Ilfracombe Canine Adventures: Exploring the Best Dog Walks on the North Devon Coast

Nestled along the North Devon Coast, Ilfracombe is not just a gem for us but also a haven for dogs too! The town and its surroundings, renowned for their breath taking landscapes, are the perfect setting for memorable dog friendly adventures. From rugged coastal trails to tranquil woodland paths, there’s something for every pooch and their companion. Here’s an expanded guide to the best dog walks in and around Ilfracombe!

1. The South West Coast Path

As one of the longest and most iconic coastal walking routes in England, the South West Coast path offers diverse landscapes at every point! The sections surrounding Ilfracombe unveil dramatic cliff faces, hidden coves, and unparalleled views of the Bristol Channel and the distant Welsh coast. There are endless options, starting from Ilfracombe, you can head East towards Combe Martin and Exmoor or head West along the coast towards Lee & Woolacombe if you fancy something further afield, you can get a local bus in either direction and walk back toward Ilfracombe! You couldn’t ask for a better dog-walking route!

2. The Tarka Trail

Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Railway on Visit Ilfracombe

Inspired by the routes described in ‘Tarka the Otter’, the Tarka Trail is a blend of nature and literature. Meandering alongside rivers, cutting through lush woodlands, and offering serene coastal scenes, this is an easy route that’s suitable for the whole family, little ones and dogs included! You can head onto the Tarka trail straight from Ilfracombe, or for more options to stop for coffee or lunch along the way you can start from Barnstaple, which is only a short drive away and walk towards Instow!

3. Exmoor's Diverse Trails:

Exmoor National Park is a tapestry of natural beauty. With over 1,000 km of tracks, trails span from gentle valley walks beside babbling streams to challenging hikes atop rugged moors. Along the way, discover charming villages, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas that stretch endlessly. This is a dog walkers paradise! You can get onto Exmoor from Combe Martin, which is only a 10-minute drive, or you can drive a bit further afield and discover the endless tracks surrounding small chocolate-box villages such as Withypool, Simonsbath, Lynton, Porlock and more!

4. Local Bridleways and Footpaths of Ilfracombe:

Walkers are Welcome on Visit Ilfracombe
Venture into the heart of North Devon by exploring these lesser known, yet equally enchanting tracks. Traverse rolling pastures, discover secluded woodlands, and stumble upon historic remnants that tell tales of bygone eras. There are numerous ways to discover the lesser walked footpaths and bridleways in the area, some of our favourites are the Devon County Council website, Komoot, or Open Street Maps!

5. Combe Martin's Coastal Charm:

Beyond its sandy shores, Combe Martin offers elevated trails that climb its imposing cliffs. As you ascend, the village shrinks below, and a panoramic spectacle of the North Devon Coast unfolds. Bonus points if you catch a sunset here!

6. The Splendour of Woolacombe:

Frequently lauded as one of the UK’s best beaches, Woolacombe’s expanse provides ample space for dogs to run, play, and splash. Beyond the sands, dunes offer interesting terrains, and the adjacent village is perfect for postwalk refreshments. Be sure to check the seasonal restrictions for your four-legged friend though!

7. The Tranquillity of Hele Bay Beach:

If you’re seeking a quieter coastal experience, Hele Bay is the answer. Its charm lies in its seclusion – with rocky alcoves and pebble stretches. The bay’s gentle sounds create a peaceful ambience for a relaxed stroll and run around for the family pooch!

Ilfracombe promises experiences that will remain etched in your heart long after your footprints have faded from their paths. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a seasoned trekker or someone seeking a leisurely jaunt, grab your dog’s leash and let the North Devon Coast’s magic envelop you!

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