The best (our opinion of course!) black lab on the beach shares his favourite walks and time on the beach.
Cornwall and Devon have so many amazing beaches, many with access for our dogs all year round. Most of our dog-friendly properties will have details about the dog friendly beaches and the OS map for you to borrow, but if not (and you've not got your own) 'I walk Cornwall' is a very useful site with loads of detailed maps, instructions and tips for almost every walk in the area.
Here's four of our go-to favourites. Please of course remember, that all our suggestions for refreshments can be seasonal and are currently dependent on the latest restructions surrounding Covid-19
Polzeath Village to Rock - it's about 3 miles each way - this is usually a couple of hours, but somehow our 4-legged friend has the powers for it to take longer.
If your dog loves to be off the lead all the time, from Easter to October aim to finish/start before 10, or after 6 - that way, you avoid the seasonal (Easter to the end of September) restrictions on Polzeath beach. Which is great really, as it means avoiding the hottest parts of the day.
Take the Greenaway path from Polzeath towards Trebetherick Point then follow the dunes to Daymer Bay and on via Brea Hill to Rock. You get a great opportunity in Rock to watch the sailboats and for some refreshments at one of the cafes - the Blue Tomato have doggy sausages on the menu. You can then return the same way, or via St Enodoc Church, crossing the fields and the golf courses. St Enodoc church is worth a visit for several interesting reasons, one of which being the burial site of Sir John Betjeman. On this route back, you can also stop at the St Moritz Hotel and enjoy a coffee or lunch by their pool - well behaved dogs are welcome.
Lundy to Port Quin
If you're not staying nearby, you can usually park (if you get there early enough) at the National Trust Lundy car park. You and your four-legged friend can also enjoy Lundy beach at low tide (dogs are allowed all year). The path (not tide dependent) runs along the coast via Epphaven to Doyden Point and then on to the natural harbour at Port Quin where you maybe lucky to find the little van cafe in the National Trust car park open for drinks and a snack. Along the way you pass some old mineshafts and several coves and beaches. From Port Quin, either return the same way, or take a small lane, then across the fields via the Porteath Bee Centre. The return walk is just under 3 miles - allow about 1.5 hours, with time to linger. If you go via the fields there is a stile, so if Fido is too big or heavy to lift over, the return via the coast path will be your best option.
Polzeath to Pentire Head and the Rumps back via Pentire Farm
A nice circular walk of just over two miles with great views initially of Polzeath and Stepper Point and then of Port Quin Bay, and if you go late enough, you can enjoy one of Polzeath's famous sunsets. If you are lucky you might even spot dolphins or porpoises in the bay and look down on hovering birds of prey beneath you.
From Polzeath, follow the coast path to Pentire Head, continuing on to the Iron Age fortifications at The Rumps, the path then goes inland, keep to the right (the path off to the left continues on the coast path), through the farm and continuing on back to New Polzeath and onto Polzeath. If you're not within walking distance, theres a National Trust car park at Pentire Farm, where you could start the walk.
Padstow to Stepper Point
We personally love this walk (perhaps more than the dog!) as we get to choose some delicious food on the way back as we walk past the award-winning Padstow farm shop at Trethillick.
Start the walk by the Ferry, and the path is clearly marked passing Gun Point, the path moves inland taking in marshy wetlands across a boardwalk (you can of course walk across the beach at low tide), passing Hawkers Cove and on to the clifftops at Stepper Point. After Stepper, continue on the coast path as far as Porthmissen Bridge, then turn inland towards Porthmissen and onto Trethillick. The narrow lane takes you back to Padstow.
Some interesting sights include:
- The Daymark Tower at Stepper Point
- Bodmin Moor and its distant tors (you will need a particularly clear day)
- The Life boat station - this is usually open to visitors but do check opening times before making the detour
- Lighthouse at Trevose Head
Remember, to take care on the coast path and keep your dog on a lead near the cliffs and around livestock.
Trevose View is a large house, perfect for all the family with 7 bedrooms, Rockside Annex is perfect for a couple and sleeps 2-3 (plus your dog!) and Aloe Cottage has 3 bedrooms and is in one of the most sought-after locations in Rock.