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Visiting Boscastle with your dog

Visitors walking with a dog in Boscastle harbour
Visiting Boscastle with a dog | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Dogs are welcome at Boscastle and there are plenty of footpaths both on the coast and inland for dog walkers to explore all year round. Boscastle is the perfect place to explore with your dog, and you can help us keep it a safe, healthy and enjoyable place for other walkers, wildlife and livestock. Below are some top tips for anyone planning a visit with their dog.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Boscastle is a two pawprint rated place.

These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

There are plenty of cliff top footpaths to explore with your dog as well as footpaths inland following the Valency Valley.

Take care in the harbour and on cliff tops

If you're venturing through the harbour and along the coastal paths, please watch out for sheer cliff edges and grazing livestock. The harbour can be busy with visitors, other dogs and traffic. Dogs should be kept under close control at all times. If walking on the coast, particularly around the Stitches, please keep dogs on leads, especially during the lambing season or between March and the end of July when ground-nesting birds are on eggs or raising their young.

Keeping control of your dog

Our definition of close or effective control is: ​

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
  • Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Facilities for my dog

Bowls of water are available at the National Trust shop and café located in the harbour area. There are dog waste bins in the main car park (not National Trust) and harbour.

A view into Boscastle harbour and village

Discover more at Boscastle

Find out how to get to Boscastle, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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