Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations for dog owners, with thousands of holidaymakers and their beloved pets coming back year after year. There are so many reasons why this is the perfect holiday destination for dog owners; from the dozens of dog-friendly attractions to over 400 accessible beaches. Not to mention the incredible landscapes to explore, the plethora of friendly and relaxed pubs that allow dogs and the many stunning, dog-friendly Cornish cottages. If you’re looking for a holiday that both you and your dog(s) can enjoy, then Cornwall is the place to visit. We’ve picked just five of the many reasons why Cornwall is the perfect holiday destination for dog owners but we’re sure that those who visit can think of many more.
Cornwall is renowned for having some of the best beaches in the UK, many of which are dog-friendly. If you want to experience the sandy shores and clear waters of the British coastline then you’ll be spoilt for choice here. Although some have restrictions on dogs during peak times, you’ll still find a great range of dog-friendly beaches and coves that are accessible all year round. There are too many to name them all, so here are some of our favourites:
- Carlyon Bay – Situated on the Cornish Riviera, this is the kind of beach that looks like it’s been transported from another country. The white sands, calm waters and picturesque nearby landscapes make this a popular destination for locals and holidaymakers. This is a dog-friendly beach all year round, so you’re bound to meet other pet owners as well.
- Porthluney Cove Beach – If you’re looking for a calm and peaceful beach, with just a simple shop selling snacks and Cornish ice cream, then head to Porthluney Cove on the Roseland Peninsula. With Caerhays Castle in the background, the premise of this beach is simple; let’s take it back to a time before water sports, jet skis and unsightly attractions took over. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round and also in the castle gardens (on lead) – an incredible sight in the spring with its impressive magnolia collection.
- Perranporth Beach – If you visit the North Coast of Cornwall then you simply have to take a trip to this incredible beach. Perranporth has everything any beach lover could possibly want, including a pub right there on the sand! This is one of Cornwall’s most popular beaches, so be prepared for crowds during peak season. Your dog will have to be on a lead here, but you can also take them for a walk across the nearby cliffs.
- Lantic Bay – This sun trap on the South Coast of Cornwall is the perfect place to soak up some rays in a picture perfect environment. Lantic Bay is a quiet beach, due to many of the facilities being quite far away, but this is perfect if you want some peaceful moments in the sunshine. Dogs are allowed to roam the sands, but be wary of the frequent strong rip tides if they want to go swimming.
These are just a few of the many dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall, all of which have something unique to offer. You can find out if your nearest beaches have restrictions on dogs by visiting the local tourist information centre or by searching online.
There are so many incredible walks in Cornwall, that you and your pets could simply walk all holiday and not have to do much else (after all there are 630 coastline miles to explore!). You’ll see some of the finest sights in the county, from coastal views and moorland hikes across Exmoor and Bodmin; to woodland walks and countryside explorations. Depending on which area you’re staying in Cornwall, you’ll find dozens of walking routes and trails for you and your family. Here are just a few of our favourite dog-friendly coastal walks but there are plenty of walks inland that are every bit as good:
- Fowey Hall Walk in South Cornwall is a moderate 4 mile walk, that takes in the stunning views of Pont Pill along with the nearby woodland and creeks teeming with birdlife. You’ll even get a chance to visit the perfectly pretty Fowey Harbour where there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs for a Cornish pint, and the opportunity to ride on two ferries (dogs allowed). This is a National Trust walk, so is well signposted and easy to navigate.
- For those who want something a bit quicker, the 2.6 mile picturesque walk through Mullion and Poldhu on the Lizard Peninsula is short but sweet. This circular walk is perfect for dogs, especially as there are dog-friendly beaches and pubs along the way.
- Cornwall’s beauty is not all about coastline as the Bude Coast and Canal walk shows. A great walk for the whole family, this circular 5.6 mile walk starts and ends in Bude so offers its fair share of stunning sea views. Taking in farmland and also the canal towpath, there is plenty to see along the way and great opportunities to enjoy a picnic alongside the canal.
- Finally, for a really challenging but exhilarating walk, try the 6.9 miles from Padstow to Harlyn Bay on Cornwall’s North Coast. You’ll see plenty of heritage and unique landscapes along the way, as well as sandy beaches and smugglers’ coves. For more information on this walk and man others visit the South West Coast Path website (they also have lots of dog-friendly walks to recommend).
History and Heritage
Cornwall has a rich and varied history, which makes it perfect for those who want to experience the heritage of this beautiful county. Not only are there plenty of interesting places to visit, but many of them are dog-friendly, too. Take Tintagel Castle, for example, which is a fascinating place to visit with some truly awe-inspiring views. Here you and the family can learn all about the myths and mystery surrounding this historic building, whilst also taking some wonderful pictures of the dramatic sea views. Dogs are allowed to roam this mysterious building, as long as they’re on leads.
Travel even further back in time to the Chyauster Ancient Village, which is almost 2,000 years old. You can walk around the old village with your dog (on a lead, only) and gain an insight into what life would have been like all those years ago. Finally, learn more about the thriving clay industry in Cornwall at Wheal Martin China Clay Museum and Country Park. Go on a guided tour to find out about this important part of Cornwall’s history, or just wander around and take in the views alone. Dogs are welcome throughout the site, as long as they are on leads.
Houses and Gardens
There are plenty of beautiful houses and gardens to explore, when on holiday in Cornwall, many of which are dog-friendly. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a prime example of an incredible day out for the whole family, with a wide variety of plants and wildlife to enjoy. These gardens are a tranquil place that were once lost for over 75 years, before being opened up to visitors of all ages. Explore the exotic Jungle Garden or learn more about Victorian crop rotation in the Productive Gardens; this is the kind of place you can stay all day. Well behaved dogs on short leads are welcome to all areas, except the Heligan Tearoom or Stewardry.
Part of the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs campaign, Pencarrow House and Gardens is yet another wonderful place to visit with your pet. This Georgian Mansion is steeped in history and packed full of wonderful pieces of artwork and antiques. The surrounding gardens are the perfect place to explore when the sun is shining.
Whilst dogs are restricted from the areas undercover (including the Biomes), you may be surprised to learn that dogs are welcome to explore the extensive tracks and garden trails of the Eden Project (they need to be kept on lead and one dog per person). In fact, the Eden Project was voted the world’s top dog walking destination in 2018 and has a covered dining area by the cafe. Last up is the exquisite Grade 1 listed Port Eliot House, Gardens and Park. Dogs are welcome on a lead in the grounds and off lead to roam the park on Wednesdays. They’re also welcome in the Long Gallery Tea Room, which is the perfect place to stop and take a rest after exploring this wonderful historic house.
Family and Dog Friendly Attractions
If the whole family and Fido are going on holiday to Cornwall, then you’ll want to find places which are both family and dog friendly. Luckily, there are plenty! You’ll find a wide range of attractions and activities that will keep children, adults and dogs occupied in Cornwall. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a great example, where children can touch starfish and watch one of the many seal, sea lion, otter or penguin demonstrations. Dogs are welcome on leads, which means everyone can enjoy the fun.
How about something for your thrill-seeking kids? Holywell Bay Fun Park in Newquay, has plenty of rides and activities to keep hyper children busy all day! Dogs are welcome on leads, although you’ll have to arrange for someone to keep an eye if you’re going on a ride. Lastly, the stunning Lands End, which is a firm family favourite. Although dogs aren’t allowed in most of the attractions or restaurants, you can still experience all that this beautiful area has to offer; including dramatic sights and easy to walk coastal paths. Make sure you get a picture of the whole family at Lands End, too.
Here we’ve covered just a few of the many reasons why Cornwall is the perfect holiday destination for dog owners, although we could easily have named many more. If you are planning a British holiday and don’t want to put your dog in kennels for the week, then Cornwall is one of the best places to visit and self-catering can provide all the comforts of home for you and your dog. Why not take a look at our dog-friendly cottages (we even have many that accept more than one dog).