Six brilliant days out with the hound in South Cornwall

Holidaying with dogs in Cornwall is a dream: plenty of beaches for racing around on the sand, ample miles to be walked on the South West Coast Path and over pretty rural areas inland. But not all trips should be about just beaches and walking – when we travel without our dogs, we visit attractions and museums, so why not do the same with your pet by your side? These are the best dog-friendly days out in south Cornwall, so get planning your next adventure.

Written by Lottie Gross

Charlestown Harbour, Roseland Heritage Coast

The historic harbour of Charlestown is probably best known for one thing: it stood in as Truro and Falmouth in the BBC’s Poldark series. There’s lots to explore here, from the historic 18th-century harbour where tall ships regularly dock throughout summer, to the lovely little boutiques just behind the town’s main car park – some of which will let you browse with the dog. You can grab a great coffee at the downstairs cafe in The Longstore, or hearty burgers from Rebellion Roast House across the harbour. And don’t miss a few hours in the dog-friendly Shipwreck Treasure Museum to find out what hauls have been discovered on the seafloor around Cornwall.

Stay at: Honeysuckle Cottage in Looe >

The Eden Project, Par

The once barren landscape of a china clay pit has now become one of the most luscious and impressive gardens in the UK, and it’s dog-friendly to boot. There’s so much to see and do here for all the family, you’ll want to spend an entire day at The Eden Project. You can walk for miles to see plants from all over the world, with pretty planted beds and crop fields to explore within the main area, and woodlands and wildflower meadows on the outer estate. Kids will love the playgrounds and intriguing exhibitions in The Core (dogs will need to wait outside), while inside the temperature-controlled biomes you’ll meet curious ground birds and see tropical plants, and you can climb rope bridges and viewing platforms for a tree canopy view. Dogs can’t join you in the biomes, so you’ll need to take it in turns to look after them outside.

Stay at: Laurel Cottage in Looe >

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

Perched on a promontory to the east of Falmouth town, Pendennis Castle was one of two fortresses built on the Fal Estuary by Henry III’s military in the 16th century – the other sits on the opposite bank at St Mawes. The entire site is dog-friendly except inside the café (there’s seating outdoors, though), and across its ramparts you’ll find historic weaponry from traditional canons to the “disappearing gun”, and spectacular sea views from the round Tudor keep. The dog can wander with you through interactive exhibitions and around the exterior of the castle’s walls, which look out to passing ships at sea.

Stay at: The Dairy at The Cornish Place in Gwennap >

Carn Euny Ancient Village, Penzance

The landscape around the small Cornish villages of Brane and Grumbla is peppered with fascinating ancient sights, the most exciting of all being Carn Euny. Sitting between arable crop fields and a small farmstead lies the remains of an ancient village, with evidence of round houses and courtyards among its stones. The remote site was inhabited from around 400 BC to AD 400 and it has one of the best examples of a “fogou” – an underground passage lined with stone. You can explore inside and outside all the ruined buildings here, with the dog before heading to the Dog & Rabbit cafe nearby for homemade cakes, light lunches or hearty fried breakfasts.

Stay at: The Observatory at Hazelphron House in Helston >

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance

Dog-friendly art galleries are few and far between in the UK, but in south Cornwall, there’s an outdoor gallery that welcomes good dogs on leads: Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. This beautiful estate has gorgeous landscaped gardens in a sub-tropical theme, meaning there’s beauty to be found any time of year, not just during spring and summer. Expect to see palms, succulents and tree ferns throughout its grounds, all interspersed with some thought-provoking works of art by masters such as David Nash and James Turrell. See paintings in the small indoor gallery (dogs will have to wait outside), and nip into the on-site café after for a full English, cream tea or lunches featuring local seafood.

Stay at: The Cottage at Halzephron House in Helston >

Chysauster Ancient Village

There is something terribly humbling about standing atop 2,000 years of history, and you can do just that at Chysauster Ancient Village. This incredibly preserved site is home to a style of house-building only seen here and on the Isles of Scilly, just off the south coast of Cornwall. The homes, which were lived in by farmers during the Roman occupation, are set in a line forming a village street and each has a courtyard surrounded by thatched rooms.

You can wander among the ruins of these ancient homes, which are often surrounded by a carpet of bluebells in spring, then take a walk around the surrounding countryside with the dog. Refuelling can be done at the nearby Old Forge Lelant, where dogs are welcome throughout.

Written by Lottie Gross

Sign up to our newsletter

Get new dog-friendly places, travel tips and destination ideas delivered to you in a format your dog can’t chew to pieces.