Since we had Phoenix with us the whole time, everything that we did had to be dog-friendly to some extent. Cornwall (or at least the area around Crantock/Newquay) is very dog-friendly! We had no problems finding a place to have a nice meal or a pint with the dog. Details of how dog-friendly each place is will be given below … but generally, it was quite easy to find places that were incredibly dog-friendly while we were there!
Highfield Lodge – Dave & Lisa, the owners, have a great B&B. They are extremely dog-friendly (the only place that dogs are not allowed are in the breakfast room during meals or left alone in the room anytime other than during breakfast) and they have a small kennel, in case you need a place to leave a dog during a dog-free period (£5.00 for a full day). We had a lovely room on the back side of the hotel facing open countryside … rooms on the front of the hotel have a distant sea-view, but are evidently smaller. The room was well-decorated and nicely furnished, especially considering the high level of usage they must get from dogs! Of all of the B&B owners that we have come across in our travels around the UK, Dave & Lisa were two of the best. They came and picked us up at the rail station in Truro. They loaned us a map and coastal path guide. They answered all of the questions that we had about the area and pointed us to great dog-friendly places. Without their input, our vacation would not have been nearly as good as it was! So, this is a highly recommended place to stay and they even make a very good Cornish breakfast. (PS – If you are interested in staying here and have children, sorry! While they allow pets, they do not allow children under the age of 14 … which means no crying babies or whining children.)
Crantock Cottages – If we go back to Crantock, I think that we may try to stay at one of these cottages. Most of them are dog-friendly and sleep between 2 and 9 people. We saw them around the village and they all looked like very nice places to stay!
Places to Eat & Drink:
The Old Albion Inn (Crantock) – One of two pubs in Crantock, they are completely dog-friendly! They serve a decent steak pie with chips. They pull a good pint and are regularly included in the Good Beer Guide. It is a very traditional pub, with plenty of connections with Crantock’s history. While we were in there on the first night, Dave (from the B&B) came in with his two dogs and so it is a true local. While we did not go to the other pub in town, this little chocolate-box pub has to be the more charming of the two!
The Tin Fin (Perranporth) – This little restaurant is right across the car park from the beach entrance and is a charming place. Full of colorful chairs and locally-sourced produce, it is a reasonable up-scale place. They are not completely dog-friendly but did allow us to sit next to their big doors, where Phoenix could lay outside of the door … something that did not bother him because he was so tired from the walk. We had a couple of really good plates of food and they looked like they were prepared for a busy evening (we were there early … at about 5:30p). Being a couple of steps above your average pub, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for something other than pub grub on an evening out in Perranporth. Plus, if you need to get back to Crantock or Newquay, you can easily keep an eye on the bus stop, which is also located next to the beach car park.
New Harbour Restaurant (Newquay) – Located down in the lovely harbour at Newquay, this charming little seafood restaurant does some very good food. We only stopped here for a cream tea. It was very good and the rest of the food that we saw being delivered looked wonderful. More than anything else, it is located in a lovely setting with plenty of beach-side tables – it is a long way down from the main drag of Newquay but worth the walk for a nice lunch. They are dog-friendly, both inside and out.
The Lewinnick Lodge (Pentire Headland, Newquay) – The Pentire Headlands are an very interesting place to walk. From one side, you look out over Crantock Beach but Lewinnick Lodge is on the other side. It looks out on Fistral Beach – a top British surfing spot. The Lodge, which is at top of the picture to the right, has been recently refurbished and is a wonderful place to enjoy both a meal and the view. They are dog-friendly outside and in the bar area – both places where you can get food. We had some wonderful garlic bread (partially because we were so hungry). Then, I had a great Sunday roast … both pork and beef with big roast potatoes, a large yorkshire pudding, and plenty of gravy. Jill had a fish cake. We also had a couple of pints – all from local breweries. Of all the places that we ate, this was my favorite one because it had the best of several things: very good food, quality beer, and an amazing view!
Things to Do & Places to See:
The Southwest Coastal Path from Crantock to Perranporth – From Crantock to Perranporth is about 10 miles and covers some great coastline and takes in a total of four beaches: Crantock, Porth Joke, Holywell , & Perran. We only made the walk to Perranporth because there is an easy bus back to Crantock … on which dogs are free. Along the way, there are a couple of places to stop and get refreshments, but not many. The best place to stop is in Holywell, where there is a shop that sells pasties and ice cream and a pub that is near the beach. Additionally, every beach along the way is dog-friendly and allows them to be off the lead without any problems! Overall, it was a great walk and would be nice to do at anytime of the year.
Crantock Beach – At high tide, there is not much of a beach here … but low tide is a different story! At that point, it is a huge expanse of sand that is perfect for playing fetch or even doing yoga (we saw a group out practicing something that looked like yoga). On one side, the River Gannel empties into the ocean … it provides another place for dogs to play and a source of fresh water for them. There is a National Trust Car Park with toilets and a small beach cafe on the hill above it. Crantock Beach is one of the nicest beaches that I have ever visited. It was a wonderful place to visit and would be an amazing beach to have on one’s doorstep!
Porth (Polly) Joke Beach – This is a great little isolated beach! It is 15-20 minute walk away from the Crantock Beach Car Park. We visited when the tide was still coming in, but it was still a great beach. It has a small stream of fresh water (perfect for the dog) and a good expanse of sand. With plenty of rocks to relax on, this is the best beach that we found in Cornwall. If we had been around another day, we would have spent it on this beach relaxing and playing with Phoenix. Of all of the beaches that I have been on, this is one of the top ones on my list, no questions about it!
Crantock Gallery – Just a few yards from the Old Albion, artist Marion Rowland has a cute little gallery. Staffed by her mother, it sells a selection of her original works and prints of the local landscape and animals. We purchased one of her prints of Porth Joke, which is now hanging on my wall. Additionally, she does commission work – mainly pet portraits! The gallery is extremely pet-friendly (but not so child-friendly).
Of all of the places in the UK that I have visited, Cornwall is one of the few that I really want to go back and visit! Unlike Scotland, I would love to go back to Crantock and spend more time in the lovely village … it is a great place to kick-back and relax.