A dog friendly guide to Padstow

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A dog friendly guide to Padstow

 

With its sweeping sandy beaches, miles of coastal trails, dog-friendly attractions and eateries, Padstow is an amazing destination to explore with your dog. 

 

You can book a dog-friendly holiday cottage in this sublime North Coast destination, and make the most of these dog-friendly things to do on the doorstep. 

 

Dog on a beach in Cornwall. Photo by Elisa Kennemer on Unsplash
Dog on a beach in Cornwall. Photo by Elisa Kennemer on Unsplash

 

Dog-Friendly Beaches in and around Padstow

Padstow is well endowed with beaches where your hound can make paw prints in the sand and enjoy waggy-tailed walks all year round. 

 

You don’t have to stray far west out of Padstow to make paw-prints on Tregirls (Harbour Cove), a wide, sandy beach nestled in the lee of Stepper Point. Backed by dunes, at low tide it meets the dreamy Hawker’s Cove, where gently-shelving sands stretch over 1.5 miles and boast gob-smacking views to Stepper Point, the Doom Bar and The Rumps. 

 

Cross the Camel Estuary (you can hop on the Black Tor ferry with the dog to the picturesque Porthilly Cove, which reveals an endless plateau of sand and shingle as the tide ebbs. Also on this side of the estuary is Daymer Bay, where you can skip along the beach and play ball at the water’s edge, or wear the dog out on a climb to the top of Brea Hill for a gull’s eye view of the scenery that inspired the late Poet Laureate John Betjeman.

 

Follow your nose west from Padstow and you’ll find a necklace of sandy bays lacing the coastline. Harlyn Bay is popular with surfers, swimmers, families and dog walkers, who congregate to refuel at the beachfront café. 

 

Cushioned from the wind by the Merope Rocks, Mother Ivey’s is an idyllic spot to play fetch beside the Caribbean-blue sea, and much less exposed than the rugged Booby’s Bay, where you can discover a shipwreck and rock pools at low tide. For pillowy sands to scamper along while you hunt for sea glass and paddle in the breakers, carry on to Constantine Bay

 

Dog-Friendly Walks in and around Padstow

Strike out along the coast path with your hound at your heels, or trot along estuary-edge trails into verdant countryside. Whether you want to step out onto on the white-sand beaches, stand on dramatic headlands, or ramble along woodland trails with your canine companion, take your pick from our top dog-friendly walks. 

 

Hop on the dog-friendly Black Tor ferry from Padstow to Rock, and follow the South West Coast Path on an easy and scenic stroll from Rock to Polzeath. At low tide, you can walk along the beach from Rock to Daymer Bay, but it’s worth scaling the grassy knoll of Brea Hill and detouring to the wonky-steepled St Enodoc Church. Let the dog run wild on Daymer Bay, before rejoining the well-kept path the rest of the way to Polzeath, paw-sing at Greenaway Beach for a spot of rock pooling. 


Explore sweeping countryside and wild coastline on the five-mile way-marked from Padstow to Gunver Head. When you reach the coast at Gunver Head, take in the views before bounding back along the coastline, past Butter Hole and the collapsed sea cave of the Pepper Hole. 

 

Visit Mother Ivey’s Bay and the iconic Trevose lighthouse on a six-mile route between Harlyn and Trevose Head. Stop on the dramatic Dinas Head to soak up the views and take a snapshot of you and the dog on your coastal adventure, then drop to the shoreline at Booby’s Bay and Constantine, before cutting back along the lanes to Harlyn. 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for seals and peregrine falcons from the wild terrain of The Rumps and Pentire Headland. You’ll need to put the dog on a lead as you cross farmland from Pentireglaze car park, before scampering along the wild and pristine beauty of the coastline, where you’ll discover an abundance of wildlife, wildflowers and the remains of an Iron Age fort.  

 

 

View of the River Camel from the Camel Trail in Cornwall
View of the River Camel from the Camel Trail in Cornwall

 

Dog-Friendly Attractions and Activities in and around Padstow

Being one of Cornwall’s top dog-friendly destinations, it’s no surprise that many of Padstow’s attractions and activities welcome your furry friends.

You could tackle some of the Camel Trail on foot with your dog, but why not up the pace and cycle along this along 18-miles of disused railway hemming the Camel Estuary? The most popular section is the easy 5.5 miles from Padstow to Wadebridge, but if you want to get away from the crowds, push on into the tree-lined valley and all the way to Bodmin Moor.

 

Castaway on a dog-friendly cruise from the harbour, for a tour of the North Cornish coastline onboard the Jubilee Queen. If you’re looking for an indoor attraction on dry land, dogs are welcome in the National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow, a conservational centre that’s working to boost the lobster population of Cornwall. Your canine companion is also welcome to join you on a stroll around the grounds of the magnificent 16th century Prideaux Place overlooking ancient deer park, where you can paws for Cornish cream tea on the terrace.

 

Padstow Harbour. Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash
Padstow Harbour. Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

 

Dog-Friendly Pubs and Restaurants in Padstow

It’s no secret that Padstow flies the flag as one of the UK’s top foodie destinations. And what’s more, this iconic harbour town boasts plenty of places to tuck into finger-licking dishes with your four-legged friend at your feet.

Whether you’ve been trotting along the Camel Trail or frolicking on the nearby beaches, the Mussel Box makes a sublime place to sample the taste of Cornwall beside the harbour. Just a pebble’s throw from the harbour, your dog can join you in the sunny conservatory of Ainsworth’s Italian-style Caffé Rojano, serving traditional Napoletana-style pizzas, fresh pasta and seasonal small plates. If you’re looking for an alfresco meal and the best views in town, take a seat on the sea-view terrace at Greens of Padstow. With wholesome menus served all day long, eye-popping views and a mini-golf course too, it’s a family and dog-friendly haven in the best spot in town. 

Bang on the quayside, The Old Custom House is the perfect pit-stop for a pint and pub grub with a dog in tow, while you watch the comings and goings of the fishing boats. Also offering a warm welcome with doggy beer for your four-legged friends is the harbour’s edge Shipwrights, once the haunt of local fishermen and port tradespeople.

 

 If you’re looking for somewhere classy to take your pooch to toast a day of coastal adventures, try Stein’s Ruby’s Bar, a stylish drinking snug where you can sample boutique gins and cocktails, including a Rick’s margarita. Just a few miles outside of Padstow, also part of the Stein stable, is The Cornish Arms, a great place to visit after a day on the beach or gallivanting over the moors with the dog.

 

Wake up to the call of gulls and the sun glinting off the sea, just a pebble’s throw from Padstow’s dog-friendly attractions. You won’t have to stray far from your Harbour Holiday Cottage to enjoy our favourite things to do with your dog in North Cornwall.