As a dog-lover, I especially enjoy treating my hound to a little holiday – and as one of Cornwall’s most dog-loving, visitor-centric seaside towns, St Ives is the perfect place to take the pooch.
From beaches to the rural interior, the area is awash with prime walking territory; plus – a range of sights and attractions in St Ives and the surrounding area openly welcome dogs, meaning that the entire family can enjoy some quality (dog) downtime together.
Here are my top picks for dog-friendly days in and around St Ives…
Beach and Country Walks
Let them run amok at some of the west’s most spellbinding sandy stretches, allowing you all to relish the outdoors and take in the seaside delights of St Ives and beyond.
In the town itself, Bamaluz Beach, Pier Beach and Lambeth Walk Beach – and nearby Porthkidney in Lelant – allow dogs all year round. The restrictions on all other beaches only apply between the Sunday before Easter and 30th September – giving you free reign for over half of the year at the stunning likes of Porthminster, Porthmeor and Porthgwidden.
Alternatively, wait for the crowds to leave the Harbour Beach for a dog walk after 7pm (or before 8am) in the summer months, or schedule an early morning, sunrise-seeking walk at Carbis Bay between 5-8am.
Centrally-located, St Ives Gardens and Trewyn Gardens are great subtropical offerings for a respite from the bustle of the town, or for a more adventurous dog-walking expedition – head west along the coastal path toward Zennor where an abundance of awe-inspiring countryside awaits, as does the gorgeous (and dog welcoming) Gurnard’s Head pub.
Plus – Poldark fans can follow the show’s spectacular scenery and locations with walks at Botallack near St Just, where you’ll get to spy the cliff top, World Heritage Site mine of Wheal Owles (aka Ross’ Wheal Leisure).
Travel down the coast to Penzance for some world-class art with (well behaved) dog-welcoming Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, or walk the causeway to the iconic, St Michael’s Mount and sink an alfresco coffee, lunch or cream tea accompanied by sweeping views of Mount’s Bay.
Spend some time at Tanglewood Gardens, Trengwainton Gardens or explore the stunning Chygurno Garden at Lamorna Cove before a scrumptious stop-off at Lamorna Pottery for Cornish Cream Tea before meandering along any of the coastal paths, or beautiful western beaches such as Nanjizel, Pedn Vounder, Penberth Cove and Gwenver near Land’s End (that has one hundred acres of natural landscape to enjoy!)
Restaurants and Cafés
St Ives boasts a plethora of dog-friendly dining options. From locals’ favourite, The Sloop to The Queens, The Sheaf of Wheat, The Castle Inn and The Union – there’s a great selection of pubs alongside restaurants and cafés including Rhubarbs, The Hub Bar and Grill, The Tearoom, The Pedn Olva and The Loft.
Remember that policies and regulations are always changing so try to call ahead before visiting – especially since many venues are becoming increasingly dog-friendly and often make exceptions for alfresco dining areas – so always best to ask!
Have a look at our Holiday Cottages in St Ives >