Dog-friendly Devon: the best towns and villages to explore

From market towns to quaint little fishing villages, Devon has lots to offer the adventuring dog owner. There’s never any need to leave the dog at home, either, as shops, pubs, restaurants and even museums and attractions in this county will let your dog come in, too, so head for one of these brilliant towns and villages in Devon for your next trip.

Written by Lottie Gross

5 minute read


Torquay is one of Devon's most popular towns for a holiday in summer: palm trees bristle in the sea breeze, the water of the harbour glistens in the sun, and kids are kept entertained by myriad attractions from a big wheel, to a dinosaur park or the Babbacombe Model Village

The town's fringed by a handful of beaches -- Babbacombe is dog-friendly year round -- and there are spectacular walks on the coastline, especially between Anstey's Cove and Hope Cove.


Once a modest little fishing town with a small shipbuilding industry, today Salcombe is a staple of the Devon tourist scene. It draws thousands each summer to its shimmering shores and tiny lanes, where boujee little boutiques, restaurants and cafés serve visitors seeking a little seaside fun. 

This town is one of the most dog friendly in Devon, too, with plenty of places to stop for a drink or a doggy ice cream, and most shops allowing you access to browse with the dog by your side. The town’s dog-friendly beach is a 25-minute walk from the town centre at North Sands.


Ship-building and fishing were the two core industries that made Appledore the thriving little seaside village it is today, set on the banks of the Torridge Estuary. Its large indoor shipyard and dry docks were a hive of activity and productivity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and today you can learn about its important past at the North Devon Maritime Museum (dogs allowed). 

Visit Appledore with the dog and you can wander along its waterfront, where there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and pubs to taste the region's wonderful variety of fish and seafood, and watch the boats bob past towards Lundy Island just off the coast of Devon.

Lynmouth & Lynton

Two small towns split by the dramatic geography of the North Devon coastline, Lynmouth and Lynton have been drawing visitors for centuries. This pair of towns -- Lynton sitting atop a cliff overlooking the sea, Lynmouth lurking down below on the opposite side of the Lyn estuary -- were popular holiday destinations for the Victorians, and so there's elegant architecture of the time found throughout both. 

Don't miss the joyful Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway which ferries passengers on one of the tallest and steepest water-powered lines in the world, and you must head out along the cliffs here to the otherworldly Valley of the Rocks landscape.


Set on the English Riviera, Brixham is famous for one core thing: fish. And with the presence of the hugely popular Brixham Fish Market, it’s hardly surprising that you’ll find plenty of the stuff on menus around the town. The market is the biggest in Britain for fish, and this is where many London restaurants come to fill their boots with the best catch, but there’s nothing quite like having it straight from the source. 

Come to Brixham with the dog and you can sample seafood galore in its pubs and restaurants, take a hike on the South West Coast Path, board boats for tours to Paignton and Teignmouth, and even see a life-sized replica of the magnificent Golden Hind ship.


Sitting on the banks of the river Dart, this handsome naval college town is a brilliant little corner of Devon away from the mass tourism of Torquay and Salcombe. From the water, multicoloured pastel houses and timber-framed buildings are a handsome sight, while in town you'll find cosy old pubs and a fantastic old marketplace with little boutiques. 

Up on a hill just south of town is the 15th-century Dartmouth Castle (dog friendly), and across the water -- accessed via a ferry -- is Kingswear, from where the Dartmouth Steam Railway chugs along its tracks towards Brixham and beyond. Nip across onto the opposing riverbank and you can take the dog for a fabulous walk on the Dart Valley Trail.

Written by Lottie Gross

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