Best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall


Cornish coastlines are in a league of their own – vast sandy landscapes framed by rugged cliffs and winding paths leading to tiny coves with the bluest seas. When you’ve got a four-legged best friend and adventure partner, the only things better than beaches are dog-friendly beaches. We’ve rounded up five of the best year-round dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall that are perfect for frisbee throwing and leaving happy pawprints in the sand. 

Watergate Bay 

Perhaps one of Cornwall’s most loved dog-friendly beaches, this postcard-perfect stretch of coastline feels like an expanse of calm between two dramatic cliffs, with Trevelgue Head to the south and Stem Point in the north. Visit at low tide and you’ll be rewarded with two miles of unbroken sand where your dog can frolic themselves into exhaustion and you can drink in the glorious ocean views. When you need to refuel, you and your dog will receive equally warm welcomes at The Beach Hut café in the Watergate Bay Hotel, the perfect spot for tucking into a hearty lunch while gazing out at the shoreline. 

Stay at: The Watergate Bay Hotel, a relaxed dog-friendly hotel with spectacular ocean views and excellent restaurants. 

Lantic Bay, Polperro 

Getting to this beach is part of the adventure, so it’s a good thing your dog loves walkies. Once you’ve defeated the maze of narrow country lanes, there’s a mile-long walk followed by a steep descent to the bay itself. Your hard work will be rewarded with an enchanting landscape peppered with sea beet and sea cabbage, and plenty of space for your pooch to run free. The white sands and turquoise waters stretch for miles, so you’ll want to come prepared if you plan on staying a while. If you’ve got anything left in the tank after climbing back up, the Polruan to Polperro walk is a lovely route that takes in spectacular scenery full of wildflowers and unbroken sea views. 

Stay at: Talland Bay Hotel, Looe, a beautiful hotel with views of hills and sea and a fantastic cocktail bar. 

Harlyn Bay, Padstow 

A sheltered, white sand dog-friendly beach near Padstow on Cornwall’s north coast. This spacious patch of coastline benefits from a tide that only comes part way up, making it accessible for dog walks at any time. The fascinating variations of rocky shoreline, sand dunes and tide pools make this an exciting playground for dogs and humans alike. Harlyn Bay also has a reputation as one of the safest beaches in Cornwall, so it’s a great place for a paddle or a surf. If you feel like extending your walk beyond the beach, a 20-minute stroll to Mother Ivey’s Bay and Trevose Head is a great choice, with amazing views towards Newquay.  

Stay at: Gurney House at Woodlands Country House, Padstow, a lovely self-catering annexe with views down to the sea and welcoming hosts at the neighbouring B&B. 

Photo courtesy of @cornishrudy

Trebarwith Strand, Tintagel 

Just over two miles from Tintagel and accessible via a picturesque valley, this sandy beach becomes completely engulfed during high tide, so you’ll want to plan your trip beforehand. It’s on the smaller side as Cornish beaches go, but still has plenty of space for sandy frolicking and an abundance of nooks and crannies for you and your pooch to explore – keep an eye out for crab, shrimp and small fish hiding in the rock pools. There’s a friendly café open during high season, and lifeguard cover from May to September if you fancy a paddle. If you’ve worked up a thirst, a short stroll will take you to the fascinating Port William cove, which has the remains of a harbour and a dog-friendly pub of the same name.  

Stay at: Upper & Lower Tregudda, Port Isaac, self-catering apartments near the coast, with wonderful balconies and contemporary interiors. 

Photo courtesy of @_siobhan_mc__

Porthkidney Beach, St Ives 

One of Cornwall’s more sprawling dog-friendly beaches, energetic pooches should want for nothing here. During low tide, the beach can stretch almost a mile out to sea. It’s overlooked by pretty sand dunes and a golf club, and its western side, Hawk’s Point, is a popular spot for surfing and other watersports. At the lowest tide you can set off on a picturesque walk along the South West Coast Path towards Carbis Bay, taking in spectacular ocean views along the way. 

Stay at: Shellseekers, St Ives, a quaint fisherman’s cottage in the heart of St Ives, two minutes from Bamaluz Beach 

Written by
Claire Maguire 

Claire combines her twin loves of writing and travel to create inspiring blog content. Rudi combines his twin loves of baths and chasing squirrels to excuse getting as muddy as possible whenever he can. He hates missing out, so finding dog-friendly places is an absolute must. Claire loves a place with a stunning interior and is thankful Rudi is well-behaved enough to leave it the way they find it, unless there are slippers to be eaten.


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