Oakdown Holiday Park Review – Dog-Friendly Devon
Devon is so dog friendly, it’s no wonder it’s a popular hot spot for us dog-lovers. With beautiful beaches, stunning attractions, and breathtaking coastline it’s perfect for a dog-friendly getaway.
With Covid restrictions finally easing, we felt incredibly privileged to be invited to stay at Oakdown Holiday Park. And what’s more, the sun put in a very welcome appearance for our long-awaited, post-lockdown staycation.
Making the most of the glorious weather, we decided to set off early. Stopping off en route to explore the nearby regency seaside town of Sidmouth before heading to Oakdown Holiday Park.
The area is a favourite of my parents, so I was armed with a list of places to visit during our stay!
Dog-friendly beaches in Sidmouth
Many of Sidmouth’s beaches have dog restrictions during peak season. However, being mid-April we pretty much had the run of the beaches, so the girls enjoyed stretching their legs and embracing the sand between their paws! Pops in particular just loves the beach, it brings out the puppy in her for sure!
Jacobs Ladder beach is situated beneath Connaught Gardens (also dog-friendly providing dogs are on leads). The beach welcomes dogs all year round, and although it is pebbly, when the tide is out, you can make the most of the sandy shoreline.
Jacobs Ladder also has a beach café, so I grabbed an ice cream and we went to sit on the beach to share it, whilst soaking up the rays and watching the world go by.
If you’re after a sandy beach, there are others in the area. Exmouth has a gorgeous sandy beach and is only a half hour drive away.
It also has a very nice cafe set on the cliffside selling delicious homemade cakes. [Can you tell my life revolves around cafes and dog walks?]
Dog-Friendly Holidays Devon – Oakdown Holiday Park
The minute we were greeted by the friendly staff at reception, I knew we were going to feel at home at Oakdown Holiday Park.
We’d heard so many great things about the 5 star, award-winning Oakdown and how dog-friendly they are. We were looking forward to experiencing it first hand.
The park is set in a beautiful rural location and is just a 10 minute drive from Sidmouth. As well as 5 dog-friendly luxury leisure lodges (which we were staying in), the park has pitches for touring caravans and motor homes. (All of which are pet friendly).
Each leisure lodge will accommodate up to two dogs, and dogs are charged at £32 per stay.
They have also recently added 3 amazing glamping pods to their collection. If I returned, I’d have to give one of these a try. But being as I was holidaying alone with the dogs, I needed somewhere self-contained that included showering facilities.
They do look extremely welcoming though and Pops and Gerts loved trying them for size!
A Peaceful Dog-Friendly Holiday Park in Devon
What struck me most is how peaceful and tranquil Oakdown is. It is the place to come and recharge those batteries!
The leisure lodge caravans are considerately positioned. They provide their occupants with adequate privacy and the chance to relax without feeling overlooked.
Each lodge has a lawned area next to it, with comfortable seating and a picnic bench to make the most of alfresco dining, when the weather permits.
Inside the lodge, you have everything you could want for the perfect dog-friendly stay.
The beds are made up for you and clean towels await you on arrival. The accommodation is spotlessly clean and washing up liquid, J-cloths, bin liners, and tea towels are all provided.
There is a welcome tray of tea, coffee, biscuits, and all-important dog treats to make everypawdy feel at home!
Oakdown even provides a dog bed and dog bowls, should you forget to bring your own or decide to travel light.
Oakdown Caravan Facilities
The kitchen is very well equipped, with a microwave, single oven, and hob. My benchmark for provisions is always whether somewhere has egg cups! And Oakdown came up trumps! It may sound daft, but I love a boiled egg for breakfast! I always think if places have thought to provide egg cups, they’ve considered every detail!
As well as flat-screen tele in the living area, there is also a TV in the main bedroom. WiFi is available at a small charge, but the 4G signal was great, so there was no need to make use of it.
The lodge we stayed in has two bedrooms. One double and one twin. As well as an en-suite shower room, there is an additional cloakroom, so perfect if you’re staying as a family.
There is also lots of storage, so if you’re away for a while, there’s plenty of space to make yourself feel at home.
Dog-friendly facilities at Oakdown Holiday Park
As well as catering for dogs in their accommodation, Oakdown has also thought of everything to make your life easy in and around the holiday park.
It is requested that dogs remain on leads around the park, and not left unattended in the Leisure lodges, which is totally reasonable. [I can’t imagine why anyone would take their dog on holiday to leave it alone in an unfamiliar environment].
There are plenty of dog bins around, with a supply of doggy poo bags attached. So there’s no excuse not to pick up after your dog.
There is a dedicated dog-walking area which is situated across the road at the café and golf course. [The café do a mean Flat White and delicious Granola Bar, of which I’m a connoisseur!] The walk takes you around the edge of the donkey sanctuary, through mown grassland, and to an enclosed wildlife area.
It’s not a long walk, but so handy to have on the doorstep for a comfort break and stretch of the legs first thing in the morning.
As well as various ‘dog hitch’ points to ‘park’ your dog, there is also a fabulous solar-powered dog washing facility complete with a warm water shower. There is even a hairdryer to dry them off after a soak in the tub! [Not that Pops looked too keen about this idea!]
Dog-friendly places nearby Sidmouth
I always love coming to Devon, as it gives me the perfect excuse to catch up with my old uni mate who lives in Torquay. We met up at Dart Farm which a 25 minute drive from Oakdown Holiday Park and is perfect to while away an afternoon.
It has a large, secure field to exercise your dog and a fabulous café serving yummy coffee and cakes. There is an adventure playground for little people, but nothing too imposing to ruin the peace and quiet for fellow visitors.
If you’re after a spot of retail therapy, you’ll be suitably impressed as there’s an impressive selection of shops to browse around.
Just a stone’s throw from Oakdown is Branscombe beach. The National Trust village had won a Best kept Village award in 2010 and I can see why. With pretty chocolate box cottages, thatched pubs, and cliff-top walks, it is the epitome of the Jurassic coast at its best.
The beach is pebbled but absolutely stunning. Framed by a backdrop of cows grazing on the downland behind and a quaint little thatched cafe to watch the world go by it is just idyllic.
We’d had such an amazing couple of days in Devon. It really is the perfect place to take a dog-friendly break and we were so impressed by Oakdown Holiday Park.
If you are looking for an affordable dog-friendly holiday in Devon, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I would love to know where you’ve been with your dog, or even where you’re planning to go? Do let us know……
Woofs and Wags
Kate, Pops and Gertie