Beautiful St Ives in Cornwall is becoming one of the best seaside destinations within Cornwall if not the whole of the UK and should be on every Brits ‘Bucket list’ of places to visit, as year on year the tourist season extends and makes it one of the most perfect places to visit all year round. With its glorious sandy beaches it’s not only a mecca for for those on two legs but has become increasingly ever more popular for four legged visitors too!
The stunning beaches out of season with their relaxed dog bans from October 1st to Easter Day have seen their appeal to visitors & their pets grow rapidly over the past few years where dogs roaming on a beach walk on an autumnal day is a sight to savour, but with the busy summer season approaching, St Ives and the surrounding area is so much more dog friendly than ever with many beaches now being dog friendly even in the height of season where dogs are allowed on the majority of the beaches both up to 10am in the morning and after 6pm in the evening … What could be better!
Here’s a few dog friendly things you can do in and around St Ives this summer and when the dogs can’t go on the beaches just jump into the car and explore what’s on the doorstep! Dog friendly all year round with no restrictions in central St Ives
Lying between Porthgwidden beach and the harbour, Bamaluz is one of the most popular all year round dog beaches in St Ives. It’s hidden away and favoured by locals and even in the height of summer it’s a very secluded and peaceful beach to explore with your dog. Just pop down the winding steps opposite the St Ives Museum and you have doggy paradise where they can take a dip and cool down in the sea on a warm summers day. If you time it right with low tide there’s a lovely expanse of sand and you can even explore up behind the back of Smeatons Pier towards the harbour and when there are spring tides you can walk around the end of the pier onto the harbour beach.
Lambeth Walk beach
Another perfect place to take the dogs in high season is very central and hidden just behind the St Ives lifeboat station – again frequented by locals and situated in between the harbour and Porthminster beach, it’s the ideal beach to let your dog have a run, fetch a ball & cool down in the sea. Like Bamaluz this is a tidal beach so check the tide times before heading off!
Just a 10 minute drive from St Ives you will find one of the most beautiful expanses of beach and sand dunes adjoining the Hayle estuary , quite possibly in the whole of Cornwall which you and your dogs will love and it’s the beach that’s been painted so many times by one of Cornwalls most successful & most loved artists John Miller – there are spectacular views across to St Ives and out to Godrevy light house with turquoise waters. With the tide out your dogs can run free and enjoy swimming in the sea while you gaze at the most stunning scenery before you.
If you time it well at low tide you can walk around the headland to the stunning Carbis Bay beach , have a drink or a bite to eat at the Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate beach bar & cafe which is dog friendly on the decked terrace on the beach. If you wanted to carry on along the South West coast path and walk a further 20 minters into St Ives. If the tide is in on Carbis Bay you can return to Porth Kidney sands along the coastal path.
For a longer more energetic walk head to Zennor!
If you are feeling fit and fancy a very rewarding adventure then waking to Zennor should be on your to do list. Whether you are on your own or with the family, you and your dog will enjoy a truly breathtaking stretch of the south west coast path along the 6.5 mile rugged coastline to Zennor. While the walk is pretty challenging, if you wear proper walking shoes and take your time you won’t regret it. Having done this on numerous occasions down the years it’s unforgettable and my tip is finish your walk at the Tinners Arms pub for a pint where muddy shoes and paws are always welcome. Then simply hop on the bus back to St Ives from the bus stop on the Coast road to round off a memorable walk.
Away from the hustle & bustle of busy St Ives beaches there are a handful of woodland walks to recommend where your four legged friends might appreciate the shade of the woods during the warmer summer months.
Explore Steeple woods nature reserve just on the fringe of St Ives & Carbis Bay just a 15 minute walk from central St Ives and climb up to the gentle summit to Knills monument where you can sit and relax and take in the most incredible panoramic views out over St Ives Bay and also looking south west you can just see the south coast and St Michael’s Mount in the distance.
Another must visit place where there’s miles of dog walking to explore is Tehidy woods country park a few miles up the coast road from St Ives, around 20 minutes by car.
There are several car parks dotted around the huge perimeter of woodland where you will find miles of clearly marked interlinking tracks throughout Tehidy woods and there’s even a stream right in the heart of the park where the dogs can cool off on a hot summers day. There’s a handy cafe as well by one of the car parks (dogs on leads !) where you can stop for coffee or lunch. Tehidy woods is very family friendly, so take the kids, bikes & all for a fabulous day out.
Explore Polgoon Vineyard
Great thing about Cornwall is that dogs really are welcome in so many places. After haring around on the beaches or exploring the woods it’s always nice to end up with an adult treat too! Polgoon supply us with the wines that we put into our guest hampers, always nice keeping things local. You can visit Polgoon to sample their wines and while visiting you and your dog can walk around the beautiful vineyard just behind Mounts bay in either a guided or self guided tour before finishing off with a lovely glass of local vino or visit the shop to buy a bottle or two!
Further afield, (but worth the 30 min drive) head to Gweek with the family and pooches where you will find the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Meet the seals and you might even see the odd Otter or Penguin too, and time it well to watch the feeding shows -you can even head to the underground viewing areas with your dogs to see the seals underwater. Whilst out on that side of the coast why not pop in to the amazing Slice Of Cornwall for and fabulous bite to eat – but be sure to book to avoid disappointment!
Once back in St Ives dogs are welcome in many pubs, cafes , shops & galleries and you will find it a place for your dogs to meet and socialise with many other dogs on holiday too !
Whether you are up for morning coffee , lunch , afternoon tea or just a pint , there are many dog friendly restaurants and pubs in St Ives.
Here’s a few of our favourites
Gorgeous family owned cafe to visit on Fore street in the heart of st Ives open from early to late in peak season serving fabulous coffee & pastries , pasties, sandwiches and a wicked afternoon tea…you or your dog won’t be disappointed
A total hidden gem definitely worth a visit tucked away on Chapel street in St Ives. Family owned and run by Mark & Mark’s son Max. Great coffee & breakfast , homemade doorstep sandwiches to die for and yummy daily specials to eat in or take way and in the summer season stays open late serving some very beautifully cooked fish dishes .Dogs are very welcome.
Probably one of the best places to eat a delicious burger or sip a cocktail in the whole of St Ives overlooking the harbour. Enjoy breakfast and coffee dining alfresco or grab a seat up on the balcony with incredible views. Fab burgers, Hot dogs and loaded fries, Craft beers , cocktails & superb malty milkshakes – great place for a pit stop with your four legged friends.
Nothing beats sitting in a pub with your dog by your side. The Sloop offers this in buckets and spades. Grab a wooden Bench outside the pub on the slip way , and relax and watch the world go by with a pint. Serves breakfast , lunch & dinner too and very popular with the locals all vying for a seat or standing space outside on a lovely summers day overlooking the pretty harbour. Enjoy !
If you, your family and four legged friends are ready to explore this wonderful Cornish seaside town then why not take a look at one of our 20 very pet friendly fisherman’s cottages, sea view properties , large family houses or romantic studios for two and enjoy a trip to beautiful St Ives this summer.
Author: Tim Petersen, May 28 2023