The Best 9 Dog Friendly Beaches in Devon & 2023 Restrictions

If you’re keen to go for long beach walks with your dogs and to explore some of the true natural beauty the UK has to offer, one of the best places to go is surely Devon. This county in the southwest of England offers beautiful cliffs, green hills, medieval towns and national parks as well as some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. Dog friendly beaches in Devon, in fact, are never too hard to spot. 

Devon’s beach scene truly can be considered to be quite the haven for natural views and fun seaside activities for the whole family, including surfing, swimming, kayaking and fishing. Best of all, Devonshire is a very dog friendly county, and its beaches are too. The coastline here stretches for miles and miles, and some of the natural vistas are millions of years old.

We have compiled a list of nine of the best dog friendly beaches Devon has to offer, giving you plenty of information on any seasonal restrictions, guidelines and facilities in the area. As with all our guides, we want to save you time and effort hunting down the best sandy dog beach stretches.

When are dogs allowed on beaches in Devon and the North Sands?

From the North Sands to Soar Mill Cove, it’s great to know that there are beaches in Devon where dogs and dog owners will always be more than welcome. As a responsible dog owner, however, you should always be sure to look out for restrictions.

There are plenty of Devon dog friendly beaches, but some may apply a dog ban here and there if they wish to protect their coastlines. Some shingle beach walks, for example, are not always open to dogs.

If you are concerned about where you can and can’t take your canine companions, then you should always make the point to check local authority information before you visit. As part of our beach guide below, we’ve taken a look at restrictions around, Devon, to ensure you can visit fully prepared.

If you can’t get to the beach, why not take a look into the best dog walks in Devon elsewhere in the county?

The Best Beaches in North Devon and South Devon for Dogs

Wonwell Beach (Wonwell Sands)

A trip down to Wonwell Beach is always going to be memorable thanks to the spectacular background of the South Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Amongst the cleanest beaches in South Devon, you can bring a dog or two down to the sandy straits here and still be in reach of Meadowsfoot, and you’re only a few miles out of Plymouth, too.

This is a lovely beach spot if you are serious about finding quiet shorelines to stroll down. However, Wonwell is not the most feature-rich. It is a little off the beaten track, and that certainly means it’s not a tourist zone – though that doesn’t mean it’s not friendly!

One of the biggest plus points to this beach for dog owners is, of course, that you can bring your canine companion across the year. Yes, it’s likely to pale in comparison to busier beaches across Devon, but you really cannot beat Wonwell Sands and beach for views and sheer relaxation.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Wonwell Sands, Mothecombe, South Devon PL8 1LD
  • Facilities Near By: None

Hope Cove

Hope Cove offers a really unique experience for dog lovers and walkers, as it’s actually two dog-friendly coves in one! There is Inner Hope and Outer Hope Cove, which are twin beach zones you’ll love to explore with your dogs if you’re in the vicinity of South Hams. Backing onto Bigbury on Sea, this beach is great for families and, in contrast to Wonwell, has plenty of facilities. There are also lifeguards who patrol the area from season to season, so you’ll know you’re in safe hands.

Bring your dog round to these friendly beaches in South Devon, and you’ll also be able to explore the stunning beaches of Salcombe, which are part of the South Devon AONB. There’s more information available online – but for now, make plans to visit the coves’ south sands for rockpools, seaside fun and plenty of wonderful sea views all year round.

Do keep in mind that this beach, while dog friendly, is composed of sand and rock, so you may wish to be careful where you tread. Dogs are welcome on the bigger beach at Hope across the year (with leads), however, the Mouthwell beach area is not dog friendly during the popular seasons. This award-winning beach is well worth the visit.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Mouthwell only (May to September)
  • Lifeguards: Yes (seasonal)
  • Address: Hope Beach, Kingsbridge, South Devon TQ7 3HW
  • Facilities Near By: Car park/parking, toilets, shop, food and drink

Woolacombe Beach

Heading up to North Devon, Woolacombe is actually something of a local legend, at least as far as dog friendly beaches are concerned. This is a privately owned beach that stretches for around three miles, offering you views across the sea stretching down from Ilfracombe to Croyde. Did you know this beach has been in private ownership for almost 1,000 years? This is a dog friendly beach in Devon with tons of history to it.

Woolacombe is one of the most delightful dog friendly beaches in North Devon, benefitting from being lovingly kept and well maintained, as well as boasting a wealth of history. It actually played an important role in helping to train US soldiers on British soil during the Second World War. Beyond the history here, the views are magnificent, with it being perfectly possible for you to spy the Bristol Channel from where you stand.

The village of Woolacombe is close by, too, where you’ll find lots of seaside facilities. There are lifeguards available here, and you can take dogs here if you keep them on leads. Keep in mind that there is a restricted zone off limits to dogs during the busier months.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (zone active between May and October)
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, North Devon
  • Facilities Near By: Shops, cafes, toilets, car park / parking

Ness Cove Beach

Ness Cove is a popular dog-friendly beach in Devon for the more adventurous of pet lovers and their pups. Close to the cliffs along the world famous Jurassic Coast, Ness Cove tends to be a popular beach spot for local people and their dogs, particularly as Teignmouth beach nearby is more tourist-friendly. That’s not to say Ness isn’t worth visiting – in fact, as dog friendly beaches go, this is one of the more peaceful spots.

Take your furry friend down to explore the sands of Ness and you’ll be pleased to hear that they are welcome all year round. There are nooks and crannies around the beach and cove spots dog walkers should watch for, particularly as there are rockfall risks. However, you will know where you can and can’t stand by sight alone!

Don’t worry – as plenty of people visit this dog friendly stretch and the area is extremely safe otherwise. As with any beach strolls, you’ll need to keep your wits about you, no matter how dog friendly.

Your furry friend will love the sandy, rugged strait here, and the fact that dogs are welcome without any kind of zoning or seasonal ban is a massive plus. However, as always, scoop the poop! There’s even a pooch-friendly exercise spot that’s designated for your four-legged friend to explore, too!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Ness, Shaldon, Teignmouth, South Devon, TQ14 0HP
  • Facilities Near By: Dog zone, with toilets, cafes and shops at the cliffs

Beesands Beach

Beesands Beach is small but well worth visiting! This lovely one mile stretch of sand is a shingle beach, close to the village of Beesands (funnily enough). There are country lanes surrounding this lovely holiday destination, allowing you to make the best of South Devon’s blend of sand and greenery. While a little tucked away down the map, this is an ageless little beach that is family-friendly, to the point where it even has a children’s area.

If you’re worried about dog restrictions down in Beesands, there’s no need for concern. This sand stretch welcomes dog walkers all year round. Trail the soft sand dunes until the tide comes in, and post tide, make a point to explore Beesands village itself, and the lovely rolling countryside only a few minutes away.

This dog friendly stretch of beach offers a great launchpad for the coast and country adventures. We dare say it’s one of the best dog friendly vantage points across the county, beach or no beach.

It’s great there are no dog restrictions here, and the beach makes for a wonderful diversion from the South West Coast Path. Certainly, head on down if you’re looking for a quiet patch of sand dunes that’s away from the hustle and bustle. Check out local Salcombe, too.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No (dogs welcome all year)
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Beesands, South Hams, South Devon TQ7 2EL
  • Facilities Near By:  Pub, beach shops, toilets, village amenities, car park / parking

Westward Ho!

This beach and village benefit from a fantastic name, and it’s amongst the top beaches in North Devon for all kinds of adventures. Take a dog walk here with no restrictions during the down season and you’ll find this stretch to be a bright, breezy trail that offers something a little bit different to the South West Coast Path. This is likely to be a great pick for any looking for dog friendly beaches in Devon with lots of local amenities.

There’s a lifeguard service here, and you’ll benefit from a pebbly beach journey that stretches on for around two miles. That’s plenty of time and space for you to take in lots of sea air with your four-legged friend and other guests! Westward is the place to be for all kinds of village amenities close by, too. You won’t have to travel too far to sample that quaint England seaside scene.

This Blue Flag beach site welcomes dogs for much of the year, with some zones being off-limits on a seasonal basis. There’s also a small stretch here that is completely friendly for dogs across the year. Take a look at pet friendly pubs in Devon nearby, too.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (May to September)
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Westward Ho, Bideford, North Devon EX39 1LL
  • Facilities Near By:  Car park/parking, toilets, dog zone, shops, food and drink

Combe Martin

The north sands at Combe Martin are absolutely delightful, offering dog walks during the down season and nice, sheltered sand dunes for you to spy. This is a very popular spot as it is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – one reason why there are so many holiday cottages getting snapped up at this end of the coast.

Combe shares its name with the village close by and is best known for its variety of different rock pools. The water here is nice and calm, though do keep in mind that there is no lifeguard service available down here. It’s connected to nearby Newberry Beach, too, so you’ll have lots to explore.

There’s nothing quite like a dog friendly beach with the amenities of a quaint village scene close by. It’s amazingly convenient here, and we can’t recommend it enough for dogs and beach lovers alike.

A highlight of the best dog friendly beaches in Devonshire for the sheer views and how wonderfully it is kept, Combe Martin is restricted during the popular season, so make sure to plan ahead.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (May to September)
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Combe Martin, North Devon, EX34 0DJ
  • Facilities Near By: Car park/parking, toilets, shops, cafes

Soar Mill Cove

Soar Mill Cove is delightfully pretty and is one of the best holiday spots for photography lovers. The beach itself is relatively small, but it is in a remote area surrounded by rocks and cliffs. The beach is backed by beautiful green hills that slope onto it. The water is crystal clear and the sand is soft under the feet, when the tide is low enough of course! There is a stream that divides the beach in two, which stems down into the sea. The beach is also great for rock pooling at low tide. 

Due to the remoteness of the beach, there are no car parks or parking spots directly beside – and you will have to do a bit of walking before you reach it. 

For those who enjoy walking and especially doing so with their dogs, then this will be no problem! In fact, you will be happy to hear that Soar Mill Cove welcomes dogs year round! In fact, due to the remoteness of this beach and the very wild and natural surrounding area, this beach is the perfect place for man’s best friend.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No 
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Soar Mill, Salcombe, Kingsbridge TQ7 3DS
  • Facilities Near By: None 

Baggy Point

Baggy Point is a marker of headland that overlooks Croyde Beach, and you’ll be glad to hear that dogs are welcome across much of the year. In any case, it’s still worth paying attention to the rules.

Although all of Baggy offers fantastic views and scenery, as well as interesting wildlife to explore, Croyde Beach is where you will want to go for all of your swimming, kayaking, fishing and especially, surfing needs. This beach is indeed particularly popular with surfers as it offers fantastic waves and is wide enough to not feel as though it is overcrowded. The beach is backed by lovely sand dunes and stunningly verdant hills, making it a lovely spot for a long day’s walk in nature! 

Your dog will love discovering all of the different smells, sounds and sights that this stretch of sand has to offer. However, it is important to know that dogs are not allowed on the beach from the 1st of May to the 30th of September. 

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (early May to late September)
  • Lifeguards: Yes 
  • Address: Croyde Bay, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1NU
  • Facilities Near By: Slipway 

Last Word

As you can see, there are lots of lovely dog friendly beaches near Devon that are always worth strolling down in nice weather. Be sure to look out for ideal Devon pooch-friendly cottages by the beach, too, if you want to stay awhile.

Devonshire is a county crammed full of gorgeous dog friendly beaches that really deserve more than just a cursory glance. This beach information guide is, of course, really just an introduction to what you’ll find down there. Dog friendly sandy walks, across the North Sands and beyond, will usually welcome you all year round. However, whether you choose shingle beach walks or other sandy beach scenes laid out with pet lovers in mind, you must make sure you understand any local bans and restrictions.

This county has scores of brilliant sandy walks, beach after beach after beach. But it stands to reason that the local authorities will want to protect their beach scenes, too. Dogs have a habit of fouling just about everywhere when it comes to walkies, and while you yourself might be responsible and always scoop the poop on your beach walks, there are sadly others who will leave beaches in complete disarray.

Take your dogs down to the South Sands, Salcombe Estuary, Westward Ho, or the South West Coast Path. Why not break from the beach to check out strolls in the New Forest or Northam Burrows Country Park?