\\\ Dog Walks
\\\ updated 1 October 2021
Coombe Martin – Barricane Beach – Woolacombe – Putsborough Beach
Beautiful walks along coastal routes and sandy beaches
Picture of the beautiful Putsborough Beach
Featuring dog walking around the UK
Woolacombe is a seaside resort in North Devon, facing the Atlantic Ocean and the western limit of the Bristol Channel and part of the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With a small population residing all year, the resort comes alive during warmer months with thousands of staycations and holidaymakers visiting this 3 mile stretch of sandy beaches, particularly renowned for the best UK kite, wind, and water board surfing.
You can spend all day beach during the summer watching the water sports activity and if you’ve forgotten to take a picnic lunch then there’s breakfasts, lunches, and teas served at the beach cafe.
Woolacombe beach is gorgeous and gently sloping, with sandy dunes flanking the upper shore. To the east is Barricane Beach and to the west Putsborough Beach, both outstanding. Barricane beach also has catering facilities sometimes serving additionally more unusual lunches such as curries and Putsborough beach has a busy cafe.
Dog beach walking restrictions lifted 1 October – 30 April each year
There’s room for dogs, but with restrictions differing between the areas of the beaches starting from Easter time. You’ll find notices informing you and you can visit our North Devon page which provides a list of the North Devon dog-friendly beaches with any restrictive dates. It’s wise to double-check these dates before making a special journey as restrictions do fall outside of the normal UK dates being 1st May to 31st September at Visit Devon.
Further north is the smaller cove of the lovely Coombe Martin, very popular with family during school holidays, where the bay is sheltered, mostly shingle, and where’s there’s plenty of rock pools to explore. The bay has some of the highest cliffs in England surrounding it and those can be approached by steps. It has normal summer dog-friendly beach restrictions, from 1st May to 31st September where dogs cannot be taken onto the beach.
Cafes are generally open during the winter months operating shorter hours, so winter walks on the beach and finishing with hot soups and rolls can complete a lovely day out.
The RNLI operates a lifeguard presence during the busy summer months at Woolacombe beach as well as lifeboats based nearby at Ilfracombe and Appledore. Remind yourself of their beach safety advice before visiting.
Several veterinary practices are available in case of pet emergencies close by and also at Barnstaple.
If you’re staying in the area, then Sykes Holidays holiday cottages rental lettings offer a number of holiday lets in a variety of differing dog-friendly properties with a selection near to the beaches but these do get booked very quickly. #Ad.
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\\\ Planning Your Beach Trip
To get the very best out of a special day trip – do plan in advance
- Pre-book your car park space if necessary
- Check all local social media before setting out including if there are traffic build-ups in the area so you are not wasting time sitting in a hot car
- Check tide times for the best times to be on the beach. We recommend two hours after high tide allows the tide to be going out, sand and shingle drying out and gives more space on the beach.
- Remember to buy sun creams for you and your pet before its too hot weather, apply before leaving home
- Ensure your dog has ventilated space in your vehicle and also sunshades protecting them from direct sunlight
Beach doggie tips
- To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog. Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
- Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on rather than the sand, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
- A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can.
- You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times, and take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches. They can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious.
- Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times.
Never leave your pet unattended in your vehiclE
The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the ways we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read the latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys. You may find that you are required to pre-book vehicle entry into popular beaches during the summer months.
Prices and information correct at time of writing. Images courtesy Visit Devon
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