Top 10 dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

At Coast Radar, we’ve compiled our list of top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall.

Suppose you have a dog, then family holidays are just not the same without the dog. Especially in the summer, it can be challenging to find a dog-friendly beach as many have seasonal bans. Don’t worry, as in the UK you’re spoilt for choice when visiting beaches. We have just under 300 dog-friendly beaches on Coast Radar to explore and enjoy.

In this article, we will focus on our top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall:

1. Whitsand Bay, Rame Peninsula

Whitsand Bay from Polhawn Fort
Whitsand Bay from Polhawn Fort photo by Nilfanion

The Rame peninsula marks the southeast corner of Cornwall and includes Whitsand Bay, which offers four dog-friendly beaches accessible from the coast path. These beaches offer good sand, rock pools and attractive rocky coves, although you lose most of the sand at high tide.

Car parking is either on the coast roads or in the few car parks but access is along the coast path and can include some steep steps. The four beaches that make up Whitsand Bay are Tregonhawke which is the largest beach and the smaller beaches of Tregantle (occasionally closed if the MoD is using the firing range), Freathy Beach and Sharrow.

2. Watergate Bay, Newquay

Photo of Watergate Bay taken by PH

Watergate Bay Beach is just north of Newquay on the North Cornwall coast. The beach has two miles of superb sand, at low-tide rock pools and is a popular surf spot with consistent Atlantic rollers. The beach is large so you have plenty of space for your dog to run around.

Facilities at the beach include a couple of dog-friendly cafes & restaurants, a beach shop, toilets and the ability to hire surf and beach equipment. The beach also has seasonal lifeguards.

3. Bedruthen Steps, Newquay

Bedruthan Steps
Photo of Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall by Allen Watkin

Bedruthan Steps is a National Trust managed beach to the North of Newquay and is a must-visit location for any visitor due to the tall rock stacks. It is one of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall.

You will need a fit dog as the access to the beach is via a steep set of steps. Once on the beach, you have one mile of great sandy beach and rocks to explore. Just be aware that at high tide, most of the sand disappears.

Close to the beach is car parking and a National Trust owned cafe and toilets.

4. Pedn Vounder, Porthcurno

Pedn Vounder beach near Porthcurno
Photo of Pedn Vounder beach by Andrew Bone

Pedn Vounder Beach, also known as Treen Beach, is often overlooked as it is just up the coast of Porthcurno Beach, one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches. But, unlike Porthcurno, which has seasonal dog restrictions, Pedn Vounder allows dogs all year.

You will have plenty of space as access is difficult with a walk from either Treen or Porthcurno and the last part is a steep scramble down to the beach. You will get limited sand at high tide, so why not head along to Logan’s Rock, an eighty-ton granite boulder perched on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the beach?

5. Perran Sands, Perranporth

Perranporth beach
Photo of Perranporth beach by Delta 51

Perran Sands allows dogs all year round but during July and August, they are however required to be on a lead between 10am and 5pm.

The beach merges with Penhale Sands and combined are close to 3km in length and backed by an extensive dune system. This is a tourist-focused area, so there are plenty of dog-friendly places to eat.

6. Mawgan Porth, Newquay

Mawgan Porth near Newquay in Cornwall
Photo of Mawgan Porth by Craig Sunter

Mawgan Porth is a great beach for dogs and families, with plenty of facilities and lots of rock pools and caves to explore. An essential fact about Mawgan Porth is that it has plenty of sand, unlike several Cornwall beaches that disappear at high tide.

The beach is typically not as busy as its Newquay neighbours and is backed by cliffs, giving it a spectacular location with plenty of facilities.

7. Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Photo of Fistral beach in Newquay by Nilfanion

Fistral Beach sits within the town of Newquay on the north Cornwall coast. The large sandy beach is within two headlands that give it some shelter but also a constant Atlantic swell and, thus, some excellent surf conditions.

Although internationally known for the surf, this is a great family beach with some good walks on the two headlands.

Beach and seafront facilities include surf equipment hire, lessons and surf shops, showers, toilets, car parking, restaurants, cafes, and seasonal lifeguards.

8. Gwenver Beach, Sennen

Gwenver Beach, West Cornwall
Photo of Gwenver Beach in West Cornwall by Andrew Bone

Gwenver Beach is just next to the popular Sennen Cover, and unlike Sennon, which has seasonal dog restrictions, Gwenver allows dogs all year round. The beach can be accessed from the large car park at the top of the cliffs and then a steep walk down, or you can take the coastal path or at low-tide the beach from Sennen Cove.

As it does not have any facilities other than seasonal lifeguards, it is less occupied than other Cornish beaches other than those that come for the great surf.

9. Harlyn Bay, Padstow

Harlyn Bay beach, Harlyn, Padstow, Cornwall
Photo of Harlyn Bay near Padstow by Coast Radar

Padstow has no beaches in the town, and Harlyn Bay is one of the best accessible beaches that allows dogs all year. A tremendous overall family beach with good surf, rock pools and dunes.

If you are in the area, it is well worth visiting National Trust managed Trevose Head, which offers spectacular views along the coast.

10. Summerleaze Beach, Bude

Summerleaze beach, Bude, Cornwall
Photo of Summerleaze beach in Bude by Nilfanion

Summerleaze Beach is the main beach in Bude and is just about as far north as you can go in Cornwall. Dogs are welcome all year round. However, this is the only beach in our top 10 list where dogs must be kept on a lead during the day from late May to the end of September. However, the beach backs onto grassy dunes with plenty of space for a runaround.

At low tide, Summerleaze beach here is massive, and it is a town beach that has just about everything a seaside resort can offer close at hand.

This was just our list of top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall, and I am sure everyone has their own favourites.

Do you have a favourite dog-friendly beach in Cornwall? We would love to know by commenting in the box below or starting a conversation on our facebook page.