Dog Friendly Beaches in North Devon

Published: 2022-05-16 / Author: Alice Beresford

Dog Friendly Beaches in North Devon

Sandy beaches, rock pools, the North Devon sun on your fur coat – what more could any dog want from a beach day out? Probably the reassurance they can spend as long as they want running, digging and playing without worrying about their humans being fined or worse getting the dreaded British eye roll for being on restricted, non dog friendly beaches in North Devon.

Of course, dogs don’t know where they are and aren’t allowed to play, but with our guide below, you’ll get the best insights into a range of beautiful dog friendly beaches in North Devon to share with your canine companion.


As frustrating as it can sometimes be when the perfect-looking beach isn’t dog-friendly, these restrictions are put in place to protect the public and your four-legged fur friend, so it’s always important to double-check and follow the up-to-date restrictions.

Good news, however, whether you’re a local or visiting for your holiday, you won’t be short of stunning dog friendly North Devon beaches to visit, with just a few of our favourite sandy, shingle and stony beaches listed below.  

So, what are the best dog friendly beaches in North Devon?

Woolacombe Beach

Restrictions: some restrictions within certain zones

Good for: Sandy paws

Not ideal for: Nervous dogs

A dog’s paradise comes to life at Woolacombe, one of the most popular dog friendly beaches in North Devon. The beach’s 3-mile stretch of soft sand makes it the perfect paw-friendly playground for a game of fetch, a spot of digging, or a place to unleash the zoomies.   

Alongside the sprawling sandy landscape, Woolacombe’s award-winning beach boasts three car parks, seasonal lifeguards and crashing waves for avid surfers. This sandy spot has everything you and your best friend need for a tail waggling-ly good day.

The beach can get very busy in the summer months, which may unsettle nervous dogs.

Like all dog friendly beaches in North Devon, there are some dos and don’ts at Woolacombe. For ease, the beach is divided into dog-friendly zones, so make sure you know which zone you’re in and the rules of the time of year you’re visiting.

Zone A:  No dogs between April 1st – November 1st

Zone B: Dogs must be on a lead from May 1st – September 30th

Zone C: No restrictions


Broadsands Beach

Restrictions: No restrictions

Good for: Getting away from the crowds

Not ideal for: Older dogs or dogs (and humans) adverse to steps  

Broadsands is a dog-friendly bolthole all year-round. Known as one of North Devon’s most beautiful beaches, it’s a delight to enjoy the stunning scenic views alongside your canine companion.

For dogs (and owners) who struggle with steps, you may wish to miss this spot as there are around 200 steps to manoeuvre before you feel the sand and shingle on your feet and paws – but don’t worry, there are plenty of other wonderful dog friendly beaches in North Devon for you to enjoy.

Once you’re on the beach, you’ll be rewarded with views worthy of unfiltered Instagram posts and space for you and your furry friend to enjoy some of the best views dog friendly beaches in North Devon have to offer.


Putsborough Sands

Restrictions: Dog-friendly all year-round with a few restrictions

Good for: Rockpool paddling

Not ideal for: (Not much, it’s pretty perfect)

Putsborough Sands is easily one of the most perfect dog friendly beaches in North Devon. Situated just three miles from Woolacombe, it’s an ideal dog friendly beach alternative for anyone looking to escape those Woolacombe crowds.  

Putsborough Sands’ clear waters and plethora of rockpools makes it ideal for dogs who like to make a splash. The beach sports a slow-life atmosphere and feels like a tranquil escape away from large hotels, shops and towns.

The beach has been awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by Trip Advisor, and its recently built toilet block received a platinum certification from The Loo of the Year Awards Committee. However, it’s important to note only humans can enjoy these award-winning facilities.

Apart from the highly praised toilet block and the far-left side of the beach (between Easter – November 1st), the rest of the beach is completely dog-friendly.

Hele Bay

Restrictions: No restrictions

Good for: Quieter dog walks and games of fetch 

Not ideal for: Dogs with shingle sensitive paws

Hele Bay is one of the most scenic dog friendly beaches in North Devon. It is perfect for dogs who prefer quieter spaces to roam.

Located adjacent to the Hillsborough Nature Reserve, you can enjoy views from the shore accessible via a slipway. Hele Bay is the perfect stop for an afternoon walk, quick game of fetch or summer paddle with nearby parking and facilities. There are rock pools to explore, but be careful of the rising tide as they disappear with the advancing waves.

The beach mainly consists of shingle, which some dogs can find irritating on their paws, so maybe head to a softer sandy beach if that’s the case for you.

Saunton Sands

Restrictions: No restrictions

Good for: A full family day out  

Not ideal for: Dogs who don’t like crowded spaces (or kids)

Saunton Sands is a key component when it comes to dog friendly beaches in North Devon. This sandy haven is backed by Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

The long, laidback stretch of sand will call for endless games of fetch, so bring a tennis ball or two (and some strong throwing arms). Or, for those more docile dogs, the calm surf provides a peaceful place for a paw paddle.

Saunton is the only dog friendly beach in North Devon to have a Landeez all-terrain wheelchair, which allows those less abled to disabled to enjoy a day at the beach with their furry friend. This is likely why Saunton Sands is one of the most utlilised dog friendly beaches in North Devon.

Come the end of the day, walk those weary paws to High Bullen for a warm dog-friendly welcome. Our holiday packages and services extend to your furry friend, ensuring the whole family is kept in High Bullen luxury during your stay. And as for tomorrow, we’re sure those four little legs will be ready and raring for another dog-friendly beach-filled day…