A Dog’s Guide to West Cornwall

We get a lot of enquiries from folk wishing to bring their dogs to Tregiffian, and even though we have our own little star (Polly) I am always nervous about agreeing. I’ve now put in place a £100 deposit for dog owners and that gets returned once Laura (our fab  cleaner) gives the OK.

Ideally I have dog owners stay at New Forge as its garden is more enclosed, and they have to be on the lead in the communal areas. That said it’s an amazing place for dogs and owners, especially as Gwenver is dog friendly all year.

I’ve just written the following notes for Bagel who is staying next week, I’ll add to them as I think of new places to send dogs and their owners for a great stomp (or stank as we say down west).

A Lucky Dog’s Guide to West Cornwall.

“What? We’re really going to Cornwall? And the far west of Cornwall at that? Brilliant!”

It may be a dog’s life, but that can be a great thing when there are miles of cliffs and beaches to tear along, as well as pubs where dogs don’t have to sit outside.

Here are a few thoughts about holidays in the far west with very lucky dogs. It’s all from memory so apologies if anything has changed when you get there.

Beaches: The beach can be brilliant, but many now have summer dog band. Here we’re fairly flexible in that even the big beaches that do have bans tend to impose them during the day only – from 8.00 to 19.00, so morning and evening romps are still ok.

From Tregiffian west and around the bottom: our nearest beach is Gwenver. It’s fabulous, and dog friendly all the time. Take care swimming there as the currents can be difficult, but there are life guards all summer and they are cautious with their flags.

Sennen is next and that has a day time ban. You can walk to Sennen along the cliff from Gwenver staying just off the beach.

Going around Land’s End the next up is Nanjizel. Another dog friendly beach and it’s a stunning walk there across the cliffs or fields. Take the map for the short route from Tregiffian past the Appletree Café at Trevescan which is great for a huge slab of high calorie cake.

After Nanjizel is the beautiful little cove of Porthgwarra. No dogs in summer, shame. It’s lovely, but you can walk by and see it all. Good beach to swim from, and often a little warmer that the more exposed beaches.

Going further east, next up is Porth Chapel which is OK all year. The climb down isn’t easy, but it’s a lovely beach with coarse sand.

Then it’s one of the jewels. Porthcurno, which unfortunately has a summer dog ban, but if you can get down to PednVounder, next along, you’ll be fine. The climb is the hardest of all in West Penwith, and there’s about a 50/50 nude/clothed ratio there.

Difficult climb, but worth it.

Mousehole Beach in the harbour has a dog ban all year.

And finally in that direction – Penzance has a summer ban.

From Tregiffian East – so along the top:

Cot Valley is lovely, but the beach isn’t up to much. You can take your dog there, but it’s not the best. I’d keep walking to Priests below.

Priests Cove has a unique charm that some don’t get, and others (including me) are captivated by. There’s no sand and it’s dog friendly and great to swim from.

Portheras under Pendeen Watch is dog friendly. There are warnings of exposed metal on the beach. I used to see it when I was younger but I haven’t for years. It depends on the tides and how much sand is either dumped there or washed away. We had our wedding pasties and champagne on this beach. It was great o go to the beach in a suit, and see dad strip off first and get in the sea before many had negotiated the cliff

Then there’s not much in the way of sand, just wonderful cliffs, until St Ives which has summer bans on all beaches.


In Manchester the pubs sell Dog Beer, I haven’t seen it in Cornwall yet.

The easiest pubs to walk to are The Old Success and The First and Last. Both serve decent basic pub grub and are dog friendly (except the restaurant area at The Old Success). Banging tunes on a Saturday at F&L that makes our Polly run for her life.

St Just is a longer walk – take a map and watch out as the field paths are sometimes easy, sometimes the opposite! It takes about 50 minutes, or an hour and a half on the coast route. All four pubs in the town are dog friendly as is The Cookbook Café which serves good food, but can be cramped.

Three favourites that are all a drive away are The Queen’s at Botallack, The Gurnard’s Head and The Old Coastguards at Mousehole. All offer great food and have tables when Fido can sit with you.

The Logan Rock at Treen is charming despite generally grumpy service and the hounds are allowed. Food used to be good, but I haven’t tried for a while.

Please keep your dogs on a lead at Tregiffian when in the communal areas, and please do clean up after them.

Have a great holiday and let me know any places I should include for updates on this.

Best wishes. Kelvin and Polly.

About an hour's walk across the fields from Tregiffian

1 comment

  1. A big woof to Kelvin!
    Many thanks for our stay at New Forge, I had a wonderful and truly tiring time walking down to the beach every morning then if that wasn’t enough the family wanted to go out for more walks which usually included a stop at Sennen Cove so that Steph could surf whilst I got the pleasure of a well deserved rest at the Beach restaurant with the rest of them for refreshments.
    I’m hoping the family will take me to New Forge again soon.

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