27th July 2022
Bringing your dog to the coast is great for all sorts of reasons, the obvious one being the beach – a pup paradise. However, there’s plenty more for you and your four-legged friend to see and do when staying by the sea. When you stay in one of our paw-friendly holiday lets, you can explore all sorts of dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall. From the Eden Project to National Trust gardens, here’s some of our favourites.
Home to extensive woodland and park trails nudging the River Fal, Trelissick is high on the list of great days out with dogs. With mile-upon-mile of rolling green, woodland trails and a sheltered beach for splashing around, there are plenty of walks to choose from – with a map in the car park so you can choose your terrain and how far you want to roam. Refuel with coffee and cake in the dog-friendly courtyard café, and have a nose in the arts and craft gallery. If you’re feeling energetic and want to explore further, hop on the King Harry Ferry and float over the Roseland Peninsula.
Image credit: National Trust
Since Cornwall’s biggest visitor attraction opened its doors to dogs, they can join you on adventures along miles of pathways around the tiered gardens, admire the iconic biomes (from the outside) and join you for treats in the undercover eating area. There are a few ground rules to follow – you will need to keep your dog on a lead, and with you, during your visit (you can’t just tether them to a tree and head inside the biomes). However, if you want to take your dog back to your vehicle for part of your visit, there are car parking spaces with a shelter for dogs, one with a water tap.
Image credit: Matt Jessop via Visit Cornwall
Bound beneath canopies of sub-tropical foliage that tumble to the edge of the Helford Estuary, where there’s a divine sandy beach perfect for picnics, stone skimming and throwing sticks out into the calm waters for dogs to retrieve. Families with dogs will love this natural playground, and back at the top of the valley (through the bamboo jungle and the giant Gunnera passage), the Planters Café and picnic area welcomes dogs. There’s water bowls and complimentary poop bags too.
Dogs are welcome on one of the UK’s most scenic train journeys from St Erth to St Ives. During the short journey you won’t be able to peel your eyes from the panoramic seascapes, so make sure you seat yourself on the right hand side of the train on the way out to get the best views. Once you’ve done a twirl of St Ives and had a pasty and ice cream by the harbour, you can follow the South West Coast Path an easy mile back to Carbis Bay, before hopping back onboard the train to your starting point. Or, if you and your pup have the stamina, head west from St Ives and hike the six miles to Zennor, looking out for the legendary mermaid and finishing with a well-deserved pint in the Tinner’s Arms.
If you don’t mind keeping your dog on a lead, a day out at the Sea Life Trust’s seal sanctuary is a fascinating day out for families and wildlife lovers. Enjoy pretty walks along the Helford Estuary, pause for picnics with a view, and get up close to all sorts of animals including seals, otters, sea lions, penguins, ponies, goats and sheep. The main purpose of the sanctuary is to rehabilitate seals rescued around the Cornish coastline, and you can witness rescued seal pups dipping and diving their way to recovery, as well as learn what to do if you find a seal stranded on the beach.
The UK’s only China Clay museum isn’t only home to hands-on exhibits and audio-visual displays delving into Cornwall’s fascinating history. It’s also home to 26 acres of dog-friendly country park, with woodland walks, nature trails and Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel. Once the dog’s been walked and the kids have run off steam on the commando-style assault course, relax for a taste of the county’s local produce served in the Victorian remains of china clay setting tank.
Image credit: Wheal Martyn
Bring your imagination and your dog (on a lead) across the new footbridge to the 13th century ruins of Tintagel Castle, perched on a wave-lashed granite promontory on Cornwall’s north coast. Once you’ve come face-to-face with a bronze sculpture inspired by the legend of King Arthur, it’s impossible not to get swept away by local myths that link Tintagel to his birth. Back on the beach you can hear your echo in Merlin’s Cave and tuck into locally sourced food and drink at the beach café, before following the footpath back to the Arthurian-themed village. If you want to stretch your legs further, strike out along the coast path to the rugged Trebarwith Strand beach.
If you need any more temptation to bring your pup to Cornwall, read our top five reasons to bring your dog on holiday.