skip to Main Content

Dogs in Cornwall – everything a holiday maker needs to know

Cornwall is a dog lover’s paradise. With hundreds of miles of coastline, huge expanses of moorland and plenty of rivers to explore, it’s a place you and your canine companion can enjoy together.

Over recent years the region has become far more accessible to dogs, with businesses recognising the need for more canine friendly accommodation, attractions and places to eat. To make sure you get the most out of your stay, here are some recommendations for places to visit where you’ll be sure of a warm welcome.

Dog friendly beaches

The first thing most owners will want to do is find a beach and let their dogs off the leash. That could mean running free over vast expanses of sand at Perranporth or investigating the rockpools of Polridmouth cove. Many of Cornwall’s best beaches are open to dogs, although some – including nearby St. George’s Well and Trevone – operate summer bans. Check this useful map before setting out.

Open to dogs all year round and within a 20 minute drive of Padstow you can explore Harlyn BayConstantine Bay, Treyarnon Bay, Porthcothan Bay and Mawgan Porth. Meanwhile across the river Camel, Rock beach welcomes dogs – go by ferry and pooches travel free!

Ideal places for walkies

You’ll also find walking opportunities away from the beach. The South West Coast Path offers over 250 miles of breathtaking scenic views to explore. The Camel trail near Padstow is a flat walk over 18 miles that passes through the wooded Camel Valley and along the estuary.

Bodmin has over 80 square miles of granite moorland, and it’s worth visiting nearby Respryn on the Lanhydrock estate with its off lead areas and three designated dog bathing spots in the river Fowey.

Refreshments for you and pooch

After all that running around you will have both earned a little treat. Thankfully more and more beach cafes and restaurants are opening up to dog owners. Enjoy the relaxed surroundings of the Watering Hole at Perranporth, serving burgers and drinks from its bar on the beach.

The Talland Bay Hotel near Polperro welcomes dogs inside its restaurant, even providing their own freshly prepared meals. Closer to Padstow check out the Lusty Glaze restaurant in Newquay which offers a dog friendly feast on ‘Woof Wednesdays.’

If you’re travelling long distances it might be worth planning your route around some more dog friendly services. The Hog and Hedge Motorway services in Oakhampton (Devon) is one of the few service stations where dogs are welcome inside.

Near St Austell on the A30 you’ll find Cornwall Services, which has a large exercise area and is a good stopping-off point before you hit some of the county’s narrower roads.

Doggy dangers to avoid

Finally a few things to look out for to help make your visit as safe as possible.

Many coastal walks pass along precipitously steep cliffs and dogs die every year in falls, so be sure to keep your dog on a lead in these areas.

The sea is tempting for a paddle, particularly in the hot summer months, but beware strong currents and unexpectedly powerful waves.

Look out for warnings of toxic blue green algae. Even small quantities can kill a dog, which happened in recent years at the Reservoir in Penryn and at Elberry Cove, Paignton.

Finally adders are native to Cornwall and their bite can be deadly to dogs. Be particularly vigilant in the long grass during the spring when snakes wake from hibernation and their venom is strongest.

Other Articles