The reason many of us choose to holiday in Britain is so our pets can come with us. Dogs are part of the family, and they can really add to the fun of a seaside holiday. Cornwall has lots of dog-friendly beaches that your pooch will love. Some have restricted access times; however, there are many Cornish beaches that welcome dogs all year round.
In no particular order, here are ten of our favourite dog-friendly Cornish beaches. (And they’re actually some of the best beaches in the county, full stop.)
Polstreath Beach, Mevagissey
This is less than half a mile out of town, but it’s a world away from the bustling harbour at Mevagissey. It’s not the easiest beach to reach; however, once you and your dog have walked along the South West Coast Path and down 200 steps, you’re rewarded with a peaceful and sheltered sand and shingle cove. If you’re staying with us at The Cornwall, this is an excellent local option.
It’s great to come across a town beach that’s dog friendly, and we love Port Isaac. Home to ITV’s Doc Martin and the shanty group Fisherman’s Friends, Port Isaac is a welcoming harbour town with plenty to see . It’s a working fishing port; however low tide reveals an enticing stretch of sand and rockpools…
Harlyn Bay, Padstow
This is an absolutely beautiful stretch of sand, where you, your dog and your kids can have an excellent run around. This beach has everything, from rock pools to good surfing conditions, and it’s even lifeguarded during the peak season.
Head west from Padstow towards Newquay, and you’ll encounter this other stunning sandy beach. Again, humans can surf or explore the rockpools, and there’s lifeguard cover in the summer. After a day’s playing on the beach, you and your dog can head into the village, which has a good choice of places to eat and drink.
Bedruthan Steps, Mawgan Porth
Just north from Mawgan Porth, this dramatic beach gets its name from the massive stepping stones put there by the giant Bedruthan (obviously) and not the fact that it’s a fair walk down to it. It can get cut off at high water, so check the tide times first. For fit and active dogs only.
Helford Passage Beach
For something a bit different, this small bay on the Helford Estuary welcomes dogs all year (as does the Ferry Boat Inn…). Wooded Grebe Beach is another estuary favourite.
Bamaluz Beach, St Ives
Reached down some steps via the narrow little back lanes, Bamaluz escapes the crowds of the other, higher-profile St Ives beaches. It’s a sandy cove with some excellent scrambling rocks, and it’s a nice friendly place to meet fellow dog-walkers all year round. You can park at The Island car park, and it’s a short walk following the coast.
Long Rock Beach, near Penzance
Staying west, this sandy beach stretches between Penzance and Marazion in Mounts Bay. It’s a much-loved local’s beach as it never gets as busy as its more famous neighbour, and the shallow sea makes it a popular paddling and swimming place. There’s a car park at Long Rock.
Lankidden Cove, The Lizard
This hidden gem is about a mile and a half’s walk from Kennack Sands (where there’s a car park). You need to reach Lankidden Cove along the coast path, so it’s usually really peaceful here. The water is a beautiful greeny-blue, and the cove is sheltered by its cliffs.
Trebarthwith Strand, near Tintagel
Two miles from Tintagel, this is a lovely sandy beach owned by the National Trust. It’s more easily accessible than some of the beaches we’ve mentioned; however check the tide times, as the mile-long stretch of sand vanishes at high water. Caves and rockpools add to its appeal, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer.
Remember that most dog restrictions are seasonal; and if you’re in Cornwall between autumn and Easter, your dog can enjoy most of the county’s beaches. Our local beaches, Porthpean and Pentewen, both welcome dogs during the quieter season. Book one of our dog-friendly Woodland Lodges or The Cornwall Cottage, and make the most of a winter break with your pet!
To find out more about dog-friendly beaches and restricted access times, please see Cornwall Council’s Dogs on Beaches page.
For UK tide times, visit the Met Office’s website.