It’s no secret that Cornwall boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, if not the world, and with over 100 beaches that are dog friendly all year round, Cornwall is a pretty exciting place if you have a wet nose and a wagging tail! To help you discover the best of them, we’ve listed our top ten dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.
1. Crantock Beach
Voted Best British Beach in 2014 by the Sunday Times, the National Trust Crantock Beach lies on the Gannel Estuary, forming part of the expanse of sand between Pentire and West Pentire headlands. Popular for families due to the golden sand, good surf suitable for all abilities and sheltered spots thanks to the looming dunes, Crantock also benefits from a ferry service from the beach to the Fern Pit Café. Also dog friendly, the Fern Pit offers stunning views over the bay and serves fresh seafood and light bites. Scale the dunes at the southern end of the beach and you’ll find the dog friendly C-Bay Café serving dishes from a Cornish and British-inspired menu, as well as iced smoothies, fresh coffee and homemade cakes.
2. Lantic Bay
If you and your four-legged best friend are up for the hike and would like to visit one of Cornwall’s little-known gems (even by locals), then Lantic Bay could be just the ticket. Park in the National Trust car park a mile east of Polruan and follow the marked footpath. You’ll enter a field and be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of this secluded cove as you walk over the brow of the hill. Dog friendly all year round, this is a trek with rewards for romantic souls and adventurous families alike. If you’re looking for a base from which to explore this beautiful stretch of coastline, check out Fowey Hall Hotel, a luxury family retreat overlooking the Fowey Estuary.
3. Fistral Beach
Fistral Beach perhaps needs no introductions for some – it’s quite simply Cornwall’s flagship beach. West facing, long and sandy, Fistral offers a fantastic day out for the whole family, including the one with four legs! Dog friendly all year round, you’ll find first class facilities including surf equipment and hire, surf schools, boutiques, showers, restaurants, cafes and a state of the art RNLI Lifeguard station. At the southern end, the pet friendly Bodhi’s offers the perfect location to enjoy stunning views while eating from the exciting, locally sourced menu. At the northern end, check out Cornwall’s iconic Headland Hotel and the C-View Bar & Terrace at the Carnmarth Hotel for cool cocktails and awesome Atlantic views.
4. Lusty Glaze
Nestled in a secluded, sheltered cove on the outskirts of Newquay, the privately owned Lusty Glaze is one of Cornwall’s finest family beaches. The North-west facing, picturesque setting also makes for the perfect romantic spot to watch the sunset over dinner in the charming and inviting restaurant on the beach. Dogs are well looked after at Lusty Glaze – they’re given their own comfy bed and free snacks at the table in the restaurant and are made to feel more than welcome when staying in the self-catering, beach-chic accommodation. Access to this unique, must-visit beach is via cliff steps.
5. Perranporth Beach
Perranporth Beach and neighbouring Penhale together form one of the largest stretches of sand on the North Coast at low tide. At one end of the beach you’ll find the quintessential beach town and high street backing on to the sand, making for easy access to the beach. Be sure to cool down with a handmade Cornish ice-cream from the dog friendly Pavillion Ice – they even serve lamb and roast beef favours for your four-legged friend! At the other end lies Penhale, a Special Area of Conservation and home to a buried church in the extensive network of sand dunes. In the middle of Perranporth Beach (quite literally!) is The Watering Hole, a dog friendly pub serving drinks and snacks all day. Please not that although dog friendly all year round, owners are asked to keep dogs on leads during July and August between 9 – 5pm.
6. Watergate Bay
With two miles of golden sand at low tide, hundreds of rock pools to explore and fantastic facilities, Watergate Bay is popular with surfers, kite surfers, families and beachgoers alike. Just a short drive from the county’s airport and dog friendly 365 days of the year, The Beach Hut at Watergate is the perfect beach-side hangout after you’ve worn out your pooch – and yourself. The Beach Hut serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is renowned for its epic Extreme Hot Chocolate. Alternatively, the hotel’s Living Space also welcomes dogs all year round and offers open-kitchen, relaxed dining in a wide-open, yet cosy space, including an outdoor decked terrace overlooking the bay.
7. Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay in South East Cornwall offers four miles of beautiful golden sand backed by sheer cliffs, stretching from Rame Head to Portwrinkle, and is still today regarded as one of Cornwall’s hidden gems. Consistent swell in the bay keeps surfers happy, often producing some huge waves to ride while families can enjoy exploring the amazing sea life in one of the beach’s many rock pools. We recommend watching the waves roll in from the vibrant and family friendly View Café, perched high up on the cliffs and offering stunning views of Eddystone Lighthouse and far west to Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula.
8. Porthcurnick Beach
Nestled in a small cove on the beautiful Roseland Peninsula, Porthcurnick is a sandy, south-facing and privately owned beach, open to the public all year round. There is limited parking available at the beach, but Porthcurnick can also be accessed on foot via the path and steps from the car park in Portscatho. You can’t visit Porthurnick without taking a pit-stop along the coastal path at The Hidden Hut, a rustic, outdoor beach café looking out over the bay. In the summer months, The Hidden Hut hosts the hugely popular pop-up feast nights. Just three miles inland in St Just Roseland, you’ll find Miss V’s beautiful tea gardens serving the finest and truly Cornish cream tea and vintage high tea. Welcoming dogs to join in the tea party too, Miss V’s also caters for weddings, events and other occasions.
9. Porthkidney Sands
Porthkidney Beach lies at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary, just two miles from the picturesque harbour town of St Ives. North facing and backed by sand dunes, Porthkidney is a vast expanse of sand where dogs are free to run wild. At low tide, the golden sand can stretch as far as a mile out to sea. Neighbouring Carbis Bay is just a short stroll away along the South West Coastal Path; dogs are required to be kept on leads on the footpath between St Uney Church and Porthkidney.
10. Holywell Bay
Just six miles outside of Newquay on the north Cornwall coast, Holywell Bay is a mile-long sandy beach with easy access from the beach car park. Dog friendly all year round, Holywell Bay’s clean and safe waters make it a popular beach among surfers, swimmers and families. At low tide, children can enjoy splashing around in the beach’s shallow streams. Holywell Bay is lifeguard patrolled during peak season.