Dog Friendly Dartmoor in Devon
Devon is a beautiful part of the UK and since the recent heat wave it is a great place to visit for a holiday, but I really wanted to find dog walks that were off the beaten track to avoid everyone else and I discovered how perfect dog friendly Dartmoor was for dog walking.
Avoiding the crowds
I love walking Peggy with other dogs and their owners (when they are friendly) but the idea of trying to keep Peggy calm on a beach that is packed full of people I find a nightmare. She is a 9 month whippet x bedlington so she loves all things people and I would end up running around after a dog that wanted to say hi to the 100 odd people sunbathing. So we thought we would try Dartmoor this holiday.
When we turned up at Shipley Bridge, Dartmoor we were horrified to see the number of cars parked up, including an ice cream van! But we soon found that no matter how many cars there are in the car park most people won’t walk further than 200 metres from it.
Therefore, to our amazement, after walking literally 5 minutes in the opposite direction to everyone else, we were immersed in the rugged Dartmoor landscape with not a soul around. We followed an abandoned tramway for 8 kilometres across Dartmoor exploring ruins, bogs and stopping halfway to have a picnic.
A great tip to stop your dog from pestering you when you are having a picnic is to bring a toy that you can hide treats in for them to play with. This really helps to keep them occupied whilst you eat. It also helps to include your dog in what you are doing. You also need to remember to bring plenty of water with a designated drinks bowl – your dog walks at least double the distance you do.
Taking on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is a huge area of moor and one I would recommend for any dog owner to walk, however you do need to take precautions. You need to ensure you have enough water, a phone, a map and compass because you never know when GPS etc might fail you, sensible walking boots (Dartmoor is very rutted) and sun cream even if it is over cast (Dartmoor is very high up and exposed).
It is also great for training your dog not to chase sheep, ponies and cattle. Due to vast expansion of Dartmoor it is easy to spot livestock; I found with Peggy that by the time she spotted the sheep they had already run off.
Dartmoor was a fantastic day out for not just me and my fiancé but for Peggy – she was in doggy heaven, smelling the bountiful scents, jumping through the long grass tufts, finding sticks to carry, climbing on ruins, splashing in streams and joining in with our picnic. We did all of this without seeing a single person as far as our eye could see – ‘Dartmoor is a fantastic pet friendly place to go for a great day out.
Fancy a weekend in dog friendly Dartmoor? Why not check out Blueriver Devon cottages.
By: Naomi Stevens our newest writer for Wag The Dog UK. Be sure to subscribe to get her latest articles for pet friendly locations, advice and tips. She loves pets and is a proud carer of Peggy, a 9 month whippet x bedlington.