Travelling with your four-legged friend can be a joyous experience, especially when visiting places that welcome them with open paws. The vibrant and picturesque regions of Plymouth, Bigbury, and Ivybridge are perfect examples of such destinations, offering a plethora of dog-friendly accommodations, eateries, attractions, beaches, and walks.  

In this blog post, we'll explore the best spots in these areas where you and your furry companion can make unforgettable memories together. 


Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa, Plymouth 

Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa is a 5* luxury manor house spa hotel in Devon where style and elegance meet the drama of Elizabethan architecture.  

Located on the outskirts of Dartmoor, you'll find miles of beautiful walks on Boringdon Hall’s doorstep, ideal for you and your four-legged friend. You can even find a map of local walking routes at reception. The hotel also offers dog-friendly courtyard rooms for you and your pooch, including blankets, dog beds, poo bags and treats! 

Churchwood Valley Holiday Cabins, Plymouth 

Churchwood Valley is a beautiful, natural wooded valley running down to the sea at Wembury Bay in South Devon. Look closely and hidden among the lush green foliage, you'll see wooden cabins nestling on the hillside... 

Up to two well-behaved dogs are welcome in each cabin, for a small charge, and dog exercise areas are provided. 

There’s a car parking space near each cabin and private roads and paths give access to the beach, an unspoiled stretch of rock pools and shingle with sand at low tide. Adjoining National Trust land, the beach is no more than a 10-minute stroll away from any of the cabins – perfect for pooches that need to stretch their paws! 

Challaborough Bay Holiday Park, Bigbury-on-Sea 

Nestled along the stunning South Devon coastline, this holiday haven warmly welcomes dogs, ensuring that your furry friend is not just tolerated but embraced as a cherished guest. The park offers a range of dog-friendly accommodations, from cosy caravans to spacious lodges, providing comfort for both pet and owner.  

With a designated dog exercise area and access to nearby dog-friendly beaches, your canine companion can frolic freely in the fresh sea air. Challaborough Bay Holiday Park epitomises a genuine commitment to making every member of the family feel right at home. 

 *Please note, dogs aren't allowed on Challaborough Bay Beach from 1st May to 30th September. For an all-year-round pet-friendly beach, visit Bigbury Beach or Bantham Beach which are both less than a 30-minute drive away from the park. 

Find out more about South Devon’s Dog-Friendly Accommodation options here

Places to Eat 

Rockfish, Plymouth 

At Rockfish, the whole family is invited, and that includes your four-legged family members! All the restaurant asks is that dogs stay on their leads, respect our other guests, and that paws remain on the floor at all times. 

Water is available for thirsty pups and there’s even a refill tap here, so you can help yourselves to fresh water. 

Venus Cafe, Bigbury-on-Sea 

Venus Café at Bigbury-on-Sea is a haven for dog lovers, warmly welcoming furry friends alongside their human companions. 

This beachfront café not only offers stunning sea views but also ensures that dogs are catered for, with an exclusive canine menu (including doggy ice-cream!), fresh water bowls readily available and dog treats to pamper your pooch. The relaxed atmosphere of the café, combined with its proximity to the dog-friendly Bigbury beach, makes it an ideal spot for pet owners to unwind and dine with their four-legged friends. 

Rochelle’s River Cafe, Ivybridge 

Rochelle's River Cafe in Ivybridge is a delightful destination that extends its hospitality to canine companions. With a charming riverside setting, this café welcomes dogs in its outdoor seating area, creating a perfect spot for pet owners to enjoy a meal or coffee while their furry friends relax by their side.  

Things to Do 

Plymouth Mayflower Trail 

With Plymouth Mayflower Trail's self-guided walking route, you can discover what life was like in Plymouth in 1620 whilst enjoying an hour-long stroll around the Barbican – the perfect opportunity to give your four-legged friend a good walk and learn all about Plymouth’s fascinating history. 

The 1.2-mile trail takes around one hour and is available to follow via the free ‘Plymouth Trails’ app. The trail is relatively flat but includes one ascent up Looe Street for stop 5. The stop point is halfway up the hill, with seating. There are some cobbles on the route, but these can mostly be avoided. 

Saltram House Parkland, Plymouth 

One of the National Trust’s hidden treasures, a trip to Saltram House’s estate makes for a perfect day out with the pooch. There are acres of parkland and woods where they can exercise off the lead whilst under close control, and some lead only spaces where dogs can enjoy all the smells, sights and sounds of the countryside just outside the city.   

Dogs are very welcome to join you in the café while you order your food and drink but do need to go back outside with you to sit and enjoy them. You can even pick up a doggy ice cream for them to tuck into while you're there! 

Ringmore and Bigbury Dog-Friendly Walk 

A walk that's relaxing and bracing. Beaches with a lovely lazy feel, refreshing open clifftops, the timelessly delightful village of Ringmore tucked away, and enough 'up-and-down' to get the circulation going. A wonderful walk for children, who will love the beaches, Burgh Island and the sea tractor. 

The Donkey Sanctuary, Ivybridge 

Just like their Sidmouth counterpart, The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge welcomes well-behaved dogs on site. Explore everything the sanctuary has to offer, from engaging exhibits to vibrant gardens, scenic walks, and, of course, meeting lots of adorable donkeys. Four-legged friends must be kept on a lead at all times and it’s worth noting there’s no access for dogs in the refreshment serving area. 

Lukesland Gardens, Ivybridge 

Lukesland is a 24-acre family-run garden in Dartmoor National Park, on the edge of Ivybridge. Set in the picturesque valley of the Addicombe Brook, Lukesland is well-loved for its wonderful range of spring and autumn flowering shrubs and specimen trees, some dating from Victorian times. Dogs on a lead are warmly welcomed! 

Dog-Friendly Beaches 

Bigbury on Sea Beach 

Bigbury-On-Sea Beach, situated along the stunning South Devon coastline and within the South Devon National Landscape (previously AONB), stands as a testament to the region's natural beauty.  

Dogs are welcome on the main beach from October to May, but the beach to the west of the causeway welcomes dogs throughout the year so your four-legged friends can enjoy your beach days with you!  

Challaborough Beach 

Accessible from nearby Bigbury on Sea by walking along the South West Coast Path, Challaborough Bay Beach is a sheltered horseshoe cove with a fine sandy beach and rugged cliffs.  

The sheltered aspect of the bay means it’s beautiful any time of the year, so being restricted to the off-peak months is no bad thing, and as it is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you’re guaranteed a stunning day out. Dogs are not allowed on this beach between May 1st and September 30th.  

Bantham Beach 

Renowned as South Devon’s best surfing beach, Bantham is a must-visit beach when on holiday in the region. At low tide Bantham Beach opens up to acres of sand and a patchwork of shallow pools, creating the ultimate play area for canine companions.  

Ideal for tiring out your pup, you can also take a scenic walk up the estuary or venture further afield to Thurlestone or Aveton Gifford. 

Dogs are welcome from October to May, and ‘River Beach’, situated beside the estuary at the south end of Bantham beach, is dog-friendly year-round.  

Wonwell Beach 

Situated on the Erme Estuary, Wonwell Beach is a lesser-known gem in Bigbury Bay. Extremely popular with locals due to its quiet, less busy nature, it makes for a great dog-friendly beach. Wonwell beach is within walking distance of the village of Kingston, where you’ll find plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants for a spot of lunch.  

East Tinside Beach, Plymouth 

The beach at East Tinside is a popular site for Plymothians and visitors alike - whether swimming, snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking, sunbathing or just sitting watching all the activity and taking in the amazing view, you will always find something to do at the area just next the art deco Lido. Dogs are welcome all year round. 

Mount Batten Bay Beach, Plymouth 

Batten Bay is a small beach just below Mountbatten Point. The beach at the south side of Mount Batten Bay is a fantastic spot to relax with the family, walk the dog, or go for a swim. Dogs are welcome all year round. 

And there we have it – a round-up of all the dog friendly places to stay, eat and visit in and around Plymouth, Bigbury and Ivybridge. If you’re interested in visiting any other dog-friendly towns and cities in South Devon head to the dog friendly section of our blog here.  

Be sure to tag us in any of your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts of you and your pup enjoying the region by tagging @VisitSouthDevon and using the hashtags #VisitSouthDevon and #DogsOfSouthDevon. 




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