It’s the one word that every dog loves to hear: “Walkies”! And on a holiday with your dog to Cornwall, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice, with some of the best dog walks in the country right on your doorstep.
Take a windswept walk along high clifftops as seabirds swirl and dive; get salty paws and sandy fur running along golden sands and into crystal seas; or trek across heather-clad moors and spot wild ponies in the distance. Cornwall is a doggy heaven that you’d be barking mad not to visit.
Read on to discover our top 10 dog walks, and our pick of the best dog-friendly Cornwall cottages nearby, so you can start planning a Cornish getaway with your best furry friend...
1. Mount Edgcombe and the Rame Peninsula
As long as your dog is well-behaved, he can run free along most sections of this walk around Mount Edgecombe and the Rame Peninsula – although keep him on a lead in the formal gardens and by the deer park (for obvious reasons!) There’s a big slope for him to roll down and the cafe is super dog friendly.
Terrain: Mostly pathways with a gentle slope at one point.
Distance: 2 miles
Ideal for: A leisurely stroll catching up with your human friends while your dog lets off some steam.
In addition: There’s plenty of parking at the Barrow Centre which forms the beginning and end points of this walk. The cafe there is ready and waiting for your dog, with water bowls and shady spots to help them cool off after a long run. There are also lots of shops and exhibitions for popping in and out of.
Stay nearby: Trevarna, Cawsand | Sleeps 12 + 4 dogs
Your pup will go barking mad for this circular walk around the Lanhydrock estate, as he can really stretch his legs and discover new scents along the trail. The views aren’t bad, either!
Terrain: A pathway and trail across gardens and through woodland.
Distance: 4 miles
Ideal for: A walk with your loved one in autumn; the colours in the forest and the backdrop of Lanhydrock are truly romantic.
In addition: You can park at the National Trust’s Lanhydrock, which also has toilets on site. Dogs aren’t allowed in the formal gardens, but this walk avoids them. However, they are welcome in the cafe, which has homemade dog treats on offer, as well as human-friendly fare.
Stay nearby: The Churns, Lanhydrock | Sleeps 2 + 1 dog
3. Harlyn Bay to Padstow
Sandy paws are an absolute certainty on this walk from Harlyn to Padstow, as it takes in two dog-friendly beaches. There are also many dog-friendly pubs at the end, so your four-legged friend never needs to be left out.
Terrain: This walk mostly follows the South West Coast Path, however, there are some small inclines – not that they will hold your pup back!
Distance: 6.7 miles
Ideal for: Dogs who have a lot of energy to burn off – not only is this walk a long one but there are plenty of sandy surfaces to help tire them out!
In addition: Parking is available in Padstow, where you can catch the 56 bus to Harlyn to begin your walk. Harlyn has basic facilities like toilets and refreshments. Once you’ve arrived back in Padstow, there are many dog-friendly cafes and restaurants to refuel in.
Stay nearby: Padstow - The Linhay | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
4. Holywell Bay
While this coastal walk at Holywell Bay is only a mile long, it might take you twice as long to complete it as your pup will want to spend hours rolling around in the dunes! There’s also a stream for him to wade through; with so many sights and sounds, this walk is doggy heaven. You'll also find even more beautiful stretches of sand to explore in our dog-friendly beaches guide.
Terrain: The walk is almost entirely over sandy beaches and dunes, plus that stream – although pampered pups can take a footbridge if they don’t want to get their paws wet.
Distance: 1 mile
Ideal for: Families with kids who will love the sandy landscape just as much as the dogs will.
In addition: You can park in the Holywell National Trust car park before setting out on this circular walk. When you return, the dog-friendly Treguth Inn opposite the car park has water bowls handy as well as complimentary biscuits for your hungry hound.
Stay nearby: The Palms, Newquay | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
5. Idless Woods
With four different areas of woodland incorporated into Idless Woods, your dog will have no end of plants to sniff, leaves to root around in and tree trunks to wee up. Best of all is the stream at the far end of the wood – perfect for hot summer days.
Terrain: This walk includes a mix of woodland, a few small hills and the stream. There is also a paved circular route around the woods if your pampered pup isn’t keen on muddy paws.
Distance: 6 miles at the longest point, although there are plenty of shortcuts if your hound is dog-tired.
Ideal for: Making friends – this is a hugely popular dog-walking spot so your pup will have a few more four-pawed pals by the time you’re done.
In addition: There’s a large car park in the woods and a new cafe which has cleverly added clips at the end of the tables to attach your dog’s lead to. Pups get free treats too – that’ll set tails wagging. More extensive facilities are found at Truro, a couple of miles away.
Stay nearby: Little Roseveth Jasmine Cottage, Truro | Sleeps 4 + 3 dogs
6. St Agnes (Trevaunance Cove) to Wheal Coates
Fido can enjoy the wind in his ears and the salt in his fur on this cliff-top walk from St Agnes to Wheal Coates, taking in Cornwall’s iconic abandoned wheal houses. We think it's one of the UK's best dog walks - try it and see!
Terrain: Fairly level along a path with a gentle climb to St Agnes Beacon – however there are steep cliff edges and hidden mineshafts so keep your pup on a lead to be on the safe side.
Distance: 3 miles
Ideal for: Just one dog per person, as a lead is highly necessary at some points on this walk. It’s worth it, though, for some of the most stunning views in Cornwall.
In addition: You can park at St Agnes Head car park before setting out on the walk. More facilities are available in Trevaunance Cove and St Agnes itself.
Stay nearby: Lor Treven, St Agnes | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog
7. Tehidy Woods to Deadman’s Cove
There are plenty of squirrels to chase on this circular woodland walk and, although the Tehidy Woods wildlife area has a dog ban, you can skip this bit out and still give your pup a good run.
Terrain: Woodland and coast path, with a few small inclines.
Distance: 4.3 miles
Ideal for: A romantic walk in spring, when bluebells carpet the wood – a sight not to be missed. Just make sure your dog doesn’t try and have a nibble on the flowers!
In addition: Park at Tehidy South Drive car park, where there are also toilets, a visitor centre and a cafe, plus picnic benches.
Stay nearby: Higher Merrose, near Portreath | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
8. Helston to Penrose or Loe Bar
This walk from Helston to Penrose will please all members of the family – two-legged or four – and your dog will love being out for the day with the humans he loves the most.
Terrain: The route follows a mostly flat path, which is suitable for buggies, with a small stream for your dogs to cool off in. There’s also some marshy woodland further on in the walk. If you follow the walk to Loe Pool, there are strong currents so don’t let your dog swim – no matter how much he wants to.
Distance: 4 miles to the Penrose Estate and back; 6.5 miles to Loe Bar and back.
Ideal for: A day out with the kids, as there are plenty of facilities to keep both them and the pup happy.
In addition: Parking is available at Coronation Park, Helston, which also has a cafe, a boating lake and a play area. Penrose Estate also has a cafe with treats for your dog available if he’s been a good boy (when hasn’t he?!). More extensive facilities can be found at Porthleven.
Stay nearby: Pilchard Cottage, Porthleven | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog
This short walk at Botallack is great for smaller dogs or hounds with little legs who want a quick burst of exercise to let off some steam. It follows part of the coast, so there’ll be lots of salty scents to sniff, too.
Terrain: Mostly path with some small inclines and uneven patches. The trail leads along cliff edges, so keep an eye on your pup.
Distance: 1 mile
Ideal for: Nature lovers; spot rare wildflowers and listen out for sea birds and Cornish choughs along this route. Plus, the coastal views are breathtaking.
In addition: There is plenty of parking in the car park at just beyond the ruins, near the National Trust’s Count House, where there are also toilets, a café and a picnic area.
Stay nearby: Roosters Roost, Sennen | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs
10. Kynance Cove
Walking around the southerly tip of mainland Britain, this lung-busting clifftop walk at Kynance Cove will truly tucker out your pup. With salty scents to sniff and hidden coves to explore, he’ll be ready for a doze in the sun when you’re done.
Terrain: Steep hills, sandy beaches and cliff-top paths – this really is ‘walkies’!
Distance: 7 miles
Ideal for: A solo mooch with your pooch; the cliff-top location will clear your head and invigorate your senses.
In addition: Parking, a cafe and toilets can all be found at Kynance Cove. Seasonal dog restrictions apply on Kynance Cove beach.
Stay nearby: Chy Kerrik, Cadgwith | Sleeps 2 + 1 dog
Top Cornwall dog walks map
Find the perfect dog walk near you - take a look at the map below to find out where all of the dog walks we've featured above are.
Stay in Cornwall with your pup
If you're feeling inspired to come and explore some of these dog walks in Cornwall with your pup, 'paw' through our collection of dog-friendly Cornwall cottages to pick out the perfect bolthole for you and your four-legged friend. Whether you plan to pound the South West Coast Path or take a relaxed ramble through the Cornish countryside, our Cornwall dog-friendly cottages will provide you with a homely base to rest your weary feet and paws!
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.