15 Incredible dog walks in Devon

Dog walks
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From the country’s oldest bakery to Europe’s oldest cinema, Devon is celebrated for many wonderful things, and the beautiful coast and countryside there is certainly one of them. They also claim to be the birthplace of cream teas and pasties, but nearby Cornwall likely has a lot to say about that. Somewhat more recently, but no less interestingly, the last castle built in Britain can be found in Devon too.

But most importantly, Devon is the birthplace of the beloved Jack Russell Terrier. But your canine companion needn’t be one for you to both enjoy a visit to this gorgeous county. Somewhere that gives us great dogs and tasty treats is one worth a visit, in my book.

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If you and your pooch take a trip down south, you’ll find many wonderful dog walks in Devon. We’ve compiled some of the best in this list and whichever you pick, you’re sure to have a paw-some day out.

Country & country park walks

Branscombe to Beer

This popular walk from the village of Branscombe to Beer takes you through beautiful countryside, over the beach, and along the coastal path, giving you the best of all a dog walk in Devon has to offer. Walking here is perhaps one of the most beautiful coastal hikes you can take in the country. The views from the clifftop are exceptional, but the return journey on the undercliff path allows you to truly appreciate the chalk giants.

This walk gives you the chance to experience the beauty of the Jurassic coast, while your pup has the op-paw-tunity for a lot of off-lead walking on a variety of terrain. The pair of you will certainly feel exercised and refreshed after this trek. As an added bonus, your pooch can visit the beaches at both Branscombe and Beer too.

You can pause for refreshments in either village. You can fuel up at the Sea Shanty Beach Cafe in Branscombe, or the dog-friendly Mason’s Arms. Once you reach Beer, you could take a pit-stop with your pooch in the Barrel O’ Beer or Harbour Inn.

  • Walk Length: 9.6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point:

  • Terrain: Slopes, hills, trails, beach

  • Free Parking: No (Unless a National Trust member)

  • Address: National Trust car park, Margells Bridge, Branscombe, EX12 3DB

More information: Route, National Trust, Country File

Northam Burrows

This country park is a unique and breathtaking landscape of grassland, salt marsh and coastal plains. A circular walk here will allow you to explore this open, unspoiled countryside as well as take the opportunity for a quick trip down to the beach at Westward Ho! The beach has summer restrictions for dogs, so check what the rules are for the season before you visit.

There is a visitor centre for the park with all the facilities you need, including refreshments. There’s also a bird hide for any budding photographers or wildlife enthusiasts to visit. There are also plenty of pooch-friendly spots in Westward Ho! that you can visit with your dog including the Waterfront Inn and the Pig on the Hill.

  • Walk Length: 3.4km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Burrows centre

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, uneven, grassland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: The Burrows Centre, Sandymere Road, Northam, Bideford, EX39 1XS

More information: Torridge, Explore Devon, Walkiees, Route You


This beautiful country house was built as a temporary residence but became a permanent home which was modified and moulded for decades. Now it is a National Trust site, and your pooch is welcome to explore the huge 6,400-acre estate with you.

The area is popular for walkers, and if your pooch is grubby after their countryside ramble, you’re welcome to wash them down with the hose by the toilets. Not quite a spa, but we’re sure you’ll be glad when your car isn’t covered in mud!

There are plenty of facilities within the estate, including two cafes, a shop selling estate produce, and plant centre where you can purchase plants grown in the nursery on site. If you fancy a longer ramble in the woods, you can combine a walk here with one through Ashclyst Forest, another fantastic spot for dog walks in Devon you’ll find listed below.

  • Walk Length: 3.2km to 4km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Flat, parkland, fields, trails, woods, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3LE

More information: National Trust, Bringing your dog to Killerton

Heddon valley

From short trails to challenging coastal walks, there are many different walks you can take through the stunning landscape of the Heddon Valley. This short walk over the cliffs is one of the trickier routes, but offers you incredible views of the surrounding countryside and the coast, even seeing as far as Wales, as well as the opportunity to spot rare butterflies.

Your dog will enjoy the challenge of the climbing paths and opportunity to explore woodland and meadows while you take in the superb scenery of this walk. Along the way, you’ll pass an orchard and charming cottages as well as the dog-friendly country pub and hotel, The Hunter’s Inn. This is a wonderful place to stay, be it for a meal or overnight, and you and your pup will feel very much at home.

There is also the National Trust shop, where you can pick up snacks and information about the local area, including the variety of other walks through the valley.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: National Trust car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, slopes, meadows, woodland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Hunters Inn, Near Parracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4PY

More information: National Trust, Heddon Valley Walk, Visit Devon

Plym valley

This long but gentle walk is a wonderful way for you and your pooch to get close to nature and enjoy a few hours in the great outdoors. If you’re feeling adventurous, this walk can be extended to take you the length of the valley. Otherwise, you have plenty to see as your stretch your legs on this circular stroll ambling through woodland, and alongside the river and canal.

With plenty of foliage, wildlife and burrows, your dog will be perfectly entertained on this stroll. Meanwhile, the people of the party will be interested by landmarks such as the pair of disused slate quarries, and the handsome viaduct you pass underneath as you follow the river.

The nearest facilities are in Plymouth, but it is only a short drive away. There’s an astounding array of dog-friendly pubs in the city, as well as a number of dog-friendly cafes and eateries like the Seco Lounge and The Flower Cafe.

  • Walk Length: 8.1km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Either car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, slopes, meadows, woodland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Plymbridge Road, Plymouth, PL7 4SR

More information: Walking Britain, Visit Plymouth, Plymouth Herald, One Plymouth

Woodland walks

Ashclyst forest

One of the largest forests in the east of the county and part of the Killerton Estate, Ashclyst Forest is the perfect place for woodland dog walks in Devon. It’s popular with people and pooches alike and is an enchanting location for your next adventure on two legs or four.

The tracks within the forest are maintained but can get muddy underfoot after rain so wear sturdy footwear. There’s more than enough room between the trees for your pup to run around and burn off some energy, or explore the undergrowth and take in all the new and exciting smells of the forest and wildlife living there.

As it is on the estate, you can use the facilities at Killerton House, including being able to wash the dog down. Otherwise, you’re only a short drive away from a pub such as the New Inn and Red Lion.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Forest Gate car park

  • Terrain: Flat, uneven, slopes, woodland, trails

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Forest Gate car park, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon

More information: Pinns, National Trust, Devon Loves Dogs

Haldon forest

Whether you go down to the woods today with just your pooch or your whole family, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy. As well as glorious views over the forest and expanses of countryside, there is orienteering, segway and bike hire, play parks, Go Ape, and a variety of cycle, running and walking routes to suit all ages and abilities.

As you can see, there’s much more to see than just trees. If you need a break after your ramble, you can stop by the forest cafe for a hot drink and snack.

That being said, there are also many routes where you can take a tranquil stroll through the trees, admiring the beautiful surroundings and watching the wildlife. Whatever route you take, your pup will love the op-paw-tunity for an off-lead adventure with their best friend. The long Tree Trail is a more difficult walk, but you will be able to glimpse Dartmoor through the trees as your journey through the forest.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km to 4.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy to Challenging

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, woodland, hills, flat

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Haldon Forest Park, Bullers Hill, Kennford, Exeter, EX6 7XR

More information: Visit Devon, Visit South Devon, Forestry England, Walkiees

Wistman’s wood

Hidden in the middle of Dartmoor National Park lies the wistful Wistman’s Wood. The haunting scenery of this patch of woodland was described as “grotesque’ by the local reverend in the 18th century due to it’s strange and eerie nature. Walking here, it’s easy to picture pixies and elves and a host of other mythical beasties lurking amongst the gnarled trees. In fact, they do, according to local legend, as the Wisht Hounds live in the woods and head out at night to hunt for unwitting souls. Thankfully, there are no spectral hounds here though, only your own pooch lurking amidst the trees.

You and your pup are sure to love this unique landscape and exploring the moss-covered rocks and trees. Walking on the waymarked path is easy, but the weather here is changeable. The short, twisted trees and rocky ground make it impenetrable for grazing animals, which has led to the abundance of lichen and other fauna. It’s a beautiful area that must be seen to be believed.

You can start your walk at the nearby Two Bridges Hotel, which is itself a dog-friendly hotel, with a short walk across a patch of the moor and into the forest, then back again.

  • Walk Length: 2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Two Bridges Hotel

  • Terrain: Slopes, woodland, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Two Bridges, Princetown, PL19 9NA

More information: Visit Dartmoor, Countryfile, Chesca is Lost, Two Bridges

Waterside walks

Saunton sands

As the name implies, Saunton Sands in a beautiful stretch of bright, sandy beach that literally goes on for miles. Not only is it popular with families and surfers who make the most of the long stretch of clear water, but this beach is perfect for a seaside stroll with your pup. Dogs are allowed here all year, and only need to be on a lead in certain zones, meaning once you’re clear of the on-lead area, you have several miles of sand and sea to enjoy uninhibited. Perfect for your pup to run as far and fast as they can, chasing balls, or taking a paddle in the surf.

If stretching your legs with a stroll through the sand dunes isn’t enough, you can give yourself a focus to your walk and head to Crow Point at the very end of the beach overlooking the river. On the walk, the elevation of the boardwalk will give you an excellent vantage over the stretching sands and sea. Stop by the beach shop for facilities and any treats you’d like to enjoy by the seaside.

  • Walk Length: 12km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Saunton Sands car park

  • Terrain: Flat, beach, sand, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Saunton Sands car park, Braunton, EX33 2NU

More information: Stay in Devon, Saunton Beach, Visit Devon, Crow Point Trail

Avon estuary walk

A walk through the Avon Valley is sure to delight both you and your pooch. This circular route will let you explore both sides of the river and reward you with marvellous views of the rolling hills and pastures as they form the valley, with glimpses of the estuary through the hills as you amble through this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Remember to keep your dog on the lead at the start of this walk, as there is a short stretch along the road. But it is only short, and shouldn’t deter you from this glorious walk and the gorgeous scenery you will explore. The only other note is if there has been a lot of rain, you will need to take a short (1.6km) detour to avoid any floods. Your pup will probably be delighted by the extended exercise though!

You can find local shops in Aveton Gifford, as well as public toilets.

  • Walk Length: 7km

  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

  • Starting Point: Aveton Gifford car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hill, steps, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Fore Street, Aveton Gifford, TQ7 4LB

More information: Coast and Country, South West Coast Path

Burrator reservoir

Burrator Reservoir offers flat and gentle waterside dog walks in Devon that both you and your pooch will enjoy whatever your age and ability, as it’s an easy walk with beautiful surroundings, including a great view of Sheepstor looming over the lake and the impressive granite dam.

There are plenty of places to park in several car parks or on the roadside, and there are many paths through the woodland here as well as the route around the tranquil waters of the reservoir. If you’d like to let your dog off-lead in safety, the arboretum is enclosed meaning they won’t get lost, worry livestock, or end up in the water. There is also a safely enclosed dog exercise area near the discovery centre, where you can let your pup have plenty of exercise off-lead in the knowledge they can’t wander too far.

This is a lovely spot for a Sunday Stroll, which you can top off with a visit to the Burrator Inn for lunch where you and your pooch will be made very welcome. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can start here for a more challenging walk around the local tors.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Paths, trails, flat, slopes, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Burrator Reservoir, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6PE

More information: Countryfile, BBC, SW Lakes Trust

Soar Mill cove

Although only small, this cove has boundless beauty. Hemmed in by daunting dark rock, it’s a hidden gem on the south coast and secluded due to the fact it can only be reached on foot or by sea. This has kept the quiet cove unspoiled and makes it a great beach to take your pup to, particularly as it’s dog-friendly and without restrictions.

There aren’t many facilities around, save for the nearby hotels. However, this lends itself to the secluded nature of the picturesque cove. It’s a good place to stop off if you’re walking the South West Coastal Path, or simply want a quiet seaside retreat where you and your pooch can enjoy sun, sand and sea as well as exploring the plentiful rock pools.

  • Walk Length: 3.1km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: East Soar Car Park

  • Terrain: Slopes, uneven, trails, beach, sand

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Soar Mill Cove, Malborough, TQ7 3DU

More information: Visit South Devon, Coast and Country

The Agatha Christie mile (Torquay sea front)

This short walk is a perfect choice for any literature fan, or for anyone who wants to explore the English Riviera. This route takes you past the places that held importance and inspiration in Agatha Christie’s life and work, and there are a dozen plaques to find on your stroll. It’s a wonderful way to explore Torquay while giving your pup the opportunity for a gentle stroll.

If you’re staying in the English Riviera for longer than the day, there are several other great dog walks to find. Including a stop to ride the quirky funicular railway to Babbicombe and Oddicombe beach.

As this walk takes your around the front of Torquay, it’s easily accessible from the train station making it a great stroll for holidaymakers. There’s also plenty of facilities such as the dog-friendly Driftwood Cafe or Offshore Bar. The historical Hole in the Wall pub offers characterful surroundings as well as a great place for you and your pup to stop for a drink.

  • Walk Length: 1mile

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Imperial Hotel or Grand Hotel

  • Terrain: Paths, even, flat, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Sea Front, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 6NT

More information: English Riviera, Devon Live, Doggie Pubs

Hill walks

Great Mis Tor

Most of Devon’s high points are either cliffs along the Jurassic Coast or rocky tors on Dartmoor. Great Mis Tor is one of the higher tors in the national park, and one of the most accessible. The area and route are also easy to combine with other walks, such as LIttle Mis Tor.

The tor doesn’t rise too high, and the climb is quite even so it is not a terribly daunting hill walk. Although you and your pooch will certainly feel accomplished when you reach the famous rocky outcrop and have outstanding, panoramic views over the moor.

The nearest place to stop and rest is the Dartmoor Inn. This wonderful pub has glorious views of the moor (provided you can snag a window seat), great food, and most importantly is dog-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

  • Starting Point: Four Winds car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hill, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Four Winds, Yelverton, PL20 6SS

More information: Two Blondes Walking, Holiday in Dartmoor

Hound Tor

We couldn’t possibly compile a list of dog walks in Devon and not include the eponymously named Hound Tor, which legend tells was created when a pack of dogs were turned to stone. It’s also one of the areas of Dartmoor that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the setting of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

There’s a lot of spectral hounds haunting Dartmoor, it would seem. From the Baskervilles to the Whist Hounds. But thankfully, your own pooch is probably far friendlier and sure to love the rugged, open countryside just as much.

Popular with rock climbers, the outcrop of the tor is an impressive sight. From its peak, you’ll not only have wonderful views of the moor but a clear look at the remains of the abandoned medieval village. You will visit several other tors and local landmarks on this walk, including Haytor Rocks and Saddle Tor.

Facilities are few and far between here, and you’ll have to drive to the closest pubs such as The Old Inn, which offers just as stoic and memorable visit as to the tor.

  • Walk Length: 12.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

  • Starting Point: Saddle Tor car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hill, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Ilsington, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9XS

More information: Walking Britain, Walk Description, Countryfile, Route, English Heritage, Wikipedia

More information about Devon: Sykes Cottages, 12 Facts, 15 Places, Toadhall Cottages, Devon Life, Countryfile, Holiday Cottages

More dog walks: Dorset, Surrey, Somerset, West Sussex