Dog-friendly beaches in South Devon

By Sarah Howard-Jones on February 16, 2018

On the 16th February (2018) Chinese New Year celebrations will be in full swing to welcome the Year of The Dog. South Devon is the ideal destination for holidaying with your favourite 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 beachtime.

Dog friendly beaches in South Devon:

Salcombe and beyond

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.

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.

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 it a great spot for swimming, so be sure to get both you and your pooch in the water!

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.

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, it is dog-friendly all year round. At high tide there is little sand on the beach so be sure to time your visit accordingly!

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 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!

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.

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 is perfect for adventuring.

Renowned as South Devon’s best surfing beach, Bantham is seasonally dog-friendly. At low tide the beach opens up to acres of sand and a patchwork of shallow pools, creating the ultimate play area for four-legged friends. 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.

Dartmouth & Beyond

Sugary Cove
Less than half a mile from Dartmouth Castle you will (if you are lucky!) find Sugary Cove which is dog-friendly year-round. Nestled in a nook tucked into the wooded cliffs it is accessed by a steep, winding downhill path.

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.

Beesands / Hallsands
Just south of Torcross is a smaller mile-long shingle beach, 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, with great walks in all directions, this is a great spot.

Lannacombe Beach / 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.

At Coast & Country Cottages we love dogs and are proud to offer a selection of over 100 pet friendly properties! From secluded farmhouses with large gardens to cosy cottages, we have the ideal property for you and your four-legged friend.

View our dog friendly properties

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’.

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