Dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall

Beaches, Coastal, Pet friendly, Activity, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Sarah Pring on 20th March 2021

Dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall

We've selected ten of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall that both you and your pup are guaranteed to love - places where you can race along the sand and jump through waves to your hearts' content. And if you want to know all that you can get up to in Cornwall with your hound at your feet, why not have a read through our dog-friendly Cornwall blog to find out what else is on offer across the county?

From rugged, remote beaches to popular family favourites, we're sure that our list of beaches for holidaying hounds will have something to set tails a wagging for sure. To give yourself time to explore a few of the dog-friendly beaches in our guide, why not book yourself into one of our dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall? Browse our collection today to find your perfect beach backdrop!

Dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall 

Crantock & Holywell

Crantock and Holywell

These two vast sandy dog-friendly beaches are surrounded by fantastic coastal paths and walkways. Also, they are only a stone’s throw from Newquay. The untouched beaches stretch for miles and offer views of exposed rugged headlands.

Managed by the National Trust with facilities that include seasonal WCs and a small cafe/gift shop, Crantock and Holywell are well-equipped with all you need for a perfect day out at the beach. There are also caves and rock pools to discover with your kids and dogs in tow. Bring a picnic along to enjoy this family favourite to the maximum.

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

Dog restrictions? No

Stay nearby: Fistral Breeze | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog

Crantock cottages


Porthkidney Beach

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. Also known 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.

If you are feeling extra athletic, then walk the entire beach in a northerly direction until you reach Godrevy. There is a fantastic cafe in the Godrevy car park but just a bit further on you will find a seal haulout and gorgeous views of Godrevy Lighthouse and St Ives Bay. Walk back along the South West Coast Path which runs parallel to the dunes for the majority of this stretch: it's breathtaking.

Local information: A footpath winds its way from the road through the sand dunes, so expect the ground to be uneven. As the beach isn’t the most accessible, there are few facilities, thus prompting the crowds to flock to neighbouring beaches and leaving a largely deserted stretch of sand for dog walkers to enjoy.

Dog restrictions? No

Stay nearby: Anchor Loft | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 2 dogs

Hayle cottages

Mexico Towans

This is well and truly one of Cornwall’s gems. The 4 miles of glorious white sands stretch from the mouth of the Hayle Estuary to the stunning lighthouse at Godrevy Point. Backed by fantastic sand dunes, known as The ‘Towans’, it’s a great setting for a long evening walk or a little holiday exploration for the family. Definitely one of the best dog beaches in Cornwall.

Mexico Towans offers astounding views across St Ives Bay and over the Atlantic Ocean; it's a great lesser-known beach to spread out on, indulge in some sun worship or reading. Kids and dogs will love exploring the shallows and the rock pools that emerge from the sea at low tide.

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

Dog restrictions? None - dogs welcome all year round. Daytime restrictions between certain areas in summer as above.

Stay nearby: Pippin Cottage | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog

Hayle cottages

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, Bedruthan Steps beach is over 1 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 for stepping stones.

Managed by the National Trust, this is a fantastic beach if you love a climb. The descent/ascent to and from the beach is very narrow and steep, but the journey is well worth the scramble if you are confident and your dog is fit and nimble. There are still walks galore along the tops of the cliffs with views of the beach from above if you are worried about taking the stairs. It's definitely a very quiet beach because achieving the approach takes some concentration and effort - many opt for an easier-won beach.

Local information: The beach is accessed by a very steep set of narrow steps that 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. After a stroll on the beach, you’ll be well in need of a little refreshment at the National Trust café at Carnewas Cliffs.

Dog restrictions: No

Stay nearby: Padstow Wagon House | Sleeps: 6 guests plus 2 dogs

Mawgan Porth cottages


Perranporth Beach

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, 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. 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.

Perranporth is an exceptional choice for fun with the dog as there are also walks above the beach too; the South West Coast Path is fun to follow as you will encounter amazing views, and the old ruins of army bases and tin mines. It's an area of astonishing and stark beauty. The tidal range at Perranporth is dramatic, so at high tide, the sea comes in right up to the car park wall, yet at low tide, it could take you as much as 15 minutes to reach the water. It's one of the most popular beaches outside Newquay in North Cornwall. 

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

Dog restrictions: No. However, dogs welcome all year round but must be kept on leads during July and August from 10am - 5pm.

Stay nearby: Blue Bay | Sleeps: 8 guests plus 2 dogs

Perranporth cottages

Great British Coast

Lantic Bay

Lantic Bay

If you and your dog 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. Looe is full of interesting shops and has a cool beach of its own where dogs are welcome in the off-season. Looe has a busy harbour where you and your dog can enjoy a seaside walk with no restrictions at all. 

Local information: Park up in the National Trust car park a mile east from Polruan and follow a well-marked footpath that 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.

Dog restrictions: No

Stay nearby: Fairlight House | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 2 dogs

Polruan cottages

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay

Stretching 3 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. It's close to Millbrook and a short ferry ride to Plymouth via Torpoint.

Whitsand Bay is also a gem for scuba divers and is home to the UK's only artificial reef, the sunken wreck of the HMS Scylla, not that your dog can go scuba diving with you! This is a great wild spot for those who prefer a lesser-known beach to play and explore on with the hound.

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

Dog restrictions: No

Stay nearby: Ty Hanner | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog

Whitsand Bay cottages

Porthcurno Beach

One of the top Cornish beaches in terms of absolute beauty, Porthcurno 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 make sure you don't get cut off by the tide. 

Whilst you are in Porthcurno you'll find that the outdoor stone amphitheatre, The Minack, is close by on the clifftop. Dogs are welcome during open hours (not including performances) for a wander around this curious architectural wonder that offers wonderful views of the beach below. There are also good facilities at the theatre too.

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

Dog restrictions: Yes - seasonal dog ban from Easter Sunday to 1st October.

Stay nearby: Burnt Toast Cottage | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 2 dogs

Porthcurno cottages

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.

Praa Sands can offer a whole week's worth of beach entertainment if you are addicted to lying down on golden sands or playing games of fetch with Fido in an area with lots and lots of room to play. Praa Sands is nice and close to Penzance and Marazion for views of St Michaels Mount and the beautiful bay too.

Local information: Car park close to the beach with a short walk to the sands. Free car parking, lifeguard cover during the summer, beach/surf shop, pub on the seafront and general stores nearby.

Dog restrictions: Yes. There is a seasonal dog ban from Easter Sunday to 1st October.

Stay nearby: Carnsew - St Erth | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog

Praa Sands cottages

Gyllyngvase Beach

Gyllyngvase Beach

Just 1 mile from the centre of Falmouth, this 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.

Gyllyngvase Beach is one of the only beaches in Cornwall with a long promenade to walk along, which makes it a perfect beach destination for elderly dogs and puppies, or if you have small children with you. The views to Pendennis Castle and the western coast of the Lizard are memorable too. There is a great pub and diner on the beach with a deck where you can enjoy a spot of lunch or a drink with your dog!

Location information: 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. 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.

Dog restrictions: Yes, there is a seasonal dog ban from Easter Sunday to 1st October.

Stay nearby: An Dyji | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 2 dogs

Falmouth cottages

Cornwall's dog-friendly beaches on a map

More inspiration

Cornwall has so much to offer on an unforgettable holiday, whether you want to comb the sands with your four-legged best friend or explore the myriad coastal walks, stopping in at charming fishing villages on the way. Find more inspiration for your next getaway with these guides.

Stay with us in Cornwall

Explore Cornwall with your dog by staying in one of our fantastic dog-friendly cottages. We have over 500 dog-friendly properties in Cornwall to choose from, many of which are close to some of the UK's most breathtaking beaches. Take a look at our full collection below to find your perfect pup-friendly property. 

Dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.