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Home | Recommendations and Tips | 11 dog-friendly beaches in South Devon

11 dog-friendly beaches in South Devon

Jack Russel dog on beach

With two National Parks and more than 500 miles of coastline, Devon is a dog owners’ paradise with walks in abundance. But, however much we adore our four-legged best friends, they’re not always able to access the whole seafront year-round. If you’re looking for dog-friendly beaches in South Devon, you’re in luck. Here’s our guide to the coves and bays where they can frolic in the waves for 12 months of the year.

1. Castle Cove, Dartmouth

View across Castle Cove - one of the Dartmouth beaches you can walk to from town

Here’s a sheltered nook from which you and your dog can watch the comings and goings of the River Dart. 

Castle Cove is a small tidal beach nestled below Dartmouth Castle. It faces out into the English Channel, where you’ll be able to spot sailing boats, the Kingswear Castle paddle steamer and plenty of coastal wildlife.

It’s possible to walk to Castle Cove from Dartmouth. Take the road to Dartmouth Castle and the cove is signposted from the small car park. Take the winding footpath down the cliff. 

Before you descend, be sure to pick up a coffee and slab of cake from the Castle Tearooms. There are public toilets next to the small car park. Dogs are welcome on this beach all year.

Find out more about Castle Cove and other beaches around Dartmouth.

2. Sugary Cove, Dartmouth

If you’re in the mood for small secluded bays, then Sugary Cove is another dog-friendly South Devon beach to check out all year round. 

You access the beach by walking from Sugary Green, next to Dartmouth Castle, along the footpath and down a set of steep steps to the beach.

Find out more about Sugary Cove.

Here are some dog-friendly places to eat in Dartmouth.

3. Landscombe Cove, Strete

This hidden Devon beach in the South Hams is a favourite for people who don’t mind a bit of a hike in exchange for quieter surroundings. Landcombe Cove has a generous amount of shingle and is a sheltered sun trap in the summer months.

There’s no parking, so you’ll need to take the South West Coast Path from Strete or Blackpool Sands to reach it. The final part of your walk is down a steep valley, so wear sensible shoes and rationalise your beach bag. 

There are no facilities at this beach. Dogs are allowed all year round.

Find out more about Landscombe Cove.

4. Slapton Sands and Torcross Beach

View of Slapton Sands beach and Start Bay in Devon

Slapton and Torcross are some of the biggest dog-friendly beaches in South Devon. 

There are nearly two miles of fine shingle and stones in view of Start Point to the south and the Daymark at Kingswear to the north. Behind the beach, there’s Slapton Ley Nature Reserve, where dogs are also allowed to walk.

Lifeguards are on duty at Slapton Sands and Torcross in the summer season, and flags mark the best places for swimming. 

If you fancy a snack or even a full lunch during your beach day, there are pubs and cafés at Torcross. Sea Breeze Cafe and Torcross Boat House welcome dogs. Paid-for parking is available both at the War Memorial and in Torcross (cash or contactless).

5. Strete Gate, Strete

Strete Gate is a continuation of the Slapton Sands sand bar and stretches out along the cliffs below the village of Strete. 

There’s a good-sized car park off the A379 coast road (fees apply), and you’ll find public toilets on the beach. 

Most days, it’s possible to grab hot drinks and a snack from the Café By The Sea wagon – you’ll easily see it as you turn into the car park. Dogs are allowed all year.

6. Beesands Beach, Beesands

Beesands beach in the South Hams, Devon

If you’re looking for a quieter beach that’s easy to access, Beesands is ideal. However, you’ll drive down a few narrow roads before you reach it.

The small village of Beesands is right on the beach and there’s a café and pub where you can pick up lunch or an ice cream. 

There’s also a playground for kids. You can park for free at Beesands. Your dog is allowed all year round.

Find out more about Beesands.

7. East Portlemouth, Salcombe

There are three dog-friendly beaches at East Portlemouth: Fishermans Cove, Smalls Cove and Mill Bay.

These sandy, sheltered beaches on Kingsbridge estuary are ideal if you have children who like building sandcastles and exploring rock pools.

Be aware that dogs must be kept on leads. There is a small National Trust car park and a toilet block next to Mill Bay.

Find out more about these beaches.

8. Salcombe North Sands, Salcombe

North Sands beach at Salcombe in the South Hams district of Devon South Devon England UK Europe

Salcombe North Sands is an extremely picturesque beach overlooking the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary.

You should plan your visit around the tide times. At low tide Salcombe North Sands is revealed as a large sandy beach with shallow waters ideal for paddling. At high tide, it is totally submerged. 

Across the road from the beach, there’s a car park (fees apply) and the Winking Prawn restaurant, where you can buy drinks, ice creams, light lunches, and larger meals.

A toilet block is located a short walk along the road. Dogs can join you on this beach all year round.

Find out more about Salcombe North Sands.

9. South Milton Sands, Thurlestone

Looking for a quieter beach with shallow waters and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty-worthy scenery? Head to South Milton near Kingsbridge for views of Thurlestone Rock.

You access the beach down a narrow single-track lane, so be prepared to breathe in. 

At the beach, there’s a café, toilets and a National Trust car park. You can also hire kayaks and paddle boards here.

Lifeguards are on duty from May to September and dogs are allowed all year round.

10. Goodington North Beach, Paignton

Beach huts lining the red sands of Goodrington North Beach

This shallow, red sand beach is backed by Youngs Park in Paignton and comes with plenty of facilities for families including cafes, swan boats, crazy golf, toilets and a play park.

At low tide the beach is popular for rock pooling. Check tide times as at high tide the sand is completely submerged. 

Dogs are allowed on North Beach all year round but be aware that there is a dog ban from May to September on neighbouring South Beach.

Find out more about the beaches at Goodrington.

11. Man Sands, Kingswear

Another dog-friendly beach that’s off the beaten track is Man Sands near Kingswear. 

You can reach it from the South West Coast Path from Sharkham Point or from the National Trust car park on Woodhuish Lane. The beach is a further three-quarters of a mile down a narrow lane, so pack light for this beach day.

At the bottom of the valley, you’ll find a shallow sand and shingle cove. There are no facilities at this beach.

For more things to do with your four-legged friend, take a look at our guide to dog-friendly days out in South Devon.

Dog-friendly places to stay in South Devon

Here at Dart Valley Cottages, we have a range of dog-friendly cottages in the beautiful South Hams area of South Devon. Get in touch to discuss your next dog-friendly holiday, or search our properties to see what’s on offer.

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