The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, North Devon, is amongst a new breed of British hotel which is embracing the concept of pet inclusive and dog-friendly holidays. “I have two large hairy dogs that were made very welcome…” Just one line from a Trip Advisor review speaks volumes!
The dog friendly credentials of the Carlton stem, in part, from the owners’ own affection for their canine companion, in the form of a Border Terrier named Leo. “Before we owned the Carlton”, explains Eliot Seabourn-Wren, “we encountered the same problems as many dog owners when planning a holiday. We didn’t want to leave Leoat home and it was quite a challenge finding holiday destinations with hotels and restaurants that were dog friendly”.
It’s estimated that there are 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK and a significant percentage of these would prefer to go on holiday than be left in kennels (probably!). North Devon has become a popular destination for dog owners due to its beautiful scenery, abundance of great walking and dog friendly holiday spots, from beaches to hotels and restaurants.
Beaches are an obvious draw for visitors looking to get away from it all for a dog friendly break and the North Devon region offers these in great variety; from huge swathes of sandy beach to charge aroundto numerous pebbly coves accessed cross country, with many new and wonderful scents to sniff at along the way!
Country walks are another big plus of a dog friendly break in North Devon, with many miles of footpaths criss-crossing the Exmoor national park (close by to Ilfracombe) and the beautifully scenic coastal path winding its way around North Devon’s cliff tops and green landscapes. Many of these walks are shaded which allow for exercise even in the long days of English sunshine.
North Devon’s Dog Friendly Beaches
While welcoming to dogs, some of North Devon’s beaches do carry some restrictions during the summer season. Some beaches, such as Woolacombe, Putsborough and Westward Ho! have zoning guidelines that set dog friendly holiday restrictions (generally from May – October, although specific details can be found here), but there are many that are open for walks year round. Saunton Sands beach, a 3.5 mile stretch of golden sand, fringed by Braunton Burrows, one of the largest sand dunes in the UK and a UNESCO biosphere, is open to dogs year round.
Many of these can be found around Ilfracombe, itself located in a picturesque seaside setting and minutes walk from the town’s beaches (Raparee, The Cove, Larkstone, Cheyne and Wildersmouth). Overlooking the town from the east rises the impressive Hillsborough nature reserve, a lovely walk with rewarding views of the town. From here the coast path winds east, to Hele Bay and beyond to Combe Martin. The perfect day out for particularly energetic dogs and owners and a superb day trip.
For those less energetically inclined, the main road runs parallel to this route and there are several spots where one can park up and join the coast path.
When the weather is fine, there are few more rewarding pleasures than heading off with the dog and a small picnic picked up from one of Ilfracombe’s local produce selling stores, or stopping off to quench a thirst at a dog friendly pub.
Dog Friendly Country Walks in North Devon
Any dog friendly holiday in North Devonshould take in the delights of the Exmoor National Park. This rambling area of wilderness which straddles North Devon and Somerset, provides stunning walking which takes in a range of terrains – from sweeping heather filled moorland, to hidden valleys where quiet rivers run through enchanted woodland. The Exmoor National Park is attuned to the requirements of a dog friendly holiday and provides detailed information about canine inclusive activities.
Pet Friendly at The Carlton
The Carlton offers the perfect destination for pet friendly breaks. Dog owners can enjoy the luxury and comfort of the hotel’s modern en suite rooms, housed inside a classic Victorian building. Dogs get the five star treatment too, with their own beds and bowls and a dog friendly section of the restaurant and bar to hang out in.
When you book a doggie break your canine friend will get their own personal doggie hamper courtesy of Husse. And both dog and keeper will be able to access our guide to dog walks around North Devon here. These bespoke walks are curated by Ragamuffin our four legged friend who lives in the town.
While the doggy bowl may be filled with holiday treats, owners can look forward to a selection of dishes from the Carlton Brasserie menus that may not have them panting, but will definitely give the mouth cause to water. Local provenance is a key element of the food at the Carlton, with dishes cooked from scratch using local ingredients and the kitchen is renowned for its accommodating attitude, happily tailoring meals to fit in with special diets.
If you’re looking for a dog friendly holiday, then the Carlton, Ilfracombe and the North Devon surrounding area, make for a wonderful choice! Contact the Carlton for more information about dog friendly breaks by calling 01271 862446 or emailing on firstname.lastname@example.org.