Where to take the dog for a great day out in North Cornwall

North Cornwall is a vast and varied place, with bustling towns and quaint little fishing villages for quieter weekends away with the dog. Whether you want a surf and sea-faring adventure or simply a nice stroll along the coast with a good pint of Cornish cider to follow, these are some of the best places to visit in North Cornwall.

Written by Lottie Gross


Perhaps most famous for its foodie connections -- celebrity chef Rick Stein grew up here and has several restaurants in the town -- Padstow is a fantastic dog-friendly day out. Set on the Camel Estuary, there are excellent walks aplenty along the Camel Trail, while in town there are plenty of pubs and restaurants to indulge at. 

For something a little different, head to the National Lobster Hatchery to see how these creatures are born, how they grow up and then are released into the wild. Nearby, St George's Cove is dog friendly outside of peak season, while next-door Harbour Cove allows dogs year round -- both are around a 20-minute walk from town.


Perhaps one of Cornwall's most famous tourism hotspots, in large part thanks to its status as a surfer's paradise, Newquay is spectacularly dog friendly. Not only does it have several pubs and restaurants that'll welcome your pets, but it's also home to Fistral Beach, which is dog friendly year round and fabulous for watching the surfers come in on those rolling waves. 

One of the best ways to explore this corner of Cornwall is by boat, and the team at Newquay Sea Safaris love dogs -- so much so they provide biscuits and water bowls on their vessels. They'll take you out to spot Cornish grey seals, explore the dramatic coastline and cliffs that surround the town, and go in search of dolphins and basking sharks.

Paws & Stay
Photo Credit: Newquay Sea Safaris

Port Isaac

If you've watched Doc Martin, the TV drama about a Cornish doctor played by Martin Clunes, then you'll recognise Port Isaac as his home village of Portwenn. Fans should join the walking tour that takes in all the show's essential locations (dogs welcome, of course) throughout the fishing village, which feels as if it hasn't changed much since the 1800s.

If music is your thing, you might recognise the village from the 2019 film, Fisherman's Friends, about a real band of sea shanty singers who hailed from this part of the world. The band are still going, and even occasionally put on impromptu gigs on the Platt (harbour) -- though they have had to stop advertising them, due to thousands of attendees descending on the tiny village to see their performances.


Swimmers and surfers should head to Bude, a buzzing seaside town on the north Cornwall coast. Not only does this part of the coast get great waves, there's also a sea pool on Summerleaze beach, which fills up during high tide and acts as a safe, sheltered spot for swimming. Dogs can join you on the beach year round (on leads through summer) and by the pool, but they can't join you for a dip in the water. They can still swim in the sea on calm days when there are fewer surfers, though.


Another excellent surf destination, Polzeath has been attracting visitors for centuries for its sandy beach and wonderful cliff walks. Head out with the dog onto the peninsula just north of the village and you can wander out to Pentire Point, around the headland to The Rumps -- and Iron Age hillfort -- and back across the fields. There are plenty of places to eat and drink around Polzeath from cosy pubs to dog-friendly restaurants, but picnics supplied by Flo's Kitchen are the best for any long walks on the coast.


While much of the action in Cornwall revolves around the coast, Wadebridge is a worthy trek inland. Follow the Camel River east from Padstow (in fact, there’s a wide, flat trail that leads all the way) and you’ll find yourself in this pretty market town. Wadebridge has a fabulous high street packed with independent shops and plenty of pubs and cafes for refreshments, but it’s also home to the wonderful Royal Cornwall Show – a June extravaganza of rural charm, with pig, chicken and dog showing, floral displays, tractors for sale and traditional steam engines on show. And best of all, dogs on non-retractable leads 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.