It should come as no surprise to dog owners, but bringing your furry little friend along on your holiday...
There are some seasonal bans imposed on many of the larger beaches, but with hidden coves, quiet stretches of sand and secret shorelines, there’s still an array of dog friendly beaches in Cornwall that permit dogs all year round.
Cornwall’s seasonal bans are usually enforced between 10am and 6pm from the 1st of July to the 31st of August on selected beaches, however, some beaches have longer bans which are enforced between 10am and 6pm from 15th of May to the 30th of September. To find a full list of where bans apply, check the Cornwall Council website.
But, whether you’re looking for windy wintry walks or sun-baked summer strolls, despite the seasonal bans, there’s still plenty of places for you to take your dog for a fantastic day out at the beach.
Around St Ives Bay there are plenty of beaches perfect for a day out with your four-legged friend. The stretch of stunning sands south of Gwithian Towans out to the Black Cliffs along the Hayle Riviera welcomes dogs across three miles of open golden sands.
Or for unspoilt beaches try a day out with your pup at Peter’s Point, Upton Towans and Mexico Towans. Linked by a coastal path that winds across windswept sand dunes, expect oodles of space and beautifully sublime surroundings as you look out over the renowned Godrevy Lighthouse.
Head across the river, and you’ll find Porthkidney Beach nestled between the Hayle Estuary and Hawke’s Point, just a brief coastal walk or drive from Carbis Bay. Offering a wide expanse of north-facing sands, it’s easy to see how artist John Miller found his muse amongst such soul-stirring seascapes.
Beyond the ‘secret’ Bamaluz Beach (that only reveals itself at low tide) between St Ives Harbour and Porthgwidden Beach, holidayers can head further west for more dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.
Past wild moorlands and craggy cliff lines, Portheras Cove provides a wonderfully secluded spot between Morvah and Pendeen, while Priest’s Cove at Cape Cornwall presents a picturesque, end-of-the-world locale, perfect for a picnic or barbecue flanked by spellbinding sunsets.
Similarly striking, Gwenver Beach near Land’s End offers not just a surfer’s paradise, but dog owner’s dream. While it’s not the most accessible beach, Sennen Cove’s concealed neighbour is well worth the cliff-hugging walk down, providing the type of tranquil, rugged charm usually reserved for exclusive island escapes.
Along the western Atlantic edge at Lands End, you’ll discover a captivating collection of exotic-looking coves, including the crystalline waters of Nanjizel and the wildly romantic Pedn Vounder at Porthcurno just past the legendary Minack Theatre. Though it’s best to seek the advice of locals and Lifeguards on the best access routes for this tidal beach.
Venture further westward toward Penzance and you’ll find Roskilly Beach, comprised of a scenic rocky outcrop under the cliff road between Mousehole and Newlyn. Newlyn itself is home to the pebbly and dog-friendly shores of Wherrytown Beach by Newlyn Art Gallery.
The softly curving Mounts Bay sweeps from Newlyn past Marazion, home to the iconic St Michael’s Mount along with the dog welcoming Penzance Promenade beaches (tide dependent) and the sandy shallows of Long Rock Beach.
Travel further eastward to the south coast of Cornwall and you’ll uncover a world of wave-lashed coves, exposed headlands and meandering pathways. Head just beyond Marazion and you’ll uncover the delights of Prussia Cove, where the gorgeously jagged landscape offers everything from sheltered shores to fields of wildflowers.
The West Cornwall coastline continues east toward Porthleven, where Loe Bar Beach – complete with Cornwall’s largest natural freshwater lake – permits dogs to freely roam, steer clear of the water here though as it’s unsafe for swimming.
The county’s most southerly and uber pretty point is The Lizard peninsula, which provides a selection of dog-friendly locations including the magnificent Mullion Cove, Polpoer Cove and Pentreath.
Even the Eden Project has recently opened its doors to dogs, proving that Cornwall’s gardens aren’t just for green-fingered visitors and families. Home to extensive woodland and park trails nudging the River Fal, Trelissick Garden, near Truro, tops our list of garden dog-friendly days out. However, closer to home we like to visit Trengwainton, near Penzance, a National Trust property replete with picnic meadows, a stream garden and paths wending through exotic plants.
Also close to Penzance is Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, with its wonderful mix of wide-open spaces, woodland, sub-tropical plants and art installations inspired by nature. Explore beneath towering canopies, climb grassy knolls to witness stunning views over Mounts Bay, and tuck into homemade cakes and Cornish produce at the Lime Tree Café.
Nothing beats an invigorating stroll in the woods or on the coast, stopping to refuel during a dog-friendly day out in a pub or café. Our favourite coast path walk, if you’re up for a serious workout, is the six-mile stretch from St Ives to Zennor. Once you reach the 13th-century Tinner’s Arms, tucked behind the wild, azure seascape that inspired the legend of the mermaid of Zennor, you’ll have earned a rest by the fire or outside overlooking the wild, shaggy moors.
For a more sheltered, shorter walk, we love Tehidy Country Park, the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Its 9 miles of well-marked trails are the perfect place to walk energetic dogs in every season, and there’s a lakeside café serving cakes and snacks. Note that dogs are not permitted in the designated wildlife area.
Carbis Bay Holidays offer a fantastic collection of luxury dog-friendly properties within the St Ives area of West Cornwall. Many of our dog-friendly properties feature enclosed gardens and nearby beaches and dogs stay for free throughout the year. View our dog-friendly home from homes to find the perfect coastal retreat.