With a wealth of world-class coastline, there’s plenty of fun to be had for all the family, including the dog! And, with our guide to the best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall, there’s no need to leave your furry pals behind on your next trip to the county.

There are some seasonal bans imposed on many of the larger beaches, but with hidden coves, quiet stretches of sand and secret shorelines, there’s still an array of dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall that permit dogs all year round. 

Cornwall’s seasonal bans are usually enforced between 10am and 6pm from the 1st of July to the 31st of August on selected beaches, however, some beaches have longer bans which are enforced between 10am and 6pm from 15th of May to the 30th of September. To find a full list of where bans apply, check the Cornwall Council website.

But, whether you’re looking for windy wintry walks or sun-baked summer strolls, despite the seasonal bans, there’s still plenty of places for you to take your dog for a fantastic day out at the beach. 

Top dog friendly beaches

Dog-friendly beaches in St Ives

Around St Ives Bay there are plenty of beaches perfect for a day out with your four-legged friend. The stretch of stunning sands south of Gwithian Towans out to the Black Cliffs along the Hayle Riviera welcomes dogs across three miles of open golden sands.

Or for unspoilt beaches try a day out with your pup at Peter’s Point, Upton Towans and Mexico Towans. Linked by a coastal path that winds across windswept sand dunes, expect oodles of space and beautifully sublime surroundings as you look out over the renowned Godrevy Lighthouse.

Head across the river, and you’ll find Porthkidney Beach nestled between the Hayle Estuary and Hawke’s Point, just a brief coastal walk or drive from Carbis Bay. Offering a wide expanse of north-facing sands, it’s easy to see how artist John Miller found his muse amongst such soul-stirring seascapes.

family with dog on beach in cornwall

Dog-friendly beaches in West Cornwall 

Beyond the ‘secret’ Bamaluz Beach (that only reveals itself at low tide) between St Ives Harbour and Porthgwidden Beach, holidayers can head further west for more dog-friendly beaches.

Past wild moorlands and craggy cliff lines, Portheras Cove provides a wonderfully secluded spot between Morvah and Pendeen, while Priest’s Cove at Cape Cornwall presents a picturesque, end-of-the-world locale, perfect for a picnic or barbecue flanked by spellbinding sunsets.

Similarly striking, Gwenver Beach near Land’s End offers not just a surfer’s paradise, but dog owner’s dream. While it’s not the most accessible beach, Sennen Cove’s concealed neighbour is well worth the cliff-hugging walk down, providing the type of tranquil, rugged charm usually reserved for exclusive island escapes.

Along the western Atlantic edge at Lands End, you’ll discover a captivating collection of exotic-looking coves, including the crystalline waters of Nanjizel and the wildly romantic Pedn Vounder at Porthcurno just past the legendary Minack Theatre. Though it’s best to seek the advice of locals and Lifeguards on the best access routes for this tidal beach.

Venture further westward toward Penzance and you’ll find Roskilly Beach, comprised of a scenic rocky outcrop under the cliff road between Mousehole and Newlyn. Newlyn itself is home to the pebbly and dog-friendly shores of Wherrytown Beach by Newlyn Art Gallery.

The softly curving Mounts Bay sweeps from Newlyn past Marazion, home to the iconic St Michael’s Mount along with the dog welcoming Penzance Promenade beaches (tide dependent) and the sandy shallows of Long Rock Beach.

dog on sandy beach in Cornwall

Dog-friendly beaches on Cornwall’s South coast

Travel further eastward to the south coast of Cornwall and you’ll uncover a world of wave-lashed coves, exposed headlands and meandering pathways. Head just beyond Marazion and you’ll uncover the delights of Prussia Cove, where the gorgeously jagged landscape offers everything from sheltered shores to fields of wildflowers.

The West Cornwall coastline continues east toward Porthleven, where Loe Bar Beach – complete with Cornwall’s largest natural freshwater lake – permits dogs to freely roam, steer clear of the water here though as it’s unsafe for swimming.

The county’s most southerly and uber pretty point is The Lizard peninsula, which provides a selection of dog-friendly locations including the magnificent Mullion Cove, Polpoer Cove and Pentreath.

couple on beach at sunset walking dogs

If beaches aren’t your thing, then there are plenty of other wonderful activities and dog-friendly days out in Cornwall from historic houses to gorgeous gardens and wonderful walks. 

Dog-friendly gardens in Cornwall

Even the Eden Project has recently opened its doors to dogs, proving that Cornwall’s gardens aren’t just for green-fingered visitors and families. Home to extensive woodland and park trails nudging the River Fal, Trelissick Garden, near Truro, tops our list of garden dog-friendly days out. However, closer to home we like to visit Trengwainton, near Penzance, a National Trust property replete with picnic meadows, a stream garden and paths wending through exotic plants.

Also close to Penzance is Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, with its wonderful mix of wide-open spaces, woodland, sub-tropical plants and art installations inspired by nature. Explore beneath towering canopies, climb grassy knolls to witness stunning views over Mounts Bay, and tuck into homemade cakes and Cornish produce at the Lime Tree Café.

Walks with dog-friendly pit stops

Nothing beats an invigorating stroll in the woods or on the coast, stopping to refuel during a dog-friendly day out in a pub or café. Our favourite coast path walk, if you’re up for a serious workout, is the six-mile stretch from St Ives to Zennor. Once you reach the 13th-century Tinner’s Arms, tucked behind the wild, azure seascape that inspired the legend of the mermaid of Zennor, you’ll have earned a rest by the fire or outside overlooking the wild, shaggy moors.

For a more sheltered, shorter walk, we love Tehidy Country Park, the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Its 9 miles of well-marked trails are the perfect place to walk energetic dogs in every season, and there’s a lakeside café serving cakes and snacks. Note that dogs are not permitted in the designated wildlife area. 

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a fantastic collection of luxury dog-friendly properties within the St Ives area of West Cornwall. Many of our dog-friendly properties feature enclosed gardens and nearby beaches and dogs stay for free throughout the year. View our dog-friendly home from homes to find the perfect coastal retreat.

By: Tony Townsend On:27th January 2017
Categories:Blog,Dog Friendly,Holiday Ideas

Secret Beaches and Coves

2nd February 2016

With miles upon miles of Atlantic-lashed shores and a plethora of paradise coves, it’s little wonder that Cornwall’s glorious beaches lure the holiday crowds. Yet with more than 250 miles of coastline to explore, there are plenty of lesser-known beaches where you can escape the bucket-and-spade brigades and bag your own patch of pearly sands. These are some of our favourite secret beaches and coves in Cornwall:

Porthkidney Sands, nr St Ives

Flanked by Carbis Bay to the west and Hayle Towans to the east, the less accessible Porthkidney Sands remains crowd-free even in the height of summer. Boasting a mile of empty, dune-backed sands (that’s actually quite easy to reach from Lelant), it’s often the domain of just a handful of surfers and smug dog walkers. Dubbed ‘Happy Dog Beach’ by the locals, it’s just two miles along the South West Coast Path from the hub of St Ives.

Chapel Porth, nr Porthtowan

It’s no surprise that surfers and families flock to Porthtowan, what with its smile of sand pummelled by Atlantic breakers and the convenience of beachside parking, cafés and surf shops. However, you don’t have to forego beachside parking to enjoy its wilder, more remote neighbour, Chapel Porth, with its sugary sands, sea caves and staggering cliffs atop which dramatic engine houses peer out to sea.

Porth Chapel Beach

Durgan, Mawnan Smith

Part of the magic of this shingle and sand beach on the banks of the Helford is getting to it through Glendurgan Garden. Once you’ve bashed through bamboo groves, got lost in the cherry laurel maze and been dwarfed by giant Gunnera plants, it’s hard to believe your eyes when you eventually emerge on the shores of a charming beach that’s perfect for skimming stones and building sandcastles.

Pedn Vounder, nr Porthcurno

With white sands and iridescent-blue seas backed by towering cliffs and the famous Logan Rock, this paradise cove has many reasons for keeping the crowds at bay: Firstly it’s a low-tide beach and, except on a spring tide when you can walk from neighbouring Porthcurno, it’s accessible only via knee-wobbling cliff path. And secondly it’s, unofficially, a naturist beach.

Gwenver, nr Sennen

Stroll east along the beach from Sennen Cove and eventually you’ll set foot on the more rugged, more secluded Gwenver, where serious beach lovers sprawl on sugar-white sands, scramble over wave-hewn boulders and dip in unforgiving waves. Fortunately, unless you’ve strayed from Sennen on a low tide, the steep cliff staircase is a good deterrent for anyone not utterly serious about beach life.

Duckpool, nr Bude

At the foot on the Coombe Valley – north of Bude’s busier beaches – awaits a wilder, more desolate coastline where Jurassic-looking ridges yawn towards the border of Devon. And it is here that you will discover the rugged little treasure of Duckpool, where vast cliffs collapse into a sand and boulder beach and there are no tourist trappings except for an ice cream van on the sunniest days.

Vault Beach, Gorran Haven

A good ten-minute stroll from any parking and with no beachside amenities to spoil its beauty, Vault Beach attracts naturists and sea swimmers looking for some peace and quiet. Sheltered by Dodman Point on Cornwall’s south coast, here the fine shingle shelves into piercing blue waters that are usually calm and hospitable to all levels of swimmers.

Trebarwith Strand, nr Port Isaac

Beyond Polzeath, North Cornwall isn’t renowned for its beaches ¬– instead a wild and rugged coastline prevails until you reach Bude. However, the few sandy coves hiding amongst staggering cliffs along this section of coast are some of Cornwall’s wildest. And Trebarwith Strand is one of these gems – a domain of caves, rock pools and sand made for barefoot explorations with crabbing nets and buckets

Perranuthnoe, nr Marazion

Sandwiched between Praa Sands and Marazion, the sheltered cove of Perranuthnoe bags all the beauty of its neighbours, without inviting the crowds to enjoy it. From the cliffs you can gaze out to the magical sight of St Michael’s Mount, whilst the beach itself boasts the same excellent swimming and surf conditions as nearby Praa.

Bedruthan Steps, nr Newquay

With its mussel-clad towers of granite rising from the sand, Bedruthan Steps attracts plenty of camera-swinging visitors to snap its beauty from the cliff tops. However, many are deterred from the beach by the 140-odd steps to reach it, so you can enjoy the gob-smacking scenery from crowd-free pearly sands punctuated by rockpools teeming with marine life.

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Discover all of Cornwall’s secret coves when you stay in one of Carbis Bays Holidays’ luxury cottages. We’ve got a huge range of family holiday homes, boutique boltholes and stylish self-catering properties around St Ives and Carbis Bay.

By: Amanda O'Toole On:2nd February 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas

Big ones, small ones, sandy ones and shingle ones… for a small town St Ives is well endowed with beautiful beaches that lure bathers, bucket and spade brigades and surfers. What with lifeguards on duty throughout the holidays, pods of dolphins passing through and seals popping their whiskered noses above azure waters, it’s no wonder that St Ives beaches are rated as some of the best in the UK. Choose your patch of golden sand from sheltered coves to surf-lashed shores:

Porthminster

Take the train into St Ives and disembark right beside the perfect crescent of white sand that is Porthminster beach. Build sandcastles, make footprints along the shoreline and dip your toes in calm, clear waters. Ideal for families, Porthminster boasts excellent facilities including beach huts for hire, a beach kiosk and café, toilets and a putting green. There is also the eminent Porthminster Café serving world-class food bang-on-the-beach, and it’s a short stroll across the pearly sands to reach the hub of town.

No dogs between Easter and October.

Porthminster beach in Summer. Lots of visitors to St Ives are enjoying the sun. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthminster beach in Summer

Harbour

Backed by chic boutiques, art galleries, beach bars, arcades and gourmet eateries, the tidal, sandy-bottomed harbour beach is a stunning sun trap in the heart of town. Tuck into pasties, fish and chips and ice cream with your toes in the sand, and watch local fishing boats landing fresh seafood ready to be flipped into the frying pans of local restaurants. Just watch out for sea gulls swooping down to share your picnic!

Dogs permitted only between 7pm and 8am during summer months.

Harbour beach, St Ives, Cornwall. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Harbour beach

Porthgwidden

Our favourite of St Ives’ enviable necklace of beaches, Porthgwidden is tucked into the nook of The Island, gazing across the bay towards Godrevy Lighthouse. This idyllic sandy cove is the perfect place for swimming, launching a kayak, basking in the morning sunshine and lounging around in one of the beach huts for hire. Another spot that beckons families, not only is there loos and a snack kiosk, you can also keep an eye on the kids building sandcastles from the terrace of the Porthgwidden Café – one of St Ives’ foodie hotspots.

No dogs between Easter and October

Looking down on Porthgwidden beach

Porthmeor

More exposed to the Atlantic swell, Porthmeor is where the surfers flock to ride peeling waves. Learn from the experts at St Ives Surf School and hire any equipment you need, or simply rent a deck chair and watch friends and family hit the waves from your front row pew. As well as luring surfers and sunbathers, Porthmeor draws the arty crowds from the beachside Tate St Ives; after all, with blood-red sunsets, rich coastal hues and such mesmerising scenery, it’s no surprise that world-class artists have been coming here for many years. Soak up the scenery and watch the sunset over tapas and delectable local cuisine at the Porthmeor Beach Café.

Facilities include toilets and beach huts. No dogs between Easter and October.

Surf board on Porthmeor beach with The Island as a back drop. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthmeor beach

Carbis Bay

The next stop along the branch line from St Ives, or a short stroll along the South West Coast Path, Carbis Bay’s sweeping sands beckon families seeking safe bathing, Blue Flag water quality, and bucket and spade territory. Beachside facilities include parking, toilets and a café, making this an ideal place to visit with young children. If you’re looking for a dash of ocean adventure, you can castaway on a kayak, SUP or Hawaiian canoe and explore the stunning coastline or, if you fancy swanky seaside dining or a sunset cocktail simply retreat to The Beach Club or chill out on the heated deck at The Shack. Alternatively, take a stroll over Hawke’s Point to neighbouring Porthkidney Sands, or follow the coast path back into the hub of St Ives.

Dogs permitted from 5am–8am during the summer months.

A deserted Carbis Bay beach with it's glorious golden sands and azure waters. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Carbis Bay beach

Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk

These two small, tidal coves are the only beaches in St Ives that allow unrestricted access to dogs year-round. Bamaluz is located between the Harbour and Porthgwidden (in front of the St Ives Museum), and Lambeth Walk is located behind the Lifeboat station. At low tide Lambeth Walk extends all the way to the lighthouse at the end of Smeaton’s Pier, except for the main harbour area during the restricted daytime hours.

Lambeth Walk, one of St Ives beaches. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Lambeth Walk beach

St Ives’ stunning beaches are just footsteps Carbis Bays Holidays’ luxury holiday cottages. Bag a boutique bolthole beside the pearly sands of Porthminster Beach or perhaps a chic self-catering cottage overlooking Carbis Bay.

If you wish to explore the coast further afield, check out our recommendations for secret beaches and coves, or discover even more dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:5th May 2015
Categories:Local Area,Things to Do

Discover Hawke’s Point

11th March 2015

Just half a mile to the east of Carbis Bay, tucked away from the arty hub of St Ives, awaits the quiet, rugged beauty of Hawkes Point. Here you can pad barefoot along Porthkidney Sands, catch perfect little waves and climb the miners’ steps etched into the cliffs.

When you’re staying in and around Carbis Bay, it’s only natural to be lured towards the tourist hotspot of St Ives. However, head in the opposite direction – towards the headland at the eastern end of Carbis Bay – and within 10 minutes you’ll be greeted by the wilder, more tranquil beauty of Hawke’s Point and Porthkidney Sands.

From the South West Coast Path the view over Porthkidney Sands and a necklace of beaches stretching towards Godrevy Lighthouse, is one that many artists have captured on canvas. One of the most popular artists of the area is John Miller, whose paintings of this scenery have become famous worldwide.

Porthkidney Sands taken from Hawke's Point, Carbis Bay. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthkidney Sands from Hawke’s Point

It’s thought that Hawke’s Point may have got its name from a Mr Hawke, a smallholder who lived here and used to collect flotsam and jetsam from the beach. You can still climb down the old miners’ steps he used at the southern end of the beach, that were carved in the 19th century when a small copper and tin mine was in operation here.

The steep cliff stairway isn’t the only way to access the mile-long beach: slide down marram-topped dunes from the coast path, follow a short track from St Uny Church in Lelant, or – on very low tides – simply pad around the foot of the cliffs from Carbis Bay. Dubbed ‘Happy Dog Beach’ by the locals, the crowd-free Porthkidney Sands is indeed where hounds can frolic year-round – unlike on many of St Ives’ busier beaches where dogs are banned during peak season.

Happy retriever on the beach in Cornwall. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Happy retriever on Porthkidney Sands

It’s not just walkers and their four-legged friends that enjoy the lack of crowds; surfers come here as well, to catch perfect little peelers that form in the shelter of the cliffs. If you don’t fancy hitting the waves, you’ll no doubt be tempted to dip your toes in the emerald sea, look for unusual for shells or even collect driftwood after a winter storm. Originally called ‘Porth Kinnis’, meaning ‘firewood beach’, its name suggests that Porthkidney was historically a haunt of wreckers long before Mr Hawke’s days, and it’s still a good spot for combing the shoreline to this day.

Checking out the surf on one of Cornwall's beautiful beaches. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Checking out the surf at Porthkidney Sands

Once you reach the banks of Hayle estuary the beach peters out and the calmer waters attract an abundance of birdlife. Follow the footpath up to St Uny Church (past the oldest links course in the UK), and you can carry on along the coast path that skirts the estuary, or pick up the St Michael’s Way – an ancient Pilgrimage route to Mount’s Bay. However, if you’d prefer to get back to the art, food and culture of St Ives, it’s only a 3.5-mile walk back along the South West Coast Path. Or you can take the easy route on the coastal railway from Lelant Saltings, soaking up the views that inspired John Miller’s artwork from your window seat.

Carbis Bay Holidays’ Sea Urchin Apartments boast immense views of Porthkidney Sands and are footsteps from the South West Coast Path at Hawkes Point.  There are also wide selection of beautiful dog friendly holiday cottages in St Ives.     

By: Tony Townsend On:11th March 2015
Categories:Local Area

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