To all those fellow dog lovers out there, if you like me can’t imagine a holiday without your furry friends by your side then you are in for a treat.  In this series of Dog-Friendly journals, I will unleash the best spots for you and your pups to soak up the sun, sand and fun of West Cornwall.  The first of these journals concentrates on the all-important dog friendly beach; I have listed below my absolute favourite, Top 5, dog-friendly beaches in West Cornwall; all these dog-friendly beaches can be found within a 30-minute drive of our Stylish Cornish Cottages.

1. Rinsey Cove (Porthcew) – TR13 9TS

Located between Penzance and Helston to the west of Porthleven (a very dog-friendly town with lots of places to eat and shop – more on that in next journal), Rinsey is a wonderful sandy cove.  Follow Rinsey Lane off the A394 almost to the end, on the left you will find a national trust car park (free of charge with donation boxes).  You need to get here early in the summer to get a space. From the car park you can walk the headland which is a beautiful circular walk of about 30 – 40 minutes (you can also walk to Porthleven from here along the coastal path). The path to the beach is steep in places and a bit of scramble to get down to the actual beach.  Once on the beach there are no facilities, so you need to bring all you need for the day; because of this though it tends not to get over crowded.  There are natural springs in the caves so you can usually find water for the dogs to drink! There is no life-guard service so it may not be the best choice for a family day out; the swell can be large so be very careful if taking a dip.  Keep an eye on the tides, much of the beach disappears at high tide. You will find a link to the tide timetable here.

Rinsey | Top-5-Dog-Friendly-Beaches-West-Cornwall

2. Long Rock, Penzance – TR20 8HZ

As Cornwall beaches go, Long Rock is definitely not the most picturesque, it’s a sandy beach that runs from Marazion to Penzance, with the railway line running along the back of the beach.  So why you wonder is it in my Top 5 dog-friendly beaches? Simply because, it’s a mecca for dog walkers all year round.  Located just on the eastern side of Penzance, you cross the railway line to the car park.  The car park (make sure you buy a ticket) gets pretty crowded in high season, but you can find spaces around Long Rock village if you are lucky.  The dog friendly section of the beach is to the Penzance side of the car park; the beach running towards Marazion has a seasonal dog ban from 1st July to 31st August from 10am to 6pm only.  In general, the sea tends to be calmer here than other beaches in the area so its good for you and your dogs to swim; there is no life-guard service on Long Rock beach but Marazion beach is life-guarded in the season and they do keep an eye on the far end of the beach.  There are no facilities on the beach but you will find a shop and lovely dog friendly pub – The Mexico Inn – in the village.

3. Pedn Vounder, Porthcurno – TR19 6LF

Arguably the most beautiful beach in Cornwall, but the descent down is NOT for the faint-hearted.  On a clear blue day you could honestly mistake this beach for somewhere tropical; the colour of the sea is truly magical.  It is quite a trek, so don’t underestimate this and come prepared!  The closest parking is in the nearby village of Treen, which is a 10-minute walk along the coast path, once you descend to the beach though the climb becomes tougher.  The very last stretch is a proper scramble, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you and your dogs are physically fit.  The easier option is to park at nearby Porthcurno beach and walk between the coves; however, you must time this right and make sure you do not get cut off if you wish to return this way!  Suggest you walk around 1-2 hours before low-tide, or as soon as there is bare sand between the coves.  There are no facilities at Pedn Vounder, there are lovely cafés in Treen and Porthcurno. Be wary when swimming here – sometimes it is gloriously flat but there can be strong currents and there is no life-guard cover.  The beach is very tidal (see tide timetable here), so even if braving the climb back up, keep an eye on the tide and don’t leave it too long to begin your return.  You should also be aware this is traditionally a naturist beach.

Crystal-Clear-Water-Pedn-Vounder | Top-5-Dog-Friendly-Beaches

4. Gwynver, Near Sennen – TR19 6JB

Sennen Cove’s little sister, Gwynver is a lovely sandy cove west of the better known and larger Sennen Cove.  It is located at the bottom of a cliff with a 10–15-minute steep walk down, along with limited parking, this tends to keep the summer crowds away.  The beach is about 150 meters long, at low tide it links up with Sennen Cove so ideal for dog walking (although there is a seasonal dog ban at Sennen from 15th May to 30th September between 10am to 6pm).  At high tide it shelves quite steeply into the sea, so bathing can be dangerous but there is life-guard cover from May until end of September.  Gwynver is also a very popular surfing beach. There are no facilities on this beach so you need pack provisions, shops and cafes can be found in nearby Sennen.

5. Mexico Towans, Hayle – TR27 5AF

Also known as Sandy Acres, this sandy beach makes up part of the three mile stretch of golden sand between Hayle and Godrevy.  Mexico Towans is roughly in the middle of the stretch and is backed by high sand dunes (Towans means Dunes in Cornish).  There is a car park at Sandy Acres, as well as a lovely café in a shipping container selling coffee, cakes, healthy breakfasts and lunches.  If yoga is your thing there are often sessions running which you can join.  The beach is expansive at low-tide which firmly keeps it in my Top 5 dog friendly beaches, it is dog friendly all year round but it is difficult to determine where the dog restrictions start and stop so be careful and ask the life-guards if you are unsure.  Out of season, it’s a wonderful walk down towards Godrevy Lighthouse but when the seasonal dog bans are in place you can still walk in the sand dunes.  The beach is life-guarded and is a great place to learn to surf.

Mexico-Towans-Hayle | Top-5-Dog-Friendly-Beaches

So, you are all set to head to one of my Top 5 dog friendly beaches! Pack that lead, some treats, for you as well as the dogs and don’t forget those poo bags so we can keep these beautiful beaches dog-friendly.  If you have booked your stay with Stylish Cornish Cottages then you will find all of these beaches within a short drive of your cottage.  If you haven’t booked a stay in Cornwall yet then please do check out our portfolio of stunning properties, all of which are super dog-friendly!  Coming next in this series of dog-friendly journals – my Top 5 Dog-Friendly restaurants and cafes in the area.