The best towns and villages to visit in Cornwall with your dog
Gastro pubs, twee tearooms, fancy restaurants, even stately homes, Padstow is so dog-friendly it should be renamed Pawstow. Famously the home of TV chef Rick Stein, whose late four-legged sidekick Chalky, was so loved, much of Rick’s empire welcomes dogs, including Rick Stein’s Cafe, The Seafood Restaurant and The Cornish Arms. Work up an appetite with a romp along the Camel Trail or wander around the beautiful ornamental gardens of Prideaux Place. As for beaches, hop on the Padstow Ferry (dogs ride free) over to Lower Beach, Rock Beach and Tregirls Beach, which all allow salty sea dogs all year round.
A Brighton beach dog, the first time Miss Babs saw the sand dunes at Hayle, near St Ives, she totally flipped out. Many of St Ives’ outer beaches are accessible to dogs all year round. Scamper up the mountainous dunes of Mexico Towan beach or go rock pooling on Bamaluz beach, a quiet little cove in St Ives’ old fishing quarter known as Downalong. Alternatively, pop into one of the dozens of hip cafes, bars and restaurants where dogs are warmly welcomed with water and treats, including the Porthmeor Beach Cafe, Scoff Troff and The Hub.
If you’re looking for a base for some extraordinary days out with your dog, St Austell is perfect. Eco-conscious hounds are welcome at The Eden Project, Cornwall’s famous eco-park. Good dogs on leads are allowed in all of the Outside Gardens (but not the biodomes). Learn about Cornwall’s china clay heritage at Wheal Martyn, a former clay pit-turned-museum and nature trail, or conquer Restormel Castle, which appreciates the protection from four-legged troops. As for beaches, although St Austell’s main beaches have some restrictions, nearby Gorran Haven allows dogs to dig in the sand all year round.
Yet another cutesy Cornish fishing village, this time on the south coast. While Mevagissey doesn’t have a proper beach, it’s one of the friendliest spots around. All pubs, tearooms and many restaurants, including Sharksfin, on the waterfront, are super dog friendly. However, it’s the proximity to the Lost Garden of Heligan, which is the real draw. One of the most dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall, dogs on leads are welcome to explore the miles of pathways around the site, they’re also welcome in the Heligan Kitchen and The Steward’s HouseStay nearby at the Old Barn at Lower Tresithick >
Wide sandy beaches, a scenic coastal path and plenty of dog-friendly pubs, a holiday on the Fowey Estuary is a tail-wagging treat. A handful of beaches will allow dogs all year round, including Coombe Haven, Spit Beach and Lantivet Bay, while most pubs and restaurants welcome four-legged customers, including Havener’s Bar and Grill on the quayside. Fowey is best known as the home of author Daphne du Maurier. Learn more about the town’s literary heritage at the Fowey Museum and the Du Maurier Literary Centre, where dry dogs on leads are welcome.Stay nearby at Round House East >
Tucked away in the far west corner of Cornwall, Penzance is a proper pup-friendly seaside town. Dogs are welcome to admire the artworks by David Nash, Richard Long and James Turrell at Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, which has amazing views over St Michael’s Mount. They can also potter through the palm groves and sniff sub-tropical flora in Morrab Gardens and explore the National Trust’s Trengwaimnton Garden. And when it’s time to cool off, both Eastern Green and Wherrytown beaches are dog friendly all year round. If you’re there at end of the summer season on Dog Day, happy hounds are allowed to jump in Jubilee Pool, Britain’s largest Art Deco lido.Stay nearby at the Cottage at Halzephron House >
Most famous as the setting to TV series Doc Martin, this teeny tiny but oh-so pretty fishing village is brilliantly dog friendly. After a salty scamper along Port Isaac beach – which has year-round access for dogs – retreat for a pint in the The Golden Lion, home of the Bloody Bones Bar (not those bones, Babs) which has a smugglers tunnel down to the beach. Even the village’s restaurants like The Slipway and The Mote, both of which serve gorgeous seafood-heavy menus and welcome four-legged guests with bowls of water and biscuity treats.
Browse all our dog-friendly holidays in Cornwall >
Browse the whole collection of dog-friendly holidays >