I’m from a small village on Exmoor in the beautiful region of North Devon and have always been lucky enough to count a dog, or dogs, as part of our family. From weekend excursions to after school adventures, over the 22 years that I have called North Devon home, I’ve managed to find some of the best dog-friendly walks, pubs and activities in the area.
Whether you’re holidaying in Devon, new to the area or a seasoned local, below you will find some of my favourite dog-friendly activities for you to tick off this summer:
A Walk on Wooly and a Pint in The Red Barn
Without a doubt my favourite beach in the world. 3 miles of golden sands stretch out ahead of you, plenty of room for some serious exercise for your pup, who is certain to make a few mates en route. See if you can make it all the way to the shelter of Putsborough, and reward yourself with a refreshing drink in the fab café. Head back to Woolacombe, and retire to The Red Barn for a relaxed pint as the sun goes down.
A Curry On Barricane
One of North Devon’s best-kept secrets is the curry on offer at Barricane Beach, located next to Woolacombe. Take a picnic blanket, and maybe even a bottle of wine, pop your pup on the lead and you’re good to go! They will serve you the delicious curry on the beach as you sit and soak up the last of the evening sun. If your pup is anything like mine, I recommend taking a bone or some treats to distract them while you indulge!
A Parracombe Pub Crawl
Start in Parracombe and head over the fields towards Hunters Inn, enjoying the picturesque valley and river wildlife as you go. Venture past Hunters Inn for a short while until you reach Heddon’s Mouth, a secluded, rocky beach that makes for the perfect picnic spot! Head back towards Parracombe at a leisurely pace, stopping for ice cream, cream teas and snacks as and when you see fit. Upon return to Parracombe, I cannot recommend dinner at The Fox and Goose highly enough. This dog-friendly pub serves delicious and hearty meals, and you’re guaranteed service with a smile! All food is locally-sourced and homemade – a true gem and a credit to the area.
Chippy Down The Beach
Lynmouth is a gorgeous seaside resort with dramatic scenery and a great place to explore with your pup. Check out the beaches, treat yourself to a ride on the Cliff Railway (dogs welcome!) before heading to The Esplanade for what I believe to be the best chips in Devon.
Cricket and a Walk in The Valley
If you ever find yourself at a loss for something to do on a blissful Sunday afternoon, head over to Lynton for a walk in the dramatic landscapes of the Valley of the Rocks. Enjoy spectacular views from the cliff paths, make friends with the wild goats and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the local cricket team in action!
A Wistland Pound Walk
A gorgeous reservoir, not far from Blackmoor Gate, which has two circular routes around the perimeter of the water, allowing you to take in the beautiful views across the water. There is plenty of wildlife for you to keep an eye out for during your walk; there’s even rumoured to be a resident Kingfisher, so keep those eyes peeled! This route is perfect if anyone in your party is less able, as the path is flat and even.
Instow and a Cider in the Sun
Instow is one of the most underrated beaches in Devon in my opinion, and the perfect place to enjoy an evening dog walk! The dog-friendly beach is the perfect spot for your pooch, and gives you the opportunity to try out the renowned Hockings ice cream from the van on the promenade. Retreat to the beer gardens of the Instow Arms for a Devon Cider.
A Day in Ilfracombe
The beautiful seaside resort of Ilfracombe is a fantastic day out for all the family, four-legged friends included! Head down to the pier and check out Verity, an impressive masterpiece from Damian Hurst, before checking out any of the local beaches. There are plenty of dog-friendly eateries in North Devon, each with fantastic locally-sourced food. I recommend a cream tea here in any of the cafes along St James’s Road, but just remember: cream on first!
Fun in the Burrows
A walk along Braunton Burrows is a must for any visitor or resident in North Devon. There is a plethora of paths and trails for you to explore with your pup, and plenty to see during your walk. Once you’ve made your way through the burrows, you will end up in the beautiful Saunton, the backdrop setting for the Robbie Williams’, Angels music video. Be sure to check out Squires in Braunton for some acclaimed fish and chips!
Have I missed anything!? Let me know via my social media channels!