The Canine guide to St Ives holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to St Ives

Clare Willcocks 05 October 2020

The characterful Cornish town of St. Ives is renowned for its powder-soft beaches, aquamarine water and prestigious art galleries, but it’s not just us humans who can enjoy a holiday here! Dogs will love the sights and sounds of this working harbour, where the aroma of fresh pasties floats on the air and a refreshing sea dip is never far away.

Our four-legged friends will be astounded at how dog-friendly the town is, with eateries on every corner welcoming pups with open arms, and an abundance of pooch-friendly attractions on the doorstep. There’s nothing like a bit of culture to satisfy a sophisticated Fido!

dog-friendly st ives

Strike out from St. Ives and you’ll find walkies like no other, tracing a scenic line along the coast in both directions with views of the beaches and glistening waters around every corner. Within the town itself there are secluded dog-friendly havens where you’ll find peace and quiet, even when the harbour is lively with summer visitors. Read on to discover our insider’s insights into dog-friendly places in St. Ives and the surrounding area, as well as our favourite dog walks and places to rest your head (furry ones included)!

Run on ahead:
🏖️ Dog-friendly beaches
🐶 Dog-friendly attractions
🍴 Dog-friendly places to eat
🐾 Dog walks nearby
🏡 Dog-friendly cottages

Dog-friendly beaches in St. Ives

dog-friendly beaches in St Ives

St. Ives beaches are simply world-class. Crystal-clear water laps soft white sand and little boats gently bob on their moorings – it’s picture-postcard perfect! The good thing is that out of season these beaches are your doggy’s playground, and with five to choose from you could visit a different one for your walkies every day!

From May to September, there are timed dog restrictions on most of St. Ives beaches, but don’t despair - in the early mornings and in the evenings, the restrictions do not apply (which is actually the best time to visit, once the daytime crowds have dissipated…shh!).

There are also two dog-friendly beaches in St. Ives with no restrictions whatsoever:

Bamaluz Beach

Bamaluz - dog friendly beach in St Ives

Tucked away between the harbour and the busier Porthgwidden beach, Bamaluz is often missed by visitors to St. Ives completely! Happily for dog owners, this makes it the quietest of St. Ives’ beaches and it still has many of the same qualities as its more popular neighbours, albeit on a smaller scale. Fine golden sand, crystal-clear water and rock pools; it’s a lovely spot to sit, catch your breath and take in the beauty of this little slice of the Cornish coast.

Access: Climb down the set of stone steps just along from the St. Ives museum and enjoy!

Why your dog will love it: There are plenty of rocks to sniff around, and the opportunity to take a dip in that inviting aquamarine water!

Lambeth Walk

Lambeth Walk - dog-friendly beach in St Ives

Lambeth Walk Beach earns its name from the 1930s song and dance craze, which in turn took its name from a London street. The beach almost completely disappears at high tide, which means this is one you have to time right to be in with a chance of a decent walk. It stretches between the pier by the RNLI Lifeboat Station to Porthminster Beach, which you can walk around to at really low tide (providing you’re visiting outside of dog restrictions). Take a stroll out to the sea at the lowest point of the tide and turn to admire St. Ives in all its glory.

Access: Pick your way across the rocks just behind the Lifeboat Station or use the sets of steps down from Pednolva Walk. You can walk around from Harbour Beach or Porthminster if the tides and seasonal restrictions allow.

Why your dog will love it: There is plenty of space to chase balls, play frisbee and splash around in the pools where the sand meets the rocks along the top of the beach.

Seasonal dog restrictions on other St Ives beaches

  • Porthgwidden | 10am – 6pm | 1 July – 31 August
  • Harbour Beach | 10am – 6pm | 1 July – 31 August
  • Porthminster | 10am – 6pm | 15 May – 30 September
  • Porthmeor | 10am – 6pm | 15 May – 30 September
  • Carbis Bay | 10am – 6pm | 15 May – 30 September 

Dog-friendly attractions near St. Ives

Dog friendly attractions near St Ives

Your dog will jump at the chance to get out and about and explore the delights of St. Ives and the surrounding area. There are many dog-friendly days out which are just as exciting for them as they are for you; here are a few of our favourites.

Gweek Seal Sanctuary

Gweek Seal Sanctuary

This superb family attraction lets you and your pet get up close to some of the local seal inhabitants which have been rescued from around the Cornish coast. It’s a bit of a trek to the opposite coast (21.5 miles), but it’s worth it! The reasons the seals are taken in are numerous, from being underfed to finding themselves separated from their mother. Discover the individual story of each seal, and even meet some penguins too!

Besides getting to know your new friends, there are 42 acres of land to enjoy with your pet, with woodland walks and even a land train which dogs are welcome to ride on too. The sanctuary is well set up for four-legged visitors, with water bowls, dog bins, free degradable doggy bags, and even treats and dog toys in the shop!

Why your dog will love it: They’ll feel like proper pampered pooches with all the dog-friendly features, and the chance to come nose to nose with a seal in the underwater viewing area is sure to set their tail wagging. Paws down, it's one of the best dog-friendly attractions in St. Ives!

Prideaux Place

Prideaux Place

A beautiful Elizabethan manor which has remained in the same family since it was built, Prideaux Place is not only a delight for its human visitors, but it also makes for an exciting day out with your pet!

Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds, which is one of the stately home’s main attractions. A stunning landscaped garden with immaculate hedges, careful planting and riot of spring bulbs makes it a lovely place for a wander with your pooch while others in your party take a peek inside the intriguing house.

Why your dog will love it: There are so many sights and smells in the spectacular grounds, not to mention pretty woodland paths for the dog who just loves to explore outdoors.

Pencarrow House

Image credit: Instagram @pencarrowhouse


Another captivating family home is Pencarrow House, nestled amongst glorious scenery on the edge of Bodmin Moor. While adults are sure to enjoy a nosy around the ancient house on a guided tour which takes in hidden passageways and mysterious portraits, there’s also plenty to keep little ones busy, including a children’s play area.

Dogs will be thrilled to find out that they, too, are allowed to accompany you on a lead on a tour of the house, but the real fun for them comes when it’s time to explore the lavish gardens which encompass an Iron Age hill fort, Grade II-listed formal gardens, a Victorian rock garden and ice house, and 50 acres of parkland, lake and woodland.   

Why your dog will love it: A tour of the house is the perfect rainy day activity for you and your pet, and we’re sure that they’ll be as interested as you are in finding out how the other half live!

Dog-friendly places to eat in St. Ives

Dog friendly places to eat in St Ives

There are dog-friendly cafes in St. Ives around every corner, so you’ll never be far from a refreshment stop with your favourite four-legged friend. There are so many, in fact, that it’s hard to choose just a few to share here! These are some of the eating establishments that really stand out to us as pawfect for pets…

Scoff Troff Cafe

Hot Chocolate - Dog friendly places to eat in St Ives

Scoff Troff Café is the ideal spot to hunker down after a blustery beach walk for a cup of hot chocolate with your four-pawed pal at your side. We defy you to stop at just a drink though, as once the aroma of their delicious breakfasts, brunches and lunches drifts in from the kitchen, you’ll be browsing the menu for nourishment in no time.

Why your dog will love it: If they’re lucky, there may just be a little treat for them too!

The Loft Restaurant & Sun Terrace

Image credit: Instagram @theloftrestaurantstives


Experience St. Ives at its best on a balmy summer’s day or wrap up warm for a spot of al fresco dining outside of the holiday season. Set within the atmospheric artist’s quarter, this is one of the dog-friendly restaurants in St. Ives where you’ll be able to enjoy mouth-watering dishes with a side of sea views! The Loft’s pièce de résistance is its glorious undercover sun terrace which overlooks the bay – there are even blankets to keep diners toasty when it turns a little chilly. Dining on the terrace is weather dependent, so let them know when you book if you’re bringing a pup.

Why your dog will love it: They are welcome to join you up on the sun terrace – arguably the best seats in the house with a view of the harbour!

The Pedn Olva

Pedn Olva - Dog friendly places to eat in St Ives

Set just metres from the beach, The Pedn Olva enjoys awe-inspiring views and boasts a taste-bud tantalising menu of traditional dishes made from local produce. Two sun terraces make sure you won’t miss out on catching some rays on a sunny day and your dog is welcome to join you in the bar area and outside spaces. There are also three dog-friendly restaurant tables should you prefer.

Why your dog will love it: Dining at The Pedn Olva feels like a special treat, even for patrons of the pup variety!

The Union Inn

Image credit: Instagram @union_inn_st_ives


If you’re after dog-friendly pubs in St. Ives where you can kick back with a pint while your dog snoozes at your feet, The Union Inn is a top choice. Dogs are welcome in the spacious bar which is warmed by a roaring fire in the cooler months, and water is happily provided for your pet.

Why your dog will love it: Set on Fore Street in the bustling heart of St. Ives, it provides a welcome rest from following their human around the tempting shops!

Dog walks near St.Ives

Dog walks near St Ives

One of the best things to do in St. Ives is simply wander the little streets and alleyways, poking your head into a gallery here and dipping into a boutique shop there, but there is also no shortage of interesting routes for ‘walkies’ emanating from the town. Here are some of our favourite dog walks in St. Ives.

St Ives to Zennor

St Ives to Zennor dog walk

This 6.5-mile linear walk along the South West Coast Path can be extended through the countryside to become a 12-mile circular walk. As you make your way out of St. Ives, you’ll pass Porthmeor Beach and the famous Tate Gallery before meandering your way along cliff top paths, past sparkling coves and rugged rocky outcrops to the charming village of Zennor.

Why your dog will love it: Zennor has the perfect dog-friendly pub for a lunch stop – The Tinners Arms, which is as cosy as pubs get!

St Ives to Carbis Bay

Carbis bay dog walk

Strike out in the opposite direction from St. Ives and you’ll soon come to the glistening water and golden sand of Carbis Bay (1 mile). Wander along above the railway line and enjoy the fresh sea air and unparalleled views, before heading down to the beach to indulge in an ice cream. If you’re feeling weary, hop on the train to head back to St. Ives – dogs are welcome too.

Why your dog will love it: Outside of seasonal restrictions, dogs can bound around on the soft sand of Carbis Bay to their heart’s content.

Trewyn Gardens

Trewyn gardens dog friendly

If you’re looking for a pleasant morning stroll with your dog in St. Ives, head for Trewyn Subtropical Gardens which is often a quiet haven, even when the town is busy. The small, yet beautifully kept park is tucked away close to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Scoff Troff Café. Why not pick up a sweet treat in town and head up for some time out of the hustle and bustle?

Why your dog will love it: For the same reason as you! It’s a little sanctuary where they can have a lie down in the sunshine while you take five on one of the benches.

Dog-friendly cottages in and near St. Ives

Dog-friendly cottages

It’s no secret that St. Ives is one of the most popular Cornish towns. It’s an idyllic place to spend an out-of-season escape or enjoy a family break during the summer holidays. Whatever time of year you visit, it’s sure to find a place in your heart, and there’s no reason your dog should miss out on the holiday memories. Our dog-friendly holiday cottages in St. Ives and the surrounding area are kitted out with all the home comforts and waiting to welcome you and your pet.

Anchor Loft

Anchor Loft

Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

You’ll be in no doubt you’re holidaying close to the seaside with a stay in this nautical-themed home. With reverse-level accommodation to make the most of the views across the bay, this chic bolthole also has a wood burner so your salty sea dogs can enjoy cosy naps after long beach walks.

Carnsew – St Erth

Carnsew St Erth - dog friendly cottages in St Ives

Sleeps 2 + 1 dog

Set on a working farm just 6 miles from St. Ives, Carnsew – St Erth is a wonderful countryside escape. A beautifully converted barn with accommodation arranged on one level, it’s the perfect romantic retreat for a couple and their pet. Warm wood floors with underfloor heating, a luxurious king-size bed and a generous walk-in shower make it cosy and welcoming.

Dog-friendly St. Ives is a haven for our four-legged friends and their owners. There are no end of activities and eateries to enjoy together, and plenty of accommodation nearby to satisfy all tastes. Make memories all together on your next holiday – browse our enticing selection of dog-friendly cottages near St. Ives today, and take a look at our Canine Guide to Cornwall for more inspiration.

If you've got a thirst for adventure and fancy taking a trip elsewhere, take a look at all of our dog-friendly cottages across the UK.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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