, and your pup will be happily splashing in rock pools and playing fetch until the sun goes down. Although some beaches ban dogs in high season, many in Devon don’t and some are dog friendly all year round. On the north Devon coast you can play in the dunes on Saunton Sands or stroll along the estuary at Instow. Over on the south coast Bantham is great for a doggie paddle while a visit to Exmouth will give you a great ‘out and back’ stroll along Queens Drive. As some seasonal restrictions do apply, it’s always best to check on the internet for the latest details before you travel.
After all those canine capers you and your pooch will no doubt have worked up an appetite and a thirst. Luckily, many Devon cafes, restaurants and pubs welcome dogs. In the spring and summer, you can enjoy lunch on the many sunny terraces with a glass of something cold while your dog rests under a shady parasol. Autumn and winter days bring with them cosy seats in front of roaring log fires, perfect for warming cold paws while you enjoy a winter tipple.
A place to rest
At the end of a day’s exploration there are a host of dog-friendly hotels, cottages and campsites to stay across the county. Over the coming pages you’ll find lots to choose from, some include dog bowls, dog beds and doggie treats while others have bedrooms that lead helpfully straight out on to gardens. We all know that a happy dog equals a happy owner, so while your pooch is well catered for you can sit back and relax.
"Dartmoor is a ‘walkies’ paradise with miles of open moorland, shady forests and plenty of rivers and streams to cool off in"