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Dog-friendly beaches in South Devon

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. In celebration, we’ve created a whistle stop guide to some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in South Devon to help you really maximise your beach time.

Dog-friendly beaches in Salcombe

North Sands

About a mile from Salcombe, North Sands is dog-friendly year-round. The Winking Prawn restaurant overlooks the beach and is extremely popular. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner they welcome four-legged customers if they’re clean, well-behaved and remain seated with their owners.

Dogs are welcome all year round. 

Dog-friendly beach North Sands, Salcombe

South Sands

A further 10 minutes walk to the south, you’ll reach South Sands, which is dog friendly at certain times of the year and accessible from Salcombe via the popular South Sands ferry. The ferry is a great way to shorten the journey for those with little legs, or who don’t fancy walking all of the way.

Dogs are welcome from October to May. During the summer months, South Sands Beach now welcomes dogs before 10am and after 7pm.*

East Portlemouth

Across the waters of the Salcombe Estuary, the beaches of East Portlemouth are dog-friendly year-round. Often surprisingly quiet, even during South Devon’s busiest holiday periods, these coves are always worth a visit. 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!

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Dog-friendly beach East Portlemouth, Salcombe

Gara Rock Beach

Gara Rock Beach is a 15-minute walk from the car park at Mill Bay (East Portlemouth) across the estuary from Salcombe. This beach is gloriously secluded, making it an ideal jaunt for you and your four-legged friend.

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Soar Mill Cove

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. At high tide there is little sand on the beach so be sure to time your visit accordingly!

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Hope Cove

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 (however dogs must be kept on a lead at all times). Both Hope Cove beaches back onto the village, which has excellent facilities and beachside eateries, making it popular with families. Hope Cove has also recently been the location for the popular BBC TV drama The Coroner!

Dog restrictions apply. 

Thurlestone and South Milton Sands

Owned by the National Trust, Thurlestone and South Milton Sands beach are 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.

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Dog-friendly beach at Thurlestone

Dog-friendly beaches in Bigbury Bay


Bigbury-on-Sea Beach is a vast sandy beach, lapped with shallow waters. Bigbury 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! Seasonally dog-friendly, Bigbury-on-Sea is perfect for adventuring.

Dogs are welcome on the main beach from October to May. The beach to the west of the causeway welcomes dogs all year round.*

Dogs at Bigbury-on-Sea beach


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 beach opens up to acres of sand and a patchwork of shallow pools, creating the ultimate play area for four-legged friends. Ideal for tiring out your pup, take the scenic walk up the estuary or further afield to Thurlestone or Aveton Gifford.

Dogs are welcome from October to May. The estuary, found at the south end of the beach, is dog-friendly year-round.*

Ayrmer Cove and Westcombe Beach

To the north of Bigbury-On-Sea, you will find two further beaches, that are both 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.

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Wonwell Beach

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 all year round.

Dog-friendly beaches near Dartmouth

Sugary Cove

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.

Blackpool Sands

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 only.*

Dogs welcome at Blackpool Sands during the winter months

Slapton Sands

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.

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Dog-friendly beach at Torcross

Beesands and Hallsands

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.

Dogs are welcome all year round.

Lannacombe Beach and Mattiscombe Sands

To the west of Start Point, on a particularly rugged stretch of coastline, you will find two beaches; Lannacombe Beach and Mattiscombe Sands. 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.

*Exact dates of dog-friendly beaches may vary. 

South Devon: the perfect destination for a dog-friendly holiday

At Coast & Country Cottages we love dogs and are proud to offer a selection of over 100 dog-friendly properties, including dog-friendly cottages near the beach and stunning luxury dog-friendly retreats! From secluded farm cottages with large gardens to ideally located cottages in popular the popular towns of Salcombe, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge, we have the ideal property for you and your four-legged friend.

View our dog friendly properties

Download our FREE dog-friendly holiday 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.

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