The best dog-friendly days out in Cornwall holiday cottages

Days out

The best dog-friendly days out in Cornwall

We know a lot of people visit Cornwall to explore the beautiful beaches and majestic moors with their dog, but there’s so much more to do in Kernow than walkies.

And when the famous British summer (think sideways rain and sub-zero temperatures) makes an appearance, it’s often hard to find something to do with your pup that doesn’t involve donning head-to-toe waterproofs.

We know the feeling, so we’ve compiled a list of the best dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall, so you’ll always have places to visit and things to do with your four-legged best friend, come rain or shine.

So, whether you’re looking for family-friendly days out, or something a little more unusual, here’s our guide to the best dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall.

Looking for a place to stay? Check out our dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall. Or, for more holiday inspiration, take a look at our dog-friendly guide to Cornwall.

Dog-friendly Cornwall cottages

Best 3 family attractions

1. Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Cornish Seal Sanctuary credit: Instagram @bobbie_jessie_adventures

Every member of the family will enjoy meeting the super-cute seal pups that the Cornish Seal Sanctuary rescues. Penguins, otters and sea lions also call this sanctuary home, making it a great destination for animal lovers of any age.

Why your dog will love this:

Sometimes called the dogs of the sea, seals are surely the aquatic counterparts of your canine companion. Your dog can say ‘hi’ to his marine cousins on a visit to the sanctuary (although he must be on a lead), plus there are multiple water bowls, 42 acres of land to explore and doggy treats at reception.

Best for: a family day out meeting cute animals.

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2. National Lobster Hatchery

National Lobster Hatchery
National Lobster Hatchery credit: Instagram @a_cockapoo_called_paisley

You can learn about the lifecycle of lobsters at this unique attraction, with many interactive activities both children and adults will love. See baby lobsters in the Lobster Nursery and meet other local sea life, including crayfish and spider crabs.

Why your dog will love this:

You can combine a visit with a walk along the 17-mile Camel Trail or the South West Coast Path, as both run close to the hatchery in the centre of Padstow. Your pup can also make friends with Squid, the hatchery dog!

Best for: a day when the weather isn’t making up its mind – you’ve got both indoor and outdoor options for dodging showers!

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3. Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Bodmin and Wenford Railway credit: Instagram @barney_the_welshie

Take a journey through the Cornish countryside on Cornwall’s only full-size steam locomotive. Trains run from Bodmin General to Boscarne Junction, next to the Camel Trail – great if you want to stretch your legs before the return journey.

Why your dog will love this: 

Your four-pawed pal will feel welcome aboard the train with his very own dog ticket. If he’s thirsty after the trip, there are bowls of water waiting at Bodmin General. You can also explore Bodmin’s many other dog-friendly attractions at one end of the journey, or take a walk along the Camel Trail at the other.

Best for: exploring the countryside.

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Best 3 historical attractions

1. Launceston Castle

Launceston Castle
Launceston Castle credit: Instagram @bree_seber

This 13th-century round tower stands proud in the centre of Launceston and offers commanding views of the town and countryside from the top. The grassy banks are perfect for a picnic and kids will love the adventure playground.

Why your dog will love this:

Your hound (welcome on a lead) can stretch his legs walking around the castle grounds and feel the wind his in ears from the top. Plus, he’ll love hanging out with the whole family.

Best for: a picnic with a view.

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2. St Mawes Castle

St Mawes Castle
St Mawes Castle credit: Instagram @cornishchocolatebox

This imposing coastal artillery fortress, constructed by Henry VIII, is not to be missed. Situated at the mouth of the River Fal, it offers breathtaking sea views from the top of the castle keep – plus, there’s a playground for kids. You can take the ferry across the river from Falmouth for some added adventure.

Why your dog will love this: 

Your dog can gain his sea legs on the ferry from Falmouth, plus he’s welcome on a lead around the castle and grounds. The gardens are spread across several levels – perfect for exploring and sniffing out new scents in the fresh sea air.

Best for: a grand day out exploring the estuary.

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3. Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle credit: Instagram @little.dog.big.adventures

Discover the legend of King Arthur at this coastal castle in North Cornwall. Situated on a rocky outcrop, you can enjoy incredible panoramic coastal views from the castle before tucking into some delicious food at the Beach Café.

Why your dog will love this: 

Your dog will love exploring the varied terrain around this castle and making friends with the coastal wildlife – although make sure he’s safe on a lead due to the cliffside nature of the castle. For longer walkies, the South West Coast Path runs right through Tintagel.

Best for: breathtaking cliffside walks.

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Best 3 National Trust days out

1. Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock credit: Instagram @zeus_kernow_frenchie

Explore this magnificent Victorian country house and its large gardens and estate. Kids can get stuck in with the children’s quiz before playing in the playground, while you can enjoy a cup of tea and a scone in the tearoom.

Why your dog will love this: 

While pups aren’t allowed in the formal garden, they are welcome on leads in the park and woodland, offering acres of walkies plus a river to play in. Dogs are welcome in the tearoom, too.

Best for: long woodland walks.   

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2. Trelissick

Trelissick credit: Instagram @amy_henners

Set on its own peninsula in the Fal Estuary, Trelissick offers plenty to see and do for all ages. As well as the country house and art gallery to explore, its coastal location makes it a great place for a picnic with the whole family.

Why your dog will love this: 

Trelissick boasts some of the best walks in Cornwall, with open parkland and shady woodland for your pup to roam. The stunning views aren’t to be sniffed at, either.

Best for: ticking all the boxes – walks, culture, picnic spots and sea views; Trelissick has it all. 

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3. Crantock and Holywell

Crantock credit: Instagram @bethtothefuture

We know it’s not an attraction as such, but we couldn’t miss this coastal gem off our list. Crantock and Holywell beaches are both dog-friendly year round, with plenty of space for the family to build sandcastles, too.

Why your dog will love this:

With miles of golden sand to run free on, sand dunes to explore and blue sea to splash around in, these beaches are truly doggy heaven. Dogs are not only welcome here, but they are actively encouraged to explore the beach, with poop bags and water bowls on offer at manned National Trust car parks.

Best for: a day out by the seaside.

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Looking for more dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall? We couldn’t possibly include them all here, so we’ve given them their very own list!

Best 3 quirky or unique activities you can do with your dog

1. Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm

Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm
Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm credit: Instagram @percypug27

Take a trip around this working cyder (or cider) farm near Newquay, where you can take a guided tour and learn about the cyder-making process, ride on a tractor through the orchard and sample the farm’s produce. There is fruit juice for the kids and plenty of farm animals for them to make friends with.

Why your dog will love this: 

Your pup can sniff out the farmyard scents on the farm, where he is welcome free of charge as long as he’s on a lead. The farm even provides a map so you can be sure of where your four-legged friend is allowed to roam.

Best for: making friends with farm animals.

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2. The Courtroom Experience

The Courtroom Experience
The Courtroom Experience credit: Instagram @witchy_lawya

Surely one of Cornwall’s most unique attractions, this tour of the original county courts in Bodmin puts you in the position of the jury members in a historical trial. You get to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, before taking a look around the original holding cells.

Why your dog will love this: 

If it’s chucking it down outside and your pampered pup doesn’t like to get his paws wet, this is the perfect wet-weather activity. Your dog can lead the way on the tour and explore the gloomy cells with you.

Best for: a day out unlike any other.

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3. Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre
Minack Theatre credit: Instagram @dylan.the.schnauzer

One of Cornwall’s most iconic visitor attractions, the Minack Theatre is an outdoor theatre carved into the rock face of South Cornwall’s rugged coastline. Situated right next to Porthcurno, one of Cornwall’s most breathtaking beaches, you can enjoy incredible sea views from the theatre’s elevated cliffside position.

Why your dog will love this:

While pups aren’t allowed in the theatre during performances, your four-legged friend can feel the wind in his ears and the salt in his fur during a tour in visiting hours. Plus, the South West Coast Path runs right by the theatre so it’s in a great location for extended seaside walkies.

Best for: culture vultures and coastal explorers.

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Dog-friendly days out map

Take a look at our map below to see where in Cornwall our favourite dog-friendly attractions are located, and find the perfect doggy day out near you.

With so many dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall, you’d be barking mad not to book a break. If you’re looking for dog-friendly holiday cottages in Cornwall, we’ve got you covered.

Dog-friendly Cornwall cottages


And let us take the lead on recommending the very best of dog-friendly Cornwall – check out our comprehensive guide.

Canine guide to Cornwall

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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