Our dog-friendly guide to South Cornwall

Meandering coastal paths, vast sandy beaches and cosy country pubs to hunker down in with a pint of Cornish cider and a sausagey snack, you simply can't beat Cornwall for doggy staycation. One of the most dog-friendly counties in Britain, our four-legged friends are welcome everywhere from the Eden Project to the Lost Gardens of Heligan making south Cornwall a perfect base for your next fur family holiday.

Written by Tracey Davies and Miss Babs

5 minute read


Cornwall is jam-packed with quaint little fishing villages, but one of our favourites is Polperro – not least because perro is the Spanish name for dog. A working fishing harbour, it's packed with character and dogs are welcome almost everywhere, from the tiny beach to tea rooms, cafes and pubs like The Three Pilchards, the oldest pub in Polperro. Hounds are even allowed in the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling & Fishing, where they can pick up some smuggling tips.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Dogs are not the only animals adored in Cornwall. Everyone is allowed to come nose to nose with the resident seals, penguins and sea lions at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. Owned by the SEA LIFE Trust, the centre rescues and rehabilitates seals and sea lions found in Cornish waters. Good dogs are welcomed almost everywhere in the sanctuary -- Harbour Views Pool, Southern Sea Lion Pool and Penguin Beach, and can even ride the land train -- however, they're not allowed in the seal hospital.

Stay nearby at The Cabin at Halzephron House >

The Eden Project

Many parts of Cornwall feel otherworldly -- Bodmin Moor, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Holywell Bay Cave -- but there's no place that feels more like another planet than The Eden Project. Created out of a reclaimed china clay pit near St Austell, this vast eco-park is a great place for all the family, even the four-legged members. All of the Outdoor Gardens are accessible to dogs, however, they must be kept on a lead and away from play areas. And while furry visitors are not allowed inside the Biomes, there's still plenty to explore, like the Climate Garden, which explores possible positive futures, and the Wild Edge area which showcases lands around the world. Water bowls are available around the park and there's an undercover dining area for doggy picnics.

Stay nearby at the Head Groom's House at Boconnoc >


Cornwall has more than its fair share of grand stately homes and gardens, many of which allow good dogs to visit. One of our favourites is Tressilick. Perched on the River Fal and with glorious views across the Far estuary, Tressilick is one of the most dog-friendly National Trust properties in Cornwall. Romp along paths through ancient woodland, explore the Iron Age fort and sit on the 18th-century quay, dogs are also allowed in the gallery, bookshop and cafe.

Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm

All that beach fun racks up quite a thirst and where better place to sate it than the home of Rattlers Cornish Cyder in Truro. Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm have been producing cider since the Eighties. A brilliant day out for all the family, dogs on leads are welcome all over the farm, apart from in the cider production areas and the jam kitchen (for good reason). They can wander through the orchards, ride the vintage tractor and go cider tasting...as long as they're not driving.

Stay nearby at the Old Barn at Lower Tresithick >

Pendennis Castle

Of course, there's more to a Cornish holiday than just digging holes on the beach. For dogs with a penchant for history and culture, visit Pendennis Castle, King Henry VIII's seaside fortress which has some of the best views across Falmouth and the coast. Dogs on leads are welcome to explore the castle, climb up the stone staircases to the turrets and the gun rooms. They're also welcome in the 1901 Royal Artillery Barracks which has an interactive exhibition about the castle the trade routes from Falmouth throughout the British Empire.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Rediscovered in the Nineties after decades of neglect, the Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell is one of the most enchanting places in Cornwall, especially for dogs. Spread across 200 acres, this network of curiously whimsical gardens is a real treat to explore with your dog, particularly the Jungle, a huge sub-tropical garden with towering tree ferns, exotic palms and fun rope bridges to conquer. Dogs need to stay on the lead, but they're welcome in all the gardens, as well as the Heligan Kitchen and The Steward's House when you need a cuppa.

Browse all of our dog-friendly holidays in Cornwall >

Written by Tracey Davies and Miss Babs

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