A lot of people told me I was silly getting a dog when I loved to travel as much as I do. They tie you down they said, you'll never get away again they said, it's too much hassle having a dog they said. Oh, how wrong were they!
My dog is my best friend - he makes me laugh, he's clever, entertaining and cheeky. He listens to my woes and he goes everywhere with me, out for drives, visiting friends, to the pub and even to work where possible, it's only right he gets to travel with me too!
So that was it, I bought a beautiful pug named Winston and we set about our ways, travelling whenever and wherever possible and even when we aren't travelling, we are planning to travel. One of our more frequently visited places is the treasure of the south, beautiful Cornwall. There is so much to see and do in this wonderful part of England and I want to share a few personal hints and tips that Winston and I have picked up along the way to show you how travelling with a dog doesn’t have to be as difficult as some people may think.
In an era where dogs are treated more as family members than pets, businesses are having to adapt their way of working. We are seeing a massive increase in dog friendly accommodations, restaurants and tourist attractions, making travelling with your best friend easier than ever.
One of the most important parts of any holiday is accommodation. Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of places welcome doggies with open arms. Even chains such as Hilton are now allowing dogs into their hotels. Some places are fully dog friendly, some are but in rooms only, some have areas especially for you and your pooch. Because of this, booking search engines have made it easier to filter accommodating places. Bear in mind some accommodations will charge extra for pets but this should be stated when searching. Some places supply dog beds, towels, treats and bowls but not all so check this before packing as you don’t want to be missing any home comforts when you arrive. Don’t forget, Cornwall Discovered can find you the perfect accommodation for you and your pup!
Public transport is also another sector that's become more dog friendly in recent years. Dogs are allowed on all British trains, up to a maximum of two per passenger, as long as they do not endanger or inconvenience passengers or staff. Dogs must be kept on a lead unless inside a carrier. However, unlike trains, there is no legislation saying dogs can go on buses. Typically they are allowed as long as on a lead however some may refuse to allow you on and others may charge, therefore it’s always best to check with whatever bus company you are planning on using. Go Cornwall Buses say a maximum of two dogs at any time are normally allowed on any of their buses, but this will be subject to the discretion of the driver. In my experience it's always best and polite to ask before you board!
Whether it's fuelling up with breakfast on a barge in Bude, stopping for snacks at one of the beach cafes in St Ives or grabbing a spot of dinner in the beautiful village of Charlestown there are so many places where your dog will be welcomed as much as you. Most businesses know and understand what dogs mean to us and they proudly promote being dog friendly on their websites, some places will have signs in the entrance either saying ‘dogs welcome’ or ‘no dogs’. Some places allow them in the outside areas only and others have specific areas for dogs but if you're walking past and see a place that takes your fancy with no obvious signage then there's no harm in asking, if they can’t accommodate they will probably be able to suggest somewhere that can.
For me, and I assume most dog parents, taking their pups away, the holiday is all about the dog, you don't want to be leaving your dog behind whilst you go out exploring so it's important to find plenty of things to do with your dog in tow. When you're on the South Coast of England the first thing you would think of doing is visiting the beach! Now the vast majority of beaches are dog friendly at some point in the year with virtually all allowing dogs out of season however it's always best to check before you go.
Now personally I’m a big fan of Bude, not only does it bring back childhood memories but it is also great for dogs. Starting with a morning walk on Summerleaze Beach, before strolling along the river and around the quaint town, you find that everything is within walking distance. It’s my favourite for a relaxing, doing nothing kind of weekend away but there are so many beautiful, dog friendly beaches stretching throughout Cornwall. To name a few: Porthkidney St Ives is a quiet, peaceful stretch of beach with enough room to wear out any dog! Trebarwith Strand, just 2 miles from Tintagel has golden sands, rock pools and great coastal walks, a perfect beach day for all the paws. If popular Newquay is your town of choice but busy beaches are a little too much, you can head a few miles out to Holywell Bay for space to run and caves and streams to explore or to the National Trust’s Bedruthan Steps near Padstow known as one of the natural wonders of Cornwall, with massive sea stacks dotted along a mile stretch of golden sand. Remember, always keep an eye on the tide so you don't get cut off!
Not everyone that goes to Cornwall goes for these picture-postcard beaches. How about jumping on board the Bodmin and Wenford Railway with your furry friend for a journey back in time on Cornwall’s only full size railway still regularly operated by steam locomotives? Or visiting one of the biggest attractions in Cornwall, The Eden Project where dogs are welcome in the outdoor gardens, and which is home to over 20 plant-based exhibits, colourful seasonal borders and art installations. If history is more your thing then Tintagel Castle allows dogs to walk among the castle ruins and explore the history rich headland. And lastly, one of my favourites, Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, where apart from in the production hall or jam kitchen, for obvious reasons, your furry friend can be with you everywhere you go including the tractor ride and in the restaurant.
Travelling with a dog really can be hassle free, I'm a confident traveller and a confident dog owner but travelling to Cornwall has taught me to combine the two, allowing me to make the most incredible memories, urging me to travel with Winston all the more. I can’t wait to discover more of Cornwall with Winston whilst preparing for our bigger trip to Europe which I wouldn’t have had the courage to do without the ease of travelling around Cornwall.
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