Dog Friendly Devon: Great Dog Friendly Holiday Cottages in Devon

Dog being walked in a field

With its wide sandy beaches, moorlands, fields, countryside and hundreds of walking trails, Devon is a great place for dogs. Highlighting dog heaven, Rick Bond from My Favourite Holiday Cottages picks out a few properties that would get a bark of approval from even the most pampered of pooches.

Canine comforts at The Byre @ Cross Farm include dog bowl, dog bed, covers for sofas if required, a fenced-in garden, vets phone number on the wall and even a poop scoop. This beautiful 3-bed barn conversion has other very friendly dogs nearby, including Bart, the owner’s sociable black Labrador who likes to stay in touch with his canine holiday chums through his blog – Barts Blog at The Byre.

The Byre is in the charming village of Goodleigh, nestling in the foothills of Exmoor above Barnstaple. In the midst of great dog walking country, fit dogs, and owners, will enjoy the 10-mile round walk via Cobden Hill (stunning views from Exmoor across to Dartmoor) and a hearty lunch at the historic Chichester Arms. For dogs happier with shorter walks, Goodleigh’s New Inn is also a popular place to eat and socialise. Bart often goes for a wander down there himself.

Aga-baked dog biscuits are part of a doggy welcome hamper prepared by the owner of Abscott Cottage in Shirwell Part of the Youlston House Estate, the childhood home of Sir Francis Chichester, Abscott cottage is equidistant between the golden beaches of Saunton and Woolacombe and the moorland footpaths over Exmoor – both ideal country for rambling with a dog who needs to work off too many of those biscuits.

The owners of two dog-friendly coastal cottages, Lambside House and Corner Cottage at Carswell Farm Cottages, a working organic dairy farm in South Devon, believe that dogs deserve a holiday just as much as the rest of the family. Dogs will love the farm’s own private cove, and the nearby Southwest Coastal Footpath. Most of the beaches here allow dogs all year round – as do the local pubs. The owners have also thoughtfully included handy stair gates so that humans don’t come downstairs and disturb a dog’s sleep in the middle of the night!

An absolute haven for family dogs and their owners are picturesque, rose and wisteria-clad cottages at Boswell Farm, Mill House and The Cider House. Nestling in the quiet countryside just outside Sidmouth are packed with canine essentials. Each cottage has its own private garden and is equipped with dog beds, blankets, bowls, poo bags and special throws for the furniture ( to make that sofa even more comfortable! )

Boswell nestles alongside the Snod Brook in the secluded Sweetcombe Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty two miles from the Heritage Coast. All seven of the 4-star, 17th Century Grade II listed cottages are converted from ancient farm buildings. Local walks will suit laid-back dogs looking to explore East Devon’s timeless landscape.

Devon offers many more splendid ‘dog-friendly’ holiday cottages. Most will charge a small fee to cover the additional cleaning costs involved in removing all traces of dog hairs and ‘any other little reminders’ before the next guests arrive. It’s worth paying for the companionship of a valuable family member on holiday – and a fraction of the price of a kennel!

See all these dog-friendly cottages and more on the Pet-Friendly Holiday Cottages pages on My Favourite Holiday Cottages.

Bart’s Top Tips

We asked the expert, Bart, The Byre’s affable black Labrador, for his views. (We think this is what he said):

  • Always make your doggy guests feel welcome. Providing food and drink bowls and a towel or two to wipe us dogs down after a good walk is a nice touch and saves owners having to pack them.
  • Comfy bedding is great to help doggy visitors feel at home.
  • Covers for furniture might help if you want to protect your nice sofas from some less than perfectly-behaved dogs!
  • Leave information about walks (and where not to go) in the cottage. If you’re near the coast, information about which beaches welcome us dogs (and which don’t) is always helpful.
  • Remind dog owners of the country code, some farmers won’t give a dog that chases sheep a second chance. I should know!
  • And always leave bins un-secured and full of food. Yum yum!

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