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Our six favourite dog walks in Devon


Posted by Katy Peck on Apr 24, 2019

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 six of our favourites.

Branscombe to Beer

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

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.

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

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 the butterfly walk, which leads you on a dog-friendly, four-mile trail around Killerton – keep an eye out and see how many types of butterfly you can spot!

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

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.

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

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.

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Katy Peck
Author: Katy Peck


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