We've had five holidays in Cornwall with dog in tow now so, partly to keep the memories alive, here's a list of our top 10 places to go with your four legged friend:
1. The beach between Rock and Daymar Bay. Miles of golden sands and dunes on which dogs are allowed all year round. Pick up after your dog to keep it that way! The Rock Inn and the Mariners both welcome dry dogs on leads in the bar area.
2. Watergate Bay. The main car park is expensive but when the tide's out the walk along to the far end of the beach is lovely and dogs on leads are welcome all year round. Whilst Jamie Oliver's 15 is off limits for dogs, the Beach Hut below does great food and if you can get a table outside your dog will be very welcome.
3. Deerpark Woods. If you choose to stay at the Forest Holidays site at Deerpark the woods are literally on your doorstep. If not, it's a good place to visit if you're in the Looe area and want a change from the coast path. Make a day of it with a trip to Polperro (which doesn't have much in the way of facilities for dogs other than the coast path) and the extremely welcoming Blue Peter Inn. I'm told the walk between Looe and Polperro is great, but we've not done it yet.
4. The Camel Trail. The discused railway lines run for miles between Bodmin Moor and Padstow. Whilst the track between Padstow and Wadebridge is likely to be backed with cyclists there are plenty of quieter stretches.
5. Bodmin Moor and the Old Inn at St Breward. I confess that we've not pounded the moorland paths on our recent visits but we have made several trips to the Old Inn for good home made food in a traditional pub which is very welcoming to dogs on leads and their owners.
6. The Lizard. The cliffs at the Lizard are high and sheer, so keeping your dog on the lead is an absolute must. Having said that, there are plenty of great walks which link the inland footpaths around Lizard village with coastal paths, and do provide some opportunities for a good game of fetch. When the weather's good dogs are welcome in just about all of the local cafes. Dogs on leads are welcome in the Top House bar area, if you can find a seat!
7. Coverack. The small village of Coverack has a fairly rocky beach but dogs are welcome all year round and the shallow waters are great for paddling. You could combine a trip here with the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, where dogs on leads are welcome in most areas.
8. Mawnan Smith. Many of the footpaths around Mawnan Smith lead you down wooded valleys to small and (in the early mornings) deserted stony beaches. Doggy heaven.
9. St Mawes. Take the Ferry from Falmouth to St Mawes and enjoy the walk up to the castle and round the headland. If you can find the small path down to the beach next to the catle you can pass some time with a paddle and game of fetch before enjoying a pasty on the beach below the Idle Rocks Hotel.
10. Boscastle. Walk alongside the old harbour and up to the National Coastwatch lookout tower. As with many of the coastal paths, dogs on leads is a must as the cliffs are high and steep. Well worth the short walk though. If the weather's good enjoy a cream tea in the numerous cafes. Dogs are very welcome in the Wellington Hotel and bar.
It goes without saying that the hundreds of miles of South West Coast Path provides some great walking and I'm sure you'll find your favourites. Check out the Cornwall Council website for up to date details of dog friendly beaches and the excellent doggiepubs.org website for good places to eat and drink.
Where we've stayed:
Forest Holidays, Deepark Forest
The Lizard Lighthouse Holiday Cottages
Moyles Farm, Polzeath
Mariners Lettings, Rock
The Wellington Hotel, Boscastle
Trembath, Mawnan Smith
Of course you need to check whether dogs are still welcome in these properties, and whether there are any specific restrictions or charges. We've loved them all.