Which North Devon beaches can I walk my dog on?

Are you heading to North Devon for a holiday, and bringing your four-legged friend with you? Great!

We’re blessed here in North Devon to have such a wide range of open spaces perfect for letting our canine companions run free. But when it comes to beaches, certain rules apply – and in this blog we’ll clear up just where you can take your pet pooch for a saunter across the sand.

Out of the major North Devon beaches, only a few allow you to take your dogs 365 days a year.

Saunton is one of these, although owners are asked to keep their pets on leads in front of the beach hut area at the start of the beach.

Woolacombe, on the other hand, is zoned, and the rules are as follows: Zone A – no dogs between April 1 and November 1; Zone B – on a lead from May 1 to September 30; Zone C – no restrictions.

Barricane, just next door to Woolacombe, allows dogs between October and April, but they must be on a lead between the months of May and September.

Dogs are allowed everywhere on Putsborough, except for the far left of the beach from Easter until November 1.

A ban is also in place for dogs on Combe Martin beach between May 1 and September 30, while Croyde allows dogs between October 1 and April 30.

The area to the west of North Devon is the political region of Torridge, and here you will find plenty more brilliant beaches where you can enjoy a walk.

As shown above, Instow and Clovelly both allow dogs on their sands all year round, but there is a year-long ban in place on Hartland.

UPDATE: There is currently a summer ban on dogs for parts of Instow Beach. No dogs are allowed between the Quay and Lane End Road between May 1st 2018 and September 30th 2018.

Westward Ho!, on the other hand, allows dogs for most of the year; but between May 1 and September 30 they are only allowed on the northern end of beach, to the right of the Pebble Ridge.

But that’s not all.

There are plenty of other beaches in North Devon, a lot of which allow dogs all year round.

Dogs are allowed all year round at:

Wildersmouth, Ilfracombe
Tunnels, Ilfracombe
Other Ilfracombe (The Cove, Raparee, Larkstone, Cheyne)
Hele Bay
Lee Bay
Crow Point
Wild Pear

Dogs are not allowed between May 1st and September 30th at:


Dogs are allowed between November 1st and Easter at:

Lee Bay

Dogs are banned all year at:

Woody Bay

PLEASE NOTE: Assistance dogs are allowed on beaches all year round.

We hope we’ve cleared up the beach-walk conundrum for you! But, if still in doubt, there will be clear signage up at all beaches.

If you have any further questions for us regarding this blog, do drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter – we’re happy to help!

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Top picture courtesy of Darren Scott-Dowsett.

4 comments on “Which North Devon beaches can I walk my dog on?

  1. Firstly I would like to say, I’m not against dogs . But when it comes to dogs being allowed on our local beaches all year round! It really angers me, my grandson loves going to the beach we regularly go to instow. But we repeatedly find dog poo . Of course there are fantastic owners who pick up after their dog, but there are twice as many owners that think it’s ok to keep walking. Just the other day we were sat in the dunes with our little grandson, two dogs and their owners walked through and allowed their dogs to do their business. Instow isn’t the only dog fouled beach Crow beach is a absolute nightmare for dog poo, not only do you have to watch where you walk but you see full poo bags decorating the hedgerows! Why do they think it’s ok to clean up after their dog and throw it into a the hedge. DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES are CERTAINLY not CHILDREN FRIENDLY BEACHES….

  2. Tunnels Beach – Dogs are allowed through the tunnels on a lead but not on to the beaches. If you are visiting with your dog you can still read all the history information and admire the views.

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