It’s become apparent over the last few years that dog-friendly holidays are on the rise, with more and more people becoming unwilling to leave their four-legged friends behind. We can’t blame them - here in North Devon, we absolutely love dogs. And luckily for those people, we welcome them wholeheartedly to our stretch of coastline.
So if you’re a dog owner who needs a break, but wants to share it with every member of the family, you’re in luck. Here are a few reasons why North Devon is the best possible holiday destination for you!
Dog Friendly Accommodation
Credit: Croyde Bay Holiday Resort
We love having you - and your dogs! - with us, so plenty of local accommodation providers ensure that the two of you have somewhere lovely to rest your head at night.
Croyde Bay Holiday Resort have a fantastic selection of five ‘Waggy Tails’ self-catering cottages, and can also be taken to the on-site Plaza Bar while you’re staying. Braddicks Holiday Centre offer some fantastic pet-friendly packages, set in beautiful locations with dedicated exercise areas to keep your dogs thriving. Spreacombe Gardens have some really beautiful cottages that welcome pups, and because they’re situated in a gorgeous North Devon valley, provide some of the most stunning routes you could possibly walk, with easy access to several beaches.
Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks allow up to three dogs per booking in their pet-friendly holiday homes, and additional facilities including a freshly-changed dog bed, healthy treat, toys and food and water bowls which are all included in the pet fee. Woolacombe Bay, Golden Coast, Twitchen House and Easewell Farm are all situated in beautiful areas which dogs will absolutely love too, with plenty of great walks nearby.
Dog Friendly Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes
Credit: The Beaver Inn.
A huge part of the North Devon experience is about getting to taste the huge variety of different foods and flavours on offer in the region. Luckily, you’re in no danger of missing out just because you’ve got your dog with you. A huge amount of different eateries are utterly or at least partially dog-friendly - in fact, with many owners having their own dogs on site, you can often find water bowls already set out or even complimentary treats on offer.
We recently compiled a list of our favourite dog-friendly pubs, but others deserving of a mention are The Beaver Inn, Appledore, which has a dog-friendly bar area, and The Kings Arms in Georgeham. Both of these are well known for their delicious food and great range of drinks, so pop in for a bite or a pint without having to worry!
If a pub lunch isn’t quite what you’re craving, don’t worry - a variety of North Devon cafes and tearooms are also dog-friendly. For example, the tea rooms at The Hele Corn Mill are renowned for their delicious home-baked cream teas, cakes, sandwiches and pasties. While dogs aren’t allowed in the actual mill due to hygiene regulations, they’re more than welcome in the tea room. Similarly, The Quay Cafe at Braunton is very dog-friendly, and provides a relaxing, chilled atmosphere along with great food, homemade goods and seasonal specials brimming with flavour.
The list doesn’t end there - you can always find even more options with ease on the North Devon Food Trail.
Dog Friendly Attractions
Credit: lia.thepomeranian on Instagram
Everyone knows that there’s plenty to do in North Devon - we’re known as England’s Adventure Coast for a reason, after all - but it’s not just outdoor activities that dogs are able to get involved in. A number of our most popular family attractions welcome pups.
Clovelly Village welcomes dogs on leads all year round, and between the Harbour, the Beach, and pretty cobbled streets, there’s plenty of places that they will love to explore. Hartland Abbey isn’t too far away, and similarly welcomes dogs on leads on the outside grounds; with beautiful gardens, and a stunning parkland which leads to the sea, they’ll have a great time and you’ll be treated to some truly spectacular views at the same time.
Dogs will also love Marwood Hill Gardens - a beautiful expanse of 20 acres of land, including 3 lakes and lovingly tended private gardens, however, it is asked that they are kept on leads. The same applies at the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, where dogs can ride explore the stations and even ride the trains free of charge.
Dog Friendly Beaches
Credit: Ben Hawkes
We know that many North Devon visitors are mostly after some time on the beach. While restrictions apply for most of our beaches during peak season, there are still dog-friendly zones or even certain locations which allow dogs all through the year.
Saunton Sands is one of the most dog-friendly beaches in the country, and welcomes those with four legs 365 days a year. There’s a small section to the right of the slipway which doesn’t allow dogs, but the rest - a huge expanse of sandy beach - carries no restrictions, other than the polite request to keep dogs on leads when moving through crowds.
Award-winning Woolacombe Beach is divided into zones, with one allowing dogs on leads during the summer, one prohibiting dog walking between April and November, and one without restrictions. A helpful guide to the zones and dates can be found here.
Similarly, Westward Ho! places a restriction on where dogs are allowed between 1st October and 30th April - outside of these months however, dogs are allowed free run over the large expanse of sand.
While some of the larger beaches operate restrictions, there’s an array of smaller beaches and secluded coves which allow dogs all year round, such as Hele Bay, Lynmouth, Crow Point and Wildersmouth. The key thing is to ensure that you’re keeping a close watch on your dog, and should they leave anything behind, clean it up.
Credit: Mark Clinton Johnson
With valleys and woodlands, beaches and coves, there’s no shortage of places to walk your dog, with little restrictions placed.
From Braunton Burrows to Northam Burrows, Exmoor to the Tarka Trail, you have access to an incredible amount of different routes, varying terrains and levels of difficulty across North Devon. Guides are easily accessible, but one of the best ways to find the best paths for you and your dog is to go out and discover them yourselves - with very few areas restricting you, it’s easy to discover a new favourite.
Are you and your pooch frequent visitors to North Devon, or have we swayed you to give us a go? Make sure to let us know on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - there’s nothing more we like seeing than your adventures with your dogs, so send us your photos, and we’ll see you next time!