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dog-friendly beaches in south devon - golden retriever on beach

South Devon 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.

Feel the sand and sea between your paws during the day before heading off to one of many dog-friendly eateries for a feast. South Devon is the ideal destination for holidaying with your pet.

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.


Dog-friendly Beaches in South Devon

Looking for somewhere specific? Use our quick links below, or read on for our extensive guide to dog-friendly beaches in South Devon:

    1. North Sands
    2. South Sands
    3. East Portlemouth
    4. Gara Rock Beach
    5. Soar Mill Cove
    6. Hope Cove beaches
    7. South Milton Sands
    8. Bigbury-on-Sea
    9. Bantham
    10. Ayrmer Cove
    11. Wonwell Beach
    12. Sugary Cove
    13. Blackpool Sands
    14. Slapton Sands
    15. Hallsands
    16. Beesands
    17. Lannacombe
    18. Mattiscombe

1. North Sands

North Sands

About a mile from Salcombe, North Sands is dog-friendly all year round.  It’s a popular sandy cove just a short walk from Salcombe town centre, with all the facilities you need for a day at the beach!

The popular Winking Prawn restaurant serves delicious seafood and overlooks the beach. But best of all, they welcome clean, well-behaved four-legged customers.


2. South Sands

Blue flag award-winning South Sands Beach is dog-friendly from the start of October to the end of April. Accessible by walking 10-minutes south of North Sands or for those with little legs you may prefer to take the South Sands ferry.

There’s a small car park and facilities nearby for a fun-filled day at the beach.


3. East Portlemouth

East Portlemouth

For those looking for a beach holiday away from the crowds, then East Portlemouth is well worth the visit. Dog-friendly year-round, these small secluded bays with shallow, sheltered waters provide the perfect conditions for swimming, so be sure to get both you and your pooch in the water. 

There’s parking, disabled access to the beach, toilets, and cafes nearby so you can make a full day of it. 

East Portlemouth isn’t just a beach for swimming and building sandcastles, it’s also a great place to take in the local scenery with a walk along the National Trust Coast Path. You and your pooch will love the feel of the wind blowing through your fur. 


4. Gara Rock

Saltwater and sunsets are one of our favourite combinations for any seaside holiday and Gara Rock Beach has some of the best. This secluded and unspoilt beach is a much-loved ‘secret’ spot among locals and holidaymakers alike. 

Situated across the estuary from Salcombe and just a short 15-minute walk from the car park at Mill Bay (East Portlemouth), you’ll feel the saltwater spray and Devon fresh air on your face in no time.

A bonus of this glorious beach is that it’s dog-friendly year-round, so you can frolic and play to your heart’s content, without disturbing a soul. This is why it’s one of the most popular dog-friendly beaches in South Devon!


5. Soar Mill Cove

Only accessible by foot via the South West Coast Path, and tucked in the valley just outside Salcombe, Soar Mill Cove is a hidden treasure. Due to its secluded nature, it offers a perfect pit stop along your coastal walk. Dog-friendly year-round you’ll be sad to miss your chance to walk along its sandy shores. 

But be mindful of the tide as it could leave you stranded. You and your furry friends will love the chance of jumping and swimming through the waves to cool off on a hot summer’s day, before heading on your way to Soar Mill Cove Hotel for a quick bite to eat.


6. Hope Cove

Hope Cove is a picturesque historic fishing village that consists of two beaches: Mouthwell Sands and Harbour Beach. Both Hope Cove beaches back onto the village, providing excellent facilities and beachside eateries, making it popular with families, walkers, and dog-lovers.

Mouthwell Sands welcomes our four-legged friends from the end of September through to the end of April, whereas Harbour Beach is dog-friendly year-round. Both beaches offer an array of activities for all. From swimming and building sandcastles to watching the fishing boats haul in their catch and marvelling at breathtaking views.


7. South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands - Dog-friendly beaches in South Devon

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the National Trust owned, South Milton Sands beach has everything from sand, sea, scenery, and rare wildlife. The wonderful beach is dog-friendly year-round. And offers some amazing opportunities for your pooch to stretch its legs on a sandy runway at low tide. 

It’s also popular amongst families due to shallow rock pools showing up at low tide. The nearby village of Thurlestone offers plenty of shops with beachside essentials as well as a wealth of pubs, cafes, and restaurants for a bite to eat.


8. Bigbury-on-Sea

Bigbury-on-sea

Bigbury-on-Sea is most famous for its landmark Burgh Island, which overlooks Bigbury-on-Sea Beach. This expansive sandy beach is lapped with clear, shallow waters. During low tide you can reach Burgh island by foot, or when the tide is high 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.


9. Bantham

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 Bantham beach, is dog-friendly year-round.


10. Ayrmer Cove

Ayrmer Cove is another wonderful year-round dog-friendly beach in South Devon. This remote and picturesque cove is a 20-minute walk from the car park and can only be accessed by foot along the coast path. This little stretch from Challaborough Beach is a strenuous one, but we can assure you it’s well worth the hike.

Watch out for adders, slow worms, ground-nesting birds, and other rare birds on your walk down to the beach. At low tide, the colourful rock pools will also be filled with marine life so be sure to take a look.


11. Wonwell Beach

Situated on the Erme Estuary, Wonwell Beach is a lesser-known gem in Bigbury Bay. Extremely popular with locals due to its quiet, less busy nature, it makes for a great dog-friendly beach.

Wonwell beach is within walking distance of the village of Kingston, where you’ll find plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants for a spot of lunch. 

For those looking for a blustery winter walk, venture into Wonwell before returning to the Dolphin Inn in Kingston to warm up – dogs are welcome on the beach, and in the pub all year round.


12. Sugary Cove

Less than half a mile from Dartmouth Castle you will (if you are lucky!) find Sugary Cove. A remote shingle and rock beach where dogs are welcome all year round. Nestled in a nook tucked into the wooded cliffs it is accessed by a steep, winding downhill path.

This beach is only visible at low tide, so you’ll be forgiven if you miss it. However, if you do manage to find yourself on its shores, remember to keep an eye on the tide.


13. Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands

Lapped by clear blue waters and surrounded by evergreens and pines, Blackpool Sands is a must-visit for all. This blue-flag award-winning beach is a beautiful natural treasure in Start Bay.

Perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and splashing around with your four-legged friends. However, be aware that dogs are only welcome along this beach from the 1st of November to the 31st of March.

So after a cool winter walk and a splash around, why not finish off with a meal at the popular Venus Cafe. Before heading back to your accommodation to warm up by the open fire!


14. Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands, Torcross

Slapton Sands is a three-mile shingle stretch of beach, incorporating both Strete Gate and Torcross Beach. It plays a very important role in the survival of some of the UK’s rarest flora and fauna. 

It’s a completely level walk with plenty of parking, water sports facilities, and it even has some great dog-friendly eateries. With lifeguards patrolling the beach and a flag system in place this beach is extremely safe and a favourite for those looking for the perfect beach holiday and wilderness combination.

Dog-friendly year-round, Slapton Sands is the perfect beach for a leisurely stroll and a place to tire your pooches out.


15. Beesands

Just south of Torcross is the award-winning shingle beach of Beesands. Backed by fields and a freshwater lake, Beesands has all the ingredients needed for the perfect beach holiday. Welcoming you and your canine companions year-round, it’s a great place to spend your day.

Start your walk from the beach and follow the South West Coast Path to Hallsands, another small dog-friendly shingle beach, or head into Beesands for a bite to eat at one of two dog-friendly eateries (Britannia @ The Beach, and The Cricket Inn).


16. Hallsands

Located towards the southern end of Start Bay, Hallsands Beach is a popular spot with those in search of seclusion and solitude.

Situated directly on the South West Coast Path boasting walks in both directions. It comes as no surprise this beach’s shingle shores are one of the most favoured dog-friendly beaches in South Devon.


17. Lannacombe

To the west of Start Point, on a particularly rugged stretch of coastline, you will find the secluded beach of Lannacombe. It’s perfect for those looking to leave the crowds behind and experience some of the epic scenery this area provides. 

Dogs are welcome all year round making this the perfect spot for you and your furry friend. The car park is small with space for around 15 cars so be sure to arrive early and make the most of this quiet sandy beach.

Kingsbridge and Dartmouth are both close at hand offering boat excursions, local attractions, and an array of shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants so you can make a day of it. 


18. Mattiscombe

One of the most secluded dog-friendly beaches in South Devon, Mattiscombe Beach. It is the perfect bolthole if you’re looking for a quiet, sandy escape. Located just to the west of Start Point and around the corner from Hallsands and Slapton Sands it offers beautiful views of the surrounding scenery.

The beach is accessed along the South Coast West Path so it will give your four-legged friend a good stretch of their legs before they even reach the sand. The interesting rock formations along the beach serve as a divide and cast other-worldly shapes during sunset. 


Dog-friendly Holidays in South Devon

At Coast & Country Cottages we love dogs and are proud of the wealth of dog-friendly beaches Devon has to 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 coastal cottages and country escapes nestled in Salcombe, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and more, we have the ideal dog friendly property for you and your four-legged friend.

Book your dog friendly holiday today


Download our FREE Dog-friendly Holiday Guide

dog friendly guide

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.