Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Devon
Most beaches in Devon allow dogs from the end of September until May, do check each beach as some only allow certain parts of the beach for dogs. But here are the ones that will welcome you and your pooch all year round!
Soar Mill Cove, near Salcombe
Nestled on a picturesque stretch of coastline between Salcombe and Thurlestone you’ll find Soar Mill Cove. The beach is accessible from the South West Coast Path, or down a hill and across a field from the car park, so it’s a great place to stretch your legs with your dog, taking in the sea air and spectacular views en route to the beach. Once at sea level, the beach itself is sandy, with caves and rock pools at low tide, and a crystal clear stream running into the sea. Soar Mill Cove is a wonderful spot to watch the sunset streaking the western horizon. If you stay late, don’t forget a torch to find your way back!
South Milton Sands, Thurlestone
A large sandy beach popular with dog walkers all year round. Backed by grassy dunes and a nature reserve, with the iconic Thurlestone Rock just off shore and views across Bigbury Bay. Low tide exposes rocks for climbing and fascinating rock pools to investigate. At high tide there is still enough beach to walk along, and also a wooden bridge and footpath over the nature reserve. There’s a popular beach café and toilets at the same end of the beach as the National Trust car park.
Beesands, near Kingsbridge
The small fishing village of Beesands enjoys a wide shingle beach with scenic sea views over Start Bay and toward Start Bay Lighthouse at the end of the peninsula. There’s a huge sea wall protecting the popular village pub, former fishermen’s cottages, and Britannia beach shack fish restaurant, whilst the more exposed northern end of the beach was recently eroded during easterly winter storms when the sea took away some of the road and land behind, extending the depth of the beach. This beach is popular among anglers, and dogs love running up and down the pebbles sniffing out any leftover bait. There’s plenty of free parking and toilets and it’s possible to walk to the lighthouse and back within a couple of hours from here, and enjoy refreshments in the dog-friendly pub afterwards.
North Sands, Salcombe
Small, very picturesque sandy beach, with stunning views of the Salcombe Estuary, Sunny Cove on the East Portlemouth side and out to sea past Wolf Rock. North Sands is an easy, level walk of just 15 minutes on foot from Salcombe town along Cliff Road, or there’s plenty of parking behind the beach. Alternatively you can access the beach via boat, paddleboard or kayak from one of the other beaches or Salcombe itself. The beach welcomes dogs all year round and is also popular with families due to the safe bay, soft sand perfect for sandcastles and many rockpools to explore at low tide. There’s a popular dog-friendly beach café and restaurant behind the beach, as well as toilet facilities. You can also further exercise your dog by walking up and over the hill along to the next beach, South Sands, for a different aspect of this pretty estuary.
Wonwell Sands, near Modbury
A beautiful sandy beach set on the east bank of the river Erme. The beach is best at low tide when a huge expanse of sand is exposed for your dog to race across, and the beach joins up with Meadowsfoot (Mothecombe). However, you need to be aware of tides as they come in fast here and there’s a risk of getting cut off at high tide.
Parking near the beach is very limited and there are no facilities. There’s parking for about 15-20 cars in the lane above the river’s edge. From the road there is a pretty woodland walk (signposted as a public footpath) to Wonwell Beach, which takes about 10 minutes. There’s also a slipway from the road to the shore of the Erme river and at low tide it’s possible to walk along the river’s edge to Wonwell Beach. Dogs are welcome all year round here, and if you can find a place to park it makes for the most enjoyable and picturesque mix of woodland and coastal walk.