Nearly one in four of us own a dog and many choose to take their four-legged pals on holiday with them. If you and your canine companion are coming to Cornwall for your holiday, we have good news: it’s a seriously dog friendly county! You will be well looked after wherever you choose to roam, so we have put together our top recommendations of the best places to take your dog.
The most important thing ever (according to the dog). The brilliant thing about Cornwall is that there are at least 300 miles of walking along the South West Coast Path that you can do. Heaven or what?! With endless views and ever-changing terrain, you will never get bored walking along this stunning coast path. Of course, being along the coast will mean a stop off or two at one of the Cornwall’s dog friendly beaches. This is great until the beach dog bans are in place, so to make sure the dog can have a run around on the beach, we have made a list of the beaches that allow dogs. As stunning as the coast paths are, please do be wary when walking along the cliff tops as they aren’t always as safe as they look.
Walking on the coast and getting fully windswept isn’t always something you want to do, so going for an inland walk is the plan of the day. There are so many walks inland to choose from, but we have picked our top 5 inland walks that we recommend.
As important as the walk might be to the dog, stopping off and/or finishing a walk in a pub is very important to us. If you’re in the Penwith area, The Gurnard’s Head is a favourite of ours for lunch. It is even better is when it’s followed by heading along the coastal path towards Zennor, stopping off at Moomaids for a dessert ice-cream, and then catch the open-top bus back to pick up the car. Another lovely place to stop off is The Ferry Boat Inn on the Helford River. Start off at Trebah Gardens (dogs on leads welcome), which winds down to the river in a tropical tangle. Head towards Helford Passage on the coastal path, through wooded valleys, past craggy outcrops and sheltered coves, to the delicious Ferryboat Inn.
Newquay - If you and your pup are beach bums, we can think of no better place than Newquay. This chilled out surfer haven is home to an insane number of beaches for just one town, and the good news is most of them remain dog friendly year-round. In town grab a drink and catch some live music at the dog friendly bar, Whiskers. If your dog gets hungry too, head to The Wet Dog Pizza where they can choose from their own dedicated dog menu which boasts pizza and dog friendly beverages!
Penzance - The Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange offer a wide exhibition programme across the two sites. Both are dog friendly. If you’re looking for more, head to the nearby dog friendly Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens where you’ll find exotic and sub-tropical plants, dramatic vistas and an evolving programme of contemporary art installations. Food wise The Turks Head is steeped in history with a global menu centred on steak and seafood. For an excellent cream tea head to The Front Room – a quirky cafe and bar serving wholesome food and drinks.
Bodmin - Spy on Bodmin’s historic past in the stately granite buildings, 15th Century church and Bodmin Jail (of Poldark fame). The Jail is a dog friendly attraction and well-behaved dogs are allowed through the exhibition, gift shop and tearoom (just not in the restaurant). You can also get your history on and ride on a steam train at The Bodmin and Wenford Railway (a dog ticket is just £1). If you’re interested in military history why not pay a visit to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry Museum which details the regiment’s history from 1702 to WWII. If you need to stretch your legs, take a wander up to Bodmin Beacon and enjoy the view from the top. Or you can wander along The Camel Trail. Snail’s Pace Cafe is a great dog friendly eatery for a break – try the epic hot chocolate, they are amazing.
Lost Gardens of Heligan - Explore Europe’s largest garden restoration with your four-legged friend in tow, just make sure to keep them on their lead. Together you can check out the Victorian productive gardens, wander through the jungle area and spot giant rhubarb and bananas. Upon arrival you’ll be handed a free map of the gardens, which clearly marks out dog waste bins for ease!
Lands End – If you’re coming all the way to Cornwall, it’s worth going just a little further to see the end of the country. With easy access to the coastal path and one hundred acres of natural landscape onsite, it’s the perfect place to bring your pup. You’ll find plenty of seabirds and you might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin, seal or basking shark whilst walking the dog. Note, many of the attractions close over the winter but open again in the spring.
Pendennis Castle - See how the castle has changed over time by walking around the site, learning in the discovery centre and seeing the different weapons used throughout the centuries. Coastal lovers are in for a treat too; this castle dominates a headland and benefits from panoramic views of Falmouth town, beaches and sea. Enjoy a Cornish dish with a historical Tudor twist at the airy cafe or take a trip into Falmouth where there are lots of eateries.
The Gurnard’s Head - Located in west Cornwall near Zennor, Gurnard’s Head offers a variety of delicious meals made from all locally caught or grown produce. All the seafood is caught daily by the local fishermen, so you can guarantee a fresh meal here. The Gurnard’s Head is child and dog friendly making it the perfect stop off on a beautiful coastal walk.
The Pandora Inn - Uniquely positioned on the watersedge and accessible by foot, car and boat, Pandora Inn is a firm favourite with the locals. With seating going out onto the water on a pontoon is certainly a different dining experience to normal. Serving up delicious food all day (yes, they serve breakfast) from locally caught seafood and produce from surrounding farms, making sure all dietary requirements are catered for. See their menu here.
Cadgwith Cove Inn - A lovely little pub at the bottom of the hill in Cadgwith, opposite the local fishing boats on the beach. Serving delicious fresh food throughout the day, offering veggie, vegan and gluten free meals. With the choice to either sit in or outside allowing you to sit in the glorious Cornish sun, or hide from the typical English coastal weather with the dog. Booking is recommended. See their ever changing menu here.
Old Custom House - Nestled on the south quay in Padstow, the Old Custom House cooks up some delicious freshly made pub classic meals. Supplied with the best local beers so you can drink your way around the county without leaving your seat. Their menu is seasonal, making the most of the catches the fishermen bring in on the boats daily. Not after a full meal but still want something tasty? Try their crab sandwich or sharer board. Here are their menus.