From Ilfracombe to Lee Bay
Starting at the National Trust Ilfracombe Torrs Car Park; Grid Ref: SS511474.
At the bottom of the car park follow the path down and around to the left, past the NT Torrs walk sign. Follow your nose up the zigzag hill signed ‘Coast Path’, which the Victorians carved into the rock face. At the top, advance through the gate and around to the right. There, observe the toposcope, which is a joint partnership project between the National Trust, Ilfracombe Arts College and South West Coast path Team called “Unlocking our Coastal Heritage”.
Then follow signs for coast path to Lee, go down the hill and cross over the stile and follow the path, keeping the sea on your right. If it’s a very clear day along this part you will get a great view of Lundy Island. And if you are especially lucky you might see dolphins or porpoise off the coast.
Take care around the livestock which graze here and around the cliff edge. Go through the gate, across the field, turning right at the dirt track, follow signs for coast path to Lee. This is about a mile and then reach the field gate, follow the road all the way down the hill and at the bottom turn left to go to Church or turn right to Lee beach. Lee is a lovely little village with a great pub called the Grampus where they are very dog friendly and will treat your dog well.
Woolacombe to Putsborough
A brilliant walk that is a favourite is Woolacombe to Putsborough. Take the 31 route bus or drive the short hop to Woolacombe. At certain times of the year parts of this the beach can be restricted, but get onto the great big award winning beach after the stream. Then you just keep walking.
Dogs must be on leads from the stream to Mill Rock from Easter to November but beyond that they can run around to their hearts delight and fantastic it is too. There Are no restrictions within the dunes off the beach proper.
You might meet some North Devon Red cows on the Woolacombe dunes, called the ‘ladies’. But these are not just any lady cows. They have been involved in a trial of the innovative invisible fencing technique, to help improve our plant and wildlife species on the sand dunes at Woolacombe beach. The invisible fence means no gates, no stiles and no obtrusive fences, meaning easy access for visitors and the stunning rolling dunes would keep their character. The ladies grazing the dunes have been fitted with collars that respond to a radio signal emitted by a cable buried around the dunes. When approaching the cable an alarm sounds on the collar and the clever cows have been trained to know if they continue any further they will receive a pulse from the collar which stops them. The cows really got the hang of this and rarely tested the boundaries. The Beach is 3 miles long with wonderful sand dunes and brilliant to allow your dog to run up and down and swim.
Morte Point, Mortehoe Village
Enjoy a challenging walk through a rare spot of coastal heathland which provides the wonderful backdrop for a wealth of wild flowers and wildlife. You might even be lucky enough to spot some of our infamous sealife including dolphins and seals. This wonderful dog walk will take you out into the fresh country air and really give you an opportunity to get the blood pumping with steep ascents, steps and descents to challenge you along the way. Adventurers will be rewarded with the discovery of some hidden beaches along the way and for those who enjoy a bit of history, discover why Morte Point has been responsible for many a shipwreck throughout the centuries.
A short drive or long walk along the South West Coast Path and you arrive at stunning Saunton Sands. This particular beach is a favourite for dog walks as it welcomes dogs all year round. Saunton Sands employs easy to follow zoning sections where you after arriving the first 5 minutes of your stroll requires that your dog is kept on the lead. Thereafter you have the next 3 ½ miles of golden sands to explore and enjoy with your four-legged friend. Do take care at certain times of the year when adders are often snoozing in the grass within the dunes.
Hillsborough Nature Reserve
Overlooking Ilfracombe harbour and known to the locals as ‘the sleeping elephant’, Hillsborough Nature Reserve offers a short, but testing walk for you and your dog. This dog walk takes you past beaches which are also dog friendly so offers plenty of opportunity for a run and a dip in the sea for both of you – especially welcome during the warm summer months! The views provided by this dog walk are glorious – a bird’s eye view of Ilfracombe, out to Lundy Island and even as far as the South Wales coast. There is so much for nature lovers to enjoy along the way too with an array of wildlife and their habitats to be seen. You can clamber down to more secret coves and also extend this walk to and over Hele Bay. Stop off at the café on the beach for refreshments for canine and human!
As well as providing a dog friendly route, Baggy Point is also an easy access route which is especially important in opening up our beautiful countryside walks to as many people as possible. Considered an easy route, Baggy Point lends itself to those pups who cannot manage a challenging route but still enjoy the great outdoors. It is also considered equally good for young children. Baggy Point might be a shorter, easier dog walk than others on our list, but nonetheless it delivers in breathtaking sights. The views along the way extend along the coast and out to sea and you can also enjoy sightings of our diverse wildlife and sealife – there’s plenty to keep everyone captivated along the way.
The South West Coast Path
The Carlton Hotel is delightfully situated in Ilfracombe town centre where you can begin dog walks in any direction to end up on the beautiful South West Coast Path. Here we have miles and miles of stunning countryside and coastal walks to explore and discover your very own favourite spot. Whilst we have only covered our top 5 dog walks in this blog, there are of course so many dog walks here to enjoy and far too many to list . The South West Coast Path website is an excellent place to begin to plan your local dog walks when you visit us here in Ilfracombe.
The Carlton Hotel is a dog friendly hotel which welcomes well behaved humans and their four legged friends. Our aim is to make your break as pleasurable for your dog as it is for you. Inform us when you book and we will endeavour to ensure all your needs are met, including bowls and dog beds in your room. We look forward to welcoming you and your dog to The Carlton Hotel.