The Best 5 Dog Friendly Beaches in Torquay & 2022 Restrictions

The English Riviera remains a holiday hotspot for families up and down the UK, offering a spectacular seaside experience that’s rarely replicated elsewhere. The fantastic news is that there are more dog friendly beaches in Torquay (and nearby) than ever before, great news for pet lovers. Why should you ever leave your pup at home?

The beaches dogs are allowed on are always growing, with Torbay Council largely designating the best areas across the English Riviera for dogs and their owners to stroll. If all you know Torquay for is Fawlty Towers, get ready for a lovely seaside surprise or two. In fact, we’re saving you time by rounding up the best dog friendly beach scenes across the North Sands and elsewhere right here.

We’ve lined up five dog friendly beaches near Torquay boasting shimmering sand, ocean views and more besides. Whether you are planning a visit in the summer or the autumn, Devon is full of surprises – and if you want to look up more information on pet friendly pubs in Torquay, we have a full guide on that side of things, too!

When are dogs allowed on beaches in Torquay (North Sands, Fairy Cove and more)?

As with many spots on the English coast and around Devon, there are some dog friendly beaches near Torquay that have dog restrictions in effect year round. These might be specific zones, or might be seasonal blocks that you’ve noticed elsewhere in Devon. Regardless, it really does pay to know when you can and can’t take your dogs down to the beach. Some spots are protecting wildlife, while others simply keep up appearances for the popular seasons. Regardless, if you can’t get to a dog friendly beach for whatever reason, take a lookout at the best dog walks in Torquay to fill your Devon holiday schedule instead.

The Best Beaches in Torquay for Dogs

Watcombe Bay

Watcombe beach is a beautiful, sandy, dog friendly beach that is actually only 700 metres wide! The beach itself is backed by stunning cliffs, making it a very picturesque spot. The small beach is usually quiet and peaceful out of the tourist season but it can indeed fill up quickly during the summer.

Either way, whatever season it is, your dog is welcome on Watcombe Beach. It’s a fantastic coastline spot for keeping an eye out on aquatic wildlife, and it’s absolutely rife with rippling water – some of the most spectacular in Devon. Who says that a dog friendly beach has to be boring? It’s a great pick if you have a ground floor cottage nearby, too.

Watcombe is well backed by cafes, restaurants, parking and more. Take your dog for a quick walk from end to end – it might be small, but it’s one of the best-hidden gems Torquay (and Devon) have to lie in wait for you. Who says you need to head to a long stretch of sandiness to have fun? Bring Fido to the beach and enjoy a seaside romp or two in the heart of Devon.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: Watcombe Beach Rd, Torquay, Devon TQ1 4SH
  • Facilities Near By: Cafe/restaurant, toilets, car park/parking

Anstey’s Cove

From east to west across Devon, there are few dog friendly beaches quite like Anstey’s Cove. Visitors to the delightful shingle beach and cliffs here can be sure of a picturesque day out – the stretches here are absolutely made to be photographed.

This small but gorgeous slice of Torquay is perfect for a day by the sea with your four-legged friend. There are no restrictions in place, meaning you can bring dogs all year round, section after section. That said if you do spot signs around the sands that ask you to pop your dog on a lead, make sure to respect the rules.

The green grassy cliffs that surround the beach are perfect for dog walking and provide spectacular views across the sea. The beach itself is not suitable for swimming, but the rocky surface is definitely nice for a walk along the shoreline, as well as for fishing.

It truly is a forgotten little gem in Devon, a little off the beaten path – but that doesn’t mean it should stay forgotten. You can always take a break from the sea breeze and sit down for a nice cup of tea and a drink for your dog at a cafe close to the coves.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: Anstey’s Cove, Anstey’s Cove Rd, Torquay, Devon TQ1 3YY
  • Facilities Near By: Cafes, restaurants, toilets, car park/parking

Hollicombe Beach

Hollicombe is another stretch of sand that may be small, but which is absolutely bursting with character – all the more reason to head round here with your dogs. However, do keep in mind that this beach has some restrictions in place when it comes to walking your dog.

Dogs are not allowed to be on the beach from the 1st of May to the 30th of September. However, nothing is stopping you from taking your dog to visit the town during the summer months and if you do enjoy it, why not come back to visit the beach with your dog later on in the year?

The beach itself is made up of beautiful soft sands, crystal clear waters and a stream that makes its way across the beach and into the sea. During the colder months, you can usually bank on it being relatively quiet, making it feel almost like the beach belongs to you and your dog!

At low tide, you can take the time to enjoy the rock pools as well as play in the wet sands, throwing a ball or exploring the region with your dog. It’s a great winter escape down in the heart of the Devon sand. Sure – there are other dog friendly beach scenes down in Devon – but if you and your guests are on a winter break, there may be no better choice.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (May to September)
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: Hollicombe Beach, Torquay, Devon TQ3 2DW
  • Facilities Near By: Cafes, restaurants, toilets, car parks

Preston Beach

This dog friendly beach in Torquay is popular with families, and as it’s dog friendly off-season, it tends to be a great pick for those walkers looking to visit beyond the summer rush. Otherwise known as Preston Sands, this lovely little beach is right next to the town of Paignton, meaning it’s rife with nearby facilities for all of your family’s needs.

The beach is backed by a lovely promenade which also happens to be lined with beach huts, ready for you to hire to store all of your beach essentials such as towels, chairs, parasols and games, etc. In fact, you will be happy to know that there is a beach shop nearby as well as deck chair hire directly on the beach. 

The area is popular for tourists during the summer season and the beach can quite easily become full, so it should be no surprise that dogs are not allowed on the beach from the 1st of May to the 30th of September. However, your dog will still enjoy a day walking along the promenade during the warmer months and can enjoy the freedom of the quiet beach during the autumn and the winter months! 

A walk around this Devon beach is always going to be interesting. However, remember that this dog friendly beach is more of a winter wonderland! Why not look for year-round accommodation with Torquay pet friendly cottages.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (peak season)
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Preston Sands, Marine Dr, Paignton, Devon TQ3 2NJ
  • Facilities Near By: Promenade, cafes, shops, deck chair hire 

Start Bay

Is there an end to the hidden seaside gems down in Devon? Head down from the big Devon and Torquay tourist spots to find this dog friendly beach flanked by an intriguing landmark. This wonderful sandy stretch is perfect for dog lovers and families alike. Famous for its lighthouse at Start Point, this 15-mile long coastline is home to lovely coastal villages, green hills and a beautiful beach. 

The start is perfect for a weekend getaway and is a completely dog friendly area! Not only is your dog allowed on the beach year-round, but they will also love spending their time running across the hills, discovering the diverse wildlife, including seals and dolphins, as well as making their way through the lovely little villages, rife with history. 

The bay is a favourite spot for swimmers, sailors, fishers and surfers alike.  Due to the fact that the bay is surrounded by multiple little villages, you’ll be pleased to know that a cafe, a pub, an inn and various shops are all walking distance away!.

So why not bring your pup and your loved ones for a weekend by the sea and dive into another era in one of the many beautiful little villages in the area? If you’re bored of Babbacombe, there’s English Riviera history and more to revel in here, and not totally off the beaten path.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No 
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Start Bay, Torcross, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2TQ
  • Facilities Near By: Beach cafe, restaurants, pubs, car park, inns, caravan park, shop

Last Word

From Paignton Harbour to Torre Abbey Sands, it’s pretty safe to say that this side of Devon has a lot to offer you and your dog. Many people might assume the area to be a relatively small seaside resort – they’d actually be wrong, as there are plenty of lovely walking trails in Torquay for pets that are worth checking out in your own time.

What we’ve found for you here is a selection of sand and shingle beach scenes we think you and your dogs are going to love. Of course, definitely make the point to look up reviews online from fellow dog-walkers, as well as research towns and other places close to where you’d like to go. This is just a quick introduction to what’s out there for dog lovers.

As always, prepare yourself with local accommodation and plenty of food and drink to take with you down the famous South West Coast Path. What’s more, do ensure you have a dog lead to hand before you hit the beach road – as Torbay Council will likely ask you to play your part in keeping the sand and shingle walks clean!

From North Beach and Fairy Cove to the Babbacombe Downs, Strete Gate Beach and St Marychurch, there’s lots to see and do in this part of Devon that’s dog friendly – why not start with Torquay dog friendly beaches from our list above? Do check out reviews from seasoned dog walkers, too.