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Cornwall for dog lovers

A family holiday needs to cater for the whole family – and for many of our visitors that includes a four-legged friend. The good news is that Cornwall is full of great dog-friendly things to see and do. Here are some of our favourites.

Sand between your paws

There are so many incredible beaches to choose from in Cornwall, but always check if dogs are welcome, as some beaches have dog bans during the busier months.

We’re lucky to have Crantock Beach right on our doorstep. It’s cared for by the National Trust and was voted the Best British Beach by BBC Coast in 2013. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round. The huge stretch of sand and dunes are a perfect place for dogs to play.

Holywell Beach is also dog-friendly all year round and is very close to Crantock Bay. This stunning beach was used as a location for filming of the BBC’s Poldark series.

Mawgan Porth beach is halfway between Newquay and Padstow. Surrounded by stunning cliffs, dogs are welcome all year round.

Days out with doggies

Cornwall’s iconic Eden Project was voted the world’s best location for walking dogs in 2018. Dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas, so you will have miles of beautiful gardens to explore. However, please bear in mind that dogs are not allowed into the biomes. You can find out more about Eden’s dog-friendly facilities here.

Lappa Valley is a big hit with families, thanks to its steam trains, paddle boats and play parks. And the good news is that dogs are welcome too. Located in the countryside just outside Newquay, Lappa Valley is just a short drive from Crantock Bay.

Dogs are also welcome on boat trips run by Newquay Sea Safari and Fishing and the captain even keeps dog biscuits onboard. Explore the North Cornwall coast and see Newquay from the sea. The boat trips include cruises to hidden coves and secret beaches to meet wildlife up close in their natural environment.

Paws for a pint – dog friendly pubs and restaurants

Our very own C-Bay Bar and Bistro welcomes dogs and their owners for coffee, food and drinks throughout the day. With comfy seating and an unsurpassed view of the coastline, it’s the perfect place to relax after a run on the beach below.

Beach bars don’t come much better than the Watering Hole, which is right in the middle of Perranporth Beach – a nine-mile drive from Crantock Bay. Walk your dog on the miles of golden sands of Perranporth then pop into the Watering Hole for a tasty lunch.

The Hawkins Arms in Probus, near Truro, has been voted Cornwall’s best pub on TripAdvisor. Visitors praise its great food and warm welcome – which extends to dogs too!

Dogs are welcome at the courtyard tables at Rick Stein’s Café in Padstow. A great place for coffee, lunch, or an evening meal, where freshly caught fish is sure to be on the menu.

Woodland walks

Cardinham Woods has miles of paths to explore with your dog – and after you’ve stretched your legs, you can enjoy a delicious Cornish cream tea at the Woods café (jam first of course!)

Idless Woods near Truro is another great place to walk. There are a variety of different paths to explore, including a circular path, or you can head straight up the hill from the car park to walk along the peak of the woodland.

Rainbows ar Crantock Bay

Why visit Cornwall during the winter?

Winter in Cornwall is dramatic, beautiful and romantic – and it’s often the time of year that you’ll hear about in old Cornish tales of smuggling, novels and sea shanties. It could be said that it’s the real, raw side of the county, that many visitors never get to experience.

Although rarely cold, Cornwall’s position on the coast means it can be wet and it’s often wild. Huge Atlantic swells create perfect conditions for avid storm watchers – a pastime that has grown in popularity in recent years. As long as it’s done safely, there’s little that can beat the sheer power and spectacle of a winter storm –especially if viewed from the warmth of an apartment or C-Bay Bar & Bistro.

The beaches are considerably quieter during the winter and with the rules relaxed in many places that aren’t dog accessible all year round, your four-legged friend can enjoy a good run on the sand. There may even be a surfer or two to watch in the water (from the comfort of a warm coat and hat from dry land!)

During the summer, popular tourist hotspots such as St Ives, Padstow and Newquay can get very busy. Parking can be tricky at the height of the season, with shops, restaurants and the surrounding beaches packed with visitors. Fast forward to the winter months and there’s space to explore, tables to choose from and every chance you’ll have the coast path to yourself. Should the weather turn damp, there’s plenty to do indoors too.

If the dramatic landscapes, Atlantic swell and quieter towns aren’t enough to tempt you to visit during the winter, perhaps the lure of cosy pubs with roaring fires and delicious comfort food will. Fish and chips, freshly baked Cornish pasties and cream teas somehow taste even better when devoured after a blustery walk on the beach…

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Welcoming in the New Year the Cornish way

With New Year’s Day just around the corner (hasn’t this year just flown by!) we’re looking forward to taking part in one or two traditions. Our unique coastal position means that embracing the chilly Atlantic early in the morning is one of our favourites, but there are others which will help you to make the most of the first day of 2020 in Cornwall.

Embrace the chilly water and go for a swim

What better way to clear your head and kick start the new year than the New Year’s Day open swim on Crantock Beach! Whilst running into the (probably) chilly water might seem a bit odd to those from outside Cornwall, there really is nothing better, or refreshing, on a January morning.

Indulge in a hearty breakfast

With the sea swim taking place just below us, treat yourself to one of our delicious all-day breakfasts in C-Bay afterwards. Warm up, kick back, relax and enjoy the view – whilst feeling very smug that you’ve already been in the sea on the 1st January.

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Run the dog on the beach

We’re very lucky that all of the beaches in Cornwall are dog friendly during the winter. Staying with the coastal theme, wear out your four-legged friend (and the rest of the family too!) with a good run around on the beach. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you may have already been for a swim…

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Hire a bike and ride the Camel Trail

Enjoy a gentle ride along this traffic free route to blow a few cobwebs away. Ideal for those who would like to be near the coast, with views of the sea, without getting in. The trail is flat, so it’s great for children too.

Lastly, did you know…

In Cornwall, the moment between 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve and midnight on New Year’s Day is known as ‘St Tibb’s Eve’? It’s supposed to be a hidden day of magical celebration.

‘First Footing’ is a tradition found across the world. It’s believed that good luck is brought into the house by the first person to enter in the New Year. In Cornwall, our version of first footing is called ‘sanding the step’. The doorstep is marked with a line of sand and the first person to cross is said to represent the luck the household will receive that year.

Will you be adding this Cornish tradition to your celebrations?

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Our favourite cocktails to enjoy at C-Bay Café/Bar/Bistro

In our (very biased) opinion, there’s no better place to sip on a favourite cocktail than our very own sun terrace, or from a comfy chair within our bar area. With an unsurpassed view across Crantock Beach and the coastline beyond, it’s also a great spot to watch the world go by.

We recently extended our café/bar/bistro to include a new bar area and a more relaxed seating area. Perfect for enjoying coffee and cake, but also a great place to try the range of cocktails, mocktails and gins (amongst others) on the menu later in the day.

When asked to name the most popular cocktail on the menu it wasn’t possible – because there are two. The classic Mojito, a combination of white rum, lime juice, gomme syrup, soda water and mint, and the Porn Star Martini – a blend of vanilla vodka, passion fruit, passion fruit vodka and served with a shot of prosecco.

For guests who prefer an alcohol-free option, Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit, solves the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking.’ With two varieties to choose from, Seedlip Spice and Seedlip Garden, we think they make a great tasting drink.

If you’re unable to join us at Crantock Bay to enjoy a cocktail or two, why not recreate our favourite cocktails at home:

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Muddle the lime juice, gomme syrup (or sugar) and mint leaves, crushing the mint as you go. A rolling pin works well for this. Pour into a tall glass and add a handful of ice.

Pour over the rum, stirring with a long-handled spoon. Top up with soda water, garnish with mint and serve.

Porn Star Martini 

Start by chilling a martini glass with lots of ice. Add 25ml of vanilla vodka, 25ml of passionfruit vodka, 10ml of vanilla gomme syrup and 25ml of passion fruit to a cocktail shaker glass filled with ice. Shake and strain the contents into the glass. Cut the end of a passion fruit and place into the glass so it floats.

Finally serve a shot glass of prosecco alongside the martini. Enjoy!

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