When you come away on holiday, finding pet friendly places to visit, eat and stay shouldn’t be a dog’s breakfast. These days many businesses are thoughtful when it comes to your best friend, whether you are looking for self-catering accommodation, a decent pub or advice on places to walk the dog. So this month, we thought we would take a look at some of the best spots in North Devon for dog owners, with a selection of favourite local beaches and pubs where four legs are welcome.
Best Dog Friendly Beaches in North Devon
So, you’ve found your little piece of paradise by the sea, but are dogs allowed there? The answer can vary greatly within just a few miles or even metres. Our own Woolacombe Beach is one that allows dogs all year with some restrictions. During peak season (May to September) you must stick to clearly marked dog friendly zones. The rest of the year though (October to April) smaller crowds mean you can roam where you like.
Similar rules are in place on Barricane Beach just down the coast too (mix of dog friendly and dog free zones). Putsborough has plenty of flat sand and doggy bins provided but some restrictions in place too (as you descend the steps to the beach, the right side is for dogs, the left dog free).
If you are looking for plenty of space and perhaps somewhere to let an energetic pup have a run about, Saunton Sands Beach offers a large expanse of sand and allows dogs all year; there are also waste bins provided. As with all beaches, we’d still recommend that you allow plenty of space (no shortage of that here!) by walking a good distance before losing the lead, and always being mindful of others.
Rockham Bay at Mortenhoe Beach (Licensed under Creative Commons)
Capstone Beach at Ilfracombe is another option with unlimited access all year for well-behaved pets and plenty of corners to explore (low tide best for plenty of space). Meanwhile Clovelly Beach is another where you are free to take the dog with no seasonal restrictions beyond the usual common sense rules.
Rockham Bay, Moretonhoe is another nice spot, with some lovely craggy features- ideal for rockpooling and rock hopping but not so ideal for older visitors. Last but not least, Croyde Bay is out of bounds for hounds from 1st May to 30th Sept but makes a wonderful place to explore for autumn and winter dog walks, with both golden sand and dramatic, craggy headlands.
Dog Friendly Pubs and Places to Eat in North Devon
After that run around the beach, you are certain to want some refreshment and somewhere to put your paws up. So where can you head on the North Devon Coast? Quite often businesses forget to list whether they welcome dogs, so here are a few ideas with friendly staff and plenty of space to get you started.
For those looking for great food in a relaxed setting, our own Bay Brasserie at Woolacombe Bay offers dog friendly dining and a terrific selection of fresh, locally-sourced food, carefully chosen wines and ales. Underfloor heating also ensures that the warmth extends beyond the welcome on wet or chilly days. After a refreshing drink, your best friend may well fancy a nap.
The Thatch at Croyde is a great spot for the dog days of summer (Image: The Thatch Facebook Page)
For classic pubs, Croyde has one of North Devon’s best with the wonderful Thatch Inn, where dogs are welcome in the bar and beer garden (only the restaurant area is dog free). Cutting inland, there are also some lovely village pubs such as the Kings Arms in Georgeham, which is both pet and family friendly and serves tasty local drinks.
Moving north between Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, The Grampus Inn has cracking real ales and a dog friendly vibe (you might get a personal welcome by Hoppy, the pub’s own friendly pooch!). North of Ilfracombe, Combe Martin Beach is also a good place for both walkies and a drink afterwards. The Dolphin Inn is not only right by the sands but has stacks of outdoor space for dogs and play area for kids, making it ideal for families with pets.
Pawsome Dog Friendly Breaks in North Devon
Here at Woolacombe Bay we have long believed that pet owners deserve better when it comes to accommodation. We offer dog friendly self-catering lets and holiday apartments year-round, with ample space and excellent facilities, just a frisbee throw from the beach! Read more about our dog-friendly credentials...