Raising the bar: A guide to Cornwall’s finest pubs

With its miles of endless coastline and lush green landscape, west Cornwall is a holiday destination like no other. Days of exploration deserve somewhere to relax and refuel and where better than in one of the area’s excellent inns. As the Duchy continues to make its mark on the foodie map, local produce and Cornish artisan drinks feature highly on menus, curated by top-class chefs that are taking pub grub to a whole new level. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly inn serving pub classics, a dog-friendly gastro-pub with fresh fish in abundance or a good old Sunday lunch with a pint of local ale our pick of west Cornwall’s finest taverns is enough to sate anyone’s appetite.

3The Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn

This historic maritime pub is now under the stewardship of renowned local chef and restauranteur Ben Tunnicliffe. Expect great food in unpretentious surroundings, where flagstone floors and scrubbed wooden tables hark back to its traditional fisherman’s pub heritage. Friendly for both families and dogs, the chalkboard menu changes with the seasons and fish literally comes from next door! Fresh produce served from local growers, a well-kept selection of local ales and ciders and a wine list that perfectly complements the food will mean you will want to return again and again.

The Old Coastguard, Mousehole

Overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the bay, and with views across to St Michael’s Mount and the Lizard peninsula beyond, The Old Coastguard emits a charm of bygone luxury. Sipping a drink on the terrace as the palm trees sway in the breeze, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in Mediterranean climes. With a traditional brasserie menu, the ethos embraces the finest ingredients, prepared simply. Dogs are welcome, and children get their own little menu and the enclosed garden makes for a great adventure playground once plates are cleared.


Cornish pubs: Mousehole harbour from the sky
Mousehole Harbour from the sky
The Admiral Benbow, Penzance

With a heritage dating back to 1695, as soon as you enter you can almost feel the presence of bygone pirates and smugglers who would have frequented this historic drinking house. You can’t miss the pub as you walk down Chapel Street with its iconic yellow window frames and a Jolly Roger hoisted high and fluttering in the breeze. Inside is a veritable Aladdin’s of maritime artefacts from ancient wrecks, where low beams and snug tables create a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy some good grub or a local ale. Dogs are more than welcome.

The Godolphin, Marazion

With a specular location just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge on Marazion beach and overlooked by the imposing St Michael’s Mount, The Godolphin is a wonderful place for a drink or food in equal measure. With sandy toes and sun-kissed skin, you’ll find laidback beachside dining and a fun drinks menu at Craby’s beach bar and terrace, where dogs are also welcome. For a more formal experience, Shutters restaurant and bar offers a chic oceanfront dining experience whose menu burgeons with local produce.


Cornish pubs: Quiet autumnal walk at Marazion

The Victoria Inn, Perranuthnoe

Thought to be one of the oldest inns in Cornwall dating back to the 12th century The Vic, as it’s affectionately known by locals and visitors alike, is ideal for a lunchtime stop-off if you are walking the coast path between Marazion and Praa Sands. It’s dog friendly, too, and when the weather’s fine the south-facing beer garden is a real sun trap. On colder days retreat to the cosy bar (which is always well stocked) with its exposed stone walls and low ceilings. The menu is seasonal and full of local produce and the Sunday Roasts are a must…booking essential!

The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor

Amongst the wilds of west Cornwall, teetering on the edge of raw heathered cliff lands you’ll come across the dog-friendly Gurnard’s Head. An iconic landmark along this coastline, thanks to its sunshine yellow exterior, in contrast with the verdant surrounding landscape. The Gurnard’s Head provides exceptional, hearty food for those hungry souls, and cosy rooms for travellers to rest, having long since been a refuge for walkers and artists alike. This is a rural retreat unlike any other, a chance to unwind, and with these dramatic expanses it is easy to see why.


Cornish pubs: Gurnard's Head from the coastal path in Zennor
Gurnard’s Head from the coastal path in Zennor

As the heat of the summer ebbs away, Cornwall dons a subtler cloak. This a more mellow time to visit the Duchy as the peak season crowds diminish leaving deserted beaches, quiet meandering paths and deserted cliff tops. If you’re travelling as a couple then our sleep-two boltholes are perfect for rest and relaxation while families can enjoy some precious together-time during October half term. Or why not experience a Cornish Christmas like no other?

Discover our beautiful homestays nearby:
Mousehole Cottage

You’ll find Mousehole Cottage next door to The Old Coastguard and located close to the harbour in the beautiful coastal village of Mousehole, a few miles west of Penzance. From the cottage it is an easy walk down to the coast or into the village to explore the wonderful cafés and independent shops.

This delightful detached property has a secure garden and private parking space. It sleeps six and is perfect for chillier autumn evenings with a woodburner and full central heating.  Mousehole Cottage is available for October half term (Friday 21st to Friday 28th October) at a significantly reduced rate of £850 for the week or £165 per night (minimum 5 nights).

Lesceave Farmhouse

This homestay is close to the mile-long sandy beach at Praa Sands and a short drive to the wonderfully foodie village of Porthleven, packed with cosy cafés, traditional pubs and beautiful restaurants.  There are stunning sea views from this cosy, traditional farmhouse and wonderful extensive gardens to explore.  Lesceave Farmhouse is available for October half term (Friday 28th October to Friday 4th November) at a reduced rate of £1,400 per week or £250 per night (minimum 5 nights).

The Summer House

The super-stylish Summer House is located just above the harbour village of Mousehole, near Penzance.  A beautifully furnished and spacious property, it’s an easy walk to the village from here or a short drive to Newlyn or Penzance.  The Summer House is available during October half term ( Friday 21stOctober to Friday 4th November) at a discounted rate of £1,350 per week or £243 per night (minimum 5 nights).

Book now and quote BUYLOCAL and you will receive a welcome hamper with lovely local goodies included. 

The paw-fect Cornish escape

Tips and tricks for a dog friendly getaway in Cornwall!

No-one wants to leave their dog at home when they go on holiday and thankfully more and more holiday in Cornwall properties now accept well-behaved pooches. In actual fact, all of our properties are dog friendly, with many owners going above and beyond to help make your hound feel welcome, comfortable and safe with additions such as dog beds and bowls, treats and blankets.

Packing for you pooch

It’s not just you that will need to be considered when the packing starts, your dog will need their own things too. Packing them in a separate bag is a good idea so you have everything to hand in one place. Here are some essentials that your dog will need:

Lead, harness, collar and tag

Food and food bowl

Water and water bowl


Tasty treats

Dog toys

Bed, blankets and towels – although these may be provided your dog may prefer the familiarity of their own

Poo bags

Safe travels

If you’re travelling to Cornwall with your dog, chances are your journey is going to be at least a couple of hours long. With that in mind, if you can take some time to plan ahead, everyone will be much happier. Make plenty of stops, especially if the weather is anywhere near as hot as it has been recently and be sure to have sufficient food and water to hand. It’s worth checking out some dog-friendly service stations for your journey down: Hog and Hedge, Solstice and Cornwall Services are just a few of our favourites. If you’re dog isn’t used to travelling in the car, then a few shorter ‘practise’ drives will get your pooch ready for the road.

On arrival

Give your dog time to get used to its new surroundings and create a cosy space where they can feel safe and secure. Try and keep to a similar routine when it comes to walks and mealtimes in the first couple of days as it may take your pup a little time to adjust to its new surroundings.


Dog-friendly holiday Cornwall: Black Labrador wrapped up in towel on beach

Healthy hounds

No-one wants to have to contact a vet while they’re on holiday, but if your dog is ill or injured during your stay it’s a good idea to have the local vet’s contact details to hand, which is why each of our cottages have contact details close to hand as part of the welcome pack.

It is also worth taking your pooch to your own vet in advance of your holiday for a quick health check and to ensure they are fully up-to-date with vaccinations and other treatments such as worming, and are also micro-chipped.

While you’re here, these are just a few of our dog-friendly places to visit…

Marazion Beach

Dogs are allowed on this vast stretch of beach from 1st September to 30th June (restrictions apply during high season from 1st July to 31st August between 10am and 6pm). There is plenty of space for running around or splashing in the sea when the weather’s kind. If you fancy a longer walk, the South West Coast Path runs from nearby Marazion towards Perranuthnoe and Rinsey beyond, or follow the gentle sea wall path into Penzance. The nearby Godolphin Arms welcomes well-behaved dogs on leads and is the perfect pitstop for lunch, dinner or a thirst-quenching pint of local beer!


Dog-friendly holiday Cornwall: Two dogs enjoying the shallows on a Cornish beach

Trengwainton Gardens

This glorious sub-tropical National Trust-owned garden is a lovely place to visit for a gentle stroll through its 25 acres. Four-legged friends are welcome throughout the garden although will need to wait outside if you want to visit the bookshop or while ordering in the café. There are tables outside the café for when the weather’s fine or there are a host of picnic spots to enjoy, some with spectacular views out towards St Michael’s Mount.

St Just

This quintessentially Cornish village was originally a church town hamlet that grew from the 1600s as tin mining took off in West Penwith. Today it is home to a plethora of shops and cafés as well as the renowned Jackson Foundation and Gallery, which welcomes dogs on leads. Here you can view works by the world-renowned artist Kurt Jackson, as well as other prominent creatives, housed within a massive ex-industrial building. The nearby beach at Porth Nanven at the head of the Cot Valley is dog-friendly, as is Geevor Tin Mine where pups are welcome across the entire mine site, with the exception of the underground mine.

The nearby Gurnard’s Head is also dog friendly. A dining pub nestling between St Ives and St Just, near the Minack Theatre, Zennor, Penzance and Newlyn, the Gurnard’s Head serves an exceptional menu that’s strong in flavour, cooked beautifully from ingredients that are sourced locally.


This thriving harbour town has become something of a foodie destination in recent years. Its bustling quayside is home to an array of dog friendly restaurants and cafés. It also boasts three pubs; The Atlantic, The Harbour Inn and The Ship all of which welcome happy hounds;  a brewery, a distillery and The Mussel Shoal – an open air eatery right on the harbour’s edge, which all bring a relaxed vibe and a place for your pooch to chill while you sample some local tipples. Craft stalls and foodie pop-ups line the harbour head while Origin’s roastery and harbour head shop supplies the coffee!

October is the perfect time of year to enjoy Cornwall with your dog. Gone are the summer crowds, as well as the very hot days, so you can enjoy some deserted beaches, quiet footpaths and balmy Autumn sunshine while on your canine adventure.

Dog-friendly holiday Cornwall: Porthleven Harbour in the summer

Discover our beautiful homestays: 
Mousehole Cottage

Located close to the harbour in the beautiful coastal village of Mousehole, a few miles west of Penzance.  From the cottage it is an easy walk down to the coast, there is also a natural swimming area cut out of the rocks, for you and your dog to have a refreshing morning dip!

Mousehole Cottage is detached property with secure garden, and private parking space. It sleeps six and is perfect for chillier autumn evenings with a woodburner and full central heating.

Located nearby, we highly recommend popping your heads (and tails) into The Old Coastguard, offering a menu that refuses to underestimate the quality of Cornish beef, poultry and game from local estates, and cheeses from some of Britain’s best dairies. The reputation for the food here is founded on the principle that all the good things in life are kept simple, and it’s no truer anywhere than here. A traditional brasserie menu takes good ingredients and gives them a very simple but classic treatment. It changes through the seasons, too, and with the day boats and trawlers of Newlyn tying up just two miles to the west, you’d be right to expect plenty of fresh Cornish seafood.

Brook Cottage

Brook Cottage located in the magical Cot Valley, within walking distance of St Just in the far west of Cornwall. Doggie paradise with footpaths in every direction from your front door! A beautiful reverse level house with large balcony along the back of the house to enjoy the stunning sea views and sunsets with a glass in hand.  Sleeps 5, with spacious living accommodation, extensive, tropical garden with stream running through it and parking for 1-2 cars.

The Barn

Located in Ashton, a small village near Porthleven and halfway between Helston and Penzance; The Barn is a perfect base for exploring the whole of West Cornwall.  A deceptively spacious converted barn with large, dog proof garden and a wide variety of walks from the property.  With Tregonning Hill on one side and access to the coast at Rinsey on the other, your dog will be spoilt for choice!  Sleeps six, private secure garden, parking for several cars and a wood burner for chillier evenings.

Book your dog-friendly holiday in Cornwall in one of our stylish cottages, here.