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Best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Dogs are welcome at Watergate Bay all year round. There’s no seasonal ban on our two-mile stretch of beach – it’s a permanent sandy playground studded with rock pools. Your canine companions can join you on your family holiday in Cornwall at The Beach Hut and the Living Space, too, for some post ruff and tumble refreshment. We have plenty of dog-friendly rooms in the hotel, making early morning walkies a doddle.

But if there’s one thing dogs love more than a beach, it’s discovering a new one. Happily, there are several pet-friendly beaches in Cornwall.

A golden retriever dog in the rockpool playing with its ball on Watergate Bay beach

Top 10 dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

1. Mawgan Porth

Next door to Watergate Bay, with plenty of sand even at high tide. Relatively quiet compared with other beaches on the north coast. Local shops good for a gander, fish and chips, bucket and spade and a ball.

2. Porthkidney Beach

Two miles from St Ives on the west coast. Huge beach, stretching a mile out to sea at low tide. Rover is free to roam, though he must be kept on a lead when on the footpaths.

3. Prussia Cove Beach

Off the beaten track, half way between Penzance and Porthleven. Small coves of sand and shingle but no beach at high tide. Park at the top and keep exuberant dogs on leads down the coast path. Romantic spot, famous for being home to a family of smugglers in the 18th century.

4. Lantic Bay

One for the energetic. Access is a mile-long walk with a steep cliff descent, but footpaths are well marked and the beach is worth the trek. Good views of Pencarrow Head. East of Fowey and south-facing, it’s a suntrap.

Side profile of a dog sitting on the beach by its owners wellies, looking up to its owners hand

5. Mother Ivey’s Bay and Harlyn Bay

Mother Ivey’s is a sheltered bay near Padstow. Pretty like its name, thanks to zero facilities and no parking the sandy beach is always quiet. Park at Harlyn Bay and walk 20 minutes west along the coast path. Or just stop at Harlyn, where life guards are in attendance during the summer. Good spot for families.

6. Holywell Bay Beach

A mile-long, sandy beach around six miles west of Newquay. High dunes are great fun for dogs, while the clean and safe waters make it popular with swimmers and surfers. Disabled access from the car park.

7. Daymer Bay Beach

A scamp to the north-west of Rock, with fantastic views across the Camel Estuary and to Padstow. Parking available, although the steps down to the beach make access unsuitable for wheelchairs. Plenty of sand at high tide and a good spot for watching windsurfing.

8. Gwenver Beach

Just east of Sennen Cove and popular with pooches and surfers. Dogs will make short work of the route up and down, while their walkers will find the long flight of steps a good workout. Swimming on flat days is good, but be mindful of rip tides. Lifeguard service spring to September.

9. Mexico Towans Beach

Part of a four-mile stretch of beach starting at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary and finishing at Godrevy Lighthouse. Backed by magnificent sand dunes, the water in front of it is great for swimming and surfing. Another gem of a Cornish beach that dogs love.

10. Watergate Bay

At Watergate Bay we welcome dogs with open arms and encourage you to bring your dog down to play on the beach. We have many rock pools to explore and two miles of golden sand that is sure to tire out any pooch. But don’t fret we also cater for the owners; after an invigorating session on the beach pop into The Beach Hut for something to eat or drink, or pop up to the hotel’s Living Space and take a seat on the deck whilst soaking in the view, of course dogs are welcome in both!

Dog walkers on the beach at Watergate Bay in winter

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