Our dog-friendly guide to North Cornwall

Jam first or cream first? Miss Babs doesn't care, just hand over the scone. There are a million and one reasons why North Cornwall is one of our favourite doggy destinations, and the abundance of Cornish clotted cream teas is just one of them. From salt-whipped romps along rugged coastal paths, sandy scampers across vast Atlantic beaches to the many attractions which warmly welcome our four-legged friends. North Cornwall is one of the most dog-friendly counties in the country. Most pubs, cafes and restaurants allow dogs and will happily dish out water bowls, treats and belly rubs on demand. Whether it's sniffing out Merlin's Cave at Tintagel Castle or learning to surf on Fistral Beach, here's our guide to the best dog-friendly things to do in North Cornwall.

Written by Tracey Davies

5 minute read

Fistral Beach

Surf's up, dude. There's nothing quite as joyful as seeing a dog on a surfboard. Fistral Beach is renowned as one of the best surf spots in the UK. Accessible to hounds all year round, well-behaved surf dogs are allowed off lead and love the vast expanse of golden sand and consistent waves, while their humans can learn the skills at surf school. After catching some waves, kick back with a bowl of water and a biscuity treat on the sunset terrace at Fistral Beach Bar.

Lappa Valley

You know how dogs love to hang their heads out of the car window and let their ears flap in the breeze? Why not take them for a ride on a vintage steam train at Lappa Valley and blow their furry minds! Located just outside Newquay, this quirky train-themed attraction welcomes dogs on leads and their well-behaved humans all around the park. There are several steam and diesel engine rides on offer, including the cutesy Newlyn Downs 10.25" gauge railway, plus nature walks, play areas and a lake where pups are allowed on the swan pedalos.

Pencarrow House

After a scamper across the wilds of Bodmin Moor, take a gentle potter around Pencarrow House and Gardens, a gorgeous Georgian stately home near Wadebridge. There are some great woodland walks, plus our four-legged friends are allowed to explore the landscaped grounds, sunken Italian garden and Iron Age hill fort. While dogs aren't allowed inside the house, they can cool off with a delicious doggy ice cream – in Carrot Crunch and Old Sock flavours – from the cafe.

Mawgan Porth to Bedruthan Steps

The North Cornwall coast has more than its fair share of fabulous views to make a tail wag. One of the most scenic walks is along the South West Coast Path from Mawgan Porth to Bedruthan. You get some smashing views over Bedruthan Steps, the huge craggy rock stacks said to be a giant's stepping stones across the sea. Take a picnic and park up at National Trust's Carnewas at Bedruthan, where salty sea dogs are allowed to play on Mawgan Porth and Bedruthan beaches all year round.

Tintagel Castle

Famous for the myths and legends surrounding King Arthur, the 13th-century Tintagel Castle perched on the North Cornwall cliff top is a great place to bring all the family, even the four-legged ones. Cross the narrow footbridge over to the island and meet Gallos, the huge bronze sculpture inspired by King Arthur. Explore the medieval walled garden or wander down to the beach and take a peek into Merlin's Cave, where the wizard was said to live. Refuel with a pint and a pie at the King Arthur's Arms, a gorgeous dog-friendly pub in Tintagel.

The Camel Trail

Following a disused railway line, the Camel Trail is a scenic walk which stretches for 18 miles winding through Bodmin Moor, Wadebridge and Padstow. Largely traffic free, dogs love to scamper along its wide flat paths, while humans take in the spectacular views of the Camel Estuary. The most popular stretch of the trail is between Wadebridge and Padstow, where you can stop off at the Atlantic Coast Express, a super-cool vintage train carriage which has been converted into a cafe serving good coffee, homemade cakes and crepes.

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Written by Tracey Davies

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