6 great dog-friendly Devon staycation cottages

Man throwing a stick for a labrador a dog on a beach.

Enjoy a great holiday in Devon with with your dog, using our pick of the 6 best staycation spots. - Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar

NATALIE MILLAR-PARTRIDGE reveals great ways to extend your day out with your dog and turn it into a National Trust staycation  

Could there be a better time to show your dog some appreciation after all their love and companionship throughout the past two years of lockdowns and restrictions?  

We’ve become accustomed to having our four-legged friends by our sides as we work from home, but as the world is now familiarising itself with travel again, an escape to some new surrounds - allowing us to embrace this nurtured relationship - is surely something we could benefit from? 

A man and a woman walking through woodland in Devon with their dog.

The aim of the new campaign is to highlight all of the beautiful dog friendly National Trust-owned spaces, to bring you and your dog a healthy balance in life and time out. - Credit: National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

National Trust is home to over 220 dog-friendly cottages across the country, where you can immerse yourself in nature, and some much-needed R&R, your canine pal at your side. Having partnered up with Forthglade, makers of nutritional handmade dog food, on a four-year project – Dogs Welcome - the aim is to highlight all of the beautiful dog friendly National Trust-owned spaces, to bring you and your dog a healthy balance in life and time out.   

The project focuses on helping dogs and their owners enjoy the special sites cared for by the trust; rooted in the values of appreciating open spaces, exploring the wellbeing benefits for both dogs and owners, and highlighting Forthglade’s role in nourishing these relationships. 

“From improving dog-friendly trails to providing more waste bins and washdown areas, we are taking steps to make sure you and your pup feel welcome,” says Ceinwen Paynton, the National Trust’s Dogs Welcome project manager. 

A dog overlooking the bay at sunset at Woolacombe, Devon.

The National Trust is encouraging dog owners to come and stay at its range of cottages in Devon. - Credit: National Trust Images

Here's 6 of the the best National Trust dog-friendly cottages in Devon 

1) Crockers Cottage, Coleton Fishacre, Dartmoor 

Stay at this former farm cottage near the 1920s house and exotic gardens of Coleton Fishacre. Located at the end of a secluded country lane, surrounded by Devon farmland, relax in the beautiful gardens after walking your canine pal along the South West Coast Path. Sleeps four, plus one dog. 

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2) Gordon’s Cabin, Woolacombe 

Hunker down at this cosy cottage, in the tiny village of Mortehoe, with Woolacombe Bay just around the corner. Gordon’s Cabin has been thoughtfully restored with an open-plan space combining original features with contemporary styling. Ideally positioned five minutes drive to Woolacombe beach and the South West Coast Path for hikes along the rugged coastline. Sleeps two, plus one dog.  

3) Forge Cottage, Seaton 

Relax at this traditional thatched cottage, home to original features and a pretty secluded garden. Situated in the heart of Branscombe, with its quintessential pubs and working forge, just a short stroll from the property. With the Jurassic Coast is on the doorstep, make your way along this World Heritage Site to the charming seaside town of Lyme Regis. Sleeps four, plus one dog. 

Family sitting on a bench with their dog on a lead.

A family enjoying the grounds at Arlington Court, where Woolley Lodge is situated. - Credit: ©NTPL/John Millar

4) Riverside Cottage, Exmoor 

Nestled in the pretty hamlet of Malmsmead, in the heart of Lorna Doone country, this refurbished cottage is the perfect location for a walking holiday with your dog, surrounded by rugged moorland and deep green valleys, just a stone’s throw from the north Devon coast. Enjoy an open-plan living space with original features, and a pretty garden with a patio shared with the tearoom next door. Sleeps four, plus two dogs. 

5) Woolley Lodge, Barnstaple  

Retreat to this Victorian lodge set within a secluded woodland on the Arlington Estate, located on the edge of Exmoor National Park. This cosy two-bedroom nook looks out over woodland and wildflowers of the 600 year old estate. Classic interiors and a log burner are combined with a modern kitchen and bathroom. 

Have fun with your pup exploring the miles of footpath across the 2700-acre estate or drive into hilly moorlands and wooded valleys, with just six-miles taking you to the town and beach. Sleeps three, plus one dog. 

6) Compass Cottage, Dartmouth 

A quiet and cosy cottage situated in the woodland behind Dartmouth Castle, boasting stunning views across the river Dart, the perfect spot for a relaxing stay. Enjoy a contemporary space, set across three floors, less than a mile from the vibrant harbour town of Dartmouth – a foodie’s haven.  

Ideal for walkers and families, not forgetting the dogs! With the South West Coast Path right outside your door, some memorable walks are guaranteed. Sleeps five, plus two dogs. 

Old stone and thatched roof of a forge at Branscombe, Devon.

Forge Cottage is situated in the heart of Branscombe, close to the old stone and thatched roof of the Forge. - Credit: NTPL/David Sellman