Top dog-friendly beaches for you and your pooch in Cornwall

December 05th, 2016

Most people that bring their dog on holiday to Cornwall will have a vision of said pooch splashing around in the waves and bounding across the stretching sands whilst making friends with other, like-minded canines. It’s their holiday too after all! However, some of the beaches in Cornwall make this dream difficult to realise. There is a seasonal ban on several beaches which, as a rule, start at Easter and run all the way through to October. Other famed beaches in the region are particularly dog-unfriendly, such as Falmouth, St Ives and Looe and remain a doggy-free zone all year round.

If you’re looking at taking a dog-friendly holiday in Cornwall this year, here’s a pick of our favourite beaches in the area so you and your pooch can make the most of your time together.


We can’t figure out why Porthkidney sands remain notably quiet throughout the year, and yet just around the corner in Carbis Bay you can barely move amongst the visitors, on the average summers day. However, Porthkidney, remaining somewhat of a hidden gem, is a saving grace for dog-walkers as the vast expanse of sand will provide hours of entertainment for even the most athletic of dogs. There’s usually not a soul to be seen, so more often than not you’ll have the place to yourselves.

Trebarwith Strand

Well-known as one of the best beaches in north Cornwall, Trebarwith seems to have it all. Good surf, golden sands and rockpools galore, a great afternoon awaits you and your family with Rover in tow. There are some fantastic coastal walks nearby so you can work up an appetite before a well-deserved lunch at the Port William which is also dog-friendly and looks out over the beach.

Pedn Vounder

Nestled next to the iconic Porthcurno beach, sits Pedn Vounder. Also known as Treen beach, the sands hosts the famous Logan Rock, creating the perfect backdrop for a sandy dog selfie. Pedn Vounder is also a well-known nudist beach, so if naked dog walking is something you’d like to try out, here’s your chance! Having said that, the steep cliff scramble to access the beach may not be suitable for more mature dogs.

Helford Passage

One of the closest dog-friendly beaches to Falmouth, these sands are a great spot for you and your four-legged friends to relax. Again, a big appeal to walking your pup here is the possibility for lunch and a pint in the 300 year old Ferry Boat Inn, which also provides a top spot for parking if required.

Holywell Bay

Although many of the beaches in Newquay are dog friendly, this spot a few miles outside of town is well worth the journey. Perfect for unsociable or timid dogs who aren’t keen on other dogs and small children, Holywell provides a great, peaceful alternative. The long stretch of sandy beach is backed by sand dunes and has plenty of room to explore and find everything from caves to streams.

Gorran Haven

All of St Austell’s main beaches are no go areas for four-legged friends in the summer and three of them are no dogs allowed full stop. If you’re staying nearby but have a car, this is not a problem as long as you don’t mind a short drive down the coast. A picturesque sandy beach with a harbour to one end and a small village to the other. Plenty of coastal walks in either direction provide the opportunity to explore the area and check out other dog friendly coves along the way.

Summerleaze Beach

Bude proves to be one of the more dog-friendly areas in Cornwall, including the town’s main beach. Summerleaze is huge, particularly at low-tide and provides plenty to explore with the family. Although dogs aren’t allowed off the lead on the actual beach, the extensive grassy dunes behind make the perfect spot to let them run free and stretch their legs.

Bedruthan Steps

Undeniably one of Cornwall’s natural wonders, the beach is host to some impressively large sea stacks that cross the sands like a set of giant’s stepping stones. Despite easy access, the mile long stretch of golden sand is usually quiet, making it the ideal location to exercise your pup at low tide. Keep an eye on the tide times though, it is possible to get cut off here if you aren’t careful.

Isles of Scilly

If your pooch is an experienced boat rider, we highly recommend checking out the mostly dog-friendly beaches of these beautiful isles. Wonder the various beaches with barely a soul in sight and explore all they offer, including the puffins and seals you should keep an eye out for. Make sure your pup doesn’t get seasick though, mopping up dog vomit with limited supplies could ruin the mood of the holiday.

Lantic Bay

This completely and utterly canine friendly beach is without a doubt one of Cornwall’s more outstanding coves. It’s also a hidden gem, as most people have no idea how to find it. Located somewhere between Fowey and Polperro, the easiest way to access the cove is by boat, although walking here is also a viable option. Even in the height of summer, the chances are your dog will have run of the beach.

Porth beach

The iconic beach where Walnut the Whippet, along with a number of locals and dog owners, famously took his final walk is Porth beach on the outskirts of Newquay. Please be aware there is a seasonal dog ban in place there. With many beaches to choose from you and your pooch are bound to have the holiday of a lifetime!

Image credit: Miles Sabin