Travelling with your Dog
Top Dog Walks in Devon
Posted on: April 03 2014
Devon is a beautiful county, blessed with a coastline to the north and south, and with a rolling green countryside sandwiched in the middle. Whether your dog likes to splash in the waves and dig in the sand, or roll in the in grass and hop in and out of woodland streams, there are plenty of beautiful walks and routes to take that you and your dog will love.
First, we'll head to North Devon to some of my favourite routes to walk my dog. The Tarka Trail is a traffic free 26 mile long former railway line, running from Mid Devon all the way to the North Devon Coast providing a scenic walking and cycling track loved by locals and holidaymakers alike. Paved and mostly flat, it's a great place for a dog walk. Well behaved dogs can run off the lead, providing they give way to cyclists! Winding its way along the side of the rivers Torridge and Taw, the Tarka Trail passes by pubs and through villages offering plenty of rest stops and chances for liquid refreshment. My favourite route is to join the Tarka Trail at the old Bideford Railway station and follow the track to Instow, stopping for a run on the beach and a Hocking's ice cream, and then heading along to Fremington Quay for lunch. I usually catch the bus (no 21) back home or walk part of the way depending on how tired Jessie is.
The beaches in North Devon are also certainly worth a mention here. Saunton Sands, Braunton Burrows, and Westward Ho! beaches are all dog friendly throughout the year, with miles of golden sand at low tide where your dog can run about. Being dog friendly, there are plenty of doggy bins around, and many of the cafes locally will allow dogs on leads in and outside if you're stopping for a drink or bite to eat. In Westward Ho! I recommend Tea on the Green for lunch-y bites and delicious homemade cakes, and as you can see from the pictures, there's plenty of space on the beach for your pup to run around- my dog just loves it there!
We're heading to Dartmoor next, for beautiful views, friendly pubs, and plenty of dog friendly routes. There are a fantastic range of books called Toby's walks, written by Toby the Dalmatian and his human. Jessie and I recently had the good luck of coming across the South Devon Toby guide and decided to do a couple of walks from the book. The first is a very pleasant circular route around the NT Parke Estate- it was so beautiful in fact, that once we finished the walk we went round again! Beautiful woodland, wide open meadow, and gently babbling rivers all make up the scenery here, Jessie loved it and there were plenty of benches and rest stops to catch my breath and some lovely photos.
Another fantastic walk we discovered on Dartmoor was around the 'Hunter's Path' on the Castle Drogo Estate. Another circular route, there was a lay-by at the side of the road to park and the way to the estate was clearly marked- of course the striking sight of the castle atop the hill was a big clue as well! This route was quite a long one, probably over 5 miles, and it took about 3 hours (with stoppage time for a G&T in the Fingal's Bridge Inn which is very dog friendly). The walk is quite hard going, with some steep hills and narrow paths but the views from the top of the valley are certainly worth it, the image to the left is a view from about the half way point, just before the walk drops down into a woodland valley- hopefully you can see what I mean about the steep climbs being worth it.
So there are a few of my favourite dog walks in Devon, I hope they have inspired you to give one, two, or all of them a try, I'd love to hear what you thought of them, you can get in touch via my Google +.
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