A dog’s bucket list for a trip to Cornwall
A dog-friendly county like no other
Whether you’re paddling in the sea, discovering local restaurants or finding a new favourite ice cream parlour, a holiday simply isn’t the same without the home comfort of having your four-legged friend by your side.
Fortunately, Cornwall is known and loved for being one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the UK. There are so many beaches that allow dogs year round, and there have been recent revisions to beach bans elsewhere in the county. Many bans are being introduced much later this year, and dogs are now free to roam for longer periods during the peak summer months, which means you can fit in early morning and late night strolls before they come into force.
Click here for a full breakdown of Cornwall’s latest seasonal dog bans and continue reading for our dog’s bucket list, which will help you plan a one-of-a-kind dog-friendly Cornish getaway.
1. Experience world-famous favourites
Voted in 2018 as the best dog-walking destination in the world, The Eden Project is a pastoral paradise for pets. With miles of vivid gardens, dogs can navigate their way, following scents of wildflowers, lavender and vegetables. Although The Eden Project kindly request that dogs are to be kept on a lead throughout the day, you can expect to find water bowls dotted throughout the venue and an undercover dining area for regular refreshment breaks.
Another south coast favourite, The Lost Gardens of Heligan welcomes well-behaved dogs all year, although please be mindful of the local wildlife that will be roaming around. Home to expanses of beautiful greenery, get lost in the UK’s only outdoor jungle before hunting down the resident scarecrow in the Productive Gardens.
A short distance away from both attractions is the beautiful Beachcombers. Perched on the seafront, swing open the doors for strolls on the dog-friendly Gorran Haven beach.
2. Leave pawprints in the sand
From Harlyn’s yellow sands and Seaton’s pebbles to Trebarwith Strand’s hidden coves, a large sum of Cornwall’s beaches embrace four-legged visitors all year round.
Experience a quieter side of the north coast with a trip to Widemouth Bay. The south side of the beach (Black Rock) is dog-friendly all year, while the northern half operates a seasonal dog ban between May 15 – September 30. Peppered with mysterious rockpools, surf-ready Widemouth Bay is particularly popular among families and even has the dog-friendly Black Rock Café nearby for grabbing coffee and cake.
A fleeting walk from Widemouth Bay, spend evenings socialising in The Retreat. Stylish, contemporary and ever so spacious, enjoy board games in front of the wood burner as your four-legged friend dozes nearby.
3. Browse independent boutiques
A romantic North Cornwall favourite, Padstow makes no secret of how much it loves dogs. Tear yourself away from walks along the Camel Trail with an hour or two of doggie shopping.
A dog boutique with a difference, Paws in Padstow believe that every dog should be treated like royalty. Following their 2017 opening, the boutique has accelerated in popularity, attracting dog lovers from all over the county. Selling a variety of treats, clothing, toys and art, let your furry friends meander around the store and sniff out their chosen holiday keepsake.
Located just along the coastline from Padstow are the lovely Harlyn Hideaways, comprising of Lizard, Longships and Wolf Rock. Footsteps away from the dog-friendly Harlyn Bay, cool off in the outdoor shower after surf sessions and sandy strolls.
4. Dine dog-friendly
Rather than searching for the perfect dog-sitter, opt for one of Cornwall’s dog-friendly pubs, cafés or restaurants. Great for relaxed lunches or lazy evenings, head to the family run Wet Dog Pizza Co in Newquay for a homemade classic. Featuring doggie pizza, beer, wine and fluffy mats, dogs are sure to leave the pizzeria ready for a snooze.
If you’re in and around Rock, Blue Tomato Café has a distinct laid-back vibe, with spellbinding views of the Camel Estuary and Padstow Bay. As you enjoy local seafood, a hearty burger or a refreshing salad, dogs can get stuck into their dedicated treat menu.
With beautiful furnishings, crisp sea air and only a ten minute drive from Rock, Penmorcom and Doyden are found in the heart of Polzeath. If you’re visiting in July or August, sneak to the beach before 10am or after 6pm for sandy dog walks.
5. Pasties and ice creams: try a Cornish staple
A holiday to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without indulging in copious amounts of ice cream and Cornish pasties. While browsing Paws in Padstow, pick up a box of miniature steak pasties for your dog, made with human grade ingredients.
If you’re graced with sunshine, a scrumptious ice cream is a must. Pavilion Ice Creams in Perranporth have carefully crafted the perfect doggie recipe over time, ensuring its variety of flavours are kind to tummies. If you’re exploring Looe, Polperro and the surrounding areas, keep an eye out for Gibson’s dog-friendly ice cream tubs. Packed with vitamins and pops of fruit, this icy treat is sure to refresh in between south coast saunters.
Located on the cusp of the South West Coast Path and just above the waterfront, Oceans Edge and Ilha View are located in the prime position for endless dog walks. If you can’t stop thinking about sand, sea and sunshine, amble down to Hannafore and Seaton Beach, both of which are dog-friendly all year round.
6. Channel your cultural side
If you’re aching to discover the best Cornish art, there are a few galleries in the South West that openly accept dogs as visitors too. Just a stone’s throw from St Michaels Mount, The Summerhouse Gallery in Marazion showcases some of the best local work, from established creators to up and coming artists.
Just around the west coast from Marazion will bring you to Newlyn’s Art Gallery and The Exchange. Supporting regional, national and international artists, each site offers contemporary artwork, exciting exhibitions and creative workshops to get stuck into. Both welcoming well behaved dogs, nobody need be left behind.
A West Cornwall gem, The Mouse House is a gorgeous seaside home-from-home, nestled in the sleepy village of Mousehole. Bursting with charm, pick up fresh local seafood from Newlyn before tucking in on the sea-view terrace.
If you’re looking to organise a getaway to Cornwall, browse our dog-friendly beach houses by clicking on the ‘dog-friendly’ filter under our advanced search options.