Our 11 Favourite Dog Friendly Walks in Cornwall

Dog walk at Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall
Dog walk at Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall. Image by Hayley Lawrence

A vast canvas of beaches, coastline, moors and woodland, Cornwall is a wonderful place for walkies with your canine companion. Plus, with over a third of visitors bringing their dogs on holiday to Cornwall, plenty of restaurants, attractions and accommodation welcome Fido, too. As dog owners ourselves, we’ve explored from the highest hills to the hidden beaches, and the vast heathlands to the rugged headlands, with our furry friends. So, from beaches and coast paths, to peaks and promontories, here are 11 of our favourite dog-friendly walks in Cornwall.

Roughtor and Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor

Roughtor Brown Willy Dog Friendly Walks Cornwall
Climb the highest peaks in Cornwall with your dog.

Don your walking boots and hit the rolling wilderness of Bodmin Moor to scale Cornwall’s two highest peaks – Roughtor (400m) and Brown Willy (420m). While your dog will no doubt enjoy the climb and the wild terrain, unlike you, they may not appreciate the staggering views of the north and south coasts. Pack a picnic so you can pause and take it all in from a granite perch, before completing this two-hour circular route (4.5 miles). Livestock and ponies roam free on the moors, so keep your dog on a lead or under close control. 

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Constantine to Harlyn, via Trevose Head, nr Padstow

Dog running in the sea at Constantine Beach in Cornwall
Bound along the golden sands of Constantine towards Trevose Head. Image by Hayley Lawrence.

This stunning six-mile circular walk takes in some of St Merryn’s ‘Seven Bays’, starting out on the sugary sands of Constantine Bay, where you can hunt for sea glass on the way to neighbouring Booby’s Bay. From here, follow the coastal path around the dramatic Trevose Head (be sure to keep your dog on a lead past the collapsed sea cave) to the serene, sheltered sands of Mother Ivey’s Bay, and on to the surfing and dog-walkers paradise of Harlyn. Once you’ve grazed on delicious De Bara bakery goods beside the waves at the dog-friendly Beach Box Café, it’s an easy loop back across the fields to your starting point.

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The Saint’s Way, North to South Coast, Cornwall

If you’re looking for a serious stomp with the dog, why not cross from the north to the south coast of Cornwall on an ancient pilgrims’ route? The 27-mile Saints Way is well signposted from Padstow to Fowey, wending from the harbour and the wooded Little Petherick creek, over St Breock Downs and high onto the rugged Helman Tor, before skirting the river all the way past Lostwithiel and Golant, to Fowey. At a leisurely pace, it’s a two-day walk taking you across the most remarkable landscapes in Cornwall. If you’re looking for a halfway pitstop, rest your legs and your head at The Old Engine House in Lanivet.

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Gurnards Head to Zennor Circular, Nr St Ives, West Penwith

Capture incredible views along the coast path between Zennor and Gurnard’s Head.

Top and tailed by two dog-friendly pubs, this strenuous 4.2-mile loop of the South West Coast Path is worth every muddy, calf-busting step. Pop your dog on a lead to pick your way along the narrow Gurnards Head promontory and seek out the remains of an Iron Age cliff fort, then hug the coast – hemmed by crystalline waters, sheer zawns and secret coves – all the way to Zennor. It was here that a mythical mermaid was said to lure a local chorister out to sea; and while you might not spot a mermaid from the cliffs, you can see a carving of one on the bench-end in Zennor church. Once you’ve fuelled up under the low beams of The Tinners Arms, make your way back through the meadows to your starting point at The Gurnard’s Head, and kick off your walking boots to tuck into fine seasonal fare with the dog at your feet. 

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Fowey Hall Walk, Fowey

Take a detour from the Hall Walk to witness Lantic Bay from Blackbottle Rock. Image by Hayley Lawrence.

Fancy a couple of ferry rides and a stroll along the banks of Penpol Creek, winding through wild garlic-hemmed woodland to breathtaking views of Fowey and the south coast? Pretty sure that’s a resounding waggy-tailed ‘yes’. The Hall Walk offers all of this, in a sublime four-mile loop that starts with a ride on the Bodinnick Ferry from Fowey, climbs to Penleath Point and the memorial of novelist and scholar Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and traces the scenic, tree-lined Pont Pill all the way back to Polruan. We’d also suggest a detour at the Lanteglos-by-Fowey Church to Blackbottle Rock, where you can gawp at the beauty that’s Lantic Bay, before following the coast path back to Polruan. Once you’ve hopped back on the ferry to Fowey, quench your well-earned thirst in the dog-friendly, and very swanky, waterside venue of The King of Prussia.

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Poldhu Cove to Cury, Lizard Peninsula

Kick off your walk with a hot chocolate at the little Poldhu Beach Café, tucked into the dunes, before heading along the cliff path to the dog-friendly patches of Gunwalloe Cove (where you’ll find a little seaside church) and Dollar Cove (where you can hunt for treasure and silver coins from a Spanish shipwreck). Continue along the cliff to Fishing Cove, paw-sing to refuel at the dog-friendly Halzephron Inn, before crossing the fields to Cury and following the river valley past Mullion, back via the Marconi Centre to Poldhu.

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Tehidy Country Park, Portreath

There are several dog-friendly walking trails in Tehidy Woods. Image by Hayley Lawrence.

On a blustery day at the coast, leave the beaches behind to explore the woodland trails of Tehidy Country Park. Close to St Ives Bay and Cornwall’s North Coast beaches, here you you can lose yourself in a web of way-marked trails for dogs, bikes and family hikes. Most of the routes, except the Lakes Circular Walk, are dog-friendly. Our favourite is the North Cliffs Walk – a dog-friendly 1.5-hour loop that’s perfect for dogs, buggies and bikes, with plenty of trees to climb en route, too.

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Trelissick, Feock, nr Truro

Whether it’s cool and blustery, or wall-to-wall sunshine, Trelissick’s stunning 400-acre estate is the perfect place for a ramble with Rover. While the formal gardens don’t allow entry to your four-legged friends, it’s the miles and miles of woodland trails skirting the River Fal that will make tails wag. Once you’ve scampered across the historic parkland, snuffled along the oak-fringed creek and frolicked on the beach, you’ll have earned a snack in the dog-friendly courtyard café. Or, if you want to ramp up your adventure and step count, hop aboard the King Harry Ferry to explore the verdant Roseland Peninsula.   

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Rock to Polzeath Loop, nr Padstow

Walking the dog on Daymer Bay, between Rock and Polzeath.

Being one of the most dog-friendly areas of Cornwall – with plenty of eateries that welcome sandy paws, and an array of walking routes zig-zagging from the coast to the countryside – we couldn’t resist including two dog walks near Padstow in our favourites. This one starts by hopping on the Black Tor ferry from Padstow to Rock, before following the South West Coast Path on a scenic stroll to Polzeath. At low tide you can walk along the beach from Rock to the golden sands of Daymer Bay, before rejoining the path via Greenaway Beach to Polzeath – where you’ll find more dog-friendly cafés for a pitstop beside the waves. This 5.8-mile route loops back via the grassy knoll of Brea Hill and the wonky-steepled St Enodoc Church, where the late poet John Betjeman is buried.

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Cardinham Woods, nr Bodmin

If you prefer exploring beneath sky-scraping canopies to bounding along the wide-open coastline, head inland to Cardinham Woods, where you can roam four way-marked, dog-friendly routes through the forest. Amidst 265 hectares of conifers and native trees, you can choose to meander along riverside paths perfect for little legs and less energetic dogs, or wend up high up into woodland and bag glorious views over the vale. At the end of your walk let the dog cool off with a splash in the stream and enjoy a pit-stop in the dog-friendly café serving hearty snacks and hunks of homemade cake.

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Perranporth to St Agnes, nr Newquay

Step into Cornwall’s mining heritage on the trail from Perranporth to St Agnes. Image by Hayley Lawrence.

Boasting two miles of dune-backed sands, Perranporth is a favourite for walkies all year round and home to the dog-friendly Watering Hole on the beach. However, if you veer from the shoreline and stomp 3.5 miles over the cliffs to neighbouring St Agnes, you’ll encounter breathtaking views and step foot into Cornwall’s mining heritage. Keep your pooch under close control, as the edges are steep and the path can be narrow. However, it’s well worth every paw-print to reach the pretty village of St Agnes, where the Driftwood Spars serves its own locally-brewed ales and welcomes dogs with treats, water bowls and even doggie ice cream on the menu. 

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Book your dog-friendly cottage in Cornwall

Cornwall is one of the top destinations in the UK to holiday with your hound, boasting a huge range of dog-friendly retreats on the doorstep of wonderful walkies. Book a break for you and your pooch, and enjoy some of our favourite dog walks in Cornwall. 

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