It’s no secret that Padstow is one of the UK’s top destinations for foodies and beach lovers with dogs in tow. However, what really makes this one of best places for a pooch-friendly getaway is the abundance of walkies waymarked across nearby coast and countryside. Step out on to white-sand beaches, stand on dramatic headlands, or ramble along woodland and moorland trails with your hound in tow. Here are ten of our favourite dog walks near Padstow.
Start with a coffee beside the waves at Harlyn and play fetch on the pearly sands, before hitting the coast path for this 6-mile loop. Set off towards the divine Mother Ivey’s Bay, making paw-prints on its sugary sands, then heading on to the iconic lighthouse at Trevose Head. Stop on the dramatic Dinas Head to soak up the views and take a snapshot of you and the dog on your coastal adventure, then drop to the shoreline at Booby’s Bay and Constantine, before cutting back along the lanes to Harlyn.
Hop on the dog-friendly Black Tor ferry from Padstow to Rock, and follow the South West Coast Path on an easy and scenic stroll to Polzeath. At low tide you can walk along the beach from Rock to Daymer Bay, but it’s worth scaling the grassy knoll of Brea Hill and detouring to the wonky-steepled St Enodoc Church where John Betjeman is buried. Let the dog run wild on the golden sands of Daymer Bay, before rejoining the well-kept path the rest of the way to Polzeath, paw-sing at Greenaway Beach for a spot of rock pooling on route.
Explore sweeping countryside and wild coastline on this five-mile loop that starts from Padstow’s quayside. Keep your dog on a lead as you head across Chapel Stile field and follow waymarked paths cutting through farmland until you reach the coast at Gunver Head. Paws to take in the views then bound back along coastline, past Butter Hole and the collapsed sea cave of the Pepper Hole, then along the banks of the estuary back to Padstow, where you can refuel in one of many dog-friendly eateries.
Not all of Cornwall’s dog-friendly walking territory is on the coast. Head inland to the sky-scraping canopies of Cardinham Woods, where you can roam four waymarked, dog-friendly routes roaming the forest. Meander along riverside paths perfect for little legs and less energetic dogs, or wend up into woodland and bag glorious views over the vale. Then let the dog cool off with a splash in the stream and make a pit-stop in the dog-friendly café for hearty snacks and homemade cakes.
Let the dog scamper across rolling moorland and scale Cornwall’s highest peaks – Rough Tor and Brown Willy – on this five-mile circular walk. From the top of Rough Tor you can enjoy gob-smacking countryside and coastal views all the way along the ridge to Showery Tor, where you drop back down into the valley before tackling the ascent of Brown Willy.
For the perfect balance of rugged cliff tops and miles of golden sands, start your walk on the wave-lashed doggie haven of Watergate Bay, for a low-tide wander all the way west along the beach to Whipsiderry (just make sure the tide is at its lowest so that you don’t get cut off). Then climb the cliff stairs and follow the footpath east from Porth Island, along wave-hewn cliffs topped with wildflowers and a duo of Bronze Age barrows. Aim to be back at Watergate Bay in time for a sundowner in one of its dog-friendly beach cafés.
Keep your eyes peeled for seals and peregrine falcons and witness spectacular views from the wild terrain of the Rumps. At the start of this walk, you’ll need to put the dog on a lead as you cross farmland from Pentireglaze car park, before scampering along the wild and pristine beauty of the coastline, where you’ll discover an abundance of wildlife, wildflowers and the remains of an Iron Age fort.
It’s up to you how much you’d like to tackle of this 18-mile traffic-free route, following a disused railway along the banks of the Camel Estuary and through the Camel Valley. With no cars to contend with it’s a pleasurable stroll from start to finish, but can get busy with bikes, especially in the holidays. If you’re leaving directly from Padstow, the first 5.5 miles to Wadebridge is a spectacular stroll, but if you prefer a quieter woodland walk, start from Wadebridge and meander along the tree-lined valley towards Bodmin Moor.
Mawgan Porth’s sandy runway flanked by dramatic cliffs is a Mecca for dog walkers and families. But if you turn your back on the beach and head inland, you can follow the footpath along a burbling stream through the lush valley. Your pooch will love a wander through the woodland, a play in the stream and a stroll across farmland into the idyllic village of St Mawgan – where the village pub welcomes dogs for a well-deserved pint before the return schlep.
While everyone’s heard of Port Isaac being the home of hit TV series Doc Martin and Nathan Outlaw’s Michelin-starred restaurants, many visitors forget to stray from its picturesque beauty. And while dogs won’t appreciate its links with fame, they will enjoy a ramble along the dramatic coastline of Lobber Point, Varley Head and Pine Haven. Once you descend into the quaint cove of Port Quin, stop for a game of fetch on the beach, before taking a shortcut back through pretty woodland and fields.
With so many stunning dog walks on the doorstep of your holiday cottage, Padstow is the perfect place to enjoy some of Cornwall’s best dog-friendly trails. To make your search easier we’ve pulled together a collection of dog-friendly cottages and holiday homes in the Padstow area.
For more information, please see our advice on Visiting Padstow with Dogs. For more ideas for things to do with your four-legged friend, see our latest articles on Dog Friendly Beaches Near Padstow and Cornwall’s Best Dog-Friendly Attractions. Also, discover the Best Beaches to Visit Near Padstow With Dogs.
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