Enjoy doggy days out at these top Cornish towns
Boasting bountiful beaches, coastal trails, rolling moors and winding woodland, teamed with an abundance of attractions, eateries and accommodation welcoming sandy paws, it’s no surprise that Cornwall comes up trumps as one of the top UK destinations for a dog-friendly holiday.
Featured as one of the top 10 dog-friendly destinations in the UK by the RAC, St Ives really does have it all for dog lovers: sweeping sandy beaches, wild moorland and coastal trails, delectable dog-friendly eateries and awesome all-weather attractions that welcome well-behaved hounds.
Surprisingly, for such a tourist hotspot, most of the beaches remain open to dogs all year round, including much of the three-mile St Ives Bay just outside of town. And even when Hayle Towans, Gwithian and Godrevy do impose seasonal restrictions, there’s plenty of space to detour into the marram-knitted dunes.
In town itself, low-tide Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk offer enough space for a game of fetch, before paw-sing for a pint at The Sloop Inn – one of Cornwall’s oldest pubs that sits beside the historic harbour. You can choose from a sprinkling of paw-friendly spots to eat and drink with your dog – such as The Queens, the Rum and Crab Shack, and the sophisticated Silco – or head out of town to The Gurnard’s Head.
Also boasting paw-friendly trails across coast and countryside, dog-friendly dining, a cluster of attractions welcoming canine chums and, of course, glorious beaches, Padstow is next on our list as one of the most dog-friendly destinations in Cornwall.
And what with plenty of chic seaside cottages where your pooch can stay too, you really don’t need a car to enjoy this dog-friendly paradise. Simply fling open the door of your harbour-side abode to scamper along the coast path to Stepper Point, trot into the valley along the 18-mile Camel Trail and learn about the life cycle of lobsters at the National Lobster Hatchery – where dogs are welcome, too.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you work up an appetite to hit the extraordinary number of paw-friendly places to eat. Take in the views at Greens of Padstow, graze on freshly-farmed mussels at The Mussel Box, sip cocktails at Ruby’s Bar or try one of Ainsworth’s famous eateries – The Mariners or Caffé Rojano. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a dog-friendly boat trip from the harbour with Padstow Sea Life Safaris.
For creative pups and their owners, Falmouth is our pick of places to go in Cornwall. As well as plenty of beaches within strolling distance of this vibrant, artsy harbour town, coastal paths take you to paw-some viewpoints and an array of dog-friendly attractions, including the dog-friendly Pendennis Castle.
While you’ll find a few doggy restrictions on the main beaches in summer, why not sniff out the sub-tropical wonderlands of Falmouth’s gardens for days out with the dog? Queen Mary Gardens behind the pearly crescent of Gyllyngvase beach, Fox Rosehill Gardens in the heart of town, Trebah Garden on the Helford and the National Trust’s Trelissick on the banks of the River Fal.
Dogs go free aboard all the Fal River Ferries from Falmouth harbour, so you can even get to the latter by boat, as well as castaway to all sorts of other waterside havens including St Mawes and Flushing.
There’s no shortage of places to tuck into finger-licking dishes with your four-legged friend at your feet either – with the stylish Gylly Beach Cafe, the laid-back Working Boat and The Stable all boasting sea views, and the ever-popular Meat Locker serving burgers in the heart of town.
Renowned as the surf capital of Cornwall, it’s lesser known that Newquay is, in fact, one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the county, too. Its stunning town beaches welcome hounds all year round, as do the surrounding beaches of Fistral, Crantock, Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth. There really is no other Cornish town flaunting so many miles of wave-lashed sandy shoreline linked by stunning coastal trails beckoning dog walkers on day-long adventures.
Don’t fret about packing supplies either – there are plenty of paw-friendly places to eat and drink on route. The much-loved Lewinnick Lodge peers out along the coastline from Pentire Headland, Seaspray welcomes dogs and surfers for hearty breakfasts, cake and coffee overlooking the waves at South Fistral, and The Colonial is the paw-fect spot to watch storms roll in on Tolcarne beach.
Of course, there are also great dog-friendly attractions too, including the Lappa Valley heritage railway and the Cornwall Aviation heritage centre.
If you prefer moorland romps to coastal stomps, head to Bodmin on the northernmost boundaries of Cornwall – a fantastic destination for active doggies. Within a few miles of the broad expanses of Bodmin Moor and the leafy depths of Cardinham Woods, it offers the most irresistible playground filled with paths and trails, scents and sights.
As an added incentive, it also boasts some great dog-friendly attractions too, including the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, which departs from the town, and Pencarrow House and Gardens, which is just a few miles away.
These are just some of the amazing towns to visit in Cornwall for a dog-friendly holiday. So why not check out Dog Friendly Retreat’s extensive collection of cottages and holiday homes in Cornwall and book the paw-fect pad for your next holiday?