The Best Dog Friendly Coastal Walks In Cornwall

Our pick of the best dog friendly walking spots on the Cornish coast...

Natalie Millar-Partidge
Natalie Millar-Partidge

Escape to the Cornish coast, with your canine pal in tow, and experience some of the most breath-taking coastal walks in Cornwall - North and South.

The coastal paths are lined with blossoming gorse and boast miles of sandy beaches, surrounded by captivating sea views.

NORTH CORNWALL

The North coast of Cornwall flourishes during the summer months, offering some of the most exhilarating spots to explore with your four-legged friend; a walker’s paradise, boasting sweeping bays and dramatic cliff walks, with uninterrupted sea views for miles. Escape the crowds and discover the rugged beauty of the North Cornish coast.

Daymer Bay

Daymer Bay boasts enviable views across the Camel Estuary and Atlantic Ocean; perfectly positioned for exploring the South West Coastal Path with its wild, rugged landscape, peppered with sandy beaches and coves. The dramatic rock-face is fused with spectacular beaches, with its huge expanse of low-tidal sands, dramatic sculptural rocks and slated skimming stones, it offers the ideal walk for you and your four-legged friend, with plenty of soft sand to run and play.

Walking Routes

Head east from Daymer, and you will find yourself wandering across Greenaway, a pebble beach with many inlets and rock pools at low tide – Partridge loves to swim in these clear, calm pools, before getting stuck into some tasty seaweed! From here, take the coastal path towards Polzeath, one of the most popular surfing meccas of Cornwall.  At low tide continue walking around the headland to fashionable Rock, where you can walk the sandy stretches or hop on the foot-ferry across to the super dog-friendly fishing village of Padstow. 

Details...
Café/Restaurant
Sandy Beach
Car Park - £
Details...
  • Dog Friendly Beach All Year
  • £ – Car Park 

Watergate Bay - Bedruthen Steps

We have loved walking at Watergate Bay for as long as I can remember, the exclusivity of the location, with 180-degrees of spectacular uninterrupted sea views, perfect for dog walkers, as well as those who enjoy a range of water sports. 

Watergate is a part of the north Cornish coast that Partridge and I never tire of exploring; it is a walkers delight as well as a bucket-and-spade holiday retreat, but it’s the expansive sands with their low tides that really captivate, the sense of pure joy, running out into the sand, playing in the shallows, and exploring the caves.

Walking Routes

The five-mile walk from Watergate Bay to Bedruthen Steps is a must; picking up the South West Coast Path, heading to Mawgan Porth, take a break at the stylish glass-fronted Scarlet Hotel, and gaze across Mawgan Porth Beach with a tipple-of-choice – in warmer months, lounge on the terrace with something cold – before heading onto Bedruthen Steps, where you can discover the most incredible rock formations.

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South West Coast Path
Sandy Beach
Car Park - £
Café/Restaurant
Accommodation
Details...
  • Dog Friendly Beach All Year
  • £ – Car Park 
  • Café/Restaurant
  • Toilets

Padstow – Camel Estuary

We absolutely adore Padstow! It has to be our favourite Cornish town, with so many incredible foodie destinations, as well as bars, galleries, artist-studios and stunning walks. The ancient fishing port is home to beautiful sweeping sands, the Camel Estuary and the Cornish Coast Path. 

The town sits on the west bank of the River Camel – five-miles north of Wadebridge and ten-miles north of Bodmin – providing miles of coastal walks for you and your canine pal to enjoy.

Walking Routes

For exhilarating views across to Rock and Daymer Bay, trek up to the war memorial or hire bikes from the Padstow Cycle Hire, and peddle the six-mile trail along the Camel Estuary, with your four-legged friend, along for the ride in a trailer.

There are also plenty of circular walks from Padstow, either via Crugmeer, Trevone and Stepper Point (seven miles) or for a shorter option, via Hawker’s Cove (four miles). Another popular route, that we particularly enjoy with Partridge – taking in some wonderful coastal scenery along the way – is Padstow to Polzeath, via Rock and St Enodoc Church (around three-and-a-half miles). 

For the days you don’t fancy venturing far, a ten-minute walk will take you to the beach where you and your hound can pick up the passenger ferry across to Rock, running at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Details...
Café/Restaurant
Beaches
Accommodation
Car Parks - £
Shops
Details...
  • £ – Car Park 
  • Café/Restaurant
  • Beaches
  • Accommodation
  • Shops

SOUTH CORNWALL

The serine South coast offers some of the most breathtaking views – with inimitable coastal hues and patterns of the landscape; often described as Cornwall’s answer to the Caribbean, it provides an abundance of dog friendly beaches, sandy coves and sculptural rock-faces; a plethora of sky-meets-sea, waiting for you and your canine pal to discover.

Porthkidney Sands, Lelant – St Ives

A more recent discovery for us, and a dreamy walking spot to enjoy with your furry sidekick is Porthkidney Beach, Lelant, with its expansive white sands and steep dunes with maze-like paths, it makes a great spot to play chase, welcoming dogs all year round.

Walking Routes

From St Uny’s Church at Lelant, take the winding Coastal Path down through the dunes, with views across to St Ives and Hayle. If you’re feeling up for a good jaunt, pick up the Coastal Path and walk four-miles into St Ives, where you can continue further along the six-mile stretch to Zennor or take in the scenes from Porthminster Beach across to St Ives Harbour – stop at the Porthminster Café, the perfect space to take in the vistas, over some locally-caught sea fare. 

Just around the headland is Porthmeor Beach – welcoming dogs between 15th May and 30th September – where you will find Porthmeor Café, providing a welcoming spot to kick back with a beverage, whilst watching the surfers riding the waves – Porthmeor is home to the St Ives Surf School, if you fancy taking a lesson.

Details...
Beaches
Car Parks - £
Details...
  • Dog Friendly Beach All Year
  • £ – Car Park 

Mullion Cove – Poldu Café, Gunwalloe Beach and the Lizard

We love Mullion Cove throughout the seasons, but during the summer months, the colours of the sea, set against the serpentine rock are something else – so epically vivid, it really is a dreamy spot, not to mention, every dogs dream location.

Walking Routes

Take the Coastal Path up from the historic harbour, and walk along the impressive cliff tops of the Lizard Peninsula, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

Head west on the Coast Path to Poldhu Beach Café in under an hour, a great stop-off for refreshments, with a further 30-minutes taking you to Gunwalloe Beach. At Gunwalloe, seek out the Halzephron Inn – awarded Cornwall’s most dog friendly pub 2019 – for generous plates of seasonal fare, stunning views, or a warming open-fire, depending on the season. 

A more strenuous two-hour trek south, will take you to the Lizard – the most southerly point of the UK – and the picturesque Kynance Cove – welcoming dogs outside of the ban that runs from 1st July to 31st August, between 10am and 6pm.

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Café/Restaurant
Accommodation
Car Park
South West Coast Path
Details...
  • Dog Friendly All Year
  • Car Park 
  • Café/Restaurant
  • Toilets
  • South West Coast Path

Talland Bay - Polperro

Talland Bay is one of those destinations that beckons your return; a small and serine bay, nestled midway between Looe and Polperro, it is in principle made up of two beaches – one sand and one shingle, with access to the South West Coast Path. An all-year-round dog friendly beach, Talland Bay provides an enviable position to explore the South Cornish coast. 

With its many rock pools to discover, and a sandy beach that is great for swimming, it offers one of the most picturesque dog-friendly beaches in the area. Talland Bay beach is just one of a number of the South Coast’s welcoming coves where you can walk (or swim) with your dog throughout the year. Other great spots for salty sea dogs are Gorran Haven, Hannafore (West Looe), Porthcurnick and Lantic Bay.

Walking Routes

We love to take Partridge walking along the Coastal Path, 45-minutes to the charming fishing village of Polperro, taking in the breathtaking cliff top views along the way, before stopping at the Three Pilchards for a bite to eat – the Sunday roast is sure to hit the spot after the steep trek. If you fancy taking in a little culture on your travels, dogs are welcome at the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing or for your seafaring hounds, why not get out on the water with Fowey River Hire.

Details...
Café/Restaurant
Beaches
South West Coast Path
Car Parks - £
Accommodation
Details...
  • Dog Friendly Beaches
  • £ – Car Park 
  • Café/Restaurants
  • South West Coast Path
  • Accommodation

Whether you choose to explore the North or South coast, the abundance of inspiring dog friendly walking spots won’t disappoint, just grab your four-legged friend, and let them lead you on a journey of endless coastal discovery.

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