Dog-friendly beaches near Sleepy Owl

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December 18, 2023

If you’re a dog owner, you know that preparation is the key to a fantastic day trip or ‘dogcation’’. It’s not often you can arrive somewhere without prior research and have zero problems bringing your doggy alon.

We’re super dog-friendly at Sleepy Owl Devon, encouraging guests to explore our windy river paths and land, offering extra little pup treats in your accommodation and even a doggy spa on site for muddy paws.

We wanted to make sure you feel as relaxed as possible when you come to stay with us, so we’ve lined up some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches, all within 30-minutes from Sleepy Owl. There’ll be some handy hints along the way and even the yummiest places to stop and fuel back up.

Let’s kick things off…

Sandymouth Beach

A sandy beach with rocks in the backgroundDescription automatically generated

Aim for low tide at Sandymouth Beach and you won’t regret it. Take in the expanse of sand and breathe in the vitamin sea.

Your pooch can run until its heart’s content, chasing a ball, the waves or a seagull! It’s a little rocky to get onto the beach after a gravel pathway from the car park that passes the cafe which serves cakes, drinks and lunches, as well as beach goods.  

If you time it right, arriving about an hour before low tide, you can walk from Sandymouth Beach to Northcott Mouth Beach, or even Crooklets Beach or Summerleaze Beach, and back! We like to walk along the beach one way, then across the cliff and South West Coast Path on the way back. In peak season, this may be too much for your dog in the hot weather, however. It’s about an hour over the cliffs, but less time to cross the beach.  

Distance from us: 14 miles away - 25-minute drive

What3words: jots.manliness.hills  

Parking: Sandymouth Beach National Trust Car Park

Where to eat: Sandymouth Beach Cafe

Northcott Mouth Beach

The quieter of the Bude beaches, Northcott Mouth is a favourite with the locals. Long stretches of beach, great surf, and dog-friendly all year round.  

It’s quite pebbly to begin with, but once you’re over the mound you’re set to roam and run! At low tide, there’s an abundance of space.

The infamous ‘Northcott Steps’ are a must-do challenge whilst you’re there too, and when you reach the top we promise the views are worth it. They’ve even recently added a zig-zag path to make it more user-friendly - So there’s no excuse now!  

Distance from us: 16 miles away - 30-minute drive

What3words: fizzled.fruits.shred

Parking: Northcott Mouth National Trust Car Park

Where to eat: Sip & Sea

Summerleaze Beach

If you’ve been to Bude before you probably know Summerleaze Beach. Right in the centre of the town, with an infamous sea pool, it’s a family, and furry friend, favourite as it’s dog-friendly whether you’re walking along the canal, grassy downs, cliffs or the beach itself.  

It’s important to mention here that in the summer months, peak season dog must be kept on leads, currently the restrictions are from the 21 May until 30 September.

Distance from us: 16 miles away - 30-minute drive

What3words: wagers.circulate.costs

Parking: Summerleaze Long Star Car Park

Where to eat: Life’s a Beach, The Barge or The Lock Gates Cafe

Westward Ho!

Long flat stretches of sandy beach, with stones and iconic views thrown in for good measure. Our pooches are allowed on the beach all year round, however, in specific areas of the beach it’s seasonal. Look out for the signs along the promenade, but as a guide, in front of Sandymere, there’s a 200m section where they’re always welcome.

Your dog will love the freedom they’ve got at low tide, and thoroughly enjoy splashing about in the waves at high tide. With such a long stretch of beach, Westward Ho! never feels overcrowded.

Distance from us: 16 miles away - 30-minute drive

What3words: ///cornering.rewarded.cyber

Parking: Plenty of parking options with two smaller car parks just behind the seafront, and Northam Burrow Country Park.

Where to eat: Head to the left-hand side of the beach and there are an abundance of options - Personally, we love The Pasy Shack for a coffee, pasty and/or a cake, and Morans Thai Restaurant for a delicious evening meal


Dogs tend to love Instow Beach with its sand dunes, calm waters (as it’s on the estuary so doesn’t get the breaking waves as you would elsewhere), and plenty of furry friends to play with too. We love Instow as the strech of sand is next to fantastic cafes, restaurants and deli, which are all dog friendly.

We do need to mention the water quality has been flagged at Instow and therefore isn’t suitable for swimming. Perhaps instead as a great day out with the dog, you can choose to catch the ferry over to Appledore for a browse of the village, boats and pretty views.

Distance from us: 17 miles away - 30-minute drive

What3words: ///cropping.midfield.grandest

Parking: Free of charge parking in designated areas along Marine Parade

Where to eat: The Glorious Oyster for either a coffee and a sweet treat or some delicious local seafood by the main car park or Johns of Instow  for breakfast or lunch and or The Boathouse.  

We could talk about our gorgeous Devon and Cornwall beaches all day long but we hope this is enough to keep you going until your next visit! Let us know how you get on and please do add in your favourites if we’ve missed them out!

Peppercombe Beach

Back in Devon, and heading in an easterly direction from Sleepy Owl, we recommend Peppercombe Beach if you’re up for an off-the-beaten-track adventure. It’s 20 minutes away by car to the necessary layby, then you’ll start on a 1-mile walk through a National Trust valley which can be steep. Only accessible by foot, through the valley or by the South West Coast Path, Peppercombe Beach is generally quiet so it’s brilliant to catch a breath of fresh air.

The wildlife available can be brilliant too; it’s not uncommon to see seals, dolphins and porpoises! Unlifeguarded and dog-friendly all year round, Peppercombe Beach is a great option at low tide as you’ll find lots of sand to go with the pebbles.

Distance from us: 9.6 miles away - 20-minute drive  

What3words: exonerate.progress.swerving

Parking: Layby just before Horns Cross - (encodes.rare.mimics - What3words)

Where to eat: There isn’t anywhere nearby to grab something to eat or drink, so maybe head into Hartland on your back to us and grab some delicious pub grab from The Kings Arms or The heart Inn or The Anchor.

Mouthmill Beach

For more advetures exploresrs, Mouthmill Beach is only 2 miles away from the Sleepy Owl treehouses, and it’s quite iconic too!

The rock formations are really quite something, not that your pooch will be worrying about that. They’ll be too busy running wild in the waves and sniffing out the best sticks and pebbles! What this beach lacks in long stretches of sand, it makes up for in rockpools and a stream to splash in. Perhaps not the best beach for throwing your pup’s favourite ball, but fabulous for exploring and discovering what the coast has to offer. And what really makes it special? The fabulous woodland walk you take on the way down to the shore from the car.  

Parking at Brownsham Woods, follow the forest trail right down to the beach, over the odd wooden footbridge, and totally immerse yourself in Devonshire beauty. Combining country and coast, the perfect dog walk.

Distance from us: 7 miles away - 2-minute drive

What3words: butlers.person.when

Parking: Brownsham Woods National Trust Car Park

Where to eat: Lower Brownsham Farm Tea Room  


#SleepyOwlDevon #DogFriendly #DogFriendlyBeaches

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