Dog Friendly

Bring your dog on holiday to Cornwall, stay at a dog-friendly holiday cottage and live the dream!

Forget finding a dog sitter at home or, better still, the heartbreak of leaving them at kennels. Cornwall is largely dog friendly whether it’s beaches, restaurants, cafes or miles and miles of coastal walks. Most tourist attractions are happy to accept a dog visiting on a lead and so we are very happy to share some dog friendly places to visit while staying in St Ives; a guarantee to lots of wagging tails!

Beach fun

Dog walk and sea view Portscatho

There can’t be many dogs that don’t love whizzing around a spacious sandy beach with utter abandon and taking a splash in the sea! St Ives has 5 beaches in total and so there is ample opportunity for your dog to enjoy some extraordinary playtime with you while on your St Ives holiday.

Some of St Ives beaches have seasonal restrictions so this is something to bear in mind when visiting during the summer months but, overall, dogs are very welcome in St Ives so everyone gets a bit of beach time even during the school holidays. Check out the list of beaches below and let your holiday anticipation begin to build!

One of the most popular blue flag beaches within St Ives, Porthmeor is a long stretch of golden sand, perfect for your dog to have a morning run or a sunset chill out.

This beach has seasonal restrictions where, between 15th May to 30th September 10 am to 6 pm, dogs are not allowed on the beach. The nearest public loos are located just off the beach near the Porthmeor short stay car park and (importantly) there are dog poo bins midway along the beach and on the West side of the beach too in the public car park. There is Porthmeor beach cafe halfway along the beach and they quite often have a dog bowl with fresh water.

Another one of St Ives fantastic blue flag awarded beaches and at low tide the sand stretches out toward the St Ives harbour crossing a shallow river so either it’s barefoot paddling or wellie wading.

Porthminster beach has seasonal restrictions in place from 1st July to 31st August between 10 am and 6 pm where your dog cannot go on the beach. The nearest public loos are located just off the beach as well as the dog poo bins too. There is a cafe on Porthminster beach which has a dog bowl and fresh water.

When you picture a typical Cornish cove; sheltered, soft golden sand and crystal clear shallow sea, this is Porthgwidden beach.

A smaller little cove beach tucked down between the island and the harbour. A peaceful place to enjoy some quality time with your dog during the quieter months given it can get a little busy during summer months and school holidays. This beach has seasonal restrictions in place from 1st July to 31st August between 10 am and 6 pm. The nearest public loos are located just up the slope from the beach and there are bins nearby also. Porthgwidden beach cafe has outdoor dining ideal to sip a coffee and take in the view after your morning dog walk and most likely you will find a dog bowl with water also.

This beach can be quite an expanse of sand when the tide is out! Equally when the tide is in, there is a little snippet of beach available to play on just below Smeaton’s Pier near the iconic arches.

Being so central in St Ives, the harbour beach is a great place to people watch as well as watch the working fishing boats and pleasure boat rides run their businesses. You can walk your dogs on the beach up to 10 am and then again from 6 pm between the 1st July and 31st August and the rest of the time it’s good to go on anytime! The nearest public loos are located just behind the sloop inn, there are many bins along the harbour and there are cafes galore offering fresh water in dog bowls.

Lambeth Walk area of St Ives Harbour

Found behind the RNLI Lifeboat Station near the harbour front, Lambeth Walk is another beach that is tide dependent and dog friendly all year round! When the tide is out, there is a good section of sand before reaching the shoreline. It may be tempting to walk around onto the harbour from Lambeth walk given it’s so close but remember the rules of Harbour beach if visiting over summer. It is accessed via steps down onto a pebbly past a freshwater source and onto the sand, it is a popular spot for walkers with fantastic views across the bay of the harbour. The nearest public loos are located just off the beach near the rear of the Lifeboat Station and there are also bins along the walk between the beach and the town centre.

This compact little beach just outside the harbour walls is only a few minute’s walk from the harbour front and is dog friendly all year round!

One thing to note is that there are a fair few steps leading down to the beach so not suitable for everyone, but once on the beach, this is an idyllic spot for a dip in the sea with your dog! The nearest loos are located just above the beach at the entrance to Smeatons Pier. There are bins very near to the steps down to the beach.

Walkies!

During your St Ives holiday with your dog, there are many stunning countryside walks avoiding busy or restricted beaches covering miles of moorland lined with fragrant and colourful gorse shrubs and centuries old historical monuments

Dog friendly beaches Cornwall

For suggested public footpaths and recommended routes we would highly recommend downloading the iWalkCornwall App or buy the OS Map 102 for Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives. Below are a couple of our personal favourite walks when taking Sheppy and Hops out to stretch their legs during a lunch break.

Rosewall Hill

From the top of this hill, on a clear day you can see for many nautical and land miles across to the other side of the peninsula! The hill overlooks St Ives and can be reached by foot from the heart of St Ives or there is a car park where a gentle stroll can be enjoyed all around the hill. The walk can be over 2 hours long or a quick 30 minutes whatever you have time or energy for. From the top of the hill, on a clear day, you will see the north coast stretch as far as Newquay and also St Michael’s Mount and the south coast of Cornwall. Pack a pair of binoculars with you to take in the enormity of the views and spot some rare Cornish wildlife like the Nightjar which visits from late May. Occasionally there is a herd of cows that graze on an area of the hill but these can be easily avoided by another route if you are shy of cows.

Clodgy Point

This walk is suitable for most as it’s mainly all on a paved footpath but it can get uneven the closer you get to Clodgy Point. It is an undulating walk from Porthmeor beach past St Ives Bowling Green with a stop off to take in the breath-taking coastal views at Man’s Head. Look back at the beach and St Nicholas’ Chapel on the Island as well as be within 15 metres of the turquoise sea meeting the cliffs. There is a bench half way to Clodgy Point where you can sit and simply breathe in the sea air as well as soak up the sun and views. Once at Clodgy Point, settle on a picnic blanket and lose yourself in the expansive sea views to the West. If your dog is prone to chasing, it may be an idea to keep it on the lead as you relax so as to keep them safe from cliff falls!

Coastal path to Porthkidney beach

Another favourite walk of ours from the heart of St Ives is along the coastal path east towards Porthkidney beach. This has to be one of the best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall! It stretches for over 4 kilometres and it is about a kilometre wide when the tide is out. It’s one of those beaches that offers plenty of beach and sand even at high tide. It’s protected by tall towans (sand dunes) and cliffs so is often protected from strong winds and there are many sun traps along the beach plus the cliffs offer much needed shade and natural source of water on hot, sunny days. The route undulates past Porthminster beach where you pick up the coast path and head into the shade of the trees. It has to be one of the most picturesque dog walks we can imagine showcasing the most gorgeous colour sea and white sands beaches that stretch along the coast. You will cross back over the railway line as you pass through Carbis Bay and the path will lead you towards West Cornwall Golf Course. Drop down onto the beach at the start of the beach and enjoy watching your dog go berserk with the freedom of so much space and sand!

Coastal path walking

Walking coastal paths offers spectacular sea views, awe inspiring headlands with the prettiest of coastal flora and fauna as well as pretty sheer cliff tops to boot! We urge you to take great care when walking coastal paths with your dog. Be sure to keep them on a lead (even if an extendable on) and make sure you have a portable water bottle/ bowl for your dog as it can get very dry and hot walking the cliff paths in the summer with no fresh water along the way. The right foot wear for you is important also as many of the paths mean negotiating granite boulders or stepping stones. For some guided coastal walk routes, try using this super helpful website which is dedicated to walking the coast paths of Cornwall with a dog.

 

Eating out with your dog

The big question when coming on holiday to a dog-friendly holiday cottage is what to do when you want to eat out for dinner?

Most pet-friendly holiday cottages in Cornwall stipulate that dogs shouldn’t be left alone in the properties so that leaves you with quite a dilemma. Eating out in Cornwall while on holiday has to be one of the attractions, right? St Ives restaurants and cafes recognise this so there is a good selection of places to eat and drink with your dog while on holiday. Here are a few we recommend you try (and book ahead of your stay!) Some accept your dog inside the eatery, while others have outdoor dining so check out their websites for more information.

Looking for a pub that will welcome you and your dog with open arms?

You really must give yourselves a treat and visit The Queen’s Hotel which offers delicious home-cooked local food, a perfect pint of Tribute, an open fire and your beloved dog will enjoy the fuss and treats from the friendly staff too! Located just up from Market Square opposite Boots so not far to walk back to your St Ives holiday cottage with full and happy tummies.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 796468

The home of St Ives gin! Here you can enjoy aware winning tapas, craft drinks and cocktails all while soaking up the St Ives sun and stunning views of the harbour.

Your dog is very welcome to join you in the restaurant or outside so be sure to add here as a place to eat for brunch, lunch or supper – you won’t be disappointed!

Visit their website to view their menu and to make a booking

The Sloop Inn is one of the oldest pubs in St Ives, sitting in its iconic spot on the Harbourfront. It is an absolute must-visit with your dog!

The Sloop has a great outside area where you’re able to sit and enjoy your food and drink, whilst watching the world go by. The views of the Harbourfront are second to none. However, if the weather isn’t looking so good, you can take a seat within the traditional Cornish pub itself.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 796584



Source Kitchen is located on a dreamy cobbled lane called The Digey in St Ives.

It leads you to Porthmeor beach one way or the busy Fore Street in the other direction so take the weight off your and your dog’s feet and enjoy a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of their street-side bistro tables. Sadly dogs are not allowed in the restaurant itself so make sure you pick a dry day.

  • Dog friendly (outside area only)
  • Local produce
  • Nearest car park is The Sloop Inn
  • Vegan and vegetarian options

Visit their website or call them on 01736 799487

Wanting to experience a burger to rival others and wash it down with a cool Cornish beer or great coffee?

You and your dog are welcome to sit inside (downstairs only) or on the small veranda at the front. The Hub has amazing harbour views so get yourselves ready for a breath-taking lunch or dinner with stupendous sea views also!

Visit their website or call them on 01736 799099



The Bier Hius is located just off Lambeth walk on St Andrew’s Street and has the biggest menu of beers you can imagine!

You and your dog are so welcome inside and the decor will have you gazing around the room for hours. Hours that you can spend browsing and trying their super-extensive list of Belgium and local beers too. Expect a warm welcome from the barista who serves anything from loose leaf teas, amazing coffee, cocktails, a great list of gins to their amazingly spectacular waffles too.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 797074

Open nice and early, perfect for dog walkers, Scoff Troff is a dog-friendly café in the centre of St Ives.

They’re renowned for their breakfasts and relaxed atmosphere, making it a very welcoming spot for the whole family. The central location means it is great to dip into whether you’re looking for a quick coffee or scrummy lunch.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 797341

The Loft Restaurant has a great undercover sun terrace, which is the area of the restaurant where you’re allowed to take a seat and dine with your dog.

You’ll find some views of St Ives Bay (what’s not to like!), and they provide heaters and blankets for those cooler days.

Use of the terrace is weather dependent, so they recommend calling ahead if you’re bringing the four-legged friends with you.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 794204

Now here is a fun place to go as a family and explore the interesting burger menu of The Beer and Bird.

Located just off Fore Street, it is in the heart of St Ives. It is a dog-friendly restaurant in St Ives with all areas welcome for you to choose from so, kick back, enjoy the music, the beer and the food on offer and we are certain you will return more than once during your stay!

Visit their website or call them on 01736 793776

Fancy a spot of lunch or dinner with views that will keep you ordering more and more to stay at your table?

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe is so much more than a cafe! It offers delicious local food starting from breakfast to evening suppers and your whole family is welcome (including your dog!) under the glass-covered terrace which is heated. The cafe is perched above Porthgwidden beach so is super easy to access and find. Bon appetit!

Visit their website or call them on 01736 799097

Save a visit to Caffe Pasta for one of those dreamy days when all you fancy is a glass of something chilled while you look over the glistening waters of St Ives Harbour.

It’s a sun trap for most of the day and with outdoor tables positioned for unrivalled views, do stop here with your dog for a spot of lunch or dinner; Caffe Pasta serves very yummy fish, pasta, meat and pizza dishes. Sadly your dog is not allowed indoors, but really, we can’t recommend grabbing a table outdoors enough when the weather is fine!

Visit their website or call them on 01736 798899

Doggy day-care

Another dilemma you face when on holiday with your dog in St Ives, is if you want to maybe have a full day on the beach where dogs aren’t allowed or you fancy a half-day boat trip or full-day visit to Eden Project.

You can’t leave your dog in the holiday cottage but you really want to try some of the non-dog friendly experiences of St Ives. Luckily, there are some perfect doggy daycares and local dog sitters who can ensure your pet has the best day ever whilst you explore. Give these dog-lovers a call (well in advance of your stay!) to book your dog in for some nanny care either in your holiday cottage or at the dog-sitters premises. You can have your cake and eat it!

Vets

In an emergency, there are a few vet practices very close to St Ives so no need to worry!

When visiting St Ives with pets, you can have peace of mind that there are local veterinary practises on hand for if you need them, all of which offer a 24-hour emergency telephone line.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 798333

Visit their website or call them on 01736 796088 (St Ives) or 01736 755555 (Hayle)

Wash and freshen up

When your dog gets mucky or is in need of a trim, give them a holiday pamper session too.

Dogs love beaches! They love the salty seawater followed by caking themselves in the fine sand while whizzing around with abandon. Coastal path walkies can get a bit mucky in areas too! Save yourself the headache of trying to make them more presentable by taking them to Rocky’s Pet Care in St Ives where they can have the full works and come out smelling and looking incredible.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 797922

Pet shop

You get to your dog-friendly holiday cottage in St Ives and realise you've forgotten the dog's bowl!

We know what it means to take beloved dogs on holiday. There’s more of their stuff in the car than yours! You have to think of everything but undoubtedly something gets missed. That cold sweat when you realise you’ve not packed the poo bags… Thankfully, there is a pet store in St Ives called Rocky’s pet shop which means you can leave the car parked and take a mooch to Tregenna Hill with your dog. They sell dry food, wet food, frozen raw food, snacks, biscuits, chews, leads, collars, harnesses, toys, bowls, beds, clothing, toiletries, and much more. Try out their DRYUP CAPE too, ideal for wrapping up wet and sandy dogs and saving the holiday cottage walls!

Visit their website or call them on 01736 797922

Public transport

Have an adventure with your dog on Cornwall's public transport - the buses and trains are dog-friendly!

Sometimes you want to explore St Ives and the local area using public transport to avoid moving the car from a parking space you spent hours queueing for! We absolutely understand that sentiment and we are delighted to share with you that you can still explore West Cornwall with your dog using local bus services who are dog friendly, as well as First Great Western trains! If you think you prefer a taxi ride, call the local firms in advance to check whether they are happy picking up your pooch too.

Cultured pooches

Mooch with your pooch around some of St Ives art galleries and museum which are happily dog-friendly or take an historic boat trip around St Ives Bay

We know many people visit St Ives to visit galleries and appreciate modern art as well as discover the history of the town and harbour. We also know that many art lovers and historians are pet lovers too! For this reason, we approached all galleries in St Ives to see where they are happy for you to browse their gallery with your dog on a lead. Here is the list of dog-friendly galleries and museums in St Ives you are welcome to visit with your dog.



Anima Mundi is a gallery showcasing contemporary art over two floors in individual rooms so there is plenty of white wall space and time for reflection to appreciate each art installation.

Located on the east side of St Ives, the gallery is open every weekday and supports contemporary artists exploring new and exciting media to express their creativity and deliver their often heartfelt, powerful message. An extraordinary addition to Anima Mundi is its charitable endeavour to raise money for ‘Funding Neuro‘. A purchase from a limited charitable edition will mean 20% of the purchase price is donated to an extremely worthwhile cause. The gallery is situated in a former Christian Science reading room in St Ives but has now converted into a prominent, private exhibition space rivalling gallery spaces of London.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 793121

 



Penwith Gallery, formerly a pilchard packing factory, has 3 public galleries which means an exciting and varied showcase of contemporary and historical art, sculptures and handmade jewellery.

The gallery also has 10 artists’ studios, a Printmaker Workshop, a sculpture courtyard, archive and shop so mooching around Penwith Gallery may take a pleasurable while! The gallery is also home to the Penwith Arts Society founded in 1949 by Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Bernard Leach, Sven Berlin and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. With so many progressive artists of their time, the Penwith Art Society maintains a unique position within British art history.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 795579

Found just off Balamuz beach, the St Ives Museum is run entirely by volunteers and displays photographs and artefacts relating to old St Ives, including its boat making, fishing and mining heritage.

The building was formerly a pilchard curing cellar, as well as a Bible Christian Chapel, a laundry and a cinema! The Pilchard curing cellar is still on display within the museum. This is a fantastic spot for history buffs and also those interested in learning about past St Ives and the roots on which the popular holiday destination has been built since. For younger visitors, activity sheets are available or take part in their ‘Find for fun’ challenge where you search for tiny model cats hidden within the museum displays.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 01736 796005

Featured on BBC, in The Times newspaper, and voted winner of ‘The Best Art Gallery in Cornwall’ Award by readers of Cornwall Today magazine, Porthminster Gallery is the largest private commercial art gallery in St Ives, boasting an excellent reputation for their expertly curated shows of quality original art.

Founded in 1999 by art gallery directors David Durham and Dee Bray, the Porthminster Gallery champions art by the very best collectable, and up-and-coming names in British painting, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking. The gallery is at 22 Fore Street so is in the heart of St Ives which neighbours other great galleries and the Barbara Hepworth museum.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 795888

When you visit Malcolm Bowmer’s Gallery along The Wharf in St Ives, the first thing that hits you is the vibrant blue.

It’s no surprise that the gallery is called Blue Harbour Gallery. Many of Malcolm’s artwork and prints are around St Ives Harbour. He has worked in St Ives as an artist for over 30 years and is constantly sensitive and aware of the changing tide and light. Pop to Blue Harbour Gallery where Malcolm works from his studio and watch him work, have a chat and view his current exhibition.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 795688



The historical heroine St Ives Lifeboat JAMES STEVENS No.10 has been restored to her former glory after being neglected for many years.

This old Lifeboat was at risk of being cut up and burnt, so she was rescued and restored to preserve a very important part of St Ives’s history. The Lifeboat was built in 1899 and served as the St Ives Lifeboat from 1900 to 1933. With the restoration mission now complete, the newly restored JAMES STEVENS No.10 sailed back into St Ives harbour at the end of summer 2021. Starting in 2022, you can board this magnificent Lifeboat to experience a historic Lifeboat trip around St Ives Bay.

The old St Ives Lifeboat JAMES STEVENS No.10 will take you on a gentle and serene boat trip around the Bay. Experience St Ives from the sea and get to see the beautiful beaches and stunning scenery from a completely different perspective. There is a chance of spotting some of the local marine inhabitants such as seals and dolphins. You will also learn about the history of this Lifeboat, shipwrecks and the heroic rescues that were performed. Licensed to carry up to 12 passengers and is also dog friendly.

Visit their website for more information