Dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall

Days out, Pet friendly

Man running with dog on beach

We've selected a top ten of the best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall that both you and your pooch are guaranteed to love.  Not only that, our brand new dog-friendly app, The Dog Spot Beach Guide is now available to download, so you can find the best dog-friendly beaches all over the UK!

Beaches are one thing, but there's lots more you can do in Cornwall with a hound at foot - have a read through our dog-friendly Cornwall blog to find out what else is on offer across the county. 

Crantock and Holywell

Crantock Beach

These two vast sandy beaches that allow dogs are surrounded by fantastic coastal paths and walkways and are only a stone’s throw from Newquay. The untouched beaches stretch for miles and offer views of exposed rugged headlands.

Access: Flat but uneven coastal paths and walkways to the beaches, prone to a little mud at times. Parking in both Crantock and Holywell.

Facilities: Baby-changing facilities and cafe at Holywell and pubs in both Crantock and Holywell villages. Fern Pit café is found at Crantock beach, along with toilets in the car park a shop and post office in the village.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round.

Porthkidney Beach

Porthkidney

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a foreign country at Porthkidney Beach. At low tide, the waves reveal perfect white sand, backed by rolling sand dunes. Known also as ‘happy dog beach’ you can be confident that your pooch will love stretching his legs on the sand and paddling his paws in the water. The beach is between Hayle and Carbis Bay and just 4 miles from the popular coastal resort of St Ives.

Access: A footpath winds its way from the road through the sand dunes, so expect the ground to be uneven.

Facilities: As the beach isn’t the most accessible, there are few facilities, thus prompting the crowds to flock to neighbouring beaches, leaving a largely deserted stretch of sand for dog walkers to enjoy.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round.

Mexico Towans

Mexico Towans

This is well and truly one of Cornwall’s gems. The four miles of glorious white sand stretch from the mouth of the Hayle Estuary to the stunning lighthouse at Godrevy Point. Backed by fantastic sand dunes, known as ‘Towans’, it’s a great setting for a long evening walk or a little holiday exploring for the family. Definitely one of the best dog beaches in Cornwall.

Access:  Dogs are welcome on Mexico Towans through the year, but from 8am to 7pm between May and September, dogs aren't permitted between Hayle Beach and Black Cliff.

Facilities: Mexico Towans itself has no facilities but in Hayle, you’ll find toilets next to the Lifesaving club, pubs, restaurants, cafés, shops and a car park.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round. Daytime restrictions between certain areas in summer as above.

Bedruthan Steps

Bedruthan Steps

You’ll no doubt be in awe of this beautiful stretch of sand, one of the best dog-friendly beaches in North Cornwall. At low tide, it is over a mile long and is scattered with intriguing rock stacks and hidden spaces that your dog will love to explore. The beach gains its name from the story of Bedruthan, a giant who was said to have placed the rocks here and used them as stepping stones.

Access: The beach is accessed by a very steep set of narrow steps which have been cut into the sheer cliff face and maintained by the National Trust. Take extreme care, especially with little ones and make sure your pooch doesn’t take a wrong footing. Bedruthan Steps is close to Padstow and Wadebridge.

Facilities: After a stroll on the beach, you’ll be well in need of a little refreshment at the National Trust café at Carnewas Cliffs.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round.

Perranporth Beach

Perranporth

Not only is Perranporth beach dog-friendly but it has been recommended for its excellent water quality by the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide for 2014, making it very popular for surfing, snorkelling and swimming. When the tide’s out, treat your dog to a proper run along the sand and walk up the beach for two miles to Cligger Point with St Agnes beyond. If you’ve got little ones in tow, hiding in the sand dunes and peeking in rock pools will provide hours of fun - one of our favourite beaches that allow dogs.

Access: Overall access to the beach is excellent, with a car park right at the back with disabled access. 

Facilities: The beach café, The Watering Hole serves drinks and snacks during peak season but with the town just a short stroll behind the beach, you’ll have a whole range of cafés and restaurants to choose from.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round but must be kept on leads during July and August from 10am-5pm.

Lantic Bay

Lantic Bay

If you and your pooch are up for a bit of a stroll, then we promise you will be rewarded by the beautiful scenery of Lantic Bay. This remote shingle dog-friendly beach in South Cornwall is backed by lush green cliffs and to get there you have to follow a walking route. For dog walkers, this is a great way to keep your four-legged friend happy and Lantic Bay is another very romantic spot for couples. Don't forget to visit the fishing village of Looe, 10 miles to the east of Lantic Bay, a favourite holiday destination since Victorian times.

Access:  Park up in the National Trust car park a mile east from Polruan and follow a well-marked footpath which will take you through a field and over the hill, before setting eyes on the beautiful cove. Enjoy the view as you stroll for about 20 minutes before reaching the beach.

Facilities: None.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round.

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay

Stretching three miles from Rame Head to Porthwrinkle, this hidden gem is another of Cornwall's most beautiful. With plenty of room to accommodate families, surfers and dog walkers, this stretch of sand which encompasses several different beaches is a great spot for all. Close to Millbrook and a short ferry ride to Plymouth via Torpoint.

Access: The beach is reached via steep paths and steps so take care if you're a little unsteady on your feet. 

Facilities: High upon the cliff above the beach, is View Café while down beside the sand at Tregonhawke Beach you'll find Eddystone Café, ideal for a quick snack.

Any dog restrictions? None, dogs welcome all year round.

Porthcurno Beach

Porthcurno beach

One of the top Cornish beaches in terms of absolute beauty, this one does have some dog restrictions during high season. With its white sands and sparkling aquamarine waters backed by rugged cliffs, this is one if you love a scenic backdrop to your day at the beach. At low tide, the sands stretch all the way rounds to Pedn Vounder which is equally as beautiful - just makes sure you don't get cut off by the tide. 

Access: Large car park above the beach, about 200 yards away, with steep steps down. It leads down to a wide footpath which slopes down to the shore.

Facilities: Free car parking, lifeguard cover during the summer, café across the road from the car park, toilets and dog poo bins.

Any dog restrictions? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

Praa Sands

Praa Sands

Set on the South Cornwall coast between Penzance and Helston, this swathe of golden sand is a great spot for families. With lots of facilities, as well as a surf and beach shop, it makes the perfect day out for children who love to paddle and build sandcastles as well as those who like to get out on the water. The surf is pretty impressive, especially for a south coast beach and for that reason, you'll see lots of surfers, but go a little bit further away from the car park and you'll find a quiet spot where you can get away from the crowds.

Access: Car park close to the beach with a short walk to the sands. 

Facilities: Free car parking, lifeguard cover during the summer, beach/surf shop, pub on the seafront and general stores nearby.

Any dog restrictions? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

Gyllyngvase Beach

Gyllyngvase Beach

Just a mile from Falmouth, his wide bay of sand is the most popular of Falmouth’s two beaches (the other, Swanpool, is further south and also worth a visit). In the summer it’s popular with families due to its sheltered position and clear sparkling sea. In winter, the only other people you’ll possibly see during your walks along the beach are surfers and dog walkers, making it a great off-season destination with your dog.

Access: Level access to the beach along with disabled toilets make this a superbly accessible beach. You can even hire a sand chair from the cafe.

Facilities: Toilets by the beach and lifeguard cover in the summer. Beachside showers. Café open all year round for hot and cold food, drinks and ice creams.

Any dog restrictions? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

While this is just a handful of Cornwall’s stunning dog-friendly beaches, we hope that we have helped you and your pooch discover somewhere new. If you have any suggestions of dog-friendly beaches you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you via Facebook. If Cornwall's beaches have inspired you to visit the rest of the UK's wonderful beaches, check out our blog of the top ten dog-friendly beaches in the UK.

If it’s dog-friendly days out or dog-friendly pubs you’d like to find out about, we’ve got that covered too and if you need to find a cottage, we have over 300 dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall.

For more dog-friendly inspiration and to download our dog-friendly beach app, visit our the Dog Spot.

Posted by Sarah on 7th February 2020