When your dog is part of the family, you want them to enjoy your holidays with you. We have miles of beaches, lots of rural space and many dog friendly attractions. South Devon is a fantastic dog friendly place and here are 10 top places in South Devon for a fabulous day out with your pooch:
- Steam Train and Dartmouth Castle
Hop on a steam train at Goodrington or Paignton and travel down the valley to Kingswear, where you catch the passenger ferry for the short journey across the River Dart to Dartmouth. As you cross, look to the left to see Dartmouth Castle and to the right the impressive Britannia Royal Naval College building.
Time in Dartmouth won’t disappoint; you can:
Wander along the river bank to see the coming and going of river craft
Take a look at the ancient inner harbour
Stroll through Royal Avenue Gardens
Window shop or visit the many boutique shops
Take a walk through the narrow lanes to dog friendly Dartmouth Castle
Depending on the time of your visit, you could grab a bite to eat or refreshments at the castle. Or, return to the centre and enjoy cafe refreshments outside or grab fish and chips and sit on the waterfront or in the gardens.
Return the way you came.
- The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth offers fantastic dog walks and a chance to see the donkeys in the paddocks and barns. There’s a cafe with takeaway and outdoor area, a shop, toilets and opportunities to learn about what the sanctuary does to help donkeys. Admission is free and once you have been, you’ll want to return and so will your dog!
- Haldon Forest Park
Visit the 3,500 acres of woodland and pathways with a variety of paths, walking and cycling trails. Bicycle hire is available, or take your own. The park is very child and dog friendly.
- House of Marbles
People come away from the House of Marbles saying it was better than expected. You can watch the skilled craftsmen make molten glass into objects as they demonstrate both modern and traditional glassmaking. You can enjoy the three museums, marble run, kids play area, plus a great cafe.
- Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens
The model village covers four acres of miniature scale model scenes. They cover six decades of English life and culture, including some famous landmarks, model railways, vehicles and 13,000 miniature people. An added dimension is the humour and there is a Where’s Wally challenge. The gardens are well kept by a professional garden team and are constantly changing with new planting to add interest. There’s a cafe and a gift shop.
- Stuart Line Cruises
Stuart Line operates from Exmouth and are delighted to be a pet friendly attraction. There’s no additional charge for dogs travelling with their families and they are welcomed onto most cruises. Always check when booking. Generally dogs don’t go on the longer cruises due to the amount of time spent out on the water without the opportunity of a doggy comfort break. Trips include the Jurassic Coastline, Torquay and Sidmouth.
Saltram is a National Trust House and Parkland; dogs are welcome in the parkland and gardens but are not inside the house. The gardens are mostly 19th century with 18th century follies and orangeries. Open Thursday-Monday.
- Powderham Castle
Privately owned by the Courtenay family since 1391, Powderham is a fairy tale location with lovely gardens and parkland. There’s a farm shop, cafe, restaurant and forge on site and you can buy tickets just for the grounds. Opening times vary throughout the year, so check before you travel.
- Plant World
Situated between Newton Abbot and Maidencombe, Plant World is a four acre hilltop garden designed to represent the five continents of the world. Many of the plant species are rarely seen in the UK. The location enjoys spectacular views over the Teign valley and out to sea. They also have garden rooms that are cottage gardens and Mediterranean gardens and more. The nursery sells plants, many that you can see growing in the themed gardens and includes cacti and some rare and unusual plants. They have a cafe and shop.
- Fast Rabbit Farm Garden
Better keep your fast rabbit chasing dogs on a lead at this one! Located near Dartmouth in the provocatively named Strawberry Valley, it’s a 43 acre garden with lakes, ponds, waterfalls, streams and a river. They have collections of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons and more. There are picnic areas, parking, toilets and a shop.
…and there’s more:
The South West Coast Path, many Nature Reserves and of course Dartmoor are all great places to spend time with your dog and enjoy nature.
Devon is famously a superb place to bring your dog, whether it be for a day trip or a holiday – with miles of sandy beaches and acres of rural countryside, it’s no wonder that so many people decide to bring their dog to Devon.