Dog-friendly Cornwall: things to do with kids and a pooch
Finding things to do with kids and a pooch while on holiday can be a bit of a challenge. However, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of dog-friendly days out we’ve discovered during our recent family holidays in Cornwall. Here’s our guide to attractions that will be a hit with kids and four-legged friends in dog-friendly Cornwall:
Hidden Valley Discovery Park is dog-friendly
This unique and fun day out near Launceston features plenty of puzzles and trails the whole family can enjoy.
There’s also a miniature railway, village of hobbit houses and maze to explore.
Dogs are allowed everywhere but in the restaurant and Forbidden Mansion, where there are more puzzles for older children to solve.
Read about our day out at the Hidden Valley Discovery Park.
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm welcomes dogs
Healeys is the home of Rattler cider as well as an array of award-winning real Cornish cyder, wines and spirits. We can highly recommend a tour to find out how these delicious beverages are brewed and sample a few to boot.
Our girls also enjoyed meeting the farm animals and the tractor ride around the orchards. Dogs are welcome to walk around the farm yard, the cyder museum, distillery, shire horse stable and farm shop. Much of this is free to do.
Dogs can even ride the tractor and accompany owners to the cyder tasting.
Geevor Tin Mine allows dogs
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I spoke too soon about the weather! Today has been a lot nippier in Cornwall. However, we still got out and decided it was time for a road trip. And what better place to head on a cold day than a mine? Cornwall is famous for them. Over the centuries Cornish mining has shaped the landscape and the lifestyles of local people. It has even influenced mining practices around the world. . Geevor Tin Mine, not far from Lands End, started and ended its working life in the 20th Century but people have been digging for minerals here for thousands of years. The mine, its buildings and museum are fascinating, and much more kiddie friendly than I anticipated. The girls loved going underground, panning for gold and playing with the hands on exhibits. I was intrigued by the huge mill building where the ore was shaken down to its most useful components and by the fact that 98% of the materials brought to the surface were waste rock. Parts of the mining complex are quite eerie as it looks like the miners have only just put down tools. If you enjoy industrial history and want to find out more about Cornwall’s landscape and heritage then Geevor is a great attraction to visit. . We paid for our own entry to Geevor Tin Mine. [AD-press trip] It is within an hour of @thevalleycornwall where we have been invited to stay over half term. . . . . #heritage #hardhats #tourist #mining #Geevor #GeevorTinMine #halfterm #Februaryhalfterm #luxurytravel #myfamilywanderlust #fearlessfamilytravel #visitCornwall #loveCornwall #kidsloveCornwall #familytravelblog #ftb100 #travelmadfam #ukexplore #ukftb #familytravel #tinboxcornwall #adventure #seaview #coast
Dogs are allowed in the buildings and around the site of Geevor Tin Mine. The only areas they are not allowed are in the 17th Century mine walk through experience and in the cafe.
Land’s End is dog-friendly
Cornwall’s most south-westerly day out has a lot to offer families with interactive attractions, multiple eateries, shops and a farm. It’s a full day out with kids and much more than we expected from the home of the famous Land’s End sign photo opportunity.
Dogs can also wander around a lot of this attraction including the main visitor centre, the farm and coast walks.
Check out my guide to holiday parks in Cornwall to find dog-friendly places to stay.
The Minack Theatre allows dogs to visit at certain times
Outdoor theatre venues don’t come much more impressive than the Minack Theatre on the Lizard in Cornwall. We saw a children’s storytelling performance here – perfect for little people – but you can also see Shakespeare, murder mysteries, family favourites like The Railway Children and opera.
As well as sitting on the cliff-edge watching a performance you can walk around the amphitheatre and go back stage. This is when dogs are allowed to visit the Minack. It’s advised not to leave dogs in your car during performances.
The Lizard Lighthouse visitor centre welcomes dogs
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During the past three years we’ve had about 10 short breaks and holidays in Cornwall. You’d think we might be running out of places to see and things to do…Nope! Last week we drove out to Lizard Point and visited The Lizard Lighthouse. The heritage centre has lots of interactive exhibits and games for kids as well as an eye watering number of facts about the life and work of lighthouse keepers here on the most southerly point of mainland UK. We also took a guided tour up the tower. The lens at the top is powered by a 4000 watt bulb and its light beam can be seen for 26 miles. 💡 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the lighthouse station on The Lizard so there’s plenty of celebrations happening throughout the year including days when pirate fancy dress is essential! Find out more on the Trinity House website. 💡 💡 💡 💡 #thelizard #cornwall #lizardlighthouse #myfamilywanderlust #fearlessfamtrav #lighthouse #trinityhouse #visitCornwall #loveCornwall #kidsloveCornwall #VisitEngland #wearetravelmums #familytravelblog #trips100 #ftb100 #travelmadfam #curiouslittleexplorers #explorerkids #ukexplore #ukftb #familytravel #tinboxcornwall #travelmomentswithkids
This national heritage centre for Trinity House has lots of interactive exhibits and games for kids as well as an eye watering number of facts about the importance of keeping seaborne traffic safe.
The centre is on the most southerly point of mainland UK and has two working lighthouse towers.
Dogs are welcome in the heritage centre and can walk around the area but they are not allowed on the guided tours of the lighthouse tower.
Check out these dog-friendly self catering holidays in Cornwall.
The Eden Project is a dog-friendly attraction
This world-renowned Cornish visitor attraction is a must-see when you are in the West Country. And the good news is it’s both family and dog-friendly. While furry friends aren’t allowed in the Biome or The Core education centre they can walk around the outdoor gardens.
The Eden Project also has dedicated covered parking for dog owners’ cars so you can leave them for short periods of time.
Lost Gardens of Heligan is super dog-friendly
I find it hard to put into words quite how much I enjoyed this Cornwall day out with children and dogs. The Lost Gardens of Heligan has an amazing backstory and offers a full day of horticultural discovery for families.
Highlights for our girls were the Burma Rope Bridge, the Giant’s Adventure Trail and the playground on the East Lawn. Tin Box Dog was allowed throughout the gardens on her lead but was happy to watch at the rope bridge.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary welcomes dogs
This fantastic Cornish wildlife day out is a hit with kids and dogs alike. The aim of the Sanctuary is to rescue seal pups that have become orphaned or are found injured, help them to recuperate, and, if possible, release them back into the wild.
Throughout the day there are talks at the various pools during which keepers share their work to rehabilitate the seals. The Sanctuary also has penguins, otters and plenty of child-friendly activities. Dogs are welcome to visit too, as long as they stay on their leads.
National Trust properties in Cornwall allow dogs
If you’re a National Trust member, and even if you’re not, you’ll be spoilt for choice with great properties to visit in the far south west of England. We were given National Trust membership as a gift last Christmas and have been making the most of it during our regular trips to Cornwall.
Our girls love the children’s trails at National Trust properties and have begun to tick off their 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ including building dens, rolling down hills and spotting birds.
And if the kids are happy so are we. The Trust’s historic houses also fulfil my need for a bit of history during our family days out. Most National Trust properties will also allow dogs to walk in the estate and informal gardens or grounds.
Tin Box Dog has particularly enjoyed running around at: Lanhydrock in East Cornwall where you can also hire bikes; Trelissick in South Cornwall where there were lengthy walks around the estate and estuary; Cotehele in East Cornwall, which has a walk around the estate boundary taking in Cotehele Mill. Here dogs can wander round the outside of the buildings.
Dog friendly beaches in Cornwall
Things start to get a little more tricky between Easter and October. But do not fear as you can still find some all-year-round dog-friendly beaches and there’s some real gems in Cornwall.
Family holidays in Cornwall with dogs
Camping and holiday parks are always a good option for us when we are staying in Cornwall with a dog. We rate Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay, Seaview Gorran Haven near St Austell, Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth and the St Ives Holiday Village.
Or why not check out these recommendations for Cornish holiday cottages by Have Kids Can Travel?
If glamping is more your style then Western Meadows glamping near Launceston has dog-friendly safari tents.
If you’re looking for more holiday and days out inspiration check out our essential guide to family holidays in Cornwall.
Is finding things to do for your whole family a challenge? What are your favourite days out with kids and dogs in Cornwall?
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