If you’re looking for the ideal place to soak up some sunshine and get your paws wet in the ocean, the dog-friendly beaches of Cornwall are the pawfect place to explore.
For adventure-seeking pups, there’s the beautifully rugged, wild coastline with crashing waves, rockpools teeming with aquatic life and plenty of sandy expanse to explore. If your pooch enjoys a more sedate life and prefers a snooze to a scramble in the surf then the Cornish seaside also offers gentle bays near sleepy villages with plenty of dog-friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants nearby to take a quick pawstop post-adventure. Here’s our pick of Cornwall’s top 10 dog-friendly beaches., all year-round. Don’t forget your drying coat and Havaianas!
Crantock, near Newquay, North Cornwall
Dog-friendly Crantock beach is a stunning expanse of golden sand with plenty of surfside adventures to have with fido. Whether you fancy a refreshing dip in the ocean, playtime in the rolling dunes that surround the bay or a gentle wander down one of the many flower-filled footpaths nearby, your pooch will have a fabulous time on this unspoilt and serene National Trust beach. There’s no cafe at the beach, so it’s the pawfect opportunity to enjoy a beachside picnic or take a short stroll to Crantock village and fuel up at the dog-friendly C-Bay Cafe.
Constantine Bay, near Padstow, North Cornwall
Picture postcard, dog-friendly Constantine Bay lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has been recognised by the Marine Conservation Society for its excellent water quality, so it’s the perfect place to catch a wave with fido or enjoy nosing around the rock pools at the resident marine life. Watch out for crab claws! It’s one of our pet-friendly guru, Rigby’s favourite spots, with plenty of sand dunes and headland walks to explore and enjoy the salt air.
Bedruthan Steps, near Mawgan Porth, North Cornwall
Bedruthan Steps isn’t just Instagram-worthy with its dramatic rocky outcrops, it’s a great place for some canine cavorts. Fido will love sniffing out the nooks and crannies. It’s ideal for sensory pups, with lots of different sights, smells and textures to enjoy, from the sweeping sandy beach to the hardy coastal flowers clinging to the rocks. Accessed down steep stairs, you’ll need a short lead to make sure fido stays safely by your side as you head to the beach. If you’re looking for somewhere to put your paws up after your adventures, the Bedruthan Hotel & Spa is close-by. Whether you fancy some respite in the spa or a good night’s sleep, this Scandi-meets-Cornwall hotel is a haven.
Harlyn Bay, near Padstow, North Cornwall
Harlyn Bay is a sheltered cove that offers a more serene experience than some of the wilder west-facing beaches. The tranquil waters are perfect for swimming, so paddling pups will be pleased. Water-shy pooches won’t be bored either, they’ll enjoy scampering over golden sands, deep dunes and getting wet noses in rock pools. Padstow is just a short hop away, so pair a visit to this beach with one of dog-lover Rick Stein’s venues. The cosy, Rick Stein’s Cafe or chic St Petroc’s Hotel both make ideal seaside sleeping pawstops.
Lusty Glaze, Newquay, North Cornwall
For the ultimate beachside retreat, the secluded Lusty Glaze cove is a seaside treat for human and hound alike. If you’re in the mood for some excitement, there’s an adventure centre with activities such as climbing, surfing and other watersports. But the sandy beach and gentle waves make this ideal for relaxation too, particularly when paired with the Lusty Glaze Restaurant. Soak up some Ibiza vibes while you share a meal with fido – who gets his own menu from midday. If you’re lucky enough to catch one of the summer Sundowner Sessions you can watch the night fall over the ocean to a backdrop of live music. Pawfect!
Hannafore Beach, Looe, South Cornwall
One of the few dog-friendly beaches near the fishing town of Looe, dog-friendly Hannafore Beach offers something a little different to the traditional Cornish beach. The bay is shingle, not sandy, but there’s a wealth of rock pools to explore. Fido will meet all manner of marine life lurking in these tidal pools. With water and seaweed to nose around in and you might even catch a glimpse of the reef in low tide.
Fistral Beach, Newquay, North Cornwall
Fistral is one of the best known dog-friendly beaches in the whole of Cornwall. The sweeping golden sands and buzzy atmosphere offers oceanside adventures for human and hound. Great for sunset, Fistral is the heart of the UK surfing scene, so why not take fido out on a board to catch a wave? If your pup is a little less adventurous it’s still a great place to watch the action and soak up some sunshine. Be sure to stop in at Rick Stein’s Fistral. This relaxed beachside eatery serves up British takeaway favourites with an inimitable Rick Stein flair.
Par Sands Beach, near St Austell, South Cornwall
Dog-friendly Par Sands is a wide, south-facing, sandy beach backed by golden dunes that your pup will love scrambling across. The true gem of this beautiful bay is the nearby small lake that offers a refreshing dip after splashing around in the surf. There’s also plenty of winding walks through the dunes, but wrap up warm. There’s little shelter from the south-west, but the excitement of watching the local kite surfers makes this worth the trip alone.
Watergate Bay, North Cornwall
Dog-friendly Watergate Bay is wonderful for social pups. Family-friendly and packed full of surfers in high season it’s a great place to get tails wagging and meet new canine chums. This large beach, with its sweeping shore and vibrant atmosphere make it well worth visiting for a walk and a wade. Tie in a stay beachside chic Watergate Bay Hotel and you’ll have the bay on your doorstep. Or, explore the neighbouring dog-friendly Mawgan Porth beach and stay at The Scarlet, be warned though you may never want to leave! Although on a smaller scale, Mawgan Porth, shares the same golden sands, but not the crowds and even has a stream to wash one’s paws post-walk.
Lantic Bay, near Fowey, South Cornwall
Fancy venturing off the beaten path? Head to dog-friendly Lantic Bay and you’ll be rewarded with a Cornish paradise. This quiet bay with near white sand and turquoise water is a beach-lover’s dream and ideal for some paddling with your pooch. It’s pawfectly secluded, backed by high, verdant cliffs that add even more beauty to this serene cove. There’s a whole host of nooks and crannies for humans and their hounds to explore, just keep an eye out for the tides. Accessed via a steep path, keep fido on his lead while you make your way to the beach.
We hope you’re off to make waves with your pup and enjoy these beachy delights. Do you have your own pawsome adventure spot to share with us? We’d love to hear about your favourite Cornish beaches.
For more on dog-friendly Cornwall, visit our dog-friendly Cornwall pages.