Hello adventurous spirits and canine aficionados! Welcome to the beautiful and dog-friendly region of North Devon. Imagine the golden sun illuminating the sandy shores of Woolacombe, a refreshing sea breeze playfully rustling through the vibrant harbour of Ilfracombe, and the tranquillity of the verdant Exmoor National Park. Now, envision experiencing all this beauty and charm alongside your favourite four-legged companion.
From the quaint cobbled lanes of Clovelly to the historic remnants of Okehampton, the rugged cliffs of Hartland to the serene landscapes of Lynton & Lynmouth, every corner of North Devon is a symphony of enchanting towns and captivating nature. And the best part? There’s plenty of dog friendly attractions in North Devon that celebrate our furry friends.
In this guide, we’ll unveil the most paw-fect spots in North Devon that roll out the red carpet for your canine companions. So, leash up and prepare to explore, play, and discover all the wonders North Devon has to offer for both you and your furry friend. Your tail-wagging adventure begins here!
Railway and River Cruises
If you’re looking for unique transport experiences, well you’re in luck. There’s plenty to enjoy in this part of the UK.
Ilfracombe Coastal Cruises have been running coastal cruises for over 20 years, providing a fantastic way to discover the North Devon Coast. The dog-friendly Ilfracombe Princess is a fully licenced 100 seater passenger boat offering unspoilt panoramic views from the top deck. It has a spacious bottom deck with ample seating inside and outside. You can choose between the Smugglers Caves cruise, Exmoor Cliffs and Waterfall cruise, or Seals and Lighthouse cruise. Booking can be done at the Pier Kiosk near Verity or online
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
Take your dog on a thrilling ride on the world’s highest and steepest water-powered railway. Together, you can soak up breathtaking coastal views as you travel between the charming towns of Lynton and Lynmouth.
Enjoy a nostalgic railway journey through the stunning Exmoor countryside. While specific dog-friendly policies are not provided, it’s common for heritage railways to welcome our four-legged companions.
Castles and Gardens
Arlington Court Carriage Museum and Gardens
Explore a Regency house with your canine companion, strolling through the formal gardens and discovering an impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles. Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds, gardens, and carriage museum.
Step back in time at these dog-friendly castle ruins, once the largest castle in Devon. After the fascinating audio tour, enjoy a peaceful walk with your dog around the lovely riverside picnic area and the nearby woodland trails.
This beautiful house and gardens close to Bideford welcome dogs in the gardens and grounds. Enjoy stunning Hydrangea trails with royal blue flowers, Jurassic plants, and a vegetable garden. Don’t miss the huge pieces of cake from the café and a walk to Abbey River beach if it’s a sunny day.
These grounds are renowned for their beautiful gardens, lake, ponds, old woodland, and fields where Highland cattle graze. Dogs are welcome, and entry is free to RHS member.
Walk through the South-West’s most enchanting gardens featuring over 200 sculptures. Dogs are welcome throughout the hotel, art gallery, and sculpture gardens.
Docton Mill Gardens & Tea Rooms
Docton Mill Gardens & Tea Rooms is a beautiful, award-winning garden set in a lush valley in North Devon, near the stunning Hartland coastline. It’s best known for its spectacular show of narcissi from March to May, followed by a riot of colour from the wildflower meadows and herbaceous borders from May to September. A woodland garden and a bog garden with its natural spring add to the charm. The garden is dog-friendly, and dogs are welcomed with a biscuit at the entrance. After exploring the garden, visitors can enjoy homemade light lunches and cream teas at the Tea Room, which prides itself on using local produce and serving arguably the “Best Cream Tea in Devon”.
Gnome Reserve and Wildflower Garden
A unique place that is home to over 2,000 gnomes. Each visitor is loaned their very own gnome hat to wear while exploring the gnome garden.
Animal Spotting and Adventure Activities
Quince Honey Farm
Bring your dog along to this buzzing honey farm. Learn about the life of bees, and sniff out the beautifully landscaped Nectar gardens filled with bee-friendly plants.
Bow Garden & Aquatic Centre offers a delightful dog-friendly destination. This family-owned spot, serving Devon since 1411, invites dogs to explore the premises, even offering an outdoor seating area at the Waterside Cafe. Overlooking a koi pond with views of Dartmoor, the cafe serves tasty meals in a relaxing environment. In addition to gardening supplies, Bow boasts a range of pet essentials, from top brands to unique toys. Visitors can explore the inspiring garden centre filled with healthy plants and bird care supplies. The aquatics department, home to a wide variety of fish, is a must-see. Bow eagerly awaits the opportunity to welcome both human and canine visitors.
Rock and Rapid Activity Centre
Embark on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with your dog at your side. Specific dog-friendly information isn’t available, but many outdoor centres welcome dogs in certain areas.
Surfside Kayak Hire in Combe Martin
Experience the thrill of kayaking with your furry friend. Although it’s not clear if dogs can join you on the water, they’re usually welcome in the surrounding areas.
This thrilling attraction in North Devon offers activities like rollercoasters, rides, and live shows. Dogs on leads are welcome, although not in the bird of prey centre, play areas, live shows, or on the rides.
Exmoor National Park – Tarr Steps
Venture into the wild with your dog at Exmoor National Park. Discover the ancient Tarr Steps, and enjoy a peaceful riverside walk amidst the stunning scenery.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk along this series of footpaths and cycle paths with your dog. The trail offers a variety of landscapes for you and your pet to explore.
The Valley Of Rocks
Embark on an adventurous walk with your dog through a dry valley that boasts a unique rocky landscape and stunning coastal views.
This iconic harbour village near Hartland, featured in multiple films and TV shows, allows dogs to enter for free. Enjoy the charming traditional houses, breathtaking ocean view, and the steep pedestrianised cobbled main street.
A Haven for Canine Companions
In every corner, North Devon speaks a language of love, adventure, and warm welcomes for our canine companions. Its unique blend of history, nature, and vibrant culture makes it the ultimate playground for dogs and their humans alike. As we’ve discovered, the dog friendly attractions in North Devon are not just an inclusion; they are a celebration of our furry friends.
From the tranquil forests of Exmoor National Park to the mesmerising cliffs of Hartland, the historic Okehampton Castle to the bustling harbour of Ilfracombe, North Devon offers a world of experiences that will leave you and your four-legged friend with memories to cherish.
As you explore these dog friendly attractions in North Devon, remember that the joy of the journey lies not only in the destinations but also in the heartwarming companionship of your loyal friend. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, North Devon is a place that invites you to feel at home, to explore, and to fall in love with its charm.
Click here for dog friendly attractions in South Devon.