We’re very lucky to be able to spend a many weekends and holidays down in the West Cornwall. I hope this blog post provides some inspiration for enjoying the very South West of England with your pooch!
One of Britain’s top hidden beaches, Portheras Cove is certainly worth the walk. 🌊 A sandy cove at the end of a shallow valley with sheer rocky cliffs at the northern end. Not to be confused with Boat Cove – which is the adjacent beach.
Until recently parts of the beach were out of bounds due to razor sharp fragments of an old wreck under the sand. (In August 1963 a 454 ton cargo ship ran aground. In 2004 the wreck was fully removed, making the beach safe again.)
Access: From Pendeen Lighthouse follow the road – right, down to the sea, before you reach Boat Cove – turn right and up, to follow the South West Coastal path along the cliff-side. After the gate, follow the river down the valley to the beach.
At times the walk can be rocky and challenging. This ‘off the beaten track’ beach has quickly become our favourite, and catching a sunset here is magical. This is also a common place for seals to be spotted.
Top tip: Visit at low tide for extra beach.
Explore the South West Coast Path
The SW Coast Path is England’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath. It’s a fantastic way to experience the rugged Cornish coastline, with the path rising and falling through river valleys. Terrain is mostly rocky, and in some parts can be challenging, with some stretches remaining relatively flat.
Cornwall makes up almost 47% of the whole South West Coast Path which is about 477 km! 👣 With so much ‘path’ to explore, I recommend checking out the South West Coast Path’s official website, here to find a walk close to you – you can also review terrain and length.
Top tip: It is sensible to have your dog on-lead for the majority of the trail – steep cliff edges, narrow trails, wildlife & livestock.
Visit a Neolithic monument
West Cornwall is scattered with remnants of old civilisation – it’s simply a matter of planning your route. Many monuments have parking close by, but there are plenty of long or short trails leading through the countryside, often past many special sites – so, more bang for your buck!
A route we enjoyed was a circular walk over the moors starting by Mên-an-Tol, the route takes you to Boskednan (Nine Maidens) stone circle, Ding Dong Mine, and Lanyon Quoit.
Start: (Grid ref. SW 41874 34416) There is limited off-road parking alongside the minor road from Trevowhan to Madron/Penzance.
There are lots of walks online to choose from, you can also buy local walk guides at many gift shops in the area – these include OS maps and are a really valuable thing to have. 🗺
The route I mentioned above, can also be extended to take you to Chûn Quoit; one of the best preserved of all Neolithic quoits in western Cornwall. You can also park (ref.
SW 39345 33372) alongside the B3318 and walk about a mile up to view the chamber.
Open Top Bus Tour
If your pup is a nosey parker like our Tilly, an open top tour of the rugged North West coast may be right up their alley! 🚌
Weather permitting, this is a fantastic way to see the coast and countryside from an elevated position, and have a cheeky look at the second floor of rural buildings.
You can pick up the Atlantic Coaster at most towns on the coast in Penwith – including Penzance, Sennen (Land’s End), Porthcurno, St Just, Pendeen, St Ives.
Visit a mine
Cornwall’s Tin Coast is scattered with old mines, with the final one, Geevor being closed in 1991. ⛏ The Geevor site is open to dogs, excluding the underground parts. Dogs are also welcome in the Count House Cafe, but not in the gift shop.
There is a public footpath through the mine site, as you reach the end of Geevor’s grounds and reach the sea, take the path left and it will lead you on the Levant Mine and Botallack.
This walk is sometimes known as ‘Crown Mines’ – I recommend using the South West Coastal Path’s website for this walk.
If you need a break from all that hiking, then a mosey round a National Trust Garden is the perfect thing.
The 25 acres of sheltered gardens features exotic trees, shrubs, and an immaculately kept walled vegetable garden. 🍓 Make your way up through the gardens and you’ll come to an open viewing point – which offers fantastic view of Mount’s Bay & The Lizard.
The tearoom at Trengwainton is another delight, where dogs are allowed to sit outside.
Make a trip to the pet shop
If you run out of treats (like I did)… this is the perfect excuse to check out the local pet shop. The Natural Cornish Pet Shop in St Erth is a haven. Stocked full of healthy dog treats and food, as well as accessories and canine essentials.
The staff were extremely kind to gift Tilly some of their very own fish skin cube treats, made with local by-catch fish from Newlyn. 🐟
Catch a sunset
There’s nothing quite like a Cornish sunset. ☀
Thank you so much for reading, if you’re off to West Cornwall, have a fantastic time!
Amy 🖤 & Tilly 🐾
*In the interest of disclosure; none of the above mentioned content is paid/collaborative. Simply sharing things we enjoy.
Click here to read: Top 10 Dog Friendly Places To Eat In West Cornwall