Photography by Annabel Elston
Dog restrictions come into place across the beaches of the South West at Easter, so you may be looking elsewhere for days out with your dog. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 dog-friendly attractions that will provide a great day out for you and your best friend.
The South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path comprises of 630 miles of fantastic coastline. With an array of beautiful landscapes packed with wonderful wildlife, heritage sites and geology, a day on the coast path will always provide something new to see and explore. With so much to discover, the coast paths provide ample opportunity for dogs and their owners to get outside and enjoy the best of the South West. You won’t be disappointed.
Carn Euny Ancient Village, Cornwall
One of the best preserved ancient villages in the whole of the South West, Carn Euny village provides a wonderful glimpse into Cornish ancestry and times gone by. Visitors can explore the foundations of ancient stone houses, and discover an intriguing 'fogou' underground passage. Best of all, your dog can come too.
Donkey Sanctuary, Devon
If you love animals, a day at the Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge, Devon, is an absolute must. Established in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, the donkey sanctuary continues to make a profound difference to the lives of donkeys and people from all over the world today. Dogs on leads are welcomed, so bring the whole family along to meet some of the sanctuaries charming residents.
Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset
The Hestercombe Gardens are made up of fifty stunning acres filled with beautiful gardens, woodland walks, temples, terraces, a gorgeous lake and more. A feast for the eye, followed by a feast for the tummy in the lovely Stables Kitchens and the Column Room awaits all visitors. What’s more, all dogs on a lead are welcomed, so you don’t have to leave anyone behind.
The Exchange, Cornwall
If you love art, The Exchange in Penzance will provide a perfect outing for you and your dog. Partnered with the legendary Newlyn Art Gallery, which has been celebrating the best in contemporary art for nearly 120 years, The Exchange’s beautiful gallery often acts as a project space for artists and curators, and also showcases live performances, film screenings and community events. As a dog-friendly venue, it is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
Milky Way Adventure Park, Devon
If you’re looking for a bit of action, why not try a day out at the Milky Way Adventure Park. From riding on Devon’s fastest rollercoaster, to sending the kids off to the mighty indoor adventure play area, to checking out some of the fantastic lives shows, the park is jam-packed with fun. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead, with only the carpeted play areas and bird of prey centre off limits.
Sherborne Castle and Lakeside Gardens, Dorset
A beautiful, historic house built by the great Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, the magnificent gardens and grounds of Sherborne Castle are open to visitors and their four-legged friends. Redesigned by Capability Brown in 1753, the Grade 1 listed Garden is a must see for all. Paths and trails meander through 30 acres of Gardens and Pleasure Grounds, allowing visitors stunning views of the 1,000 acres of lake and lush parkland.
Cheddar Gorge and Caves, Somerset
Britain's biggest gorge boasts dramatic cliffs rising to an impressive 450ft in height and stunning stalactite caverns deep underground. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is famous all over the world for its fascinating insights into a prehistoric world, and captures the imaginations of thousands of visitors every year. It’s an absolute must see, and the great news is that dogs are welcome in the gorge, caves and museum.
Swanage Railway, Dorset
Take a journey back in time with Swanage Railway. Sit back and enjoy the 12 mile return trip, which leads you through beautiful Purbeck countryside and past the stunning remains of William the Conqueror’s Corfe Castle. As the train welcome dogs, both you and your pooch can take in the area’s wealth of history, wildlife and gorgeous landscapes that have inspired numerous great minds over the years, including Enid Blyton and Thomas Hardy.
Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
The famous Glastonbury Abbey is now a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Once a working monastery, the abbey is open to visitors to explore and learn about its rich history. Dogs on leads are welcome, so why not take the time to wander around the abbey’s grounds and dive into it Somerset’s fascinating past.
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