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The north Cornish coast is home to exceptional beaches, from tiny, craggy coves to stretches of pearly white sand.

Please be aware of the tides ( if you walk between beaches around headlands. Too regularly people are cut off by an incoming tide which at best means an embarrassing call to the coastguard and at worst is highly dangerous. There is a tide clock in the living room for convenience but please do not rely on this where safety is important; use the tide tables.

Towan Beach directly below The Island is dog-friendly year-round. It is the nearest beach to the town so gets busy in summer. The concessions and beach houses on the promenade are provided by the enterprising and friendly Wes, who has also installed showers and wifi for the beach and generally hugely smartened the whole place up since he took it over on a 20-year concession from the council. We do suggest you hire any surf boards, wetsuits, kayaks, SUPs etc equipment from him, not least as his prices are generally lower and he is so close:

At mid to low tide you can link your dog walk on Towan Beach by heading right to Great Western and Tolcarne beaches and then (at low tide when the moon permits) Lusty Glaze beach.  Other dog friendly beaches nearby are Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthcothan, Constantine Bay, Harlyn Bay, Fistral and Crantock. Nearby dog-free beaches from May to October include Porth, Polzeath and Trevone.

Watergate Bay TR8 4AA. Sweeping expanse of golden sand at the foot of steep cliffs. As well as annual surfing events being held here, the Extreme Academy provides all sorts of activities including kite surfing. The cliff-top walk to it takes under 1.5 hours and the views are spectacular, especially if you time your walk to coincide with the setting sun.

Bedruthan Steps TR8 4BU. The huge granite stacks rising from the beach were, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan. Access to the beach used to be down a steep, narrow set of steps cut into the cliff but currently the steps are closed for safety reasons. The walk along the top is still well worth it with great views. You can usually park in the National Trust car park at “Carnewas at Bedruthan” The National Trust also have a tearoom (top tip: go through to the small garden on the far side), and a gift shop there where you can pick up some souvenirs, some quite tasteful and not all featuring Poldark.

Crantock Beach Newquay TR8 5RH. A large expanse of golden sand surrounded by dunes, with rock-pools and caves. Access is across the Gannel from Newquay or through the dunes from Crantock. Dog friendly, refreshments, lifeguard, parking and toilets.

Holywell Bay, Newquay TR8 5PW. A large beach backing onto stunning sand dunes and with a shallow stream running down to the sea (perfect for paddling). At low tide you can explore the unexpected calcium deposits in the grotto which give the beach its historic name (but keep an eye on the incoming tide). At high tide there is ample room amongst the dunes. Easy, level walk from the car park with refreshments and toilets.

Mawgan Porth, Newquay TR8 4BD. A perfect sheltered sandy beach, backed by monumental cliffs, offering good surf and ideal for families. Easy, level walk from the car park with refreshments and toilets.

Porthcothan, Padstow, PL28 8LN. Sheltered and sandy with streams, dunes and craggy nooks to explore at low tide.

Harlyn Bay Beach, Padstow, PL28 8SB. On the eastern side of Trevose Head sits Harlyn Bay. Nearly a mile of sand and pebbles backed by dunes.

Trevone, Padstow, PL28 8QY. A pleasant, sandy bay, Trevone is located between Padstow and Harlyn Bay. It has a giant natural blowhole and is ideal for rock-pooling and collecting shells. There is a small slope to the beach (and steps from one of the car parks), and to the west of the main beach there is also a rocky beach with a tidal pool. Enjoy excellent scenery and good coastal walks to Trevose Head.