A few of Cornwall’s gardens welcome dogs, but this little gem on the Helford River is one of the very best days out for families with dogs in tow. Not only can you enjoy the colours and canopies of sub-tropical foliage tumbling through a lush valley destination, with some magnificent century-old rhodedendrons and camellias, but when you reach the river’s edge there’s a divine sandy beach that is perfect for picnics, stone-skimming and throwing sticks out into the calm waters for your faithful hounds to retrieve.
Among other features, there’s also a waterfall tumbling down a rockface into a damp dell of shady ferns, the confounding bamboo maze of the ‘Bamboozle’ and the Gunnera Passage which leads under swathes of giant rhubarb – all of which kids especially love. Back at the top of the valley, the Planters Café and picnic area welcomes dogs and serves an impressive seasonal menu using local suppliers (and roasts on Sundays in winter), and there are water bowls and even complimentary poop bags too. There’s also the (similarly dog-friendly) Boathouse Café, down by the water’s edge – open spring to autumn and a perfect spot to enjoy an ice cream.