The South Hams, the southernmost tip of Devon, is an exceptionally dog-friendly area. Whether you are the proud owner of a bouncing border collie with energy to burn, or a calm corgi content with quiet days in the sunshine, there are walks, attractions and days out to suit the temperament of all dogs… and their owners! Here are just a few things you and your four-legged friend can enjoy this summer.
WANDER, STROLL OR HIKE
Whatever your walking preference, undoubtedly one of the best ways of exploring South Devon is on foot. With miles of unspoilt, breathtakingly beautiful South West Coast Path, and a vast network of rural footpaths to be discovered, the opportunities really are endless. Whether you are a seasoned long distance walker or looking for a relaxing stroll you won’t be short of options, with routes for all abilities. Why not wander along the coast path from Hope Cove to Bantham, admiring the mesmerising scenery including Thurlestone Rock and Burgh Island along the way?
TREATS FOR ALL
Hungry after a day at the seaside? There are many cafes, restaurants and eateries in the area that not only welcome dogs, but also cater for them specifically. Some places even have their own ‘doggie menu’, like The Victoria Inn in Salcombe, where doggie beer and pig’s ears are readily available for ‘Man’s Best Friend’! The Cove Cafe Bar in Hope Cove offers delectable treats like rawhide bones for dogs too – and with mouthwatering options including seafood, burgers and pizzas made using locally sourced ingredients, pet owners are also well catered for.
For those looking to enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea, there are various tea rooms dotted across the region where your pet can rest at your feet. Valley View Cafe and Avon Mill Garden Centre are just two places offering outstanding Devonshire cream teas. The question is, how will you prepare yours – jam first or cream? Either way, the result is delicious!
ATTRACTIONS AND ADVENTURES FOR YOUR AIREDALE
There are copious amounts of attractions in the area that allow pets. If you have a pooch that loves the wind in his fur, a trip with the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company is unmissable. Whether you take a river cruise or a train ride, this is a fabulous way to see the River Dart -and your dog can join you for just £2! For family fun, Woodlands Leisure Park near Dartmouth is the perfect place. Whilst dogs aren’t allowed in the park itself, kennels are provided to accommodate your pet for the day while you enjoy the attraction. Many of the National Trust properties in the region are also dog-friendly, including Coleton Fishacre in Kingswear, and Agatha Christie’s former home Greenway. At both places, dogs on leads are welcome to explore the garden and grounds.
GET OUT ON THE WATER!
Looking to do something a little more unusual with your canine companion? Stand up paddle boarding is a popular activity, especially on the calm waters of the Kingsbridge/Salcombe Estuary, and often dogs can be seen joining their owners in this therapeutic pastime, perching on the end of the board. Similarly, dogs are welcome aboard many of the ferry services in both Salcombe and Dartmouth. What dog can resist the scented sea breeze, and the sun on their back? And, if South Devon’s balmy climate seems a little too warm, a quick dip in the sea is the ideal way to cool off a ‘hot dog’!