Updated: Oct 18, 2021
There are many beaches that welcome dogs along this stretch of the north Cornish coast, each with its own unique appeal and all with plenty of space for a game of fetch, a dig in the sand or a play in the waves.
Breakwater Beach You’ll find this rocky cove to the seaward side of Bude’s breakwater. Backed by the grassy slopes of Compass Point, this beach is often quieter than the surrounding sandy ones. It’s not lifeguarded so care should be taken when swimming
Northcott Mouth Beach
Revealing a sandy beach at low tide with plenty of space to run about, this beach has a rugged charm. For wreck spotters, the remains of the SS Belem are revealed when the water retreats and in the summer months a tea caravan at the back of the beach offers much-needed refreshment.
This National Trust beach is just 15 minutes by car from Bude and has a dramatic backdrop of sheer cliffs. At very low tide it is possible to walk all the way from Crooklets beach to here – thankfully there is a seasonal café to provide a welcome cuppa.
Steeple Point Cliff stands sentinel over this bay, which can be reached by a lovely walk through the wooded Coombe Valley. There can be strong currents here so bathing is not advised, but there are plenty of rockpools to explore as well as the maritime grasslands nearby.
Black Rock Beach
To the south of Widemouth Bay you’ll find the wild beauty of Black Rock Beach. Popular with surfers and rockpool explorers alike, there is sealife to be found in abundance. Although a short drive from Bude, there is the convenience of a car park and café here.
If you’re looking for a quiet haven away from the crowds then Millook is the place to go. After a play on the shingle beach, there is a circular walk from here that has treats at every turn – pretty valleys, ancient woodland, coast path and countryside.
Summerleaze Beach requires dogs to be on leads between 10am and 6pm from 21st May to 30th September, while both Crooklets Beach and the main beach at Widemouth Bay have a dog ban from 15th May to 30th September between 10am and 6pm. These restrictions do change year-on-year so it’s always worth checking the Cornwall Council website for the most up to date information.
Our favourite walkies
With the benefit of being fairly level (apart from a small rise up to the coast path from the canal) and having no stiles to negotiate, this stroll takes in Bude’s historic canal, wildlife-filled countryside and the rugged beauty of the coast path.
For something a little longer, the cliff walk to Crackington Haven is nothing short of spectacular. With the power of the Atlantic waves on one side and steep stream valleys on the other, there is a new vista to be enjoyed at every turn.
Thought to be the most strenuous section of the South West Coast Path, this walk is best tackled in sections. River valleys, waterfalls and sandy beaches combine with the craggy heights of Higher Sharpnose and Steeple Point for a walk you’ll never forget!
Please remember, the safety of your pup should always be at the forefront – there is some great information for dog owners to be found courtesy of the South West Coast Path Association.
This iconic, semi-natural bathing pool is a haven for safe bathing. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome, with water bowls provided for those thirsty moments.
The mainland courtyard here is a medieval gateway to the castle; cross the footbridge to explore the island, soaking up the natural beauty and dramatic headland.
No day out to nearby Padstow should be without a stop-off at this fascinating visitor centre, where marine research and conservation is protecting and increasing lobster stocks.
On your return from Padstow, we can highly recommend a visit here. Cider has been made on this site for centuries, and today you can taste this delicious nectar straight from the barrel.
With so many places to explore, it’s good to know that refreshment is never far away, thanks to a plethora of dog-friendly pubs.
The Brendon Arms Owned and run by the same family since the 1800s, this historic inn overlooks Bude’s inner harbour and serves homemade dishes using fresh local ingredients, best washed down with a local ale or a glass from the carefully selected wine list.
About a mile from Bude, in the village of Stratton, The Kings Arms offers a warm welcome to all. Great food is accompanied by great beer and the Sunday roasts are to die for.
Dog friendly inside and out, The Preston Gate Inn is everything you would imagine a Cornish country pub to be. The hearty menu is paired with real ales, craft beers and an array of Cornish gins.