10 of the best dog walks in Devon

Pet friendly, Walking

Posted by Ed Roberts on 28th September 2021

10 best dog walks in Devon

Whether exploring on four paws or two feet, Devon is an amazing place to enjoy a walk. Heading out into the countryside for some dog walks is a rewarding and healthy experience that is also good for the soul. Quality time with your dog is a must on holiday and they will love you even more for showing them some new and exciting places to see and smell. 

As our HQ is based in Devon, we know where all the best dog walks are; a few of them are lesser-known too if you have a shy hound or want to avoid the hordes. Whether you are looking for gorgeous coastal and beach trails or walks that are close to Devon's best dog-friendly pubs, we can send you in the right direction. Once you have made your notes on this blog, visit this article for even more great ideas for walks in Devon.

Stay at one of our dog-friendly properties in Devon so you can embark on a few adventures around the county. We have some superb and welcoming properties for you to uncover in North, East, and South Devon. Click below to browse our collection.

All Devon cottages

Skip to:

Dog-friendly walks in North Devon

The Hobby Drive, Clovelly(L) photo courtesy of Visit Devon

The Hobby Drive, Clovelly

The secret one

The Hobby Drive is a historic former carriage ride high up the cliffside above Clovelly (dating back to the early 1800s). Its course makes the perfect dog-friendly walk for pups of all shapes and sizes. It’s a sealed road with no traffic and has a steady yet light incline. It’s a great walk for autumn and winter too, as you can see right across Bideford Bay through the trees. After your walk, you can head down into Clovelly itself to enjoy a pint or a light lunch at one of the pubs and cafes.   

Good to know: The Hobby Drive makes up a section of the South West Coast Path

Distance: 3 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: The Dairy Farm | sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs

South West Coast Path – Welcombe Mouth to Hartland Point(L) photo courtesy of Visit Devon

South West Coast Path – Welcombe Mouth to Hartland Point

The dramatic one

With its jagged cliffs and unhindered ocean views, this hilly walk offers a mild challenge to seasoned wayfarers and obedient dogs. It’s 8 miles each way with a pub at the halfway mark in Hartland Quay, and begins at the distinctive Welcombe Mouth which is just inside the Devon border with Cornwall. The beach is wide with tall cliffs and curious rock formations that dwarf visitors. The walk ends at the lonely Hartland Lighthouse that juts out on a promontory. Just beyond, there is a seasonal café with picnic benches where you can cool your heels before the walk home. It's one of the best coastal hikes in the South West; your dog will love the exercise. 

Good to know: The path is well-maintained but there are sections where you may like to keep your dog on the lead.

Distance: 8 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay nearby: River Valley View | sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs 

Northam Burrows Country Park

Northam Burrows Country Park

The wild beach one

The low-lying Northam Burrows Country Park is a gorgeous place for a dog walk all year round. There is a 3-mile circuit that originates at Westward Ho! and takes in the beach, the natural pebble ridge, and the undulating pastures of the Burrows. The path is easygoing if you can bear a small amount of clambering over the large pebbles to reach the beach. There is an excellent visitor centre and café in the country park too.  

Good to know: Livestock are left to roam on the Burrows. Keep your dog at heel as it is an offence to sheep worry. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round north of Sandymere Bridge.

Distance: 3.5 mile circular trail

Difficulty: Easy (but if you want to go to the beach, you have to climb over the pebble ridge).

Stay nearby: Rock Pools | sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs 

Dog-friendly walks in East Devon

The East Devon Way – The River Sid

The East Devon Way – The River Sid

The riverside one

This section of the East Devon Way follows part of the River Sid’s course and it is a particularly pleasant dog-friendly river walk. As it passes through Sidmouth on its way to the beautiful South Devon Coast, you won’t find too many arduous slopes or busy roads to trouble you or your pooch. At the end of the walk, you can enjoy a good coffee or a light lunch in one of Sidmouth’s lovely cafes or pubs. For more river walks in Devon read this handy blog too.

Good to know: This is a level walk for the most part, and it's perfect for pups and old dogs.

Distance: 3.75 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: Sweetcombe Barn | sleeps: 4 dogs + 2 dogs 

Axe Estuary Wetlands to Seaton

Axe Estuary Wetlands to Seaton

The one where the river meets the sea

We think your well-behaved hound will love the wetlands around Seaton where the River Axe meets the sea. If your dog likes to walk at heel on the lead, then this is a nice gentle amble which is 3.5 miles and back. It’s a flat and undemanding trail through the East Devon AONB that takes in the natural joys of Axe Estuary Wetlands and Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve. If you are too tired to make the round trip, you can catch a tram in Seaton back to the point of origin in Colyton. 

Good to know: The fact that your hound will be on the lead through the nature reserves need not deter you. There’s still plenty of interesting sights and scents for your dog to enjoy along the trail.

Distance: 3.5 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: Bluebird Bus | sleeps: 2 guests + 1 dog

Hooken Cliff, Beer

Hooken Cliff, Beer

The one where you could get pleasantly lost

This grassed over landslip near Beer called Hooken Cliff is an amazing landscape for a prowl about with your dog. In 1790, the cliffs gave way creating a unique landscape of labyrinthine trails and surprise sea views along the way. Your dog will adore the chance to sniff around the lanes and peculiar avenues that weave around to great effect. Hooken Cliff is a great place to go fossil hunting, too. Once you have found your way back out again, head to Beer for a beer. 

Good to know: Hooken Cliff is a haven for wild animals, and birds. Wear midge repellent for summer evening walks.

Distance: 3 miles linear trail

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

Stay nearby: Roslyn Cottage | sleeps: 3 guests + 2 dogs 

Teign Gorge, Dartmoor

Teign Gorge, Dartmoor

The one with the woodland rock scrambles

Down in the Teign Gorge is one of Devon’s best dog walks on Dartmoor. Your hound will love being off the lead so they can show you the way upriver and back to the pub at Fingle Bridge. In places, there is a bit of a scramble over the rocks as the path toggles between the riverbank and high river views; mind you, we’ve seen people carrying pushchairs over the difficult sections, so the limits are your own to decide. High above the gorge is the National Trust’s Castle Drogo, which is worth a visit after you’ve enjoyed this fantastic woodland circuit. Dogs are allowed in the grounds only. 

Good to know: You can leave the circuit to walk from the gorge to Castle Drogo along the fairly demanding shepherds’ path.

Distance: 3.5 mile circular trail

Difficulty: Moderate (some short yet very rocky sections)

Stay nearby: Bluebells Cottage at Greatrock Farm | sleeps: 2 guests + 2 dogs

Dog-friendly walks in South Devon

Berry Head, Brixham

Berry Head, Brixham

The one for birdwatchers

You can’t go wrong for dog walking prospects on a holiday to Brixham. Top dog amongst the nearby choices is Berry Head, a beautiful headland offering amazing views across Torbay. It’s popular with bird spotters and a place of interest for naturalists and scientists. There is a guillemot colony to watch in the cliffs too. This is perfect for small dogs, old dogs and pups that won’t mind being carried or walked on the lead. There’s a lot to see and sniff along the way.

Good to know: Berry Head could be the most protected heritage site in Devon. It is a SSSI, a Special Area of Conservation, a National Trust Reserve, and a scheduled ancient monument! 

Distance: 1.5 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Stay nearby: Rippon Retreat | sleeps: 2 guests + 1 dog 

Kingswear circular, near Dartmouth

Kingswear circular, near Dartmouth

The historic one

Seek out the Kingswear circuit on your dog-friendly holiday to South Devon. It takes in Brownstone Battery and astonishing views of the River Dart and the sea. The main section of the walk runs between Kingswear and Coleton Fishacre. The interesting Brownstone Battery was on WW2 defence; you can still see its observation posts and outbuildings too. After your walk, head to a dog-friendly pub down by the water’s edge. 

Good to know: You can take a ferry across the river to Dartmouth as a shortcut.

Distance: 4 mile circular trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Stay nearby: Milber Cottage | sleeps: 6 guests + 1 dog  

Torquay seafront

Torquay seafront

The one for sea air

All dogs love a day at the seaside and we think there's no finer place in South Devon than Torquay to have a strut along a traditional English promenade. Starting in the west at Abbey Park, follow the prom all the way to the Marina in the east. On the way, you and your dog can take in the big wheel and the town’s long wooden boardwalk that extends a long way out into the bay. There are lots of places to stop for a sit down and to drink in the view. It’s great for sociable dogs that could meet some new friends along the way. Around the Marina, you will find the gateway into the main shopping area of Torquay with its cornucopia of eateries and pubs. This is the perfect place for a sociable yet easy-going Devon dog walk.

Good to know: There are lots of dog-friendly places to eat and drink (including takeaways) along the length of this walk.

Distance: 1 mile linear trail

Difficulty: Easy

Stay nearby: 8 Falcon View | sleeps: 8 guests + dogs

Stay at a dog-friendly self-catering holiday cottage in Devon

If you’ve been inspired to visit this extraordinary county with your dog, then have a browse of our pet-friendly holiday cottages in Devon. From dog-friendly coastal accommodation to historic homes on the moors, find your perfect base for exploring this incredible part of the UK.

Browse the collection

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.