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The top dog-friendly pubs in DevonThe top dog-friendly pubs in Devon

Devon is one of the UK’s most dog-friendly destinations. After all, where's the joy in Saunton Sands sans four-legged friends? Dartmoor, with its ancient stone tors and wild swimming spots, is a dog's playground, while the South West Coast Path offers plentiful trails to tire out the perkiest of pups. Whether splashing at Westward Ho! or taking a boat trip along the River Dart, tail-wagging expeditions are often punctuated with pitstops at Devon’s dog-friendly pubs, where the bar is lined with cask ales and tempting chalkboard menus offering scones and sourdough. Here's our round-up of the top dog-friendly pubs in Devon.


The Rugglestone Inn

pub exterior with plant creepers, stream and two wooden chairs

The Rugglestone Inn may be a popular pitstop for walkers visiting the granite tors of Dartmouth, but the food at this 19th-century inn is a cut above fill-your-walking-boots fare. Inside, there’s a cosy bar complete with a wood burner and quiet nooks for domino duels, where locals sip farm cider and convivial chat fills the air. The inn comes alive in summer; wisteria clings to the original stone and a babbling moorland stream sets the scene for long lunches on picnic tables. To say it’s pet-friendly is perhaps an understatement; the owners, Richard and Vicki, have their own pet chickens and ducks roaming free, too.

Stay: Over Lemon River


The Bull Inn

fine dining meal with glass of wine

If Totnes is a town known for its eco-friendly aura, this is the sustainable star in its culinary crown – though that may come as no surprise, given the brains behind the operation is award-winning restaurateur Geetie Singh-Watson MBE, who opened the first certified organic pub in the world in 1998. Ingredients are field-grown, not flown, and the seasonal menus change before every service. There’s always a focus on vegetables, with mindful meat as the occasional side, fish sourced from Cornwall, and mussels from offshore mussel in Lyme Bay. This ecological approach follows through in the decor (lime-plastered walls, reclaimed furniture, reworked vintage fabrics) and the cocktail list, where homemade shrubs, distils, and liqueurs make use of local herbs and citrus discards. Make ours a wild nettle gimlet.

Stay: The Lost Music Hall


The Dartmoor Inn 

bar stools surrounding bar

The real reward of a bracing walk through Dartmoor is resting tired limbs and rewarding hungry stomachs at its namesake inn. Inside, it’s a classic oak-beamed, Devon slate-floored coaching inn, but the kitchen is making strides when it comes to reinventing the gastropub genre with its thoughtful, seasonal twists. Think whipped goat’s cheese with heritage beetroot, hazelnut, and gingerbread, and butternut squash risotto with Devon Blue and a final flourish of candied seeds. Puddings are of the hunker-down-for-winter-variety, with unctuous sticky toffee pudding doused in Cornish clotted cream and West Country cheese boards gracing the inn’s chalkboards.

Stay: The Riddle


The Royal George, Appledore

pub overlooking beach with boat in water

It’s no twist of fate that some of North Devon’s most coveted coastal trails lead directly to the Royal George’s door. After stick-chasing at nearby Saunton Sands, secure your seat to watch the sun dip on the River Torridge with your faithful friend at your feet, as you sip a chilled glass of Roebuck’s Classic Cuvée and contemplate between confit celeriac with fennel pollen and roasted apple, or freshly-shucked scallops with burnt hazelnut butter. There'll be nothing left over for the dog at your feet.

Stay: The Creamery


The Masons Arms, Knowstone

red wine being poured into wine glass

Set on the edge of Exmoor National Park, you’d be forgiven for thinking this unassuming 13th-century thatched inn is just like any other... if it wasn't for the array of accolades that adorn the door and windows (including their coveted Michelin star, which has been held since 2006). Chef Mark Dodson makes full use of Devon’s bounty, with edible odes to the county taking the form of roasted tranche of cauliflower, tempura garden vegetables, and Exmoor beef with parmentier potatoes, wild mushrooms, and rosemary jus. A more informal menu is available at lunch for those raring to clock those moorland miles in hiking style.

Stay: Verte


The Ship Inn 

With candy-striped parasols, picnic tables, and steps leading down to the Yealm Estuary where guests can dock a dinghy (or secure a paddle board), this waterside pub encapsulates British summertime by the sea. The menu is chock-full of family favourites; feast on moules frites or beer-battered haddock with minted mushy peas, while your four-legged friend gives paw for leftovers. It’s equally delightful in cold weather, too, where guests can seek refuge from the storm in the wood-panelled library room. Gathering the whole family for a special occasion? Their private dining room, The Glasshouse, is available for exclusive hire for groups of up to twenty guests.

Stay: Ivy Cove


Pyne Arms

brown bread on a brown wooden board with garlic and rosemary

A stone’s throw from Exmoor National Park and North Devon’s long-loved coastal haunts, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe, The Pyne Arms is well-positioned for a post-jaunt refuel, whether you’ve worked up an appetite building sandcastles or scaling Selworthy’s summit. Led by husband-and-wife team, Ellis and Amie Pannell, this is the place for a Sunday lunch par excellence. Kick off proceedings with a rhubarb bellini, before tucking into mushroom arancini, aged parmesan, and wild garlic mayonnaise; and their riff on a classic homity pie, served with soft poached egg, hollandaise, and Mr Avery’s vegetables is quite delicious.

Stay: Kohtalo


Instow Arms

Sandy feet – and paws – are welcome at Instow Arms, on the Torridge Estuary. In summer, the beer garden is full of windsurfers in their wetsuits and families stacking their bikes after breaking team records along the Tarka Trail. That being said, heaters and wool blankets ensure this remains a spot for sundowners throughout the milder months as the mercury drops. Their Casque-Marque accreditation means there are always interesting drops on draught, whilst menus boast bowls of smoky butternut squash bean casserole and seafood stew. Stay tuned for their live music nights, which showcase Devonshire’s up-and-coming stars. 

Stay: Novella


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