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Muddy Guide: Dog friendly beaches Cornwall

Don't bury your head in the sand! Heading to the beach with your pooch? You'll be needing our guide to the Duchy's best dog friendly beaches - and which ones to avoid.

Cornwall has more than 200 beaches along 400 miles of coastline, from sandy bays to shingle coves, but not all are dog friendly – so where to choose when you’re looking for a walk with Fido. Step forward the Muddy Guide to the best dog friendly beaches.



Two huge miles of open sand make Watergate Bay a dog-walking (running?) favourite. One of the best places to walk then catch the sunset and the surfers as the light fades. Forgot your flask? Grab a takeaway coffee from No1Cubs on your way down to the beach.


Another long stretch of sand, Holywell is six miles west of Newquay. Great fun for the whole family, with high dunes and waters that are popular with surfers and swimmers – pack food and water for all of you though, no cafe at this beach.


The shallow water and long sandy stretch make Rock a favourite for dogs that like to paddle and swim. Start or finish your walk at The Mariners – dogs are allowed on the patio and inside on the ground floor.


Keep walking from Rock and you’ll reach Daymer (or drive and park in the carpark overlooking the beach). At the back of the beach are beautiful rolling dunes to explore, perfect for when the tide is in. Make it a longer walk by following one of our favourite walks here – head up over the golf course to look at St Enodoc’s church where previous poet laureate John Betjeman is buried.


West of St Ives is another stretch of expansive sand at Porthkidney. Dogs are free to run on the beach off-lead but must be kept on the lead on the footpath down.

Want to stay more central to the town? You’ll find the local’s secret dog walking paradise Bamaluz (above) at low tide between Porthgwidden beach and the harbour – while there are no lifeguards there are plenty of rockpools to keep the kids entertained, and you can pick up lunch or coffee easily at the harbour to keep you sustained all afternoon.


During the summer months, dogs have to be kept on a lead for the first section of the beach. After Flat Rocks, which is about 1/2 a mile along the beach, you are able to let your dogs go free. In the winter, there are no restrictions. The Watering Hole makes a nice place to get a drink and watch the sunset.


Halfway between Penzance and Porthleven, be aware there is no beach at high tide. Once a smugglers cove in the 18th Century, this is a favourite for a quiet walk where out of season you may have the place to yourself – also good if you like a swim – no cafe at all though, so you’ll have to pack your own.


Just outside Fowey, dog walking fans of Daphne du Maurier will like Polridmouth Cove as it is the inspiration for Manderley in Rebecca – despite the shipwreck which you can see at low tide it is a lovely bay for a swim and a potter, and is dog friendly all year. Park at the farm and the walk down through the woods is just lovely.


Dog ban from 15 May to 30 September

Some of the most popular Cornish beaches ban dogs from 15 May until 30 September from 10am – 6pm, so no daytime walks here until the autumn.

Carbis Bay , Crackington Haven, Bude, Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth, Polzeath, Porth, Porthmeor and Porthminster, St Ives, Porthtowan, Sennen, Trevone and Widemouth.

Avoid during July and August

Many more beaches including Kynance Cove, Longrock, Porthcurno, Praa Sands and Chapel Porth then have dog bans 10 am – 6pm from 1 July – 31 August.

See the full list here.

1 comment on “Muddy Guide: Dog friendly beaches Cornwall”

  • John Ockenden July 8, 2021

    Thank you for your warning about ‘dog-friendly’ beaches. It guarantees that I shan’t go anywhere near them.


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