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Does your dog deserve a break too? Devon's known as a great place to come for anyone looking for a dog-friendly holiday.
Devon's all about the great outdoors, so many of our activities and attractions actively welcome dogs, and days out can include your pet too. Plus, there are lots of pet-friendly places to stay all over the county, from highly-rated hotels and luxury holiday cottages to campsites and holiday parks.
Of course, Devon's also well-known for its abundance of beautiful beaches (quite possibly every dog's favourite place to be). Many set aside special sections of the beach where owners can relax while their dogs run off the lead - and into the surf. Others wecome dogs during the quiter times, whilst some welcome dogs off the lead, everywhere, all-year-round.
Want to plan your perfect dog friendly holiday in Devon? Then read on ...
There are many places to stay in Devon that actively welcome dogs. Many like the flexibility of one of the many holiday cottages dotted all over, such as the award winning Higher Wiscombe at Colyton (awarded gold for its dog-friendliness by both Visit Devon and Visit England), or holiday homes such as those at Whitehill Country Park Paignton and Alpine Park Cottages in east Devon. Some prefer to stay at one of the many dog-friendly campsites such as Woodland Springs near Drewsteignton, which has off-lead areas and day kennels.
Or a dog-friendly hotel may be more your style; try Deer Park Country Hotel near Honiton, which recently won our Gold award for its dog-friendliness, or Two Bridges Hotel on Dartmoor, which welcomes dogs in its lounges as well as bedrooms, and has 60 acres of moorland and dog friendly gardens for them to explore, and lavishes its furry guests with treats.
Of course, one of the main reasons many bring their dogs to Devon is for the many opportunities to enjoy the glorious countryside, coast and views. There are many miles of walks and trails criss-crossing the entire county where pets can roam free and romp with glee - not least on the South West Coast Path, and the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor.
One of the greatest pleasures as a dog-owner is seeing your pet's joy as they romp through the surf and jump waves - and avoiding their big shake-off afterwards!
Every beach has its own regulations on dogs; some (including Instow and Saunton on the north coast and East Portlemouth, Beesands and Shelley in the south) allow them total freedom, everywhere, all-year-round; some ban dogs during the summer and allow them on leads during the quieter months; others have special areas set aside for dogs off the lead.
Rest assured that dogs are allowed in some way on virtually every Devon beach, and that any restrictions will be clearly outlined on signs nearby.
Planning a day out in Devon can also include your constant companion. Try geocaching - a digital treasure hunt on the trail of any one of hundreds of 'caches' hidden about the countryside which makes a good walk made even better. Or how about a day at the beach - dogs will enjoy a dip in a rockpool, swim in the sea or ride on a body board as much as the kids.
Then there's always a ride in a steam train, boat or tram - some, such as South Devon Railway, Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat, Stuart Line Cruises and Seaton Tramway are happy to take dogs on board.
And you can try cycling too - some of Devon's cycle hire companies offer trailers that allow you to tow your dog along with you on your ride.
A day out at a Devon attraction needn't rule out your dog - for a great list of dog-friendly Devon attractions take a look at the lotstodo website. Many have lots of outdoor space in which dogs are welcome, and some allow dogs inside too. For a good whole family day out try Babbington Model Village near Torquay, or The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth. Adventure parks are often pet-friendly, like The Milky Way (which allows dogs indoors too), whilst some like Pennywell Farm, The BIG Sheep and Crealy offer day kennels and exercise areas.
Devon also has lots of beautiful National Trust properties and places, such as Killerton House near Exeter, which are well-known for welcoming dogs when at all possible, and some even sell home-made dog biscuits in their cafes alongside the scones.
Devon's known for its fantastic food and drink - so why shouldn't your dog be able to join in too? Many of Devon's pubs and cafes (and even some restaurants) allow dogs inside, and there are some which are particularly welcoming: try The Cricket Inn at Beesands, The Beaver in Appledore, Woodleigh Coach House in Cheriton Bishop, The Wildflower Restaurant in Yelverton - and most places that offer alfresco dining.