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Dog friendly Cornwall - our top five activities for you and your dog

We live, work and play in Cornwall. We are often asked, or volunteer information on our favourite dog friendly activities that we enjoy across the county. We usually try to combine a good walk, an activity, and of course food and drink on the way to make a lovely day out.

Due to Covid 19 and summer dog beach restrictions, please check with each destination (follow the links) to ensure they are open, for current opening times / restrictions, or to see if they are running a booking system, to avoid disappointment.

 Here are our current top five, in no particular order:

1.  Sennen Cove to Lands End, and if you are energetic, onwards to Nanjizel Beach 

 Sennen Cove, TR19 7DF 

Dramatic coastal scenery, landmark & beach

A visit to Lands End is a popular activity for many people visiting the county for the first time. Instead of driving there directly, we prefer walking from Sennen Cove. Drive through the village to the little car park by the Harbour. Which is also very convenient for a visit to the Roundhouse and Capstan Gallery I think it’s too small to be dog friendly, but definitely worth a visit if you can share dog minding duties. It's a showcase for works by many popular and established Cornish artists and crafts people. There are also some quirky tea rooms and cafes down this end of the village that are worth sampling!

But, back to the walk. At the Southern end of the car park you can access directly onto the South West Coast Path. It’s about 30 min walk with spectacular cliff and ocean views with both wildlife and historical interest. On a clear day you can see the Scilly Isles 28 miles away. At Lands End there are facilities and refreshments. You can vary the length and difficulty of the walk to suit your needs as there are a couple of options for returning to Sennen. If you fancy something more strenuous,  walk on the 3 miles to the dog friendly (all year) Nanjizel Beach. As  it’s only accessible by foot (no facilities), it’s usually pretty quiet with lots of caves to explore and a good spot for seal watching, particularly round the corner at Zawn Reeth. But remember you will need to return on the same route. Dog restrictions apply on Sennen Cove in the summer, however are permitted on Gwynver beach at the northern end of the bay. These beaches are beautiful, and the waters can be crystal clear. A favourite for surfers as the swells roll in from the Atlantic, so please check local information for tides, safety advice and lifeguard service information.

2.  The Tamar Trails 

Near Gunnislake, PL19 8JE

Forestry, river valley, adventure and heritage. 

Located very close to us, right on the Cornwall and Devon border, with access on the Devon side in the beautiful Tamar Valley AONB area is The Tamar Trails. There are 25km of trails, created as part of the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project that have opened up parts of the Tamar Valley that were previously not accessible to the public.

The trails offer a variety of circular walks and cycle rides on well-maintained paths, old railway lines through forestry and redundant historic mine workings. Very family and dog friendly.  You can walk or cycle the full trial to the historic port and copper mine at Morwellham. The teens may prefer their own adventure at The Tamar Trails Centre  rope’s course or to rent bikes, there are also facilities and a café here. 

3.  Treyarnon Bay to Trevose Head   

Treyarnon Bay, PL28 8JR
Beach, cliff top circular walk.

This is one of our favourite coastal dog walks, as it offers such diversity and the whole area makes such an effort to be dog friendly. We usually park at Treyarnon Bay and walk around the cliff,  past Treyarnon Youth Hostel, which is the perfect stop for a coffee, or something stronger - especially for the beautiful sun sets, onto the wide expanse of Constantine Bay - dog friendly all year. Take the steps/ cliff path at the far end of the beach around the rock formations of Booby’s Bay, towards Dinas Head for sheer cliffs and a huge round hole – the dramatic result of a cave top collapse.

From here you will see the lighthouse jutting into the Atlantic, this is Trevose Head and commands views for miles along the coast from Pendeen Watch in the west to Hartland Point to the east. Take the steps up to the road that lead to The Trevose lighthouse, owned by Trinity House, and walk westwards back along the road, its like walking the spine of the headland, we usually turn right off the road, onto the path (car park, golf club)  to Boobies Bay / Constantine for our return to Treyarnon. A total of about 12k.  You are spoilt for choice for eateries and pubs in nearby St Merryn,  Harlyn Bay and Padstow, many of which are dog friendly or have ample outdoor eating areas.

4.  The Duchy  of Cornwall Nursery and walk to Restormel Castle 

 Near Lostwithial, PL22 0HW 
Shopping, exploring, walking and eating. 

The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery is located at the heart of the Duchy of Cornwall Estate. As a garden nursery it is renown, it also boasts a fabulous gift shop and a restaurant and café that serves delicious meals and snacks with views across the beautiful valley towards Restormel Castle. The great 13th-century circular shell-keep of Restormel still encloses the principal rooms of the castle in remarkably good condition.  

From the Nursery you can take the Restormel Walking Trail to Restormel Castle (English Heritage) The walk is about 1.8km and the castle is also dog friendly if you want to explore.

Alternatively, you are only a few miles away from exploring the historic parkland of Lanhydrock House  (National Trust) or  Cardinham Woods (Forestry England) both offer a variety of walking and cycling trails of varying lengths.

5.  Helford, Frenchman’s Creek circular walk 

Helford, TR12 6JX

Picturesque village, wooded valleys and sheltered river creeks

A lovely 3 mile circular walk that will take you through Daphne Du Maurier's Frenchman’s Creek.  In the spring, the estuary banks are swathed in bluebells and wild garlic, followed by meadow flowers in summer time. The walk starts in Helford Village, not far from the renown dog friendly Shipwrights Arms pub on the river bank. The walk takes you on to Penarvon Cove, Frenchman’s Creek (made famous after Daphne Du Maurier spent her honeymoon here and of course the book by the same name) and Kestle Barton bringing you back into Helford Village.

 Please take care

Walking in Cornwall is beautiful, but there can be dangers for dogs. Poisonous Adders are widespread on clifftops and Heathlands and a number of dogs, chasing birds and bunnies, are seriously injured or fall to their death each year from cliff tops.  So, please keep your dog on a lead and to the path.

We are all custodians of the countryside, and all users have a responsibility to protect our natural environment. Please follow the Countryside Code to keep the environment safe for farm animals, wildlife, yourselves and other users.


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