Cornwall is one of the best places for a family with a dog. With miles of walks in the countryside, open beaches and woodlands, there’s no reason to leave your furry friend behind when you’re out and about. Beaches are perhaps one of the most popular choice for dog-walkers across the county, but when it gets to a certain time of year, a number of dog bans are put in place along the coastline.
According to the Cornwall Council website, three Cornish beaches have an all-year dog ban, while a further 44 have restrictions for dogs during the holiday season, with exact dates for each available online. During the hot summer months, it’s recommended that dogs don’t spend too much time in the heat, so the beach isn’t the best place to visit during this time anyway.
This means that sometimes, you may be looking for somewhere different to take your pooch, whether that’s indoors or on a walk at an attraction with plenty of shade and water to accommodate your pet. So, we’ve put together a list of some of the best attractions across the county to take your dog, instead of the beach.
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While some areas have strict rules on where dogs can go on their site, others allow your furry friend to roam around with you – on a lead of course. From gardens to ancient castles, here is a list of 10 dog friendly attractions in Cornwall.
Do you know of any more dog friendly attractions in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below.
The Lost Garden’s of Heligan, Pentewan, St Austell
The mysterious gardens and estate offer over 200 acres for exploration. Look out for the Giant’s Head, Mud Maid and Grey Lady all waiting to be discovered along the Woodland Walk. There are plenty of woodland walks including one that takes you into the valley where you can see The Charcoal Sculpture by a small stream – a lovely spot to stop and eat.
Well behaved dogs are welcome, however, they ask that dogs are kept on their lead at all times as they have a variety of rare livestock and poultry around the site. In addition, it minimises disturbance to other visitors as well as their resident wildlife.
There are a number of dog waste bins located around the gardens. On arrival, you’ll be given a free garden map, on which the bin locations are clearly marked.
Eden Project, Par
One of Cornwall’s most notorious attractions offers a truly unique experience as you immerse yourself in a tropical rainforest in a part of the world that doesn’t have the climate to maintain it. The Eden Project allows you to trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest and admire the colourful array of exotic plants and sculptures in the Mediterranean biome at the Eden Project in Par.
Dogs can enjoy miles of outdoor paths at Eden, but unfortunately they aren’t allowed in the Biomes or other undercover areas, apart from the Visitor Centre (including the ticketing hall and shop), the Core and the Stage – this does not apply to assistance dogs. They do provide water bowls and an undercover dining area for dogs.
Mount Edgcumbe, Torpoint
Situated in Torpoint, enjoy fantastic walks with superb views looking back towards Plymouth and lots of off-lead walking along the paths, down by the beach and in the woodland. Mount Edgcumbe House and Garden is a park by the sea, with 865 acres of parkland and is the earliest landscaped park in Cornwall, with part of the South West Coastal Footpath running through it. You can walk around the waterside perimeter and view 18th century follies, fountains, seats and shelters along the way.
According to its website, dogs are welcome but must be kept under control at all times.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
Experience animal welfare in action at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seals, sea lions, otters, penguins and paddock animals. Visitors can also go behind the scenes at Cornwall’s only working Seal Hospital.
According to their website, dogs on leads are very welcome but they ask that all vaccinations are up to date and there are only a few areas dogs aren’t permitted (this does not apply to assistance dogs); The Seal Hospital and the café – but they do have sheltered outdoor seating. All other areas dogs are allowed provided they are well behaved and on leads.
Healeys Cyder Farm, between Truro and Newquay
Hidden between Truro and Newquay, this farm is home of the famous Rattler. There’s a fascinating visitors’ centre, a tea room, restaurant, farm animals and a tour.
Dogs on leads are more than welcome at Healeys Cyder Farm but there are two small exclusions – dogs are not permitted in the production halls or in the jam kitchen for hygiene purposes. This means you may need to take turns to have a good wander around these areas, whilst someone stays behind with the puppy.
Other than that, your furry family members can join you everywhere else you go, including on a tractor ride and in the restaurant.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Bodmin
Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. It is Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives and gives you the chance to discover Cornwall’s railway heritage.
They are very dog friendly but require you to purchase a £1.50 ticket for your pooch to travel on everyday service trains. Dog tickets entitle your pooch to paws-on-the-floor travel, however, they do ask you to ensure that your dog does not travel on the seats, not even on a blanket, as this leaves hairs for their next customers.
Dogs are welcome throughout the station and on board trains except around the on-train bar area, or where food is served, except assistance dogs. There are also bowls of water on the platform at Bodmin General for dogs.
Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance
The theatre faces South East across the mouth of the English Channel, an area rich with wildlife and a wonderful place to experience the wild beauty of the Cornish coast. If there aren’t any performances on, you can explore the open air theatre itself, stand on the stage, investigate the backstage paths and gaze down into the watery depths of the narrow ‘zawn’ almost under your feet.
Dogs on a short lead are welcome during visiting hours, but no dogs other than guide dogs can be admitted to performances.
Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Constructed between 1540 and 1545, Pendennis Castle forms part of the chain of coastal castles built by Henry VIII. It is now a popular English Heritage attraction in Falmouth and there are a wide range of activities at the castle, including an interactive exhibition.
The castle site is set on the headland, so you can enjoy breath-taking 360 degree views of the stunning sea beyond, and enjoy a delicious cream tea from the café.
All dogs on a lead are welcome including inside the buildings and around the grounds. There is also outside seating at the café.
Adrenalin Quarry, Liskeard
Adrenalin Quarry is based near Liskeard and promotes itself as the perfect spot for the thrill seekers among us, living up to its name, with zip wires that reach up to 40mph, a giant clifftop swing, axe throwing, coasteering in the lake, camping out in the woods and sleeping in hammocks under the stars.
It recently announced that is has expanded in time for its opening at Easter and will now be the biggest aquapark in the world, with new inflatables and a complex system of with 56 elements and 59 connectors in total. For the aquapark there are free lockers and showers, as well as a stunning picnic lawn, a small beach and free wild swimming.
Well behaved dogs on a lead are permitted on site but you are asked to keep them supervised at all times. Certain areas are restricted to dogs during busier periods.
Launceston Castle, Launceston
Set on a large natural mound, Launceston Castle dominates the surrounding landscape. Once the administrative headquarters for the Earl of Cornwall, it was a significant location where control could be kept over the various estates in the area.
The castle has a colourful history as a prison of which George Fox, founder of the Quakers, was the most famous prisoner. He suffered harsh confinement at the castle in 1656. It is now an English Heritage site and you can explore the long history of the castle in a display which traces 1,000 years, with finds from site excavations.
Dogs are welcome on leads, so there’s no reason to leave your furry friend behind.