The Best 9 Dog Friendly Beaches in Cornwall & 2023 Restrictions

Cornwall is famous for its beautiful coastline, green hills and fields and as being an altogether great destination for a family holiday. This is a corner of the country that’s hugely loved for its unique food, drink and heritage trails. Looking for dog friendly beaches in Cornwall? We’ve gone to the effort of lining up perfect pooch beaches across the county.

The Cornish experience is one that’s always likely to attract dog lovers. Tuck into some authentic ice cream, take up some rock pooling and book one of the pooch friendly holiday rentals in Cornwall while you’re at it, too. There’s plenty of great beach accommodation surrounding dog friendly beaches near Cornwall. You won’t feel stranded.

This end of the country is indeed very dog friendly and it does have some of the best dog friendly beaches around. That being said, some of Cornwall’s beaches have a dog ban or two in place. Some arrive with specific guidelines in order for you to be able to bring your pup safely across the year. Stop digging around, and check out our complete guide to the absolute best in dog beaches from coast to coast down in Cornwall.

When are dogs allowed on beaches in North Cornwall (and the wider county)?

From North Cornwall to the South Coast, there will always be some beaches where a dog ban is in place. There are a few sea stretches where you and your pets will have access all year, but do always check restrictions before you take your dog to any beaches down in Cornwall. We’ve gone to the effort of listing restrictions for you, so you’ll know which places are off-limits during certain seasons. Take a look at our guide to Cornwall dog days out, too! Right now, however, let’s focus on those top dog friendly beaches Cornwall has on offer.

The Best of Cornwall Dog Friendly Beaches

Mawgan Porth

Mawgan is perhaps one of the most famous family beach resorts across the whole of Cornwall. It’s normally bustling with a few people here and there, but what really sets this beach apart from the pack is that it’s lovely and unspoilt. Dogs are allowed here year-round, too, which means you won’t have to keep your pets on leads, even during the high season.

The sea views down here are magnificent, with the Atlantic gently lapping the sand as you walk along the coast path with your dog. This wonderfully sandy beach has a river down towards the southern end, and you’ll likely find it’s popular with dog owners and watersports enthusiasts. Mawgan Porth may well be the surfing capital of Cornwall.

Ideal for families of all ages and sizes, there are plenty of facilities here, too. Watergate Bay is a similarly fantastic beach walk, where you and your pups can watch the tide go in and out.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No Dog Bans
  • Lifeguards: Yes (mid-May to early September)
  • Address: Mawgan Porth, Newquay TR8 4BA
  • Facilities Near By: Car park, shopping district, toilets, pubs and B&Bs

Mother Ivey’s Bay

Mother Ivey’s Bay is certainly less touristy than Mawgan, but it’s still one of the top dog friendly beaches Cornwall has to offer. While there may not be many facilities here to speak of, Mother Ivey’s benefits from being amazingly peaceful, offering you delightful sandy strolls which you may well be able to enjoy on your own. Another great reason why this is one of the top beaches in the area is the fact that, again, there’s no dog ban in place.

However, you should make sure to keep your dogs on leads here at all times. What’s more, you’ll only be able to take your dog down to the beach here between the hours of 10am and 6pm – so make sure to plan ahead. There are some beautiful cliff walks up here, meaning that you can experience this gorgeous beach from up on high, or down low.

The nearest car parking facilities to Mother Ivey’s are at Harlyn Bay, so again, plan ahead! This is a nice sheltered walk, great for a peaceful wander. Take a look at some of the best dog walks in Cornwall quite like those at Mother Ivey’s.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs allowed between 10am and 6pm each day
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Mother Iveys Bay, Trevose Head, Padstow, PL28 8SL
  • Facilities Near By: Holiday park, ice cream vendor, B&Bs

Porthkidney Beach

This super dog friendly beach in Cornwall is always worth a visit! Close to the Hayle Estuary, Porthkidney Sands (or Beach) is truly massive, offering rolling dunes for the whole family – pets included – to explore. Close to the local West Cornwall Golf Club, this wonderful dog-friendly location connects nicely to the South West Coast Path.

A great family beach, Porthkidney is massively welcoming to dogs, allowing you to let your pets run free everywhere barring the pathway up towards the St Uny Church. The sea views are absolutely stunning here, especially when it comes to the lowest tide – take a look at some of the photos of the region before you visit. It’s also perfect for you to access and explore beach towns nearby – and, of course, ideal for your dog to get out and stretch all four of those pins.

Porthkidney Sands is an award-winning beach, and rightfully so, as it’s really popular with dogs and dog lovers. It’s close to lots of food and drinks spots. If you’re looking for pet friendly pubs in Cornwall, here’s a good place to start.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round
  • Lifeguards: Yes (early July to early September)
  • Address: Porthkidney Beach, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 3GN
  • Facilities Near By: Holiday parks, B&Bs, local heritage, St Ives shopping

Holywell Bay Beach and Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach, backing onto Holywell, offer something more than a little special when it comes to the dog friendly beach scene. Not all Cornwall dog friendly dunes can say they are protected by the National Trust! Crantock itself is a massive beach stretch that offers up to three different walking trails back towards the village of Holywell, and it’s a very popular site for surfers as well as families in search of a nice walk.

This beach and village scene offers plenty for you and your dog to explore, and thankfully, it’s well supported by an array of facilities. It’s even a beautiful spot where you can spy on aquatic wildlife in the area, such as local dolphin shoals! What’s great about this Cornish beach is that there are no dog restrictions. You can bring your dogs any time of year, but keep them on leads if you’re up on the cliffs or near livestock!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round
  • Lifeguards: Yes (May to September)
  • Address: Crantock, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 5SE
  • Facilities Near By: Lodges, B&Bs, bistros, beach car park, toilets

Trebarwith Strand

Trebarwith Strand remains one of the most popular family-focused beaches in Cornwall, though it’s also great for dogs. There’s no need for you to worry about any kind of dog ban here, and you can take your dogs off-lead if you want to. Visitors can enjoy pleasant golden sands at low tide, but at high tide, the Strand vanishes almost completely!

This beach offers a wonderful rocky landscape and is backed by lifeguards during the main season. It’s close to the areas of Tintagel and Treknow, and there’s a fantastic cafe here where you can refresh, get more information about the area, and learn when’s best to ride those waves!

This magnificent ‘vanishing beach’ is highly rated by dog lovers and tends to be very popular with surfers who are experienced on the waves. It’s also one of several beaches in Cornwall to have received a Marine Conservation Recommendation – which means the water’s exceptional!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round
  • Lifeguards: Yes (Seasonal)
  • Address: Trebarwith Strand, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HB
  • Facilities Near By: Heritage coast walks, village scenes, crazy golf, food and drink

Mullion Cove

Down on the Lizard Peninsula, you’ll find the gorgeous Mullion Cove Beach, which offers cave exploration for you to enjoy around the time of low tide. This is a picturesque beach zone that actively welcomes pets and their owners all year round, making it a perfect dog friendly beach spot with some of the most spectacular views guaranteed. A harbour beach, there’s plenty of history in the nearby region, too – so great for anyone wanting to get to know Cornwall in closer detail.

Mullion Cove is one of many dog friendly beaches in the region protected by the National Trust, and it’s relatively easy to get to and from providing you keep an eye out for links to the harbour. You’ll also find that the famous lifeboat station backs onto the beach, meaning, again, it’s very popular with visitors keen to get to know the heritage.

Be sure to come down to the Cove around the low tide, as it’s otherwise covered. It’s a small, sandy beach, but it’s one of the quieter, authentic stretches where you can take dogs for a quick plod.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round
  • Lifeguards: No cover (lifeboat station close by)
  • Address: Mullion Cove Beach, Mullion, Cornwall, TR12 7EP
  • Facilities Near By: Hotels, restaurants, cottages, diving spots

Gorran Haven Beach

This lovely sandy beach is a big hit with families and dog lovers alike. Offering a pleasant amount of shelter and shade, the beach backs close to Gorran Haven village itself, offering a quaint pier area as well as a small fishing scene. It’s close to Dodman Point and has plenty of facilities nearby.

This is one of the best friendly beaches for dogs for access to the AONB to the south, and it’s also extremely accessible for wheelchairs. It’s worth remembering, however, that you are going to need to keep your dog on a lead here when you visit. You’re free to bring them along to explore the sand stretches whenever you like – but keep them under control!

Many people look towards the southern end of the map when it comes to the most picturesque sand and sea in Cornwall. However, Gorran Haven can often get forgotten when there are areas such as Praa Sands and elsewhere in St Austell!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs welcome all year round
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Gorran Haven Beach, Gorran Haven, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6JG
  • Facilities Near By: Campsites, car park, heritage trails, toilets

Harlyn Bay

Harlyn Bay is a family favourite thanks to its easy access, wide stretches of golden sands, and safe waters. There is a nearby car park from which access to the beach is relatively easy, but for those who require an easier disabled access, there is space further along the dunes. 

This beach is particularly popular among novice surfers, with surf lessons being given from the beach during the entire summer season. 

The beach is surrounded by beautiful green fields and at low tide, beach goers can enjoy a wide expanse of sand and rock pools to explore. The beach is particularly popular with families as the waters are generally safe, especially during the summer months with the lifeguard service in place. 

Harlyn Bay is also a fantastic spot for dog lovers as the beach welcomes dogs year round! You and your dog will love walking through the sand dunes, along the hills, playing in the sand and swimming in the surf.

Plenty of dog lovers in the region call Harlyn an absolutely perfect day out. The fact dogs are allowed on the sand all year, and there’s also lifeguard cover, are two major plus points.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Harlyn Bay Beach, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8SQ
  • Facilities Near By: Pub, surfing school, car park

Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove’s bright sand and low tide delights are very popular among families and surfers, thanks to its surrounding facilities such as shops, restaurants, cafes, and sizeable car parks, and of course for the crashing cascades and blue waters that can be experienced best at high tide. There are in fact two surf schools on the beach, great if you fancy taking on a new adventure down on the Cornish map. 

The beach is of a good size meaning that even during the summer months you are unlikely to feel as though the sand is overcrowded. From North Cornwall to West Cornwall, this is one of the most appealing beaches for multiple reasons – whether you have a dog or not.

Although this beach is generally dog friendly, there is a dog ban in place around the area from the 15th of May to the 30th of September. It is, therefore, better to enjoy this beach with your dog later on in the year – however most of the facilities are still open and there is definitely plenty to enjoy outside of the summer months! 

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (dogs are allowed outside of May to September)
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Sennen Cove Beach, Sennen, St Just, Cornwall, TR19 7DG
  • Facilities Near By: Pier, pub, cafes, surf shops, surf schools, car park 

Watergate Bay

Around three miles out of popular Newquay, Watergate Bay remains one of the best-reviewed dog friendly beaches with local people, if not one of the best-reviewed Cornish beaches full stop. Up towards North Cornwall, this breezy beach is great for pet lovers thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic, making for some seriously breath-taking strolls.

Watergate is great for swimmers and sunbathers, with stretches of beautiful sand that scope all along the way. Certainly one of the best looking dog friendly beaches on our list, this zone is more than just dog friendly but completely welcoming to dogs all year round. While there are many dog friendly beaches in Cornwall itself, few balance it with quick the same aesthetic. We absolutely love beaches that combine unbeatable views with breezy walks.

This is one of a few Cornwall dog friendly beaches on our list that also boasts a lifeguard service. Therefore, it’s likely to be one of the safest stretches to take your dogs on. While it might not have the pebble-dashed perfection of a shingle beach, the sand across this beach absolutely deserves seeing for yourself.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Watergate Bay Beach, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 4AA
  • Facilities Near By: Restaurants, cafes, spa facilities, hotels

Vault Beach

If you’ve had your fill of the best of West Cornwall or North Cornwall and its dog friendly beaches, then Vault is sure to offer you a great alternative down the eastern end. Dogs and owners are welcome to this famed sand and shingle beach, though with no lifeguard cover, safety is a must. That said, it is one of several sheltered beaches down this side of Cornwall, making it very safe by design.

Dogs are allowed onto this friendly beach all year round. Do make sure to clean up after your dogs, however, as there are no bins set up! Slightly rugged and backed by some lovely heather cliffs, it’s something of a hidden gem if you spend much of your Cornish holiday looking up popular beach towns and vantage points to watch fishing boats pass.

Keep in mind when you do head to this quaint little corner of England that Vault is one of several nudist-friendly beaches in Cornwall. It’s just so you don’t receive a shock when you start taking your dog on a stroll down the shingle beach at the height of summer! Keep an open mind!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No (dog friendly all year round)
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Vault Beach, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 6JS
  • Facilities Near By: Swimming and sunbathing, nudist beach, no other facilities

Porth Joke

Up on the north coast you’ll find some of the best rugged beaches in Cornwall – and Porth Joke has touches of this, largely being popular for its virtually untouched sands. This is a Cornwall dog friendly zone, where dogs are allowed all year round. However, like some other dog friendly beaches in the region, this is a little off the beaten track.

There is a car park five to ten minutes away, close to Crantock, but your closest beaches nearby are over in Fistral and Newquay. One of our favourite places to stretch those paws down in this lovely corner of England, this is a gorgeous, rural beach zone that’s off the popular map, but which is growing in fame amongst the locals.

As you may expect, there’s no lifeguard cover down here, so if you are breaking from the South West Coast Path to take a look around, keep your dogs on leads! If you prefer places with a bit more of a tourist atmosphere, Newquay’s likely to be your closest port of call. Regardless, this is one of our favourite beaches in Cornwall purely for the peace and quiet.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No (dog friendly / dogs are allowed all year round)
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Address: Porth Joke Beach, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 5SE
  • Facilities Near By: Car park

Last Word

Why not book a holiday with pets in Cornwall? There are lots of dog friendly beaches down here that will gladly welcome you and your furry friend. This end of the country is ripe for exploring.

Sea, sand and sun – there may be no better place to enjoy it all with your dogs than down in Cornwall. Whether you’re walking the length of the South West Coast Path or are simply looking for beaches upon beaches offering that quaint, authentic seaside aesthetic, dog friendly Cornwall really does have much to offer.

Use our guide to dog friendly beach walks in Cornwall as a starting point. There are lots more beaches across the region worth exploring, so definitely feel free to get exploring at your leisure. Of course, there’s more to Cornwall than just beaches, too, so make sure to consult a tourist guide or two before you visit.

Rockpools, coves, harbours and more – Cornwall really does have it all as far as dog beaches are concerned. A sandy beach or a pebble-dashed bay beach or two – you and your pets really have the lion’s share of coastal fun down here. If you need other ideas for great days out, then see our in depth guide.

Make the most of it – find yourself some stunning dog friendly beaches in Cornwall and traditional ice cream to enjoy! From Carbis Bay to rock pools all along the north edge of the map, make your trip down here one you’ll remember for all the right reasons.