Welcome to my page. I’m Harvey (Camp Dog & Head Of Security), and here are my tips for a great holiday here in South Cornwall. Base yourselves at The Meadows, small and very dog friendly campsite, in the Pentewan Valley, and get out there and explore.
It is not only humans that love camping and caravanning in Cornwall, our four legged friends do too. The Meadows is a small, sunny, sheltered, Dog Friendly Campsite on the edge of Pentewan, St Austell and close to Mevagissey. We have lots of great dog friendly walks on the doorstep, of varying lengths and with lovely scenery. A lot of these walks can take in a dog friendly pub too. Harvey, otherwise known as Camp Dog would like to share with you some of his favourite places.
You will be surprised how many dog friendly Cornish beaches I can show you, and these are some of the best, and include ones, not so widely known.
Camp Dog’s favourite Dog Friendly Cornwall Beaches – All year round
Gorran Haven Beach – Great sandy Cornish beach in a very pretty fishing village. Lots of parking for those of us who do not wish to tire our legs out before getting on the beach. Finish off the walk with a drink at The Barley Sheaf, Gorran Church Town which is dog friendly, very nice, and serves good food. You can walk between Gorran Haven and Vault Beach on the SWCP, and Vault Beach is also dog friendly. I know lots of good walks taking in this beach, and I am happy to share the details with you. Payment can be made in gravy bones. There is also a cafe right on the beach, with seats outside, although the owners will also let you take your coffee mugs on to the beach.
Vault Beach – this is a great beach for us dogs, and one of my all time favourites. There is a NT car park for Vault which you can find taking one of two roads (very narrow) out of Gorran. Alternatively, you can park at Gorran Haven and walk to Vault on the SWCP which makes a great walk (about 30 mins on SWCP). This is a wide, quiet sandy and pebbly beach. I love this beach, and when full of beans will walk here from Caerhays, via Hemmick Beach, and end up at the Barleysheaf, Gorran Church Town for lunch, and then make it back the shorter inland footpath route to finish off my walk.
Caerhays (aka Porthluney Cove) – Secluded sandy picturesque beach, good for ball games, and also good for swimming, and rock pooling. You will also get to meet local Cornish dogs who are on a permanent holiday, as the local dogs love this beach. The castle and gardens are also worth an explore and the magnolias are particularly magnificent. A nice walk from here is around to Portloe on the SWCP taking in The Ship Inn, one direction, and to Hemmick and Vault beaches in the other direction. This beach comes highly recommended for a great beach day out, so put it on your owners’ list. There is parking here, toilets and a great beach cafe, so your owners won’t have far to carry their picnic basket, and deck chairs.
Hemmick Beach (Veryan) – This lovely sandy beach is a secret, so you cannot share it with too many four legged friends. You need to be a fairly fit dog, as access is down a steep slope from the small car park, but is well worth the effort. This is a very special dog friendly beach, and this picture is of my friend “Tia” on this occasion enjoying herself whilst I was on duty back at Camp. Tip – do not attempt to take your car down to the bottom to park.
My owners recommend parking at the Penare National Trust Car Park, and taking the lovely walk down, taking in the views. You will find the car park taking the road to Penare off the road leading towards Gorran Haven. Again lots of great SW coast path walking in this area. You can also walk round to Hemmick from Caerhays, or Gorran on the SWCP.
Hallane Beach (close to Pentewan) – This small Cornish cove is well worth the effort of the walk which involves a climb. It is accessed from the South West Coast Path. You can join the coast path in Pentewan Village walking down the Trail. Going on the South West Coast Path heading towards Porthpean you will find the beach about 30-45 minutes along the path. You come to Polrudden Cove first, and then a little further along is the absolutely gorgeous Hallane, which has its own waterfall. You can also walk around Black Head a little further along and experience some cracking views.
This walk can also be enjoyed as a circular walk through King’s Woods. Please ask my owners to show you this on a map, and how to avoid the cow muck en route.
Mevagissey aka Polstreath – This beach can only be accessed from the South West Coast Path, and down around 200 steps, so good for fit dogs and fit owners only. It would be worth an attempt after having a sniff around the picturesque fishing town of Mevagissey. The beach is found to the South of Mevagissey. This is another lovely wide sand and pebble dog friendly beach. However, you might want to ensure your owners have had a good breakfast to give them energy for the steps.
You can walk here from the Meadows and lots of our guests do, as part of a circular walk, returning on the Pentewan Valley Trail back to camp, or vice versa. You will also find another smaller cove, easier to get too, along the way. We have timed this walk and it is 1 hr 15 minutes from camp, (decent pace), and 3 miles. You will get to a smaller cove first which you need to clamber down to, but good for a paddle.
Portmellon (Mevagissey) – This beach is very good for sniffing out the rock pools at low tide. This beach is usually one of the quieter beaches as tourists prefer to visit its better known neighbouring Cornish beaches. Mussels can be found here, and I like mussels especially cooked French style, with lots of garlic. There is a very nice character pub here, The Rising Sun serving food. Update – unfortunately the vote is out and us dogs are no longer welcome, at present this is for July, August and September :(.
Colona Beach – Another small and secluded beach accessed from the SWCP. It is a good walk from the campsite, but a lot shorter if you park at Mevagissey and head towards Gorran. The beach is close to the lovely Chapel Point, and good for swimming rock pools, and a very pretty and often quiet spot. Again, I know a great circular walk taking in this beach, Gorran Haven, a DF pub, and a very pretty valley for the return leg.
Polridmouth Cove Beach – This pretty beach is a good one to visit one your way to or from the gorgeous town of Fowey, or by walking to it from Fowey. It is also a good beach to stop off at for a dog nap, if walking along the South West Coastal Path, and to stop and devour your packed lunch. This is another beach only suitable for the fitter ones out there (us dogs and you humans) as access is via a farmland track. Please also note that there are no facilities for your owners on this beach, but the beach is good for a swim for those of us with four legs, and also those with just two. Another one close to this is Coombe Haven and can be accessed from the nearby NT Car Park.
Lantic Bay (difficult climb down) – I have only ever visited this beach in the winter. A visit to this beach is best combined with walking the famous Hall Walk between Fowey, Polruan and Boddinick. It is a sandy beach, with lovely views and usually very, very quiet due to the quite difficult climb down. Nimble paws (dogs) and feet (humans) are required, but well worth it. Ask my owners for details of this walk, and they may even loan you the walking book.
Par Sands Beach – Some of my four legged friends, just love a big sandy beach, which their owners can park right next to, and they can run and run, and swim too. If this is what you are looking for then take a ride out to Par Beach, and use up some of your energy. You will find Par heading out of St Austell towards Fowey. There is a large car park right next to the beach.
There is also a separate cove just next to the main beach, heading in the direction of Polkerris. My assistant Henry cav has checked this out for me (see pic)
Duporth (Charlestown) – This is a private beach accessed from the SWCP. This involves either a good walk from The Meadows alongs the trail, linking to the SWCP. Alternatively, it is a short drive to Charlestown where you will find Duporth which is often on the quieter side. There are short-cut routes to Charlestown and ask my owners about these, but you really do need a map.
Crantock, Polly Joke, & Holywell Bay Beaches – Venturing out a bit further afield there are three fabulous beaches, linked by the SWCP and so great for a walk. These beaches, Crantock, Polly Joke and Holywell Bay can be found on the north coast just to the West of Newquay and are well worth a visit. There is a large NT trust car park at Crantock Beach, and there are further facilities in high season. Very special beach indeed. There are also a couple of characterful pubs in Crantock, and a cafe. During the summer there is also a ferry crossing over to the very popular cafe on the other side of The Gannet.
Perranporth – If your idea of the perfect dog friendly beach is a large sandy beach, parking right next to the beach, and a dog friendly pub, then we have found it. Hop in the car and get your owners to take you to Perranporth. The Watering Hole is actually on the beach with fantastic views and serving food. You will be there and swimming in the sea in 40 mins. This beach is the Truro side of Newquay.
NOTE – Pentewan Sands (our private village beach) is not dog friendly during the time The Meadows is open.
Camp Dog’s favourite dog friendly places for ‘Eating Out’ – and funnily enough most of them are Pubs!
After a good swim, or walk you will be ready for a drink, and a treat. My other favourite pastime is eating out with my owners. I am again happy to share with you my favourite dog friendly places to eat and drink in this picturesque area of Cornwall.
Polgooth Inn, Polgooth village – A very nice country inn serving lovely home cooked food for your owners, and if you look cute, dog treats for you too. This is a very popular place for dogs and owners alike. This pub is within walking distance of the site with footpaths/bridleways leading to it, and has lots of seating inside and out. My owners favour the Ploughmans Lunch, and Home-made fish pie, but personally I could eat their Roast Chicken dinner every day of the week. Camp Daddy also says the beer there is very good. If going at night, your owners would be advised to travel by car, or return before it gets dark.
The Ship Inn, Pentewan – There is a special area for us dogs in this village pub, although like me, you will probably want to sit in the large beer garden, and enjoy the sunshine. The best way to get there is on foot, down the Pentewan Trail and alongside the River Winnick. This is of course my local, although during the season I do not get to visit as often as I would like. Advise your owners to try the HSD beer at their peril, and if they intend to return late to bring a torch for the walk back. You can also hop on the local bus back, and the last bus is even after last orders!!
The Kingswood Bar & Restaurant, London Apprentice – this is a truly great restaurant. Dogs with their owners are very welcome on the terrace at the rear. Makes a great place to visit on a warm evening, or for a lunch. The food is amazing, and you can walk there too in half an hour up the trail. The cocktails are not bad either. Very highly recommended indeed by The Meadows Team.
The Fountain Inn, Mevagissey – Holidaying near to St Austell blesses us dogs, and our owners with some characterful pubs, which are very dog friendly, just like The Meadows, and quite rightly so. It is not just our owners, who like a lunchtime sit down, and a treat, after a hard mornings walk, or swim. The food here is home cooked and I reliably informed is very tasty too. This may be why I rarely get to try any of it!!! Variety is not the spice of life here, as my owners have Fish (of the day) & Chips (double fried on a Friday) every time they visit. This was my local for a few weeks whilst staying in Mevagissey, whilst getting our new home ready.
The Rashleigh Inn, Polkerris (near to Fowey) – This is a good pub, although the beach is not dog friendly during the holiday season. The human food is home cooked, and I have it on good authority from one of my doggie friends, that there is a jar of dogs treats on the bar. Although you cannot play on the beach, you can have a nice drink and relax with a beach view, and Polkerris is a lovely place.
The Crown, St Ewe (near to Heligan Gardens) – Great character dog friendly pub, allowing dogs in the bar for eating and drinking. This pub looks at bit like just a house, and is situate right in the centre of this typical pretty Cornish Village. Fab home cooked Sunday lunch – highly recommended, and very home cooked. This pub is an ideal one to visit either before or after a visit to Heligan Gardens (also dog friendly)
Sharksfin Bar & Restaurant, Mevagissey – A very welcoming place for us dogs. Also the menu for humans is good and fishy, with a varied selection of Cornish ales. There are lots of tables with views out over the harbour, and on nice days the folding doors are opened up so you are as dining al fresco – sort of!! Very popular place at all times of the day, and their crab sandwich and shark burger are highly recommended.
The Ship Inn, Mevagissey – A traditional and character dog friendly pub with local real ales which your owners may like to sample. I also have it on good authority that the food there is quite tasty too. Very friendly owners.
The Barley Sheaf, Gorran Churchtown – This pub is very handy for including as part of a circular walk, both coastal and countryside walking, and there are some good walking routes. The owner is happy for you to leave your car in the car parking, if you visit for lunch. We dogs are made very welcome, as are our owners and the food served here is delicious.
Recently discovered – The King’s Head, Ruan Lanihorne – This pub is a great one to visit either on the way, or in the way back from Truro. It is described in Alistair Sawday’s fab pub and inns book, as a pub with a heart. Dogs are very welcome in the characterful bar area, and of course in the sunken beer garden. The pub serves lots of fresh fish, and local meat dishes. This pub is a real gem, and the village itself is lovely, and has a creek which is great for birdwatching.
The Ship Inn, Portloe – A great pub to walk to from Caerhays Beach. This is a lovely little fishing village to wander around, and you can walk up on to the cliffs. There is one fishing boat still going out of the harbour and they supply The Ship with fresh fish, and the pub serves amazing crab sandwiches. There are some fabulous walks taking in this village, so it makes a great lunch and doggie nap pub. Lovely pub garden too.
Breakfasts – you can walk to Heligan Tea Rooms, Cobwebs Cafe (Pentewan Village), or Cafe on the Quay in Mevagissey.
Venturing further afield:-
The Roseland Inn at Philleigh (en route to the King Harry Ferry)
The Pandora Inn at Mylor Bridge. This is a fantastic pub with a pontoon and great for boat watching. There are some lovely creekside walks. This place is en route to Falmouth, and is a great place to visit for a trip out.
Camp Dog’s other ‘Means of Dog Friendly Transport’ – other than four paws
For all dogs out there, who want to venture further afield, but not in the car, take a trip on a ferry. There are ferries over from Mevagissey to Fowey, and also from Fowey to Polruan. – www.mevagissey-ferries.co.uk. You may even get to see a dolphin. This Cornish trip is a great day out both for you and your owners and could be called a real Cornish delight.
The good old “Bus” – we are very lucky to be very close here to the bus stops for both directions, and a regular reliable bus service. Avoid having to find a parking space in “silly season” and catch the bus to Mevagissey, Pentewan, Fowey, Charlestown, Par, Heligan Gardens and Gorran Haven. Alternatively walk along the coastal path to either Mevagissey, or Charlestown and catch the bus back to camp. The last bus back from Mevagissey and Pentewan, is about the same time as last orders at the bar ;).
Beautiful Gardens of Cornwall – Dog Friendly
For those of us better behaved dogs, we are even welcomed at some of the beautiful gardens of Cornwall. These are the gardens I have visited and sniffed out with my owners out there. Please also see the out and about page, for more details.
- Lost Gardens of Heligan – The Meadows is great for walking there, along the Pentewan Valley Trail (walking time 30 mins approx). Fantastic!
- The Eden Project (as of 15 June 2013)
- Caerhays Estate (beach included) – beach first, gardens second, and then back to the beach.
- Marsh Villa Gardens
- Lanhydrock -just walking around the estate grounds is fantastic
- Pinetrum Park & Pine Lodge Gardens
Healey’s Cider Farm – is another place that us doggies are made welcome. It is a great place to visit for all members of the family. Of course one of your owners will need to draw the short straw and be the nominated driver.
Hopefully, my knowledge of the area has whet your appetite, and this page will be regularly updated. My owners and I like to explore and find new dog friendly places, and recently we have been exploring when our guests are
still fast asleep in their units. I will keep you all updated on my Blog. If you see me out and about when I am off duty please do say hello.
Kennels for Day Boarders – I can just about bring myself to say the word “Kennels”, but this could mean that being left out for just a day or so means you can join in with the holiday. Gover Kennels which is in another lovely valley just outside St Austell accepts day boarders. Please note that I suffer from high dependency syndrome and so on this occasion, I am not willing to road test it. However, four legged guests of The Meadows have returned from there with their four legs in tact, and smiling, and so that must say something.
After a taste of the above Cornish experiences, my owners will give you a very warm welcome back at The Meadows Campsite, Pentewan. Here you can rest your legs, ready to start exploring more of the delights of Cornwall tomorrow, and you will never run out of things to do around here. If you do run out of things to do, then I will gladly swap places with you.