Dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall

Every year, thousands of us flock to Cornwall for our holidays. And with some of the best weather in the UK, it’s easy to see why. So where are the best places in Cornwall to go if you're a dog owner?

Located on the southwest coast of England, Cornwall has long been a perfect holiday spot for humans, but it’s also great for dogs. With 250 miles of coast and 300 beaches, along with small towns and country walks, it’s easy to see why 70% of the pet owners who live there are dog owners.

Dogs are prevented from attending just seven beaches the year round, and a further 70 during the holiday season, which spans from Easter Weekend to 1 October. This might seem like a lot, but when you consider that there are another 220 beaches that would make a fine holiday spot for your dog, without restrictions, it soon becomes apparent why dog owners come to Cornwall in droves.

Tips for taking your dog to the beach

Make sure you keep your dog on a leash. As all pet owners know, dogs can run off if excited or anxious. Make sure you keep your dog on a leash (especially when walking along cliffs) and only let them off when you are in a safe environment where they can’t come to any harm.

Check the tide times. This is something all people, whether they have a pet or not, should check out before going to the beach. Tides can come in very quickly and trap people and animals in exposed areas. Ensure you know when the tides come in and go out so you can plan your trip safely.

Give your pet a thorough clean after your visit. Everyone knows how dirty they can feel after a day at the beach – so imagine what it’s like for your dog. Give them a thorough clean when you get home and pay special attention to their paws, where any remaining salt and sand can cause damage.


Porthkidney is one of those many beaches that allows dogs all year round, and at roughly one mile long, there’s plenty of space for you and your four-legged friend to run and play to an almost limitless degree.

Found at the mouth of the River Hayle and stretching all the way to Hawkes Point in Carbis Bay, Porthkidney’s size alone ensures that you’ll have plenty of personal space, so even if your dog is shy around others, it’s perfectly suited to a solo adventure. If you and your dog are looking to socialise with others, however, you’ll be able to find many other walkers on this vast sandy expanse to play with.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the north end of the beach is popular with surfers due to the larger waves, so if your dog is something of a water baby, try to stay away from this end as they might not be able to handle the currents.

Holywell Bay Beach

Holywell Bay Beach is situated on the northern coast of Cornwall and is an ideal beach for anyone looking to take their dog on holiday. While it’s not the largest beach on the coast, it does have some of the most spectacular golden sands for you and your pooch to play on – great for a relaxing day out.

Dogs are allowed here all year round, and with a lifeguard present from mid-May to September, there’s plenty of opportunity to paddle in the waves. There are also several facilities nearby, including beach refreshments, so you can make sure you and your dog have plenty of energy to make the most of this amazing beach.

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay is technically four beaches in one, stretching for four miles along the southern coast. Just outside of Plymouth, these beaches are incredibly dog-friendly and dogs are allowed all year round.

It’s best to attend at low tide due to the extra space you get. You and your dog will be sure to have the time of your lives along this beautiful and serene patch of English countryside.

Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth, located on Cornwall’s northwest coast, is an ideal location for you and your pooch to get a real taste of everything that the county has to offer. This sheltered beach is just four miles from Newquay, meaning that you can choose between being an urban or country explorer in these parts.

Even at high tide, the beach offers plenty of space and is relatively quiet all year round, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful visit.

On top of this, the beach also has some beautiful natural formations, including rockpools, a stream and even caves to investigate, if you’re feeling adventurous.

Penhale Sands Beach

Located on the north coast of Cornwall, Penhale Sands is the perfect place to take your dog on a warm summer day.

The sandy beach is more than four miles square and can be accessed by car or by taking a stroll along the South West Coast Path that runs through the sand dunes.

This beach is always teeming with fellow dog owners and their pets, so you and your dog will not be short of company here.

Do you have any other suggestions for dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall? Let us know on social media

Back to top