8 dog walks in Cornwall with dog friendly pubs along the way
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What’s better than a country or beach ramble with your dog in Cornwall? A ramble with a pub en route of course. We pick 8 of our favourite dog walks in Cornwall with dog-friendly pubs along the way.
Near the small, historic beach of Crantock near Newquay, is a hidden gem that is definitely worth exploring. Crantock beach is a huge stretch of sand cared for by the National Trust and voted Best British Beach by BBC Coast in 2013.
Flanked by sand dunes and with fantastic surf, the beach is dog-friendly all year round and with lots of space available, it’s a great place to chase a ball and cool off in the waves.
Dogs are welcome in the garden at Bowgie Inn, Crantock village
This is a pub of convenience and comfort in all the right ways. After a walk on Crantock beach, park your car and put your paws up. Hearty pub food and a pint of real ale awaits you.
2. St Agnes to Wheal Coates
There are so many places in Cornwall which lead visitors to flock in their thousands to the county each year but it is the abandoned wheal houses perched atop dramatic coastal paths which have the most sought after views. Wheal Coates is one of these iconic places.
Take the main path leading you towards a famous group of mining remains which are regularly photographed. The area is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and is often used in filming including the BBC series of Poldark. Once you’ve explored the mining remnants, continue along the path to the coastline and downwards toward Porthtowan.
Dogs are welcome at Blue Bar, Porthtowan
3. Frenchman’s Creek, Helford
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Situated on the Helford Estuary, the walks here are exquisite. In the spring, the estuary banks are swathed in bluebells and wild garlic, but come summer time it is the meadow flowers which take centre stage.
Start your journey from Kestle Barton where the walk begins via a slip way on the left hand side of the main road. The path will lead you towards Helford, bearing right at the fork in the footpath through Frenchman’s Creek, made famous after Daphne Du Maurier spent her honeymoon here. You will eventually reach the sleepy hamlet of Helford Village.
Dogs are welcome at the Shipwrights Arms, Helford
This cosy pub is the perfect spot to unwind with Fido at your feet after a ramble around Helford. We love the fish and chips here, best served with a nice cold beer.
4. Porkellis Moor
Porkellis Moor is one of Cornwall’s secret gems. This marshland, once part of the Penrose Estate, is now cared for by the National Trust. There are two entrances to the moor, both highlighted by National Trust signposts.
The entrance furthest up the hill takes you through a windy path to the remains of old mine works and past the River Cober. With woods, water and fields, it’s a great place for you and your dog to explore.
Dogs are welcome at The Star, Porkellis
Both dogs and humans receive a very warm welcome when visiting The Star. There are homemade dog treats for your four-legged friends to enjoy whilst you can relax with a long lunch and a glass of wine.
Dotted across Cornwall there are incredible remnants of ancient history and relics of Kernow’s fascinating past. Madron houses one of these special sites. Past Madron on the right, a small hand-made sign indicates the hidden location of the walk. Take the winding path into the woodland and to the ‘Cloutie Tree’ covered in tied pieces of cloth.
Further along the path, you will eventually reach a small ruin (the remnants of a chapel, built in the 12th Century) and on towards Pixie Wood. This walk is peaceful, yet atmospheric and the perfect way to escape to rural Cornwall with your four-legged friend.
Dogs are welcome at Sportsmans Arms, Heamoor
In the nearby village of Heamoor, you’ll find the Sportsmans Arms; a family-run pub serving delicious food (the Sunday lunch is a must) and guest ales. The pub is just a ten minute walk away from Madron so head on over to refuel after your adventure in Pixie Wood.
6. Gear Hill, Mawgan
Blink and you might miss the entrance to this stunning woodland on Gear Hill – make sure to keep an eye out for a small car park on Gear Lane. At the entrance there are two different paths to take: one is a wide, stone path and the other is a thin, trodden track through the trees.
The woodlands here are large and you can spend quite a bit of time exploring them (which is great for tiring out energetic pups!). Wellies or walking boots are recommended.
Dogs are welcome at The Ship Inn, Mawgan
Tucked away in the narrow lanes of Mawgan is The Ship Inn. In the summer, head outside to the pub’s beer garden and bask in the sun with a G&T. In the winter, snuggle up indoors with a pint of local ale. Dogs (and horses) welcome, of course.
7. Penrose, Porthleven
Situated in the ancient market town of Helston, the National Trust-owned Penrose is a great place to take your four-legged friends. Penrose encompasses woodlands, the deepest natural lake in Cornwall, coastal paths, a beach and fields – what more could your dog need?
The woodlands are vast and surround Loe pool. There are various different paths available; some stay close to the water’s edge, giving you regular peeks of the water, but others lead you further through the trees. But just a word of warning – Loe Bar is considered highly dangerous and not suitable for swimming. You and your dog should avoid going into the sea at all times.
Dogs are welcome at The Harbour Inn, Porthleven
If you’re looking for traditional Cornish charm, The Harbour Inn has it in abundance. Enjoy sea views over Porthleven harbour and tuck into some of the best fish and chips this seaside town has to offer with cod battered in beer from St Austell brewery.
8. Idless Woods
Tucked away in the beautiful village of Idless and managed by the Forestry Commission, Idless Woods is made up of four smaller woodlands: St Clements Woods, Bishops Wood, Lords Wood and Lady’s Wood.
There are a variety of different paths available from the car park. The main track will lead you on a short circular walk. Alternatively, you can head straight up the hill from the car park to walk along the peak of the woodland or veer right and use the path leading down towards the River Allen.
Dogs are welcome at The Old Plough, Shortlanesend
After exploring 2.8 miles of magical woodland, you and your dog will have worked up a hefty appetite. Head to The Old Plough in nearby Shortlanesend, just three minutes away in the car via Idless Lane. Here you’ll find a menu brimming with seafood, homemade pies and hearty pub meals, and a warm welcome for both humans and dogs alike.
This article was updated by Martha Griffiths in May 2021.