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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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Where to find dog friendly beaches in Cornwall this summer

Cornwall boasts a wide range of dog friendly beaches and spectacular coastal paths – some of which are right on our doorstep at Crantock Bay. It really is a great choice of holiday destination for those looking to get away with their four-legged friend.

A number of the beaches in the county implement a seasonal dog ban from Easter through to the end of September, however many do welcome them throughout the seasons. We’ve put a list together of our favourite year-round dog friendly beaches below.

Crantock Beach

What better place to start than our very own local beach – Crantock. The beach sits between the Pentire and West Pentire headlands and at the southern end of the beach, the high cliffs provide shelter from the wind. The mouth of the River Gannel can be found to the north – which was once a navigable port.

Found just outside of Newquay it can be much quieter here – great for avoiding the summer crowds.

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Constantine Bay

This is a beautiful unspoiled beach, found a little further from us near Padstow – fantastic for exploring rock pools. The beach is great for families with plenty of room for games, building sandcastles and dogs to run off some steam!

Fistral Beach

Another beach local to us and one of the best in Cornwall for surfing – the mile of golden sand has plenty of room for dogs and their families. Only a five-minute drive from Newquay town centre, Fistral is great for stretching legs and paws.

Perranporth

Perranporth is one of the best loved beaches in Cornwall – with over three miles of sand there’s plenty of room for dogs to run. It’s also great for surfing, sampling a local cider or two, beach games with the kids or just soaking up the sun.

Polly Joke

Nestled between Crantock beach to the north and Holywell Bay to the south, Polly Joke (as it’s locally known, or Porth Joke to others) in an unspoilt sandy beach where dogs are allowed all year. There’s enough sand here on even the busiest day and is well worth the fair walk from the car park.

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Photo by Nilfanion

Watergate Bay

Another beach not far from us, Watergate Bay has miles of sand, which is guaranteed to tire out even the most energetic pooch! It’s ideal for families too. Set beneath high sheltering cliffs, it’s also close to great amenities.

Holywell Bay

This is a much-loved family beach, as well as being popular with surfers and bodyboarders. There’s a large car park a level walk away, toilets, a beach shop and refreshments available. At nearly a mile long, there’s lots of space for dogs to enjoy these golden sands too.

Holywell Bay - Where to find dog friendly beaches in Cornwall this summer

Photo by Nilfanion

Bedruthan Steps

According to legend, the granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan – making it one of the most iconic beaches in the county. There’s lots to explore too – from hidden caves and rock pools, to the coastal footpath found above the beach. The National Trust café at the top of the cliffs is dog friendly, meaning the whole family can enjoy this spectacular spot!

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5 walks within 30 minutes of Crantock Bay Apartments

Spring is a beautiful time of year in Cornwall, with flowers blooming, temperatures rising and the beaches still quiet, it’s the ideal time to get out and explore some of the fantastic walks around Cornwall.

Here are five great routes that are within 30 minutes of us here at Crantock Bay Apartments.

Crantock and The Gannel

Starting at Crantock Beach this circular route will take you along the coast path to Penpol Creek, passing through fields and woodland along the way, before you make your way down to the sand, following the estuary bed and onto the footpath that will lead you back around to Crantock.

A beautiful walk that enjoys plenty of stunning views, it is essential that you time your outing with low tide. Around 4.5 miles in length it is only around a six-minute drive from Crantock Bay.

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Photo by Tom Tolkien

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Cubert Wildlife Walk

This walk begins at the car park in West Pentire and heads north towards the coast, starting a circular path that will take you past Porth Joke, an Iron Age fort, Holywell Beach and more – enjoying spectacular scenery as you go.

Offering fantastic displays of poppies and other wild meadow flowers during the summer, as well as magnificent coastal views, this route is well worth exploring. Around 6 miles in length, the starting point is only around a two-minute walk away from us.

Holywell Bay - 5 walks within 30 minutes of Crantock Bay Apartments

Photo by Nilfanion

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Perranporth to St Agnes

A beautiful cliff top walk, this route provides a great opportunity to see some of the mining relics in the area, as well as the remnants of an old airfield that was used during the war. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the cliffs below Droskyn too, which were once famous for smugglers.

Around 3.6 miles in length and around a twenty-minute drive from Crantock Bay, the path is generally flat with one steep valley climb to tackle along the way.

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Bedruthan Steps

The perfect choice for those wishing to see the iconic stacks – known to many as the legendary rocks that the giant Bedruthan used as stepping stones – highlights of this walk include the spectacular coastal scenery, the beaches of Pentire Steps and Bedruthan, as well as the many wildflower varieties that can be enjoyed during spring and early summer.

A 4.5 mile circular route that begins and ends in the Pentire Farm car park, it is around a thirty minute drive from Crantock Bay.

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Goss Moor circular trail

Moving in from the coast, around a twenty five minute drive inland will take you to Goss Moor and its circular trail. 7 miles in length, the mostly flat path winds its way around the moor, providing the perfect track for walkers, runners, cyclists and riders to enjoy the area safely. The largest surviving remnant of the mid-Cornwall moors, Goss Moor is a beautiful place to explore.

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