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8 Best Dog Walks in Devon for you to enjoy - Rural Retreats


Posted by Katy Peck on Apr 24, 2019
Devon: the perfect destination for dog-lovers
Devon: the perfect destination for dog-lovers

Well known for its dramatic scenery and unspoilt coastline, Devon is one of the most beautiful spots in the UK. But it’s not just human adventurers who can benefit from it’s stunning views and fresh air… dogs love it too!

Devon is full of fantastic walking routes which you can discover with man’s best friend, from empty, unspoiled beaches to adventurous hill trails. To help you get out and about during you and your dog's next trip to Devon, we’ve picked out eight of our favourites.

Dog Walks in East Devon

Branscombe to Beer

Dogs exploring the beach in Branscombe, Devon

This is a long walk for you and your pet to enjoy together but with such spectacular scenery, it’s certainly worth the trek! Start in Branscombe village and pass through the historic forge, old bakery and Manor Mill, before heading to Branscombe beach. Here you can’t fail to spot the anchor of the MSC Napoli – it weighs 13,500 kg and was put on display to mark the ship famously beaching in 2007.

Follow the Jurassic Coast path up Hooken Cliff, where you can drink in the majestic views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, you’ll end up in the picturesque village of Beer, where you and your dog can reward your hard work with a relaxing meal in one of the many dog-friendly pubs. Return via the South West Coast Path, which takes you through a 10-acre swathe of land bursting with wildlife.

Find the route here

Ashclyst Forest

Owned by the National Trust, Ashclyst Forest is one of the largest woodlands in East Devon and has many popular trails for you and your canine companion to explore. One of the most popular is d The Clump Walk, which leads you on a dog-friendly, two-mile trail up Dolbury Hill – keep an eye out afor the Iron Age Fort!

Another popular dog-friendly walk is the Plains walk, which takes in much of the wide parkland. You and your dog will discover ancient trees, open spaces and spectacular views. It can be quite muddy at times, so make sure to wear suitable footwear!

Find the routes here

Dog Walks in South Devon

Fingle Bridge

Fingle Bridge is referred to as one of the most enchanted spots of mid-Devon, and the area offers two different walks. The easier choice is to wander up the less steep side of the valley, which is accessed by crossing the bridge and turning right. This is a great choice if your dog loves water - they can splash around to their heart's content, and there are no lead restrictions.

On the other side of the valley, which is much steeper, you can enjoy a more adventurous walk that takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours. Simply go through the gate in the car park and start climbing! The path twists and has many steep sections, and eventually crosses a footbridge that leads you to the Castle Drogo park and gardens. Here you can re-join the path on the other side of the valley to create a circular walk.

A view of Fingle Bridge

Whatever route you choose, make sure to finish with a visit to the popular Fingle Bridge Inn right beside the famous bridge – it’s dog friendly!

Find the routes here

Porlock

On the South West Coastal Path, this walk includes a charming stroll through both woodland and over the pebbled beach, so there’s plenty for your four-legged friend to discover! Start in the main town of Porlock, to the West of Porlock Bay, and make your way through the hills around Porlock Weir – a charming hamlet of old cottages. Continue along the route until you reach the beach, then curve back towards Porlock itself to recover and refuel in one of the town's many dog-friendly establishments.

Find the route here

Dog Walks in North Devon

Thurlestone Beach

No matter what time of year you visit, dogs are welcome at Thurlestone Beach. This National Trust site is actually made up of two beaches – a smaller one near Thurlestone golf club and then a larger one towards South Milton. Both are sheltered with shallow waters; perfect for chasing waves and playing a quick game of fetch! It’s also often quieter than some of the other beaches, without some of the attractions of the better-known seaside towns. There’s also a good selection of walks to discover in the surrounding area, ranging from hills to flat rural trails.

A view along Thurlestone Beach

While you’re there, take the time to check out Thurlestone Rock, an ancient arch-shaped formation that was immortalised by Turner and is best seen at high tide.

Find out more here

Eggesford Forest

Found between Exeter and Barnstaple, this circular walk is about a mile and a quarter and follows paved forest tracks. The walk is completely safe for dogs to enjoy off the lead and, as well as the forest paths, takes you across a charming stream which is perfect for dogs to splash around in (or enjoy a quick drink!).

Find the route here

A couple walking their dog through grassland, with a spectacular panoramic view of Eggesford Forest in front of them

One hour circular walks for dogs in Devon

Paignton

With it's  beautiful beachfront, promenade, pier and colourful beach huts, Paignton is a fantastic day out for both dogs and people! The popular circular walk takes you along the seafront, taking in the famous pier and harbour on the way. You'll also enjoy some great views of Torquary, and pass the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway!  One great thing about this walk is that you'll take in a great deal of this lovely seaside town, and will have plenty of chances to pop into a dog-friendly pub or cafe on the way!

Find the route here.

Dartington Hall Estate

Dartington Hall is rich in history, set amongst some breathtaking scenery that the whole family is bound to appreciate. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in Dartington Hall's Gardens, but there is still plenty to explore throughout the rest of the expansive 1,200-acre estate. There are plenty of circular routes to enjoy, taking in ancient woodland, rolling hills and tranquil fields. There are also some Off-Lead areas, where your furry friend can run to their heart's content (date restrictions apply).

Find the route here.

Devon has so many beautiful walks for you and your furry friend to explore, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Simply step out the door of your dog-friendly holiday cottage, and see what you can find!

At the end of the day, you and your pet can rest easy knowing you have your very own home-from-home to retreat to and hang up your lead and boots. So, what are you waiting for? Book your next dog-friendly trip to Devon today.

8 Best Dog Walks in Devon for you to enjoy

  1. Branscombe to Beer - 3 hours, 9 miles.
  2. Ashclyst Forest - 1.5 hours, 2 miles.
  3. Fingle Bridge - 1.5 hours, 2.5 miles.
  4. Porlock - 2 hours, 4 miles.
  5. Thurlestone Beach - 40 minutes, 1 mile.
  6. Eggesford Forest - 1 hour, 1.5 miles
  7. Paignton - 2 hours, 3 miles
  8. Dartington Hall Estate - 1.5 hours, 3.5 miles.
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Katy Peck
Author: Katy Peck


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