Looe is the perfect base for anyone who wants a taste of “proper” south Cornwall without endless hours stuck in traffic. It’s a good-looking village, with sturdy Victorian houses stacked up on the wooded hillsides either side of the working harbour, and a choice of sandy beaches, East Looe and quieter Millendreath. The historic harbour town of Fowey and the futuristic biomes of the Eden Project are both within striking distance, but you can also spend lazy days on the unspoilt Rame Peninsula, Cornwall’s “forgotten corner”.
Looe is also an ideal place to bring your four-legged friend, with countless country trails and easy access to a host of dog-friendly beaches (although Looe beach has a dog ban in force). We’ve found five caravan parks within a 10-minute drive of Looe that welcome pets, and listed them in order of distance, from nearest to furthest. Check the park’s website for the latest Covid-19 updates, and find the perfect beach for a doggy dip in the sea at cornwall-beaches.co.uk/dog-friendly.
Tencreek Holiday Park
Address: Looe, Cornwall PL13 2JR
Open all year
A five-minute drive from Looe’s bustling harbour, Tencreek is the most family-friendly caravan park in this list, with a heated indoor pool, an all-weather sports pitch, an adventure playground, live entertainment and a free kids’ club at weekends and in the school holidays, which will keep the kids busy while you spend some quality time with your partner and/or pooch. There’s a dedicated exercise area for dogs and a footpath leads to the South West Coast Path for glorious clifftop hiking. Take your bucket and spade to East Looe Beach or to the twin coves of Talland Bay, where dogs are allowed all year and the kids can go snorkelling and hunt for hermit crabs in rockpools.
Tencreek Holiday Park is a 35-minute drive from the Eden Project and 25 minutes from Polruan, for the passenger ferry to Fowey, and Portwrinkle, gateway to the sweeping beaches of Whitsand Bay, where Rex can run riot. The site has electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, a laundrette and free WiFi. There’s a bar/restaurant and a shop selling essentials, or you can skip into Looe for pubs, restaurants, fishmongers, farm produce and a Co-op.
Prices: from £17 a night for two, including a pet
Top tip: all the pitches here have a guaranteed sea view
Looe Caravan Club Site
Address: Looe, Cornwall PL13 1PB
Open from March to October
It’s a five-minute drive to Looe from this pretty site, and dog owners have a wealth of options for widescreen walkies even in high summer – Plaidy and Seaton are less than 10 minutes away, it’s a 15-minute drive to Talland Bay, and you can be throwing driftwood on glorious Whitsand Bay in less than 25 minutes, before a more sedate stroll along the heritage coastline at Rame Head or in the grounds of Tudor Mount Edgecumbe. It’s a 40-minute drive to the Eden Project and slightly less to the Fowey ferry.
The park is run by the Caravan and Motorhome Club, but welcomes non-members, and has showers, toilets, a laundrette, electric hook-ups and WiFi. The pitching areas are divided by conifers and flowering cherries, adding to the sense of serenity, but the heated outdoor pool, playground, mini golf and dog-walking area mean there’s something for all the family, whether they have two legs or four. Looe has all the shops, pubs and restaurants you’ll need, but if you don’t want to drive to dinner, there’s a fish and chip shop 10 minutes’ walk from the park gates.
Prices: from £16.70 a night for two, including a pet
Top tip: if you can visit outside school holidays, there’s a 50% midweek discount
Address: St Martins, Cornwall PL13 1PB
Open all year
Tregoad Park is just up the road from the Looe Caravan Club Site, and offers the same easy access to dog-friendly beaches, Fowey, the Eden Project and Looe’s shops and pubs, which are a five-minute drive from the gates. It offers lodges and glamping pods as well as touring pitches – the handsome Georgian manor at its heart sleeps 18, so is often booked for special occasions.
With a heated indoor pool, a games room and a play park, there’s plenty to keep children busy, but Tregoad Park offers adults a bit of breathing space: the spa is over-16s only and grown-ups get exclusive early-morning access to the pool during the summer hols. Facilities include WiFi, electric hook-up, showers, toilets, a laundry, a well-stocked shop and a restaurant. If you want a break from the beach, it’s a half-hour drive to wiley, windy Bodmin Moor.
Prices: from £16 a night for two, pets £2 a night
Top tip: bring the kids for Easter, at Christmas or over May half-term, when there’s a guaranteed rate of £30 a night for a family of four
Camping Caradon Touring Park
Address: Trelawne, Cornwall PL13 2NA
Open all year
Somebody’s been busy with the shears at this peaceful, eco-friendly park six minutes’ drive from the harbourside in Looe – there are immaculately trimmed box balls dotted around the site, perhaps best admired over a pint of local Tribute ale or scrumpy in the bar’s gorgeous beer garden after a hard day’s swimming, strolling and lazing on the sand at dog-friendly Talland Bay, a seven-minute drive away. It’s a 10-minute drive to the pretty fishing port of Polperro, the Eden Project is half an hour away and you can be on the ferry across the River Fowey in less than half an hour. Or take a bus from the park gates to Looe, Polperro or even Plymouth.
Camping Caradon has WiFi, electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, a laundrette,a play area and a games room with pool, table football and a PS2, making it a popular place for older kids to congregate. There’s a strong commitment to sustainability here – the park has a Green Tourism gold award – but if that’s all a bit woke for you, you can buy locally made sausages at the shop in reception or tuck into a full Cornish at the 16th-century Jubilee Inn, a mile and a half up the road in Pelynt.
Prices: from £15 a night, pets from £1.50
Top tip: the site sells fast-track tickets for the Eden Project, so you can jump the queue and save 15% on the walk-up price.
The Oaks Holiday Park
Address: No Man’s Land, Cornwall PL13 1QR
Open all year
The address might make you think of the western front, but all’s quiet at this tranquil site in glorious Cornish countryside, seven minutes’ drive from Looe, 10 minutes from dog-friendly Plaidy beach and only 20 minutes from the pooch’s paradise of Whitsand Bay, where there’s three miles of sandy beaches to explore. The only things that might disturb your view of hills and woodland are sparrowhawks, kestrels or barn owls flying overhead. There’s a mile-long dog walk on the site and if you keep the leash on, you can visit the neighbours’ ponds to spot kingfishers and dragonflies.
This is a simple site with a bar and clubhouse, new showers and toilets, WiFi and not much else. It’s a 40-minute drive to the Eden Project – and if you’ve brought any cheeky monkeys with you, they’ll love the Wild Futures sanctuary, a mile down the road, where they can meet marmosets, macaques and capuchins rescued from the pet trade and the entertainment business.
Prices: from £16 a night, pets £1
Top tip: party animals should steer well clear – there’s “quiet time” from 10.30pm to 8am, so guests are guaranteed a sound night’s sleep