Dog-Friendly Penzance, UK: Visiting Penzance with a Dog

The most westerly major town in Cornwall, Penzance is a popular tourist destination in England, especially during the summer hols. But what can you do together with your dog when visiting Penzance? Read on to find out my top recommendations for this part of the UK, along with tips on dog-friendly beaches and pet-friendly accommodation.

Dog-Friendly Penzance

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Penzance

If you’re heading to Penzance and the southwestern tip of Cornwall with your dog, consider adding some or all of these dog-friendly attractions to your itinerary.

#1 Explore Cute Mousehole

Just a few miles south of Penzance is the fishing village of Mousehole, one of the cutest villages in all of Cornwall and part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Famed for the narrow entrance to its harbour, in days past Mousehole was once a significant fishing port. The calm waters of the harbour are surrounded by a labyrinth of narrow streets, these days home to countless quaint cottages and boutiques. Just be warned the village is not pronounced “mouse-hall” but more so “mowzel”!

The harbour at Mousehole

Make sure you allow plenty of time to navigate the narrow roads and find a park (a difficult situation during the summer months), then head out for a wander around the cute streets and harbour. Make sure you stop off for a cream tea or perhaps some traditional Stargazy pie.

Mousehole with Dog
Enjoying a wander around Mousehole

#2 Head to Land’s End

Another popular spot close to Penzance is Land’s End, the westernmost tip of Great Britain. However, be warned that the site is quite a tourist trap, with multiple pricey “attractions” including 4D movies and indoor golf on offer. Additionally, there is a hefty fee for a photo to be take of you and the iconic sign.

If you just want to pay a quick visit to Land’s End with your dog, I recommend holding off until the evening after the other attractions have closed, like we did. I’m pretty sure the car parking was free, plus we were able to take our own photo next to the famous sign.

Sure, it wasn’t personalised for us, but we didn’t want to pay for the privilege. (Just be aware I’ve heard of some reports of the sign being removed after-hours.)

Lands End Sign
The iconic sign at Land’s End

#3 Go Hiking Around Land’s End

Land’s End is also a great spot to enjoy a walk with your dog. There are a number of walks available in the West Penwith Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

One popular option heads along the northern coastline to Sennen Cove, three miles away. It’s also possible to park in Sennen Cove and walk to-and-from Land’s End. Just keep your dog on a leash, particularly around the cliffs.

Lands End
The cliffs around Land’s End

#4 Explore the Ruins of Botallack Mine

In centuries past Cornwall was home to a flourishing tin and copper mining industry. Although most of the mines have long closed, these days their remains along with those in neighbouring West Devon have been inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

One of the most interesting mining sites in Cornwall to explore is Botallack Mine, not far from Penzance. The ruins of the mine are scattered along a hillside steeply sloping down to the treacherous rocks and wild sea below, paths criss-crossing the slope.

Botallack Mine Ruins
The ruins at Botallack Mine

Dogs are welcome to join you in exploring the site, which is these days looked after by the National Trust. Parking is available next to the old Count House, along with a cafe and toilets. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash, due to the dangerous cliffs, plus stick to footpaths. Don’t miss admiring the remains of the precariously located engine houses, albeit from a distance.

Dog-friendly things to do in England
Checking out the engine house ruins at Botallack

#5 Take a Ferry or Fly to the Isles of Scilly

For a unique experience, consider heading to the Isles of Scilly. This archipelago of five inhabited islands are located south west of Land’s End.

There are two ways of reaching the Isles of Scilly. The Scillonian passenger ferry departs from Penzance Harbour to St Mary’s and takes 2hr 45 minutes, while the quicker option is to fly on the fixed wing Skybus aircraft, which only takes 20 minutes from Land’s End.

Pet dogs are welcome to join you in either option. In fact, the Skybus is one of the only airlines in the United Kingdom that allows dogs in the cabin – either one large or two small dogs can fly in their RSPCA-approved crate, which measures 90 x 60 x 60cm. An additional fare applies to dogs both on the Skybus and the ferry, with early bookings recommended.

While dogs are restricted from some beaches on the Isles of Scilly over the summer months, dogs are welcome on multiple beaches around St Mary’s year-round, including Town Beach.

Are Dogs Allowed at St Michael’s Mount?

To the east of Penzance lies the medieval St Michael’s Mount. This island is often compared to the similarly named Mont-Saint-Michel in France, which is also located on an island connected by a causeway, although St Michael’s Mount is much smaller.

The mount is home to an historic castle, garden and island community. It lies just off Marazion, close to Penzance, and is only accessible between low and mid tides.

St Michael Mount Causeway at High Tide
The causeway to St Michael’s Mount at high tide

Currently, it is not possible to visit St Michael’s Mount with your dog during the summer months. Dogs are only allowed to visit the island between 1st October and 31st March inclusive, and are barred during the busier months, when you’ll need to be satisfied with glimpses from the beach.

Note that dogs are not allowed inside the castle, its grounds and paths, the Steward’s House and the gardens any time of the year. They are restricted to only visiting the village and harbour on the island. So even if visiting during the off-peak season, you would need to skip the castle or take turns if not visiting alone.

Note that dog restrictions apply on Marazion Beach, where the causeway starts, during the months of July and August. During these months dogs are only allowed on the beach before 10am or after 6pm.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Penzance

The restrictions for dogs on the beaches are Penzance vary, both from beach to beach and throughout the year.

For instance, dogs are permitted on Marazion Beach all day long from September to June, but they are prohibited from the beach between 10am and 6pm during the warmer months of July and August.

Marazion Beach
Dogs are restricted from Marazion Beach during summer

In contrast, nearby Longrock Beach is one of the most dog-friendly beaches in the area, with dogs allowed on the beach year round, in between the carpark and Penzance.

Alternatively, hike to the dog-friendly Pedn Vounder Beach, one of the most stunning beaches in the region, accessible from the South West Coast Path near Porthcurno. Dogs are allowed on the beach throughout the year.

For a list of all major dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall, check out The Beach Guide, which lists 57 beaches in Cornwall where dogs are allowed. (Note that some more inaccessible beaches are not included.) Although always double check the signs at beaches – the rules can change.

Dogs on Public Transport in Penzance

The local buses in Penzance are operated by FirstBus and Go Cornwall Bus. With both operators, dogs and other small animals are allowed on board, although it is at the discretion of the driver.

On FirstBus, there is a maximum of two dogs per bus (and per person, except with permission from the driver). With Go Cornwall Bus, there is a limit of one dog per person. In both cases, no charge applies. Dogs must be well-behaved and not sit on seats.

Most buses depart from the bus station in the centre of Penzance, adjacent to the train station. Note that services may not be as frequent in the winter.

Dogs are also welcome onboard the trains that travel to Penzance, the terminus of the rail line to Cornwall from London and the North. It’s about five hours travel time from Paddington Station in London.

Up to two dogs can travel per passenger for free, with a charge for additional pets. Small dogs should travel in a carrier, while larger dogs need to be leashed.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Penzance

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

There’s a wide range of dog-friendly accommodation available in Penzance. A great spot to stay in the heart of Penzance is the Artist Residence Cornwall. A former Georgian coachhouse, the boutique hotel features a range of quirky, unique rooms, some with sea views, and a three-bedroom cottage. Downstairs is an all-day restaurant and bar.

Dogs are welcome in selected rooms, as well as the cottage – double check the room descriptions, and if necessary check before booking. Up to one dog is permitted per room, and two in the cottage, with an additional charge of £15 per dog, per night. In return your pup will be pampered with their own bed, bowls and organic dog treats. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the restaurant and garden.

For something different, considering staying on a farm with your pup. We enjoyed a delightful stay on a farm not that far away from Penzance, staying in a spacious room in an historic farmhouse. Just check with the owner what rules you should follow for leashing your pet, especially around livestock.

Farmstay in Cornwall
Perhaps consider a farm stay near Penzance

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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