The best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall all-year-round

Proper Cornwall's roving reporter Merlin enjoys all-year-round access on one of his favourite Cornish beaches


Cornwall is home to more than 300 beaches along its hundreds of miles of coastline. So finding a dog-friendly stretch of sand for your four-legged friend to enjoy is pretty easy, right? Well, you’d think so but choosing a beach that you, Fido, your friends and your family will lap up for a day can actually be a difficult task. This particularly goes for when you’re looking for a good dog-friendly beach for a day out over the summer as many stretches ban pooches at the height of the season.

But fear not, we are here to help you choose a beach in Cornwall that welcomes Rover throughout the whole year. And we’re aided in our selection by our canine connoisseur of coves and conches (and Proper Cornwall’s resident roving reporter), Merlin. He loves Cornish beaches and he’s helped us choose the best ones that represent the variety and expanse of the coastline in each of its three distinctive landscapes: the Rugged North (the whole northern coast down to Portreath), the Serene South (the whole southern coast down to Helford) and the Wild West (the rest of Cornwall’s coast on its wild western tip).

Point of note: it’s also worth checking out our feature on the best beaches in Cornwall that are banned to dogs in the summer but open up for the off-season months. But whatever the weather and whatever the season, take your pedigree chum to any of these beaches in Cornwall at any time of the year…

Best year-round dog-friendly beaches along the Rugged North coast

Constantine Bay

Location: Trevose Head, near Padstow

With acres of open sands to explore across this massive beach, Constantine Bay (and its neighbour Booby’s Bay) is a winner for Fido. Plus, the large Trevose Head headland is also just a stick’s throw away. This is a north coast canine favourite that always gets tails wagging.

Merlin’s verdict: So much room for a scamper at any time of the day.

Read More

Fistral Beach

Location: Newquay

Yes, that’s right. Cornwall’s most famous beach is open to dogs all-year-round. And that means that you may spot some surfing schnauzers or bodyboarding beagles over the summer months as the two-legged types take their four-legged buddies into the waves.

Merlin’s verdict: Only the coolest dogs head to Fistral.

Read More

Holywell Bay

Location: Between Newquay and Perranporth

If you’re a fan of the ‘Poldark’ TV series, you’ll know that Holywell Bay and its twin islets known as Carter’s Rocks were frequently featured. If you’re a dog, though, you’ll know that this beach is big and there are caves and streams to explore. Who cares about the view?

Merlin’s verdict: Loads more space than the beaches in Newquay on busy weekends.

Read More

Perranporth Beach

Location: Perranporth

With simply miles of beautiful white sand to scamper across, Perranporth Beach is a pooch’s paradise. Plus, it’s right next to funky Perranporth village with its many restaurants and bars that kindly cater for our canine cousins. There’s something for everyone here.

Merlin’s verdict: A run followed by a sandwich and a bowl of water. Pawfect!

Read More

Watergate Bay

Location: Between Newquay and Padstow

Just up the coast from Newquay, Watergate Bay is a wide open beach where dogs can exercise unfettered along the shoreline for hours on end. As the tide peels back, the sands expand to allow even the messiest mutt to find an area to dig without disturbing others.

Merlin’s verdict: That bone must be down there somewhere.

Read More

Best year-round pooch-friendly beaches along the Serene South coast

Carne Beach

Location: Gerrans Bay, between Falmouth and Mevagissey

This gorgeous stretch of golden sand and its neighbouring twin Pendower Beach come with real pedigree for doggy days out. Carne Beach and its partner rarely get busy, even in the height of summer, so they make for great expanses for dogs to play on for hours on end.

Merlin’s verdict: Loadsa space and coastal walks too. Carne get e-wuff of this beach!

Read More

Gorran Haven Beach

Location: Gorran Haven, near Mevagissey

Towser will love this beach because a) it’s big and golden, and b) there are some fab coastal walks to be found on the paths above once the mutt has had enough of the sand, rocks and sea. Finish up in the timeless fishing village of Gorran Haven for some dog treats.

Merlin’s verdict: Not just about the beach but the cliff walks and village too!

Read More

Seaton Beach

Location: Seaton, near Looe

Looe is three miles to the west and accessible at low tide. The village of Downderry and its Downderry Beach which is also open to dogs all-year-round is just a mile along a promenade to the east. More than 50 acres of explorable woodland are just to the rear in Seaton Valley Countryside Park. And Seaton Beach itself isn’t too shabby either.

Merlin’s verdict: Great sand and sea surrounded by miles of stuff to explore.

Read More

Whitsand Bay

Location: Millbrook, between Looe and Torpoint

Three miles of smiles next to Cornwall’s most southerly border with Devon. Whitsand Bay has soft sands for a scamper, rugged rocks for a ramble and calm waters for a dip, all framed by dramatic cliffs so you enjoy the view as the hound gets all wet and messy. This is one of the most expansive dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall.

Merlin’s verdict: Howling good fun for three blissful miles.

Read More

Best year-round dog-friendly beaches along the Wild West coast

Gwenver Beach

Location: Near Sennen Cove and Porthcurno

Apparently, this beach at the far tip of Cornwall is named after Guinevere, King Arthur’s other half. Your pooch won’t give a damn about this fact but he or she will love a legendary day out on this vast expanse of golden sands next to an inviting sea and iconic surroundings.

Merlin’s verdict: I’ll find Excalibur the stick somewhere in those waves.

Read More

Nanjizal Beach

Location: Between Sennen Cove and Porthcurno

Okay, this is here largely because Rover will enjoy the fact that getting to Nanjizal requires an hour’s walkies along paths. That said, though, he or she’ll love clambering over the rocky foreshore and exploring the pools when you reach perhaps the prettiest beach in the county.

Merlin’s verdict: A full day of walks, rocks ‘n’ sea? I love it.

Read More

Pedn Vounder Beach

Location: Porthcurno

One of the most idyllic beaches in, well, the world, we say, is open for dogs throughout the year. Enjoy these glorious sands and the little caves here too. There’s a bit of a climb down to the beach, though, but this is probably more of an issue if you only have two legs.

Merlin’s verdict: So many little rocky nooks and crannies to get my snout in.

Read More