Dog-friendly Devon: five of the best things to do with your dog

Devon is a dreamy destination for a dog-friendly holiday: beaches, coastal walks, country pubs and seafood galore. This county is rich with opportunities for exploring. But between all of those meals and walks and trips to the beach, what else is there to entertain everyone – including the dog – on your next trip? From steam trains to engaging museums, here are our favourite dog-friendly things to do in Devon.

Written by Lottie Gross

5 minute read

The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat, Dartmouth

Any transport nerds in your family will love this dog-friendly attraction in Devon: encompassing a delightful steam train ride, a bus trip and several miles on a riverboat, you can explore the River Dart and its estuary with a single ticket. Board a boat from Dartmouth and you can sail all the way up to gorgeous Totnes, where you can spend a few hours exploring the town. From here, take the bus to Paignton where you can then get a vintage train back to Dartmouth – the views over the river are spectacular.

Stay at: the beautiful Barberry Brook at Fingals in Dartmouth.

Canonteign Falls, Dartmoor

They love pets so much at Canonteign that there’s free dog treats at the door when you walk into the ticket office – take a bag and embrace them as a bribery tool to keep the dog on their best behaviour. On the other side of the entrance, though, is something much more exciting – for humans at least. Canonteign is one of the highest waterfalls in the UK at 70 metres high and it towers over a beautiful landscaped estate on the edge of Dartmoor. Take the trail up to the falls – expect steep climbs and steps – and you’ll pass beautiful ferns and native woodland before getting brilliant views out over Dartmoor from the top.

Don’t miss lunch at the dog-friendly onsite café, and leave time to let the kids enjoy the excellent playground. A more sedate walk around the two lakes on the estate will please any less adventurous wanderers.

Stay at: The Hayloft in the town of Totnes, which is just a 30-minute drive away.

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Lynmouth

It’s hard to imagine how this vertiginous cliff railway was built in 1888, but it most certainly was constructed all those years ago. Since then it’s been ferrying passengers up and down the cliffsides at Lynmouth and Lynton, offering access to spectacular clifftop walks or seaside strolls. It has over 200 metres of track and sits 150 metres above the ocean, enjoying exceptional views from its back-end balcony. Take the lift to the top and you can mooch around lovely Lynton before embarking on a dog walk along the cliffs to the spectacular Valley of the Rocks.

Stay at: the regal Georgian House in Combe Martin, which is less than 25 minutes by car.

Canoe Tamar, Gulworthy

West of Dartmoor lies the gorgeous Tamar Valley National Landscape, where the river wends a windy route through gorgeous, bristling woodland. Dogs are welcome to join you in the canoes provided by Canoe Tamar, which offers guided trips along the waterway between April and September. You’ll be paddling for around 2.5 hours, but it’s a leisurely pace with plenty of stops to spot wildlife – perhaps even otters – and learn about the history of the river and its inhabitants. You can refuel at the dog-friendly Tavistock Inn after.

Stay at: The Hayloft in the delightful town of Totnes – it’s an hour’s drive but worth it for the adventure.

Babbacombe Model Village, Torquay

There are four acres of exhibitions to explore at Babbacombe Model Village, the vast majority of which are outdoors which means the dog can join you to explore tiny streets, palaces and train stations. It’s a charming place to spend a few hours, and there’s ample opportunity for ludicrous photo stops with the dog, who’ll look like a giant next to all those miniature houses and castles. They can’t join you in the café, but Torquay has plenty of lovely lunch stops should you get peckish – we love Venus Cafe on Broadsands Beach which has its own dog menu.

Stay at: The Hayloft in Totnes less than 25 minutes away.

Written by Lottie Gross

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