Dog walks in Cornwall tend to be promoted as iconic beach destinations for the ultimate Cornish coastal walk with your four-legged friend. But there's so much to sniff out inland too with convenient circular walks in Cornwall around country and park making some of the best walks in the county, albeit understated.
If you’re after a flat, scenic dog route with plenty of opportunities for spying wildlife, look no further. Coulson Park in Lostwithiel is popular with many local and visiting dog walkers thanks to the ample space, tempting river and – it has to be said – adequate number of bins!
How to get there
Arrive in Lostwithiel by train and simply cross over the 13th Century bridge, turn left to follow the river around and go straight past the Co-op. After about five minutes you’ll walk under the railway bridge – used for both the china clay trucks and the mainline London to Penzance passenger line - and you’re officially at Coulson Park. If you’re driving, there is limited space at the park entrance and further along by the children’s play park. Alternatively there is plenty of street parking around the town. Good news - all parking in Lostwithiel is free.
Coulson Park circular walk
The park offers a lovely open space for Rover to let off some steam and meet new friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been walking at Coulson Park without seeing a fellow dog owner! Do be aware that there is a road running through the middle of this section of the park which is frequently used by cars. They tend to go very slowly, but you’ll want to make sure your dog is excellent at recall before letting them off here.
According to locals, the park is named after a US-based property tycoon who funded the park as a gesture of goodwill following his positive childhood in Lostwithiel in the 1850s. A more recent addition to the park is the new children’s play area, which you’ll see towards the end of the park. It was opened this year after much anticipation and is a great spot if you’re walking in Cornwall with young ones (though understandably, no dogs are allowed to enter the play area).
Carry on following the river and you’ll arrive at a new path which marks the start of Shirehall Moor. This section of the walk tends to be a bit quieter and the views of the river are beautiful. Follow this path along for 10 minutes or so and you’ll arrive at a wide, salt marsh moor, my favourite section of the walk.
Shirehall Moor is a fantastic nature reserve and on past visits I have spotted a kingfisher, swans, egrets, herons and Canadian geese. You can carry on walking through this section, though be warned it can get a little boggy at times so Wellington Boots are advised.
As for me, I’m usually content to stay here and throw a ball for Monty. He seems pretty happy with this set-up too. If you feel like taking a break, there is a lovely bench with a great view and some interesting information on the nature reserve.
Head back through town
After that, head back towards Lostwithiel where you can either do a bit of shopping (the antiques shops are a must), grab a bite to eat or relax in a beer garden. For specific recommendations check out our blog post - Exploring Lostwithiel.
So get out in the countryside and walk Cornwall via country lanes and wooded vale. Your dog will thank you for it.