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Why South Devon is perfect for dog-friendly beach holidays

If you’re searching for dog-friendly beach holidays in the UK then make sure South Devon is well up your hit list of staycation destinations.

We’re huge fans of pet-friendly holidays; after all, leaving your four-legged friend at home can feel like you’ve forgotten a family member. Put a smile on their furry face and bring them with you. Here’s why South Devon is perfect for pet-friendly holidays with plenty of time by the sea.

Dog on beach - Dog-friendly beach holidays

All year round dog friendly beaches in South Devon

South Devon dog-friendly beaches are in abundance with many welcoming pets and their owners all your round. Here are a few to add to your holiday itinerary while staying in Devon:

Sugary Cove, Dartmouth

If you like small, secluded bays then Sugary Cove is ideal. It’s a shingle and rocky cove not far from Dartmouth Castle and the mouth of the River Dart. You access the beach by walking from Sugary Green, next to Dartmouth Castle, along the footpath and down a set of steep steps to the beach. There’s a toilet block back up the cliff near the Castle, and the Castle Tea Rooms are open daily from Easter to October half term, plus during February half term and over the Christmas holidays.

Mill Bay, Salcombe

This sandy, sheltered beach on Kingsbridge estuary is ideal if you have children who like building sandcastles and exploring rock pools. Dogs will also enjoy a splash in the stream that runs across the beach or in the tidal estuary. There is a small National Trust car park here and a toilet block.

Slapton Sands and Torcross

Slapton and Torcross are a great place to enjoy a day at the beach in South Devon. There’s nearly two miles of fine shingle in view of Start Point to the south and the Daymark at Kingswear to the north. Behind the beach there’s Slapton Ley Nature Reserve.

 

As well as being an incredibly picturesque sea front, Slapton has a poignant history. It was the location of the disastrous pre-D-Day training event, Operation Tiger, during which 749 allied troops were killed. A memorial stands on the sea front and, at Torcross, there is an armoured tank which was recovered from the sea years later.

 

Life guards are on duty at Slapton Sands and Torcross in the summer season, and flags mark the best places for swimming. If you fancy a snack or even a full lunch during your beach day there are pubs and cafes at Torcross. Sea Breeze Cafe and Torcross Boat House welcome dogs. Parking is pay and display both at the War Memorial and in Torcross.

Strete Gate, Strete

Strete Gate is a continuation of the Slapton Sands sand bar and stretches out along the cliffs below the village of Strete. There’s a good sized pay and display car park off the A379 coast road, and you’ll find public toilets on the beach. Most days it’s possible to grab hot drinks and a snack from the Cafe By The Sea wagon – you’ll not miss it as your turn into the car park.

Strete Gate beach South Devon

Thurlestone Sands, Thurlestone

Looking for a quieter beach with shallow waters and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty-worthy scenery? Head to Thurlestone Sands near Kingsbridge.

 

Access to the beach is down a narrow single track lane, so be prepared to breathe in. Once you get down to the beach there is plenty of parking, and you’ll be rewarded with views of Thurleston Rock, which was once painted by Turner.

 

The facilities are limited on this beach, but there are life guards on duty from May to September.

Salcombe North Sands, Salcombe

At low tide Salcombe North Sands is revelled as a large sandy beach with shallow waters ideal for paddling. At high tide it is totally submerged, so plan your visit wisely for maximum enjoyment. Across the road from the beach there’s a pay and display car park and the Winking Prawn restaurant where you can buy drinks, ice creams, light lunches and larger meals. It also has a good selection of beach toys and essentials if you have left anything at home. A toilet block is located a short walk along the road.

Coast walks

The South West Coast Path covers 125 miles in South Devon, offering plenty of opportunities for walkies with a sea view.

Dog on South West Coast Path at Dartmouth

Seaside treats for four-legged friends

Everyone loves an ice cream when they are on a beach holiday. We can recommend taking your pampered pooch for frozen yogurt at The Good Intent in Dartmouth.

Dog-friendly Devon days out

If you’re staying in South Devon there are plenty of dog-friendly days out to choose from so your pooch can join in with all the fun. We can recommend Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Round Robin tour, a visit to the riverside gardens of Agatha Christie’s holiday home Greenway, and historic Dartmouth Castle.

 

Further afield, there’s the National Trust properties of Saltram and Killerton, which both have large parkland areas where dogs and owners can explore. Plus Dartmouth National Park is just a short drive away with walks ranging from easy wanders to more challenging terrain. As well as the moors you’ll also find the family and dog-friendly attractions of Canonteign Falls and River Dart Country Park.

Dog-friendly holiday cottages

If we’ve tempted you to book a dog-friendly beach holiday in South Devon you’ll find a wide choice of pet-friendly cottages in Dartmouth and the surrounding South Hams area. If you are searching for the perfect dog-friendly holiday, whether you are bringing the family or looking for a couples break, take a look at the luxury, dog-friendly self catering accommodation on offer from us at Dart Valley Cottages.

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