Winter has arrived in Cornwall. Woody and I absolutely adore this time of year. Nothing quite beats bumping into dogs at the beach and there’s something about the community that comes together at this time of year. There are so many beaches at our fingertips now, it can be hard to choose which one to visit! We thought we’d share with you some of our favourite winter beaches in Cornwall. These are places where dogs aren’t always welcome during high season but come to life at this time of year.
We love exploring beaches at any time of year and living in Cornwall we’re spoilt for choice. We’re incredibly grateful to be able to spend so much time by the sea. In winter, we’re no longer restricted to certain beaches and take every opportunity to explore.
Gylly, Swanpool and Maenporth, Falmouth
Falmouth’s coastline is one of the worst affected by the beach ban. During summer, dog owners are restricted from all the major beaches between 15th May and 30th September between 10am and 6pm, with only Nansidwell remaining dog friendly all year round. Understandably, during winter, dogs and their owners love their newfound freedom (Woody and I included!)
If we’re lucky we enjoy walking between Swanpool and Gyllyngvase via the rocks at low tide. Exploring the coast path between Swanpool and Maenporth is great fun throughout the year, made just that tiny bit better by being allowed to play on beaches at either end. We’ve met so many friendly faces on the beaches already this year, dogs of all shapes and sizes. Gyllyngvase is particularly popular among puppy parents, we just love watching them enjoy their first beach day together!
Porthkidney Sands, Lelant
This great expanse of sandy beach is situated between Hayle and St. Ives. There’s something about long stretches of flat beach that keep Woody and I coming back for more. I love that I can let Woody run free when we visit, without worrying about him getting lost. It’s far easier to keep an eye on him when we’re at the beach. His dark fur stands out like a sore thumb, so I always know what he’s up to!
We park in Lelant when we visit and walk down the coast path to the beach. Even at high tide, there’s plenty of beach to play. I’m not sure we’ve ever made it to the water’s edge, the beach is that vast! Woody enjoys chasing the seagulls when we visit and on a recent trip, we even discovered washed up spider crabs in the sand.
Kynance Cove, The Lizard
The Lizard Peninsula is an incredible place to visit, even more so after winter storms. Kynance Cove is the most famous beach on the peninsula, attracting thousands of visitors each year, making it incredibly busy during the summer. There’s no better place for storm watching than the rugged serpentine cliffs of the Lizard. It’s a truly wild and rugged landscape in winter.
As much as I love Kynance Cove, I do have to keep an eye on Woody while we’re here. He’s got a horrible habit of picking up and carrying stones at the moment, in his eyes the bigger the better! The beach at low tide is sandy, however it gets rockier the closer you walk towards the cliffs. Access down to the beach isn’t for the faint hearted, as you have to scramble over the boulders and rocks. You’ll also need to be aware of the tides too, as incoming tides can cut you off. Fortunately there is an ‘escape’ route the other side of the beach if the main access point is cut off. It’s a longer walk back to the car park though!
Perranporth Beach, Perranporth
Perranporth is arguably one of the county’s best loved beaches. Tourists flock in their thousands to enjoy its golden sands every year. We tend to avoid Perranporth during high season, as it can be quite a squeeze. However it’s fast becoming one of our favourite winter beaches, Woody has the time of his life whenever we visit!
The beach is a never ending expanse of sand, perfect for sprinting full speed like a super spaniel. Woody rarely stops running at Perranporth and has meets of friends to play chase with. The Watering Hole is situated near the dunes, serving hot chocolates and coffee throughout the winter. If you’re looking for a stress free place to unwind with your dog this winter, we’d definitely recommend Perranporth!
Mount’s Bay, Marazion
St. Michael’s Mount is a Cornish icon. The picture perfect castle has adorned plenty of postcards over the years. It’s shrouded in folklore and heritage too and open to the public throughout the year. Unfortunately dogs aren’t welcome in the castle grounds, though they can hop across the water and walk around the village with you.
Nevertheless Marazion beach is a great place to visit, with perfect views across to the mount on clear days. At low tide you can walk across the Giant’s Causeway, which emerges from the waves. Parking is free in the main car parks during winter and of course the dog ban is lifted from the beach. Woody and I love coming here on crisp winter mornings to marvel at the view.
Last but by no means least is Gwithian beach in Hayle. I have only ever visited Gwithian in autumn/winter and just love the atmosphere. There’s a short walk through the Towans sand dunes before you get to the sea. I keep Woody on the lead, as I don’t trust him around the nearby nature reserve. Knowing him, he’d be off like a flash to be friends with the ducks!
I have fond memories of Gwithian beach, particularly from last year. I decided to walk Millie and Woody here on Christmas Day, just as a storm was brewing. Naïvely I thought it would ‘just pass by’ and didn’t think too much of it. In a matter of seconds the sky turned black and I could see the rain approaching. The dogs didn’t understand the severity of the situation and continued dropping the ball and chasing one another, as I desperately tried to sprint back to the car. Safe to say we didn’t outrun the storm and I don’t think I’ve ever been as damp in my life, we were all soaked to the bone!
These are just some of the beaches we enjoy visiting in the off season. We’re spoilt for choice here in Cornwall and have so many we still need to tick off our list. Where are your favourite winter beaches? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
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