Although your dog may love frolicing on the long sandy beaches and splashing in the sea, they love nothing better than jumping into the car for an adventure and Cornwall has so much more to offer intrepid four-legged friends. As well as sandy paw fun there are some wonderful dog-friendly gardens, historic houses and castles to explore that will guarantee a fun day out for the whole family including the dog.
We have put together some of our favourite dog-friendly attractions – including the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan as well as a trip on the Lappa Valley steam train – all designed to delight you and your dog!
Trelissick Park is a dog-friendly house and garden, owned by the National Trust at Feock, near Truro in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Set in 300 acres of parkland, it is a gorgeous place to walk with your dog. There are marked circular walks with beautiful views – the three mile woodland walk is particularly lovely which takes you from the main car park to the edge of the Fal Estuary. There’s also a gallery exhibiting local arts and crafts and a cafe with outside seating.
One of the UK’s top gardens and eco attractions in Cornwall exploring the interaction between living things, the project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit located 2 km from St Blazey and 5 km from St Austell. Your dog will love this beautiful botanical garden, with a myriad of outdoor paths and fabulous dog walks. Take turns to visit the Biomes. There are water bowls provided and undercover dining areas for dogs.
This amazing botanical centre offers 200 acres of green spaces for your dog to walk. They will be transfixed by the magical rock and plant figures dotted around the gardens and will love the woodland walks and wild jungle area. With miles of pathways and different routes this makes a great dog day out.
Lappa Valley Steam Train Is a narrow gauge steam railway set in the Lappa Valley which opened in 1849 to carry minerals between Newquay and East Wheal Rose. The mile long journey takes you on a wonderful ride from Benny Halt through a gorgeous Cornish valley to East Wheal Rose. Dogs are welcome on board and it makes a fun day out that furry friends will love! There is also crazy golf and a cafe.
The dog-friendly Cornish Seal Sanctuary allows dogs on leads and is situated in the pretty village of Gweek Cornwall in the picturesque Helford Estuary where you can see the seals and other animals up close. The original purpose of the Seal Sanctuary was to rescue seals, which they still do, also rehabilitating and releasing many seals every year. As well as gray and common seals they also have Fur Seals, Californian, Patagonian Sea Lions as well as goats, ponies and sheep.
A truly magical place to visit – Tintagel Castle which is set on the rugged North Cornwall coast, has dramatic views, spectacular ruins and a beach cafe making for a fabulous day out for you and your furry friend. Steeped in legend and history and believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur, you can still visit the nearby Merlin’s Cave. There are many paths around the castle and the coastline but you should choose your path carefully as some are close to the cliff edge.
Dog-friendly St Mawes Castle is one of the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses, and elaborately decorated. One of a chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an invasion threat from Catholic France and Spain, it guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, as did Pendennis Castle. Wander around and enjoy wonderful sea views from the top of the castle keep and the beautiful grounds which stretch down to the Fal Estuary. Take a ferry ride to St Mawes Castle from Falmouth and enjoy coffee and cakes at Bear Cornwall’s coffee van. The charming village of St Mawes is close by.
Situated between Truro and Newquay, this farm is a traditional cider brewery with a fascinating visitors’ centre, a tea room, restaurant, farm animals and a tour. Dogs are welcome at Healeys Cyder Farm in all areas except for the production halls or in the jam kitchen. However you can take turns to visit these areas whilst one of you looks after your furry friend. Your dog can even accompany you on a tractor ride and in the restaurant.
Situated in Torpoint, you and your dog can enjoy fantastic walks with fabulous views towards Plymouth and lots of off-lead walking along forest trails and paths, along by the beach and in the woodland. A historic park by the sea, Mount Edgcumbe House and Garden has over 865 acres of parkland for you and your dog to explore with the South West Coastal Footpath running through it making a fantastic day out.
The Port Eliot Estate is located within the beautiful Cornish countryside and is definitely one of the most romantic stately homes in Britain. Steeped in history, each area has a story to tell with the Saint Germans family having occupied the home for hundreds of years. The house is a Grade one listed building and has fabulous works of art and beautiful furnishings passed down through the family generations. However, although dogs are not allowed in the house you can take it in turns to visit inside and make the most of the vast 1000 acre gardens with your dog.