What beaches can dogs go on in North Cornwall?

As dog lovers, we know that four-legged friends are indisputably part of the family – and we suspect that they love a holiday just as much as we do. When it’s time to pack your bags for a trip or enjoy a day out, having your dog along for the ride always feels much nicer than leaving them in kennels or at home.

That’s especially true when your plans involve some time on the beach, and letting them run along the sand, splash in the water or explore somewhere new with you is part of the fun. 

Luckily, North Cornwall has an abundance of dog friendly beaches that are perfect for the whole family, so whether you’re visiting this part of the world for a holiday or on a day trip from somewhere close by, there’s no need to leave your canine companion behind. We’ve rounded up the best dog-friendly beaches to visit in North Cornwall to inspire your next adventure.

Aerial view of Daymer Bay Greenaway in North Cornwall

Daymer Bay Beach

Dog friendly all year round, Daymer Bay Beach is a clean swathe of sand bordered with dunes and feels more secluded than some of its neighbours. Located in between the popular villages of Rock and Polzeath, near Wadebridge, it is a great choice for those looking for a day at the seaside with family or friends (those on four legs included) with lots to explore. At the southern end of the beach is Braey Hill, which is well worth climbing for great views of the area, while towards the northern end you’ll find rock pools ready to explore.

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: Yes, a large car park which offers pay and display parking towards the northern section of the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Daymer Bay Beach all year round

What3Words Location: receiving.headrest.dusted

Postcode: PL27 6SA

Rock Beach

The expansive stretch of soft golden sand at Rock Beach provides plenty of space for even the largest of dogs to run and play, so if you are visiting during the winter or spring months it’s a great dog-friendly beach option. Backed by sand dunes (and a golf club), the beach is sheltered, with clear and safe waters ideal for splashing about in and a truly idyllic feel. Rock Beach takes its name from the nearby village of Rock and is situated across the Camel Estuary from Padstow. 


Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: Yes – there’s one car park that can be accessed when you drive through the village towards the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Rock Beach from October to Good Friday (seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October)

What3Words Location: bravery.northward.slang 

Postcode: PL27 6LD

Aerial view of Rock Beach in North Cornwall
Rock formation on Sandymouth Beach Beach in North Cornwall

Sandymouth Beach

For a dog-friendly beach that feels wild and untamed, with plenty of natural beauty, look no further than National Trust-owned Sandymouth Beach. Fifteen minutes from Bude, this rugged spot is mostly pebbles when the tide is in, but becomes over two miles long and connects with neighbouring beaches at low tide as long stretches of sand are revealed. Rocks and rock pools on the beach make this destination a fun one to explore for you and your dog – there are even a couple of small waterfalls in the cliffs that back the beach. There’s parking nearby in the form of a National Trust car park, but the walk is fairly steep, so it’s best for those (people and dogs!) with good mobility. Despite the rugged landscape, it’s not without facilities – there is a cafe and toilet nearby and lifeguard cover in high season. 

Type of beach: Pebble and sand

Car park: Yes, one National Trust car park a few minutes (and fairly steep) walk away

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Sandymouth Beach all year round

What3Words Location: jots.manliness.hills 

Postcode: EX23 9HW

Polzeath Beach

If you’re travelling outside of peak season, Polzeath beach is a great spot for four-legged friends. This large, sandy beach doesn’t allow dogs during the day between mid May and the end of September, however outside of these times provides the ideal destination for your pup to stretch their legs – especially if you team it with walking a portion of the coast path, where if you head south, you can reach Greenaways Beach. A quiet and rocky little cove with some sand and lots of rock pools, which allows dogs year round. Polzeath beach is popular with both families and surfers, and there’s even been the occasional dolphin sighting here. Keep in mind that the beach might be enormous at low tide, but it shrinks significantly at high tide.

Type of beach: Sandy, with some rocks around border

Car park: Yes – there’s a small car park on the beach itself, plus two large field car parks nearby and a small car park in New Polzeath, the nearby town

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Polzeath beach between October and mid May. In peak season, dogs are allowed before 10am or after 6pm only

What3Words Location: idea.downs.earmarked 

Postcode: PL22 6TB

Aerial view of Polzeath Beach in North Cornwall
Aerial view of Mother Iveys Bay in North Cornwall

Mother Ivey’s Bay

This picturesque bay is often quiet, despite being next to a caravan park, owing to the lack of dedicated beach parking. This does make it a fitting spot for four-legged friends ready for a walk, however, since the nearest parking is around a mile away at Trevose Head or Harlyn Bay, allowing you and your dog to start your beach trip with a stroll. The beach itself, called Polventon beach (from the Cornish ‘Poll Fenton’, meaning ‘pool of a spring’) since the late 1800s, slopes upwards to bordering cliffs as a sheet of fine golden sand. It’s sheltered from the wind, but the sea here is prone to strong currents and there is no lifeguard, so it’s best to keep out of the water. 

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: No – the nearest car parks are at other beaches close by. There is a National Trust car park at Trevose Head from which you can walk to Mother Ivey’s Bay

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: dogs allowed all year round

What3Words Location: asking.grapevine.lends 

Postcode: PL28 8SL 

Watergate Bay

This popular and fully accessible beach is a mile long expanse of sand two miles away from Newquay. Given the location, it’s often busier than some of the more secluded beaches in North Cornwall, although for good reason – it’s a great location for a day trip, with daily RNLI lifeguard cover during the summer, a beach shop and cafe plus a selection of good food and drink options all close to the beach. Backed by high cliffs but vast in size, there’s plenty of room for everyone to find a spot, and for dogs to run and play.

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: Yes, there are two car parks at Watergate Bay, and one large field car park close by with a coastal path leading to the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Watergate Bay beach all year round

What3Words Location: spits.marshes.rules 

Postcode: TR8 4AA 

View of Watergate Bay in North Cornwall
Aerial view of Port Gaverne in North Cornwall

Port Gaverne

For a dog-friendly beach that’s less expansive than others but no less enjoyable, Port Gaverne is a small, sheltered beach situated in a narrow cove just east of Port Isaac, a neighbouring harbour that is famous for being the filming location of ITV series Doc Martin. Usually fairly quiet, it’s ideal for a more chilled out visit, allowing you to potter about with your canine companion amongst the sand and rock pools, perhaps exploring some of the nearby coastal paths if you feel like stretching your legs more. It’s backed by a quaint hamlet made up mostly of accommodation, although there is a beach shop as well as Port Gaverne Hotel, which allows dogs in its outdoor seating and bar areas should you both be ready for a drink.

Type of beach: Shingle and pebbles

Car park: There are a handful of on-road spaces at Port Gaverne, with two car parks at nearby Port Isaac. The closest is a five minute walk away

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Port Gaverne beach all year round

What3Words Location: universally.skate.reserving 

Postcode: PL29 3SQ

Mawgan Porth Beach

Four miles from Newquay and featuring all of the coastal beauty but fewer crowds is Mawgan Porth beach, a wide stretch of scenic sand with high cliffs to each side. With caves, rock pools and even a little stream that runs down the beach and into the sea, Mawgan Porth is an ideal spot for all of the family – man’s best friend included, as there’s plenty of room for dogs to stretch their legs and they’re sure to enjoying exploring the varied surroundings. There’s RNLI Lifeguard cover over the summer months and good facilities including a beach shop, close by cafés, and toilets. Visitors are often impressed by the cleanliness too, making for a great all-round destination for a day out.

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: There are two car parks close by with easy access onto the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Mawgan Porth beach all year round

What3Words Location: loose.someone.spud 

Postcode: TR8 4BA

View of Mawgan Porth Beach in North Cornwall
View of Harbour Cove in North Cornwall

Harbour Cove

If it’s an unspoiled beach that is distanced from the hustle and bustle that you’re looking for, Harbour Cove, also known as Tregirls Beach, might just be your answer. Despite its proximity to Padstow, the beach is relatively quiet. Well-sheltered with a relaxed feel, it’s one of many truly beautiful beaches in Cornwall, with picturesque views and a wide stretch of natural, untouched sand. The beach is over a mile and a half long at low tide and backed by sand dunes. 

Harbour Cove is home to the infamous Doom Bar, a sandbar upon which many ships have been wrecked due to its difficult location within a narrow channel – and the reason for a lifeboat station having been built here. 

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: 2 car parks close by with easy access onto the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Harbour Cove beach all year round

What3Words Location: trek.sailing.transmits 

Postcode: PL28 8HR

Porthcothan Bay

Porthcothan Bay may be lesser known than some other North Cornwall beaches (particularly given that it is in between Newquay and Padstow), but it’s no less worth visiting. Nestled in a beautiful cove, the beach becomes small and sheltered at high tide but connects with neighbouring coves when the tide is out, revealing plenty of hidden nooks to explore and an inviting sheet of golden sand. The bay itself is home to several rock formations, and the beach is backed by grassy dunes, through which the car park, toilets and beach shop are around a 5 minute walk from the beach. 

Plus, there’s great walking to be had nearby for both your dog and yourself, since this section of the South West Coast Path offers stunning panoramic views and a route to the nearby Bedruthan Steps.

Type of beach: Sandy

Car park: There is one council run car park across the road from the beach

What times of year dogs are allowed on the beach: Dogs are allowed on Porthcothan Bay Beach all year round

What3Words Location: budgeted.amplified.disposal 

Postcode: PL28 8PW 

Aerial view of Porthcothan Bay in North Cornwall

If you are planning a visit to North Cornwall and need some dog-friendly accommodation, be sure to view our holiday homes.