Walkies! Out enjoying North Devon with your dog
Base yourself at dog-friendly North Devon holiday accommodation, and you’ll find extraordinary walks within easy reach by car. And if you prefer something closer to home, we have some wonderful walks on the doorstep, including our own 23-acre private wood.
But here are five cool walks to give you some food for thought as you prepare for a holiday that you, your family and your dog will love.
1 The Tarka Trail
The first two sections hug the River Taw estuary before heading through wooded, river valleys. The path is surfaced throughout, and the dog will love it. Just watch out for cyclists!
Popular with tourists, the Tarka Trail is part of the National Cycle Network route number 27. The whole Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route is 99 miles long, running from Ilfracombe down to Plymouth, and uses mostly the route of former railway lines.
The trail can be broken down into sections, all of which are accessible by car, so you can do a little research and see which route you’d like to try:
- Braunton to Barnstaple, 6 miles
- Barnstaple to Bideford, 9 miles
- Bideford to Great Torrington, 6 miles
- Great Torrington to Meeth, 11 miles
2 South West Coast Path
The North Devon sections are rugged and inspiring and make for perfect long walks with the dog. However, there are some things to consider. A lot of the route is on cliffs, and there have been sad occasions of dogs running over the edge while chasing rabbits. So, it’s as well to keep your animal on a lead unless you have a good power of recall. There is also a lot of grazing livestock in the area, another reason to keep your pet under control.
3 The Bude Canal
Enjoy the wildlife and watch the small boats and kayaks enjoying life on the water – it makes for an idyllic couple of hours of exercise, all within easy reach of nearby Dunsdon Farm, where you’ll find plenty of dog-friendly holiday accommodation.
The Bude Canal walk is perfect all year round. The weather is at its finest in the summer, of course, but in the spring the place really does seem to come alive, with baby ducklings and cygnets swimming about after their mothers.
4 Woolacombe beach
The South West is famous for its wide, expansive beaches, many of which are perfect for dog walking. One of the best examples is Woolacombe beach, voted the fourth best beach in Europe by TripAdvisor visitors. The golden sands go on for miles, literally! You need to be aware that there are restrictions on dogs for the high season. Part of the beach is closed to dogs altogether, an adjacent area is for dogs on a lead only, but the furthest area of the beach is open all year round for your pet to run around and enjoy itself. Each section is well signposted, and the reviews suggest holidaymakers on the beach and dog owners get along just fine if the rules are adhered to.
Woolacombe is just one of many fine beaches within striking distance of your perfect holiday accommodation in North Devon. Others include Saunton, Putsborough, Croyde and Westward Ho!
5 Northam Burrows
This country park, north of Westward Ho! is home to a diverse range of habitats, from salt marsh and open grassland to a rocky shoreline and sand dunes. There’s all manner of wildlife here, and it’s recommended to start and end your walk in Appledore, walking through Northam, around the burrows between the dunes and the sea, then following the coast route back to where you started.
If you like your grizzly history, this is where a Vikings hoard was supposedly slaughtered. It’s a bit more peaceful now!