One of the best things about having a dog is that you have someone pushing you to explore new places. Whether your four-legged buddy prefers splashing around in the sea or tearing through forests, Cornwall provides a stunning setting for all kinds of dog walks. We’ve come up with this list of a few of the best dog walks in Cornwall and included some dog-friendly pubs or cafes that you can recharge at en route.
If you’d like to visit this glorious county and explore the dog-friendly beaches of St. Ives and beyond, it’s good to know that you can take up to two dogs with you on all British trains free of charge—find out more in our article Can I Take My Dog on the Train?
1. The Lizard Coastal Walk
Postcode & map: Kynance Cove, Landewednack, Helston TR12 7PJ
Restrictions: The route includes paths close to unfenced sheer cliff edges so the RNLI strongly recommends keeping dogs on leads. Dogs are allowed on Pentreath beach year round but they are banned from the beach at Kynance Cove from Easter till 1st October. There are some stiles but they’re reported to be suitable for larger dogs.
Dog friendly stop-off: Enjoy cornish pasties, fresh crab sandwiches, and homemade cake and cream teas at dog-friendly Kynance Cafe nestled above the cove. Once you’ve made it to Lizard Point pop into Polpeor Cafe for a bite and to enjoy the spectacular views.
About: This coastal walk on the most southerly point of mainland Britain—the Lizard Peninsula—takes you from idyllic Kynance Cove with its red-green rock cliffs to Lizard Point, a dramatic, rocky extremity that has been shaped by the elements. Start at the National Trust Kynance Cove car park and follow the signs along the South West Coast Path towards Lizard Point. Follow the cliff path and make sure your dogs are kept on their leads. Look out for a shipwreck below the cliffs on Pentreath beach, basking sharks navigating the turquoise waters, white beaches, wildflowers, and the Victorian lifeboat station at Polpeor Cove.
2. Cardinham Woods
Postcode & map: Bodmin PL30 4AL
Restrictions: None, it’s a super dog-friendly walk.
Dog friendly stop-off: The beautiful Woods Cafe is very dog-friendly. It offers the prettiest cakes for miles and Tregothnan teas—the first tea ever to be grown in British soil.
About: Cardinham Woods, run by the Forestry Commission, has four fantastic marked walking trails to explore, as well as cycling and mountain biking trails. Each trail will take you deep into the woods and you can choose from a picturesque route for all abilities (including those who visit with wheelchairs or pushchairs), more moderate walks, or a walk along the river with a strenuous ascent to reach the old lead and silver mines of Wheal Glynn. Whichever you choose you’ll find stunning viewpoints, intriguing historical landmarks, and if you head there in spring, you’ll be blown away by some beautiful displays of bluebells. As well as dog-friendly Woods Cafe, there’s a barbecue area, and a picnic area so you’ll have everything you need for a great day out.
3. Bodmin Moor & Stannon Stone Circle
Postcode & map: Stannon Stone Circle, Bodmin PL32 9QA
Restrictions: Don’t stroll across the moor without a map or any guidance as there are restricted zones and some dangerous bogs on the moor. There are sheep and ponies on the moor so dogs must be kept on a lead and under control around them. Between 1st March and 31st July they have to be kept on leads because it’s the breeding period for ground-nesting birds.
Dog friendly stop-off: The Old Inn is an 11th century pub with a dog-friendly bar and a roaring fire in winter.
About: From Stannon House take the tarmacked road which turns into a farm track onto Bodmin Moor. The route passes the Stannon Stone Circle, prehistoric settlements, and a burial chamber before leading you up Louden Hill to the logan rock (a large rock balanced on a bed of granite) where you can take in some incredible views. You can then head towards Rough Tor, passing the remnants of a settlement on its slopes, and another stone circle before heading towards The Old Inn in the unspoilt village of St Breward on the edge of the moor for a well-deserved drink or bite to eat. Here’s a handy map of the walk.
4. Tehidy Woods
Postcode & map: Tehidy Woods, Camborne TR14 0TS, UK
Restrictions: The route includes paths close to unfenced sheer cliff edges so the RNLI strongly recommends keeping dogs on leads.
Dog friendly stop-off: At the south entrance the Tehidy Country Park Cafe allows dogs outside and there’s a nearby picnic area. The Bassett Arms in Portreath is a cosy dog-friendly pub which serves hearty meals.
About: With over 9 miles of pathways and 250 acres of woodland, there’s so much to explore in Tehidy Woods that you can come back again and again without having to follow the same route. There are five main access points to the area, which is owned and managed by Cornwall Council as a Country Park. You and your furry wee friend can wander around the lake, stroll through forest glades or admire the North Woods’ bluebells. The South West Coast Path between Portreath and Godrevy is also accessible from the woods, but as it’s close to unfenced sheer cliff edges dogs should be kept on leads on this stretch, and it should be avoided altogether if it’s very windy!
5. St. Agnes & Wheal Coates
Restrictions: The route includes paths close to unfenced sheer cliff edges so the RNLI strongly recommends keeping dogs on leads. There is one stile but it’s next to a gate.
Dog friendly stop-off: Blue Bar has a great selection of food and drinks as well as a seaside terrace where you can kick back and take in the views of the coast.
About: From the National Trust car park head up to St Agnes Beacon, a hill 630ft (192m) above sea level where guards were stationed during the Napoleonic Wars to look out for French ships and light a warning fire on seeing any. The spectacular 360-degree panoramic view from the top is one of the best in Cornwall. Head back down to the car park and follow the main pathway out to Wheal Coates, a former tin mine set on the clifftops between Porthtowan and St Agnes—the area is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. After you’ve explored the iconic engine houses and mining relics, continue along the path to the coastline and downwards toward Porthtowan where you can enjoy some fresh seafood, a stone baked pizza, or just a nice pint at Blue Bar where dogs are made to feel right at home.
6. Trelissick Woodland Walk
Postcode & map: Trelissick Garden, Feock, Truro, TR3 6QL
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed inside the main gardens, but they are very welcome in the parkland around the area.
Dog friendly stop-off: Crofters Café at Trelissick offers dog biscuits, bowls of water, a covered outdoor seating area in summer, and an indoor one when the weather’s bad.
About: Though dogs aren’t permitted inside the main garden, they’re welcome in the parkland and woods surrounding Trelissick Gardens—which are situated within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Follow the woodland walk signs from the National Trust-managed gardens through historic parkland and beautiful dappled woodland. You and your furry companion will head along an oak-fringed creek and over a timber framed bridge before reaching the promontory fort and 18th-century quay at Roundwood. You’ll also be able to make a detour into beautiful flower-filled meadows if you so desire, and will be met with wonderful views, tranquility, and wildlife at every turn.
Postcode & map: National Trust car park, Lanhydrock, Bodmin PL30 5AD, UK
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed in the main gardens. They should be kept on their leads in the parkland when livestock is grazing there.
About: Four-legged visitors may not be allowed in the main gardens of Lanhydrock, a magnificent Victorian country house, but they’re welcome to explore the rest of the 400-acre estate which is managed by the National Trust. There are a few woodland walks to choose from and you can pick up trail maps the gatehouse, reception, cafe, and shop and set off from Lanhydrock’s main car park. The glorious, scenic walks take you along the River Fowey and over Respryn Bridge, a five-arched mediaeval bridge.
8. Trewardreva Mill Woodland Walk
Postcode & map: Trewardreva, Constantine, Falmouth, TR11 5QD
Restrictions: The woods here are also popular with horse riders so make sure you have a lead on you to secure your dog if you see any.
Dog friendly stop-offs: The Waymarker allow dogs on the terrace. The award-winning restaurant and cafe offers everything from Cornish cream teas to Sunday roasts.
About: This picture-perfect walk near the village of Constantine, will take you and your furry little adventure buddy to Trewardreva Mill, a disused Cornish water mill in a blissful woodland setting. Follow the path from the Trewardreva Mill car park through an old quarry and down some stone steps where it then splits into three trails. You can choose to walk along the beautiful stream to the mill (which gives your dog the chance to have a splash around), take a stroll through the middle of the woods, or head up to the top of the valley and take in some cracking views. Look forward to cute wooden footbridges, miniature waterfalls, and a forest floor carpeted with bluebells each spring.
Remember, if you’re heading out somewhere you can’t take your dog, you can find a loving dog sitter who’ll treat your dog like family on Rover! Or if you’ve had enough walkies for one week but your furry best mate hasn’t, Rover has wonderful dog walkers who’d love to take the little fella out for a wander while you put your feet up.
Featured image: visitcornwall.com