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The West Country opens its beaches to dogs once again

18th September 2013 Print

On 1 October, many of the West Country’s most popular beaches - having enforced seasonal dog bans over the busy summer - will be open to keen canines again. Classic Cottages, UK independent cottage holiday company and specialist in the area, suggests the best places to let your dog off his/her leash, with a new or notable foodie experience nearby and, of course, a delightful dog-friendly cottage to curl up in afterwards.

Beacon Top Bottom (sleeps two), a cosy bolthole styled with eclectic fabrics and overlooking the owners’ organic smallholding, offers cliffside strolls at nearby Chapel Porth and Trevaunance Cove. Take away fish and chips from Lewsey Lou’s (opened in the spring and part-owned by ex-England rugby player Josh Lewsey) and see some surf action down in the cove whilst the dog snuffles around on the beach. Round off with a Hedgehog ice-cream (topped with clotted cream and rolled in honey-roasted hazelnuts) from the café, where there’ll be a drinking bowl (and often a free flapjack) for the dog, too. A week’s stay in October costs from £162 pp (£324 total).

Cornflower Cottage (sleeps four), ideally suited to either couples or a small family, is a peaceful rural retreat near Hayle, featuring a large open lawn and within easy driving distance of both north and south coasts. A nearby beach set to lift its seasonal dog ban is Godrevy, where there’s a chilled-out café in amongst the dunes at the National Trust-owned lighthouse. Enjoy the fabulous view across the bay to St Ives, and big plates of really fresh, imaginative food. A week’s stay costs from £111 pp (£444 total).

Canterbury Green Farm Cottage (sleeps five) is a comfortable property overlooking a paddock where children and dogs can play. There is also a study and WiFi - handy for those who need to work on holiday. Sidmouth Beach, just five miles away, is a wonderful stretch to stroll along, and the Clock Tower Café, situated in the award-winning Connaught Gardens, is at the top of the cliffs above Jacob’s Ladder (see photo above). It’s a sensational setting for an excellent breakfast or lunch, delicious homemade cake or Devon cream tea, although your dog might need a helping hand on the stairway. A week’s stay in October costs from £85 pp (£423 total).

Thatched Court Cottage (sleeps six), near Kingsbridge, has an inglenook fireplace, sink-into sofas and is less than a mile from sandy (and glorious) Bantham Beach. Also within easy reach is dog-friendly Beesands Beach where, at Britannia at the Beach, you can enjoy fantastically fresh local seafood either in its rustic café or to take home to cook from its fishmonger. Plus, there’s The Oyster Shack in Aveton Gifford selling them fresh from Bigbury Bay; if you don’t fancy them raw, go for the baked or grilled options. A week’s stay in October costs from £94 pp (£564 total).

For more information and to book one of Classic Cottages’ coastal and country properties, visit

To help plan your visit to the South West, with plenty of ideas of places to go and things to do, with or without your canine, as suggested by Classic’s local experts, visit