10 of the best dog-friendly days out in Cornwall
Wagging tails at the ready, four-legged visitors are welcomed with open paws in many of Cornwall’s gardens, attractions and historic landmarks. Take our lead and enjoy a fab day out with furry friends in tow.
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan
When you’re staying with us you don’t have to go far to find Cornwall’s number one doggie hangout. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a pedigree of the canine world and lucky for us, is right on our doorstep. Go from pitch to path in a matter of minutes and enjoy walkies amongst over 200 acres of amazing greenery. Canine chums will discover new smells galore in the Victorian Productive and Pleasure Gardens, will love the sub-tropical jungle and go mad for the ancient woodland. Woof-tatsic!
Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park, near St Austell
For a big slice of Cornish heritage and an even bigger doggie welcome, Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park is hard to beat. Set within 26 acres of woodland walks and amongst the preserved remains of two former Victorian Clay works, it tells the fascinating story of Cornwall's billion-pound China Clay industry. Discover how China Clay has shaped the world we live in today, explore ancient buildings and climb to the peak of the site where you will discover a spectacular view of a modern working clay pit with monstrous machines in action. There’s also nature trails, woodland walks and, bar the café, an almost full-site doggie welcome.
Tintagel Castle - reopening summer 2019
For an iconic day out with amazing views, Tintagel Castle is always a winner. Believed to be the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, the historic castle remains are perched spectacularly on a cliff top offering masses of intrigue and incredible wild coastal walks. The site is currently closed for ground-breaking building works and will reopen in the summer complete with a glorious new footbridge stretching from the mainland to the headland on which the castle remains are perched. Previously reached by a perilous walkway and hundreds of steps this is good news for visitors of the four-legged (and two-legged) variety!
Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Another castle and another dog-friendly favourite is Pendennis Castle in Falmouth. As the handiwork of Henry VIII, this coastal fortress has worked in tandem with St Mawes Castle on the other side of the Fal Estuary to defend Cornwall against foreign invasion since the Tudor times. A place of guns, cannons and fascinating stories, there’s exhibitions to explore, emotive re-enactments and masses of coastal eye-candy. And while you’re getting your fill of history, furry companions will enjoy trotting around the green and grassy site or stretching their legs in the well-trodden, dog-friendly moat.
Charlestown Shipwreck Centre
Dogs will love following in the footsteps of Garrick, Demelza’s much-loved doggie side kick in Poldark, by visiting Charlestown where the popular BBC adaptation is filmed. Wander along the quayside and ogle over the impressive Tall Ships in the Grade II listed harbour before heading to the dog-friendly Charlestown Shipwreck Centre. Here you’ll learn tales of triumph, treasures and tragedy in a fascinating delve into the shipwrecks which have met their fate along the treacherous coast. With tails wagging and mouths drooling complete your time in Charlestown by popping into Loveday’s Restaurant & Bar where the heritage of the building spills into every corner and dogs are welcome during the day.
Pinetum Park, St Austell
Another top dog is Pinetum Park in St Austell. With the largest collection of plants in the county, the varied 30 acres are full of character and perfect for energetic canines and their garden-mad human companions. From the wide open ‘Pinetum’ with its amphitheatre arrangement of conifers and pines, to the seclusion and intimacy of the Japanese Garden, there are visual treats at every turn and a wealth of wildlife including two beautiful black swans.
Trebah Garden, near Falmouth
There’s no limit to the amount of fun that visitors of the wagging tail and wet nose variety can have at the ravine garden of Trebah. The sub-tropical oasis leads to a private beach on the Helford River so paws can get muddy, sandy and wet! And when they’re done sniffing the flower beds and checking out the rock pools, pooches can refresh with one of the complementary dog bowls and relax in the dog-friendly area of the Planters Café.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Lizard Peninsula
If you’re looking for somewhere that’s both child and dog-friendly, we can’t recommend the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek on the Lizard Peninsula enough. As well as the chance to meet recuperating seals which have been scooped up from along the Cornish coast having been bashed about by strong winds and seas, there’s penguins, resident sea lions, otters and a paddock of animals to coo over. Kids love it for the marine encounters and awesome play park while dogs are won over by the woodland walks. Call by the reception and doggie visitors will be greeted with a tasty treat!
Eden Project, near St Austell
A day out at the Eden Project always gets a loud bark of approval. The china clay quarry turned visitor attraction is famed for its impressive Biomes which house exotic plants and mesmerising displays from around the world. The Biomes themselves are no-go zones for dogs but the outdoor areas and miles of paths more than make up for it and are an idea spot for walkies. There are also pooch-friendly sections of the outdoor seating area, masses of water bowls and poop waste bins, and a fab selection of doggie treats in the shop.
Pencarrow House and Gardens, near Bodmin
Pencarrow with its wide and varied gardens is well-known for its love of dogs. From formal landscaping to ancient woodlands, there’s plenty to explore and for much of it dogs are allow off lead to run free. Take your pick from both long and short circular walks and enjoy the year-round displays of colour. Free range chickens and peacocks strut their stuff in the area around the outside of the house so leads are required here and unfortunately the house is a paw-free zone but there are designated shady parking areas for dog owners and lots of doggie facilities dotted about.
It is best to double check dog-friendly policies before visiting and please remember to be a responsible dog owner at all times – dogs on leads and poop bags at the ready!