Devon is one of the most dog friendly counties we’ve ever visited within the UK.
There are a plethora of beaches, attractions and places to visit that are welcoming to dogs, as well as plenty of dog friendly places to stay in Devon, ensuring you never have to leave your best bud at home.
If you’re looking for the perfect dog friendly weekend getaway, as well as dog friendly things to do in Devon, then we’ve got you covered…
About Andrewshayes Holiday Park in East Devon
Nestled in the middle of two areas of outstanding natural beauty, Andrewshayes Holiday Park near Axminster is the perfect place to stay for a dog friendly weekend getaway in Devon.
There are several dog friendly static homes on offer, as well as good dog walking facilities including a large exercise field onsite and a charming woodland walk just across the road. They also have a dog friendly bar and café onsite as well. And if you’re travelling with children, then the onsite swimming pool is perfect for a fun splash around!
The dog friendly static home we stayed in was modern, comfortable, well-equipped and a great size for the two of us plus Kai. We could have easily had a couple of young children with us too! Andrewshayes is also perfectly situated for lots of dog friendly things to do in Devon and places to visit.
We were recently invited to stay at Andrewshayes for a long weekend, and as we live in Bristol, it took us just a couple of hours to drive down to Devon and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Read on for what we got up to plus lots of other ideas for a fabulous dog friendly Devon weekend getaway.
The Perfect Dog Friendly Weekend Getaway in Devon
At Andrewshayes, you can check-in from about 3pm, which means you can have a leisurely start to your dog friendly weekend getaway.
We arrived at 7pm as we had a few errands to do after work. The reception had closed at 5pm so we followed the signs for the Warden’s Hut to check-in with her. It was a warm and friendly welcome and we were shown where all the dog walking facilities are.
With the car unpacked, we took Kai to the exercise area onsite, which was a great size for him to have a runaround in. Then, with champagne in hand, we toasted the start of what was going to be a joyful weekend.
After a restful night’s sleep, it was time to head out on our first day trip.
We’d heard good things about Sidmouth and we were proven right! It’s a charming seaside town and is a prime spot for joining the famous Jurassic Coast for one of the best dog walks in South Devon.
The town’s main beach, Sidmouth Beach, has a dog ban in place during the summer months (May 1st – September 30th), but there is a small area at the east end of the beach, which dogs are welcome on all year.
Plus, the esplanade that follows the crooks of the red cliffs towards Jacobs Ladder beach is great for walking dogs along.
More Dog Friendly Devon Beaches
Whether you’ve got longer to spend in Devon than just one weekend, or you’ve already been to Sidmouth, you’ll find a myriad of other dog friendly Devon beaches to discover – both nearby and further away.
Here are a few of our favourites:
- Budleigh Salterton, East Devon: Pebble beach, thought to be the inspiration behind the village of Budleigh Babberton in the Harry Potter novels. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year, but must be kept to a designated “dog zone” from May through to September.
- Seaton, East Devon: Pebble beach, perfect for rockpooling. Dogs welcome all year within the designated “dog zone”.
- Heddon’s Mouth, North Devon: Rocky cove, surrounded by a charming walk along Heddon Valley and one of Devon’s best kept secrets. No dog restrictions.
- Croyde, North Devon: Sandy beach, popular with surfers and bodyboarders. Dogs allowed throughout the year except between May and September.
- Woolacombe, North Devon: Sandy beach, popular with surfers and bodyboarders and found close to Croyde. Dogs welcome all year on leads within designated “dog zones”.
The Jurassic Coast
The infamous World Heritage-status Jurassic coastline stretches for as much as 96 miles from Exmouth in East Devon and through Dorset before ending at Studland Bay.
It’s easily home to some of the most beautiful dog walks in South Devon.
Spanning nearly 185 million years worth of geological history, the Jurassic Coast is famous for uncovering fossils and other treasures from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
And Sidmouth is perfectly situated to give you a glimpse of the coast and its stunning views, whether you follow the route towards Exmouth or towards Dorset.
If you follow the coastal walk towards Dorset, you’ll get some amazing views back towards Sidmouth and of the rust-coloured Triassic cliffs. In the summer months, you’ll also find a wildflower meadow adorning the sea-scape next to Salcombe Hill.
Burrow Farm Gardens
What could be a more relaxing way to spend a lazy Sunday morning than by wandering around 13 acres worth of stunning gardens?
Burrow Farm Gardens, found just 5 minutes away from Andrewshayes Holiday Park, is beautiful – and totally dog friendly.
Nicknamed East Devon’s ‘Secret Garden’, it really is Secret Garden-nesque. From mysterious gates, to tucked away seating areas and full of giant leaves akin to something a dinosaur would eat, coming here was easily a highlight of the weekend for us.
Open daily from April 1st to October 31st, this is a must visit in the summer months. We arrived shortly after 10.30am and there were just a handful of other people here. As we were leaving at 12pm, more cars (and dogs!) had arrived but still nowhere near as busy as somewhere this pretty should be.
It was a relaxing walk, full of twists, turns and secrets to uncover…
When staying at Andrewshayes and in the surrounding areas, it’s almost a crime not to visit the nearby seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset, which is just 20 minutes away.
For those of you familiar with Jane Austen’s novels and period dramas, you’ve likely heard of Lyme Regis, often referred to as ‘The Pearl of Dorset’. The Cobb harbour wall, in particular, is easily the most iconic image when thinking of this quintessentially English resort town.
But it’s not just literature that makes Lyme Regis famous – it’s also its connection with fossil hunting and geological discoveries synonymous with the Jurassic Coast. World-famous fossil collector and paleontologist, Mary Anning lived here in the 1800s and made several historical discoveries, which are now on show at the local museum.
When we visited the town earlier this month, we saw dozens of dogs and found it to be a really dog friendly seaside town, with plenty of dog walking spots and cafes to chill out in.
Some highlights for us included the town’s lesser known Riverside Walk and a wander along the Cobb harbour wall. There are also a number of beaches here that dogs are allowed on with no restrictions, including Monmouth Beach, Cobb Gate and East Beach.
Woodland Walk & Check-Out
Alas, our final day arrived and it was time to check-out of our dog friendly caravan.
But not before one more final walk around the nearby woodland area, which can be found just across the road from the entrance of Andrewshayes Holiday Park.
This is a charming woodland area – full of gnarled trees, well-kept paths and froclicking bunny rabbits.
Other Dog Friendly Things To Do In Devon
If you’ve got more time to spend than just a weekend, then here are some other dog friendly things to do in Devon, which come highly recommended by us (and Kai!)
Found within Dartmoor National Park, Becky Falls is an ancient woodland area, which covers a whopping 50 acres, and follows the natural path carved out by Becka Brook and its gushing waterfalls. Dogs on leads are welcome throughout the woodland walks and even within the cafe and gift shop. Becky Falls is about an hour’s drive from Andrewshayes Holiday Park.
Bicton Park Botanical Gardens
Situated just north of Budleigh Salterton, Bicton Park Gardens spans nearly 300 years of gardening history and offers acre upon acre of beautiful themed and landscaped gardens to visit. Dogs on short leads are welcome throughout the gardens, although it does cost £1 per dog for entry. The Bicton Gardens are roughly 40 minutes by car from Andrewshayes Holiday Park.
Possibly one of my most favourite of all National Trust places, Lydford Gorge north of Tavistock, follows the twists and turns of the River Lyd past the 30-metre high Whitelady Waterfall and the turbulent Devil’s Cauldron potholes. Dogs on leads are welcome throughout the riverside walk. A drive to Lydford Gorge from Andrewshayes Holiday Park takes just over an hour.
Although you might find it strange at first to pay to visit a village, you’ll soon forget this when you step back in history in the quaint fishing village of Clovelly. It’s world-famous for its cobbled, traffic-free streets, sledges pulled by donkeys, historic harbour and flower-strewn cottages that seem to just tumble down the cliff towards the sea. Dogs on leads are welcome throughout the village. Although Clovelly is a 2 hour drive from Andrewshayes Holiday Park, we think it’s well worth the day trip if you haven’t been.
A Few Final Thoughts
Andrewshayes Holiday Park can be found in Dalwood, Axminster, EX13 7DY. We were invited to stay in one of the park’s dog friendly static homes in exchange for this blog post and honest review. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in East Devon (as did Kai), so we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this park to other dog owners. And as always, all thoughts, opinions, words, photos and cringe-inducing descriptions are entirely our own.
Well… there you have it – the perfect dog friendly weekend getaway in Devon. Do you think you might visit? And what are some other dog friendly things to do in Devon that you recommend we try? Let us know in the comments below…
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