In this dog friendly destination guide, we help you plan your perfect pet friendly holiday to Cornwall. Inside you will find our hand-picked selection of the very best pet friendly hotels and accommodation where canine (and human) guests stay in style, pubs and restaurants where your pooch will be welcome, as well as stunning walks and dog friendly attractions to enjoy with your canine companion.
Dotted with hidden beaches and rocky coves, Cornwall is the classic British seaside holiday. But more than its plentiful sandy stretches and towering cliffs, there’s a certain feeling of magic about the place – with its connections to King Arthur and its abundance of local folklore about piskies and giants. Dog-walkers won’t be short of scenery to explore, with woody walks, unspoiled countryside and craggy moors all on offer, as well as several pup-friendly attractions. And we haven’t even mentioned the food – think freshly caught fish, and gelato with lashings of clotted cream.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re coming to Cornwall for its famous crags, then this cliff-top hotel is the perfect place to stay. There’s a pooch pamper pack to help settle dogs in, and pets are welcome to join their humans in all parts of the hotel except its fine-dining restaurant. Beautiful walks are just on your doorstep, as is the sandy shore.
Enjoy some of the finest Cornish fare at Rick and Jill Stein’s flagship restaurant and hotel. Most of the surrounding shops and restaurants are dog-friendly, and the hotel has organic dog treats on offer so your pup doesn’t feel left out of the foodie experience. Wake up to views across the Camel Estuary, before taking a 15-minute walk to the nearby Constantine Bay.
Housed in a renovated Georgian home, Artist Residence is a boutique dog friendly hotel in Penzance, close by some of Cornwall’s best spots. Bringing a slice of eccentric charm to the dreamy lanes of the historic town, the hotel has 22 eclectically decorated bedrooms and a cosy 3-bedroom cottage. This unique seaside retreat is perfectly situated for daily forays to the beaches, and the Isles of Scilly, a short stroll from the art deco lido and a sea view of the fairytale that is St Michael’s Mount. Feast on locally sourced meat and fish, before retiring to the terrace garden for a nightcap. A number of rooms are canine-friendly, and dogs are allowed throughout the hotel including in the bar and restaurant. If you’re planning a winter visit, get ready to cosy up next to the wood-burning stove.
Set in a dramatic sea view location on the Lizard Peninsula, Mullion Cove Hotel is a luxury dog friendly hotel in Cornwall that offers a breath-taking escape from the everyday. Enjoy crashing waves and spectacular views, inviting luxury rooms and apartments, plus amazing food and first-class service. Canine visitors to Mullion Cove Hotel don’t just get their own welcome pack, they also get to wind down in a dedicated doggie lounge. It’s well positioned for walks, close to dog-friendly beaches and the South West Coast Path – which wraps round all of Cornwall. Wildlife watchers might even spot a seal or two.
Enjoy sea views from The Old Coastguard’s palm-filled lawn, before wandering down to the fishing village of Mousehole. Every single room comes with a view, and dogs are also welcome – although banned from the beds. Beautiful coastal walks are steps away, and guests with cars are a short drive from the Minack open air theatre and Tate St Ives.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
This 18th century coaching inn – yes, it’s the same one Daphne du Maurier wrote about – is a taste of Cornwall’s smuggling past. Enjoy a frosty pint in the courtyard, before popping into the museum, where dogs are also welcome. Well-behaved pups might even get a treat from behind the bar.
If you’re on a coast walk, you might want to plan a stop off at this Newquay pizza joint. While you’re tucking into your 20” pizza, your pooch can enjoy their own pup-friendly slice, as well as a bowl of dog-friendly beer or wine.
History buffs will be into this 706-year-old inn, which sits by St Ives harbour. There’s plenty of atmosphere to soak up, as well as views across the water and huge platters filled with locally caught seafood.
Take a trip to the coastal village of Polperro and make the most of this cosy spot, which sits between two smugglers cottages. There’s harbour scenery and a huge selection of local ales, and it’s close enough to the beach to get a good view of the sunset at the end of the day.
Once the favourite drinking spot of pirates and smugglers – and situated on one of the oldest streets in Penzance – The Turks Head has bags of character. Dogs are welcome, and humans are sure to enjoy its fresh seafood and home-cooked Sunday roasts.
THE BEST DOG WALKS
Your dog can bound along the dunes at this sandy stretch – which was voted Best British Beach in 2013. The nearby Cornishman pub also welcomes dogs, giving your tired out pooch somewhere to rest his paws afterwards.
WHEAL COATES TIN MINING WALK
Soak up the sea views on this coastal walk, which also goes past abandoned tin mine buildings. This one’s a rocky walk, so it’s a good choice for dogs with plenty of energy to burn.
PORTHERAS COVE BEACH
If you want to get away from the tourists, this one’s something of a local secret. The sandy cove is dog-friendly, and seals are a common sight here. A good choice for small dogs that only need a short runaround.
GRIBBIN HEAD WALK
Daphne du Maurier fans will enjoy this four-mile walk, set in the landscape that inspired the author. Dogs won’t be bored either, with the ramble taking in beaches, coves, woods and grassland.
WHITSAND BAY CIRCULAR WALK
Ready for a big walk? There’s six and a half miles to explore on this route, which meanders along the coast, past ancient routes and through heathland.
DOG FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS
Introduce your (on-lead) dogs to seals, penguins and sea lions at this sanctuary, which rescues injured animals and rehabilitates them ready to be released back to the wild.
Dogs are welcome at this witchy museum, which has a small but significant collection of spell-casting artefacts. Afterwards, explore the tiny surrounding village of Boscastle.
This Georgian mansion has both woodland walks and manicured lawns, both of which are open to four-legged visitors. Visit in March, when the flowers are in full bloom, and don’t miss Pencarrow Houses’s Iron Age fort, palm house and grotto.
Take your dog on a tour of this impressive Tudor fortress, built by Henry VIII to defend the Cornish coast from invasion. They’re welcome to pad around the castle itself, as long as they’re on-lead, before basking in the sun at the outdoor cafe.
Pooches that like to sit and watch the world go by will enjoy this vintage steam train, which takes a 13-mile tour around the Cornish countryside. Dogs are barred from the buffet car, so be sure to bring some snacks along.
WHAT TO PACK
Cornwall offers some of the finest beaches in the UK, so pack your bucket and spade and swimming costume if you’re going on a summer trip. The Gulf Stream means the area benefits from mild weather and has the sunniest climate in the UK – making shorts and sunglasses a sure thing. Cornwall is also known for its great surf, so bring a board and wetsuit if you want to catch some waves. Visitors that want to ramble across the craggy moors and track along Cornwall’s rocky clifftops will definitely need walking boots. Winters aren’t quite as bitter as some parts of the UK, but weather can be wet and windy, so pack your waterproof.
If your accommodation doesn’t provide a dog bed and you don’t want to lug your dog’s own bed with you, consider a dog travel bed which can be easily rolled up in your luggage and doubles a great spot for a snooze on the pub floor. For eating and drinking on-the-go, dog travel bags and bowls are a great option.
WHEN TO GO
Cornwall is busiest during the UK’s school holidays, so avoid late July to early September if you want to skip the summer crowds. The weather starts warming up in May and June, although long sunny days on the beach aren’t guaranteed. It’s also worth bearing in mind that May marks the start of dog bans on many of the beaches. Some of the best surfing weather arrives in autumn, with bigger waves and warmer water. Winter isn’t cold enough to deter enthusiastic walkers, although October and November often bring storms.
Have you visited Cornwall with your dog? What are some of your favourite spots?