Your guide to Cornwall’s dog-friendly beaches

Discover new sights on your next family getaway as your four-legged friend makes memories by your side on some of the best Cornwall beaches. Uncover sand dunes, sniff out rock pools and dig up the sand. The sudden relaxation of hearing the waves hit the golden shore as you leave foot (and paw) prints in your stride. Taking your dog on your family holiday is undeniably going to bring another level of joy to your getaway. After all, your pup deserves a break too.


Gone are the days of paying for doggy daycare when hoping to enjoy some time away. Now, you can take your pooch with you on a holiday in Cornwall, where some of the best beach walks for dogs are waiting to be discovered.

Just off the coast of Cornwall are the beautiful Isles of Scilly, where a scenic holiday destination meets dog-friendly beaches. Don't forget, giving your pup the chance to zoom is so important. There really is nothing better than a beach with no lead restrictions for those well-trained furry friends. 

There are some beaches in Cornwall you won’t want to miss out on, but in order to visit at certain times of the year, you’ll be required to keep your dog on their lead as the beach may be busy!

There are over 140 dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall for you to explore with your four-legged friend. In fact, only four beaches in Cornwall have a dog ban – so your pooch has a fantastic choice of spaces to sniff.

The benefits of beach walks for dogs

Making memories

Enjoy spending time with the entire family, get those paws stuck in and be sure to make a splash as we uncover some of Cornwall’s top dog-friendly beaches.

Cornwall’s dog-friendly beaches are not only a fantastic way to bond with your pup, but there are many other benefits to taking your four-legged family member on holiday with you:

  • Sea water restores tissue damaged by wounds
  • The appearance of your dog’s coat will be improved
  • New smells and stimulation will lead to a happier, healthier life
  • Endless exercise opportunities – running, splashing, digging.

Isles of Scilly

Great Bay

Take a trip over to Great Bay, where you’ll find a beautiful stretch of white sand, located on the remote northern shore of St Martins. Considered one of the finest beaches on the Isles, with undeveloped stretches of coastline.

More information:

  • What’s more, your four-legged friends are allowed free reign all year!
  • With no obstructions and clear shores, you’ll be able to spot them without trouble as they speed off to explore. 

Gimble Porth Beach

Take the footpath north from Old Grimsby Beach to discover the peaceful shores of Gimble Porth. Towards the north of Tresco, close to King Charles’ Castle and Cromwell’s Castle, you’ll find pale sands meeting clear beautiful waters.

More information:

  • Dogs are allowed here but must be kept on a lead for safety. Although, you’ll likely have the beach to yourself, so you and your pooch can run and explore to your heart’s content.

Beach walks for dogs without a lead

Holywell Bay

Once you step over the sweeping sand dunes that welcome you onto Holywell Bay, you’ll see the stretch of golden sand expanding almost a mile northeast. At low tide, a cave at the northern end of the beach can be explored.

More information:

  • Your four-legged friend is also welcome to roam free all year round, making Holywell Bay the perfect spot for family fun.
  • Close to the popular town of Newquay, and with a car park next door, Holywell Bay is a family-friendly beach with seasonal lifeguards on hand, rockpools, sand dunes and a small stream to explore.

Dollar Cove

If your pup can sniff out silver dollars then this is the place to go! The cove is named after the treasure that is rumoured to have been found here from the wreck of a 17th-century ship.

More information:

  • Dogs are allowed all year, and with a mixture of sand and rocks, this beach features ideal terrain for a casual explorer.
  • Be sure to check out the thousands of years of tectonic movement visible through the contorted strata of the cliffs! 

Fistral Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall, situated right in the heart of Newquay, Fistral Beach is known for its golden sand and surfing scene. There’s plenty to explore on Fistral Beach with your dog – as they’re allowed all year round!

More information: 

  • Find a surf centre, toilets and a café alongside surfboard and wetsuit hire. There’s even a nearby golf course.  

The beach itself is divided into three areas:

  • South Fistral
  • The main beach
  • Little Fistral (only really there at low tide.)

Porth Joke Beach

If you want a secluded moment of calm, this unspoilt sandy beach is situated in a deep cove between headlands. With Crantock Beach to its north, Holywell Bay to the south, and Newquay five miles away, Porth Joke is a pure haven.

More information: 

  • Low tide reveals rock pools, making Porth Joke the perfect place for your entire family to explore – if you and your dog don’t mind the walk from the car park.

Cornwall’s dog-friendly beaches on lead

Perranporth Beach

At low tide, this dog-friendly beach joins together with Penhale sands, making one of the largest stretches of unbroken sand on the North Coast. At Penhale Point, a network of sand dunes display a Conservation where a church is buried.

More information: 

  • Throughout July and August, from 9am to 5pm, your four-legged friend will need to be kept on a lead – but they’ll get free reign the rest of the year!
  • Towards the town end of the beach, there are rock pools, caves and a stream to explore. There’s also Chapel Rock, with a small bathing pool facing the sea.
Our Cornwall beaches image

Our Cornwall beaches

Wherever you go for your beach dog walk, be sure to check any restrictions for that time of year. But most of all, make the most of your holiday by enjoying as many of Cornwall’s dog-friendly beaches as you can!


Is Carbis Bay dog friendly

Carbis Bay is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in the UK – maybe even the world! With cliffs sheltering the white sands and blue waters from either end of the beach, this Caribbean-like escape just a mile from St Ives gets busy. 

Because of this, there is a seasonal dog ban on Carbis Bay, effective from July to September between 10am to 6pm. Outside of these times, dogs are free to explore. 

Are there restaurants and cafes in Cornwall that are dog friendly?

As Cornwall is such a rural place, with the majority of activities taking place outside, much of the space is naturally dog-friendly. Due to this, Cornwall has welcomed pups over the years, and you’ll find many restaurants, cafes, pubs and holiday homes opening their doors to your four-legged family member.

Can I walk my dog without a lead in public? 

You can walk your dog without a lead on public footpaths if you trust their obedience. However, the general rule is you ensure they stick to footpaths, otherwise they could be accused of trespassing. It is also respectful to keep your dog on a lead in busy areas and on main roads, for their safety and that of others. 

If you’re looking to visit a specific location or beach, be sure to check the regulations first, as there may be seasonal dog bans or the requirement to keep your pup on their lead. And, it goes without saying that lead or not, you should always be respectful and pick up after them.

Can I walk my dog on the beach in Cornwall?

Many of Cornwall’s beaches are dog-friendly. However, you will need to check each individual beach before you go as this may change depending on the season. Some beaches may require you to have your dog on a lead during the busy months, and others may have time restrictions. Either way, there are plenty of beaches in Cornwall for your dog to roam free.

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