An icy Christmas Day swim in South Devon has been a tradition for some time now, but in the...
South Devon is the ideal destination for holidaying with your pet and is home to an impressive variety of dog-friendly beaches, ranging from expansive sandy bays to secluded coves, making it the perfect playground for your four-legged friend. We’ve created a whistle stop guide to some of our favourite dog friendly beaches in South Devon to help you really maximise your time on our sandy shores.
Please note that some beaches listed in this article are seasonally dog-friendly and do not allow dogs all year round – continue reading our blog for further information.
About a mile from Salcombe, North Sands is dog friendly year-round. It is a popular sandy cove just a short walk from Salcombe town centre, and enjoys all the facilities you need for a day at the beach! The popular Winking Prawn restaurant overlooks the beach and is extremely popular, and best of all, they welcome four-legged customers if they’re clean, well-behaved and remain seated with their owners.
A further 10 minutes walk to the south, you’ll reach South Sands, which is dog friendly at certain times of the year (dogs are welcome from October to May and during the summer months, South Sands welcomes dogs before 10am and after 7pm). Also accessible from Salcombe via the popular South Sands ferry, this is a great way to shorten the journey for those with little legs, or who don’t fancy walking all of the way.
Across the waters of the Salcombe Estuary, the beach of East Portlemouth is quiet and secluded, made up of several smaller bays, meaning you can always find your own space. Dog friendly year round, and nestled alongside the South West Coast Path this is a great beach to visit with your canine companion. What’s more, the shallow, sheltered waters of the estuary make the beaches at East Portlemouth a great spot for swimming, so be sure to get both you and your pooch in the water.
Gara Rock Beach is a 15-minute walk from the car park at Mill Bay (East Portlemouth) situated across the estuary from Salcombe. This beach is gloriously secluded and is dog friendly year round, making it one pf the most popular dog friendly beaches in South Devon!
Tucked in the valley just outside Salcombe, Soar Mill Cove is an incredible sandy inlet, only accessible by foot via the South West Coast Path, and best of all, it is dog friendly year round. At high tide there is little sand on the beach so be sure to time your visit accordingly.
Hope Cove is a picturesque historic fishing village that consists of two beaches: Mouthwell Sands to the north is seasonally dog friendly, and the longer Harbour beach to the south is dog friendly year round (dogs must be kept on a lead at all times). Both of the Hope Cove beaches back onto the village, providing excellent facilities and beachside eateries, making it popular with families.
Owned by the National Trust, South Milton Sands beach is dog friendly year round. At low tide the beach is a long stretch of golden sand and rock pools, making it the perfect runway for your pooch to really stretch its legs.
Bigbury-on-Sea Beach is an expansive sandy beach, that is lapped with clear, shallow waters. Bigbury-on-Sea is most famous for its landmark Burgh Island, which overlooks the beach itself – at low tide you can reach the island by foot, and when the tide is high you can hitch a ride on the sea tractor. Dogs are welcome on the main beach from October to May, with the beach to the west of the causeway welcoming dogs throughout the year.
Renowned as South Devon’s best surfing beach, Bantham is a must-visit beach when on holiday in the region. At low tide Bantham Beach opens up to acres of sand and a patchwork of shallow pools, creating the ultimate play area for canine companions. Ideal for tiring out your pup, you can also take a scenic walk up the estuary or venture further afield to Thurlestone or Aveton Gifford. Dogs are welcome from October to May, and ‘River Beach’, situated beside the estuary at the south end of the beach, is dog friendly year round.
To the north of Bigbury-On-Sea, you will find Ayrmer Cove, which is dog friendly year round. Although the coast path along this stretch can be a little arduous at times, the seclusion of these coves are well worth the hike!
Within walking distance of the village of Kingston, Wonwell is one of the lesser known beaches in Bigbury Bay, and is popular with locals as it is often less busy. Venture to Wonwell for a blustery winter walk, before returning to the Dolphin Inn in Kingston to warm up – dogs are welcome on the beach, and in the pub all year round.
Less than half a mile from Dartmouth Castle you will (if you are lucky!) find Sugary Cove. Nestled in a nook tucked into the wooded cliffs it is accessed by a steep, winding downhill path. Dogs are welcome all year round.
The Blue-Flag awarded shingle beach of Blackpool Sands in Start Bay is a must-visit for families, with fantastic facilities and watersports equipment for hire. Finish off a day on the beach with a meal at the popular Venus Cafe. Dogs are welcome from December to Easter.
Slapton Sands is a three-mile shingle stretch of beach, incorporating both Strete Gate and Torcross Beach. It’s a completely level walk with plenty of parking and some great dog friendly eateries. Dog friendly year round, Slapton Sands is the perfect beach for a leisurely stroll.
Just south of Torcross is the smaller mile-long shingle beach of Beesands, with a couple of great dog friendly eateries (Britannia @ The Beach, and The Cricket Inn). Continue on the South West Coast Path a little further (just over a mile) and you will reach Hallsands, which is a small fine shingle beach. Both beaches are dog friendly year round and with great walks in all directions, this is a great spot.
Located towards the southern end of Start Bay, Hallsands Beach is a popular spot with those in search of seclusion and solitude. Dog friendly year round, and situated directly on the South West Coast Path boasting walks in both directions, it comes as no surprise this beaches shingle shores are one of the most favoured dog friendly beaches in South Devon.
To the west of Start Point, on a particularly rugged stretch of coastline, you will find the secluded beach of Lannacombe. If you don’t mind undertaking some epic hills, you will be rewarded with scenery and sand that is truly breathtaking. Dogs are welcome all year round.
One of the most secluded dog friendly beaches in South Devon, Mattiscombe Beach is the perfect bolthole if you’re looking for a quiet, sandy escape. Best of all, the beach is situated a short 2km steep walk from the Start Point carpark, which means your four legged friend will have had a good stretch before even reaching the beach!
At Coast & Country Cottages we love dogs and are proud of the wealth of dog friendly beaches in South Devon on offer. We have many dog friendly properties, including dog friendly cottages near the beach and stunning luxury dog friendly retreats! From secluded farm cottages with large gardens to picture perfect cottages nestled in popular the popular towns of Salcombe, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge, we have the ideal dog friendly property for you and your four-legged friend.
South Devon is a paradise for both humans and four legged friends. Our aim is to make your holiday as stress free as possible, so download our pet friendly holiday guide ‘South Devon Loves Dogs’ to find out more about the dog friendly attractions, eateries and holiday homes in our region.