Dog-friendly walks and top ten places to visit

PUBLISHED: 12:01 03 June 2020

White bridge in the hydrangea valley at Trebah Garden, Cornwall, United Kingdom

White bridge in the hydrangea valley at Trebah Garden, Cornwall, United Kingdom


Scott’s Quay was built in 1800 in order to help export minerals and stone from local mines and quarries. The Helford River was the perfect place to access some of the inland areas to get produce moved around the world. Today, it is a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy a walk and then take a load off and watch estuarine birds whilst your dog enjoys a dip.


Park up in the layby on the road opposite the dirt track – be aware, there is only really room for two or three cars here, so stay safe. Heading through the gate you are given several options on paths to take.

Many people head straight, choosing the path that takes you directly on to the quay, however if you take the path that leads to the top of the field on the left, you will be able to enjoy a more scenic route.

Sticking to the top of the fields, you will be able to walk through the grass overlooking the valley, where the river, lined with trees, runs below. You will walk through a succession of gated fields, so make sure that you keep your dog under control in case livestock are roaming.

This is a great place to look out for wildlife, especially as the area is being managed with conservation in mind. Eventually you will reach the end of the fields and head through a gate that leads you into Scott’s Wood. This woodland is largely made up of beech, oak, ash and sweet chestnut, many of which were planted the same time that the quay was installed. If you stick to the left path, you can walk directly alongside the river, taking in the views between the trees as you go. Keep an eye on the woodland floor for the different flora throughout the year; from lesser celandine in the spring, to the large mushrooms that sprout in the autumn. Keep an eye on the tree trunks; the owners have very helpfully sprayed small coloured dots on the trees to help you stay on the path, super handy if you are concerned you might lose your way. Eventually, the woodland path will come to and end and you will head through another gate. Back into the fields, you can glimpse the quay from here which is accessed by a downward path on the left-hand side.

The quay is the perfect place to enjoy the tranquillity. During high tide, water-loving dogs can go for a swim, but beware as the tide goes out as there is thick mud on the banks! There is a seat here where you can take a load off your feet, and the owners have very kindly posted up a brief history of the quay so you can become better acquainted.

When you are finished, take the path which takes you directly back through the fields, with the estuary on both sides. You will eventually find yourself passing through a small piece of woodland and then be flanked by more fields from the main path. Look out for a sign that talks about a ‘Settlement Site’; this is a chance to wander around an ancient settlement. There isn’t too much tosee left, but some walls remain intact. u

Rating: Medium. Can be tricky when muddy!

Accessibility: There isn’t any access for wheelchairs of pushchairs.

Wildlife: Look out for waders on the estuary, such as redshanks, dunlin, turnstones and the red listed curlews.

Eden Project, St Austell

With miles of paths to explore, Eden is a great place to tire your dog whilst you enjoy the horticulture, and around the car parks Eden have helpfully pointed out some further paths for you to explore. Whilst dogs are not allowed inside the biomes, they do have undercover dog-dedicated dining areas, water bowls and bins. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times and only two dogs allowed per person.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

With 42-acres to enjoy, you and your dog can take a stroll through the woods or say hello to the seals. With doggy ice-cream, free dog bags, water bowls, doggy items in the shop and the opportunity to be their star ‘Dog of the Week’ on social media, this is a good choice.

Dogs are free and must be kept on leads at all times.

Trebah Gardens, Falmouth

Not only can you enjoy a stroll through the gardens, but there is all round beach access for you and your four-legged friend; the perfect way to cool off over the warmer months. With water bowls and free dog bags, even their kitchen has dog-friendly tables so you can have your dog with you at all times to enjoy the experience. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times.

Lappa Valley, Newquay

A fantastic family attraction, especially for children under-10. With water bowls and biscuits available, dogs can even ride the steam trains with you! If your dog needs to blow off some of their own steam, then you can visit their dog park, as well as their woodland walk and boating lake.

Charges may apply and
dogs must be kept on leads
at all times.

Healey’s Cornish Cider Farm, Newquay

A free day out that you may want to leave the kids at home for! Take a guided tour, enjoy some free cider samples and meet the farmyard animals. From devouring cream teas in the café to taking a ride on the trailer, there is lots to do for all the family. Dogs are not able to access every part of the tour, so check upon arrival which is best for you. Dogs are free and must be kept on leads.

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

Take a step back in time at the Tudor castle to learn about how Henry VIII’s castle, built originally to protect the UK against French invasion, was used time and time again, including during both the World War I and II. Dogs are allowed to join you everywhere inside the castle grounds and inside the buildings. There are outside eating areas that are dog friendly too. Dogs must be kept on leads.

Chysauster Ancient Village, Penzance

Cornwall is full of ancient remains, and Chysauster is a great example of an ancient settlement. Originally occupied nearly 2,000-years ago, the remains mean that you can explore the layout of the village and imagine what it would have looked like when it was still standing. With acres of land to walk and beautiful views across to the sea, you also have the opportunity to explore one of Cornwall’s famous fogous. Refreshments available. Dogs to be kept on leads. 
At the time of publication, Cornwall’s attractions remained closed; stay up-to-date with the latest news at See our June issue for 20 things to do with your dog without leaving your house.

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