As it is National Pet Month and as North Devon is one of the most dog friendly places in the UK, we thought we would share some of our favourite places to go on a walk with our pets – of course, you don’t need a furry friend to enjoy these with, but if you are looking for somewhere new to explore, these are picturesque and give both you and your dog something fun to discover.
These walks cover everything from easy to challenging routes, so you can easily find the one that best suits you.
If you have an older dog or you yourself are on the hunt for something gentle that you can do at your leisure, these walks are under 3 miles and are much more accessible than others in the region.
Heddon’s Mouth Walk
This circular walk starts and ends at the Hunter’s Inn, where you can even leave your car if you like. The pub is also dog friendly, so you can always stop for some refreshments once you’re done!
This walk features ancient woodlands, a babbling stream and some cliffs to add a touch of drama to the proceedings. At this time of year, you can see some lovely wildflowers dotted about the place and spot the birds as they start to make their nests, while later in the year, you can see more of the surroundings as the trees start to thin out.
The trail covers woodland, riverside paths and a pebbly beach and is relatively level, however there are a few places where it is uneven. The National Trust do have an all-terrain mobility scooter available for hire, so make sure to book it if you think it might be something you need.
Like the sound of this walk? Find the Hunter’s Inn at EX31 4PY.
Lynton and the Valley of Rocks
Another circular trail, this one starts and ends at the Lynton Cliff Railway Station. The route follows the Coast Path from Lynton to the famous Valley of Rocks, the walk follows a relatively level section of high cliffs and if your dog is well behaved, you might even be able to observe the wild goats that live on the rock faces.
The path is relatively level and has been surfaced with tarmac, so it is accessible for a range of abilities. You can adapt the route to make it shorter by starting at a car park in the Valley of Rocks rather than at the Railway Station.
Find the start of the walk at Lynton Cliff Railway Station at EX35 6HU.
Baggy Point (short walk)
Another National Trust managed walk, this one starts and ends at the Baggy Point Car Park and is a particularly nice walk at this time of year as you can often spot sea birds starting to nest among the rocks on the cliff and the gorse bushes and other plants are starting to bloom.
This walk is a gently sloping one out to the tip of the point and back again where you can enjoy some lovely views of the coastline. There are some steep drops at the top, so make sure your dog is on a lead and you keep an eye on any children that might be with you. There is an alternative route which is a little more steep and isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs all the way along.
Start this walk at Baggy Point car park, use postcode EX33 1PA for satnavs.
Want something a little more taxing but not too challenging? Try one of these walks, ranging from 2 to 10 miles, these walks take in some of the more coastal areas and offer more of a challenge.
Hillsborough’s Sleeping Elephant
One of the shorter walks we’ve chosen, this one is less than 2 miles but does have some uneven and rocky places, so make sure to wear sensible shoes and to keep an eye on your dogs at all times.
This walk takes you around the Hillsborough Nature Reserve which is known as The Sleeping Elephant. Located near Ilfracombe, the walk gives you some lovely views to Lundy Island and the Welsh coast on a clear day and you can experience a bird’s eye view of Ilfracombe itself. You’ll also find some Iron Age ramparts around the summit of the hill and some lovely wildlife you can spot.
This route starts and ends at Hele Bay car park, EX34 9QZ.
This walk gives you the chance to find a couple of the more secluded beaches in the area and is particularly good for dogs, there are even a couple of dog friendly pubs along the route that you can visit on your travels.
Taking you through coastal heathland, this is a great walk at this time of year where you’ll be able to see the wildflowers blooming, though there are a some steep stretches and steps at some points, there are also some shortcuts you can take across the heath if you find the main route too challenging.
Start and end at Mortehoe Village, use the postcode EX34 7DT.
Appledore and Northam Burrows
A circular walk stretching almost 7 miles, this walk is almost completely flat but there are some stiles and a couple of climbs along the way.
The route takes you around Northam Burrows by starting in Appledore and then walking through to the Taw-Torridge estuary and a dog friendly beach where you can have a little rest while your companion chases the waves and digs to their heart’s content!
Start off at the car park in Appledore, use the postcode EX39 1RL, the walk route will bring you back this way.
Up for something more strenuous, check these options out.
Lorna Doone Walk
This walk takes you through some breathtaking scenery that features in the romantic epic, Lorna Doone. The route involves bridleways and some steep sections starting off high above the coast and then dropping down.
The route does take you past a couple of dog friendly pubs too, so you can break up the 5.4 mile walk with a break.
Start at County Gate, EX35 6NQ.
This walk which takes in some lovely views has some steep and exposed areas but much of it does cover quiet lanes and tracks.
The walk takes you along the East Lyn and Hoar Oak rivers with a coastal area and dramatic views. This is a particularly stunning place to visit all year around and there is a shorter version of the walk should you not have the time to do the entire path.
Start and finish at Lynmouth sea front, there is a car park which can be found at EX35 6EN.
Caffyns Heanton Walk
This challenging walk has a lot of ascents and descents and includes Lee Bay, which is dog friendly. The walk begins and ends at Lee Abbey Car Park which is located above the bay, use the postcode EX35 6JN to find it.
The walk includes a tiny cove, a woodland and a climb into the hills above Lee Abbey where you can experience some lovely views across Exmoor. At this time of year and into early summer, there is a blanket of bluebells making it particularly picturesque.
You can find some more dog friendly walks around North Devon by exploring the South West Coast Path.