Dog friendly family camping at Heligan Campsite in Cornwall

Our camping was complimentary to allow me to produce an honest review.

Campsites can be hit and miss. Occasionally though, you stumble upon a real little gem. One that gets everything right. Dog friendly with smart, clean, warm facilities. Located in the best place to take in sea views with off road access to cycle paths. Next door to one of the most incredible visitor attractions in the area. Planted with flowers around the site to make it even more stunning. Heligan campsite in Cornwall ticks all the boxes.

Heligan Campsite at sunset
White flowers on Heligan Campsite
Pink flowers on Heligan Campsite

Staying at Heligan Campsite, Cornwall

Whether you’re a seasoned canvas camper, a camper van or caravan owner or prefer a little luxury, Heligan Campsite can help. A range of static caravans are available as holiday homes. Some are accessible to all including wheelchair users. Anyone looking for a little more space can book a double sized unit. We didn’t look around these but you can find full information about them on their website.

If you prefer to use a caravan, motorhome, camper van or tent, Heligan Campsite can offer the ideal pitch for you. They have both grass and hardstanding pitches and facilities are available for caravan waste disposal. A heated amenity block with showers and toilets sits alongside a launderette, outside drying area and pot wash sinks. A small shop for camping essentials is located in reception. 

Heligan Campsite viewed from cycle path
Child on Heligan Campsite
Heligan Campsite reception
Heligan Campsite toilet block

Children at Heligan

Someone recently said to me that children get the sort of freedom on campsites that our generation had at home when we were growing up. I’d never thought about that before but it’s true, as long as you choose the right campsite. Heligan Caravan and Camping site is one of those places. It’s quiet enough for children to ride bikes or scooters around the site, meeting other children and making friends.

A children’s playground at the bottom of the hill is set in a huge sandpit. The girls trotted off with their buckets and spades to climb, swing, slide and make sand creations with their new friends. They probably spent more time there than they’ve ever done at a campsite park.

Heligan Campsite playground

A dog friendly campsite

If you’re camping, up to two dogs are allowed on touring and camping pitches. They also have four holiday homes that are dog friendly. Just off the site, there’s a footpath where dogs can run around off the lead. We found the pitches a great size because there was plenty of space for Bubbles to be in her bed on the pitch without being too close to passing dogs. She does have a tendency to grumble if an unknown dog gets too close, so the size of the pitches was a real bonus for us.

Additionally, the whole area has loads of dog friendly places for days out. We didn’t feel restricted at all by having the dog with us. This was quite a surprise as I’m aware that lots of Cornish beaches aren’t dog friendly. Thankfully, we found a delightful dog friendly bay just a short drive from Heligan.

dog in a camper van

Things to do around Heligan campsite

As the name might suggest, Heligan campsite is really near to Heligan’s Lost Gardens. In fact, if you walk to the top of the site, open a gate and cross a road, you’re in the Lost Gardens of Heligan car park. I’ll be reviewing this day out separately, but suffice to say it’s a lovely, dog friendly, family day out. During school holidays they put on some amazing activities for children. If you’re staying at the campsite, you can grab a card from reception giving you 20% off entry into Heligan Gardens. Lobbs Farm Shop is right next to the Lost Gardens of Heligan too. It’s ideal for stocking up for a barbecue.

Lost Gardens of Heligan Burma Rope Bridge
Chlid emerging from crawling under ropes on Lost Gardens of Heligan Assault Course

Heligan Campsite is the sister site to Pentewan Sands holiday park. Located a few miles away in Pentewan, the Sands site is a lot larger with more facilities, particularly useful for a rainy day. There’s a private beach, two indoor swimming pools, tennis courts, play zone for kids and a bar and restaurant right by the beach. Heligan guests need to pay to use the swimming pools. Parking charges also apply, but you can claim these back against the cost of swimming and anything you buy in the Seahorse beachside bar and restaurant. 

As Pentewan isn’t dog friendly, we did some research and headed to Gorran Haven instead. This is an absolutely beautiful little bay. The water is calm, ideal for swimming. My husband and I both had a swim across the bay. The girls paddled right up to their necks but were just a bit too chilly to swim. Next time, we’d definitely bring our SUP for the girls to paddle around on. The coastal path walk from Gorran Haven is beautiful too.

Gorran Haven viewed from coastal path
Boats at Gorran Haven
Gorran Haven beach

Cycling from Heligan campsite

Walk past reception and out of the campsite and on your right, you’ll see a path. This is a cycle path that links up with the Pentewan Valley trail, an off road cycle route offering access to various locations. You can go as far as St Austell on this trail, and from there it’s possible to link up with the Green Corridor Trail, leading on to the Eden Trail. This means you can cycle all the way to the Eden project.

From the campsite itself, the path quickly heads downhill whichever route you take. This does mean a rather large hill to cycle up on the way back. Nonetheless, we managed to cycle to Mevagissey with the girls. We spent a day there, having lunch, an ice cream and spending some time exploring. By the end of the day, the girls were tired but managed well on the cycle back to the campsite. We had to walk up the big hills, but cycling back was notably less painful than anticipated. My husband cycled to Pentewan one evening, and I cycled over to Charlestown one morning for a social sea swim with the Mad Hatters. It was a joy being able to leave the van where it was and get around on foot or on bikes for most of the week.

Mevagissey Harbour
Charlestown Harbour
Charlestown rock stack

Other things you worth knowing about Heligan Campsite

  • WiFi: It’s possible to connect to WiFi at Heligan but there is an additional charge. You can choose your package both in terms of time and number of devices. I went for a family package with four devices for three days at a cost of £15. I do prefer to see campsites offering free WiFi, but it’s preferable to have the option of paying for it rather than racking up data charges.
  • Location: Heligan campsite is near Pentewan and Mevagissey in Cornwall. The nearest large town is St Austell. Whilst the campsite isn’t on the beach, it’s only two miles away and it’s perfectly possible to reach both Pentewan and Mevagissey using an off road footpath and cycle path.
  • Further information: Additional details about the campsite are available on their website.
Dog friendly camping in Cornwall | If you're holidaying in the UK with your dog, campsites are often a great option. Heligan campsite offers holiday homes as well as pitches for tents, caravans, motorhomes and camper vans. The campsite itself and the surrounding area are both dog friendly. #camping #dogfriendly #uktravel #cornwall
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Our camping was complimentary to allow me to produce an honest review.

4 Comments

  1. pigeonpairandme
    June 4, 2019 / 8:58 pm

    Fantastic that you were able to join in with the local swimmers! This place sounds fantastic. The fact that you felt able to let the girls just run round speaks volumes.

    • monsterid June 4, 2019 / 9:26 pm

      Thank you. It was lovely to get in for a swim and see the girls having so much freedom.
      Nat.x

  2. June 4, 2019 / 10:00 pm

    I wish we were into camping – this looks so beautiful! x

    • monsterid June 6, 2019 / 10:51 am

      It’s really lovely. They do have some lovely static caravans as well so definitely worth checking out even if you don’t fancy roughing it in a tent!
      Nat.x

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