Holidays with your dog in St Ives

25th January 2024

“It wouldn’t be a holiday without the dog.” We hear that said so often; and many families choose to stay in the UK so their pet can accompany them. We love to see happy dogs enjoying their hols at Polmanter, and there’s a lot for them to do in the local area.


There are dog restrictions on Cornish beaches, which limit the hours that pooches can scamper on the sand. These restrictions usually come into force during the busy summer season, lasting until early autumn. However, Cornwall Council changed the dog beach restrictions last year, and we’ll explain the current rules in a moment.

Based on our own experiences as pet owners, tips from friends and guests with dogs, and the latest Council guidelines, here are the best places to frolic with your four-footed friend in 2024.

Dog-friendly beaches

The latest guidelines have narrowed the restricted period, and most beaches are now only closed to dogs for July and August between 10am and 6pm (including Harbour Beach in town). Blue Flag beaches Porthmeor, Porthminster and Carbis Bay still have a 15 May – 30 September restriction, but again, this only runs from 10am until 6pm.

If you’re here in the restricted summer months, don’t worry: there’s still plenty of chance for a peaceful, pre-breakfast walk on the shore, or a play on the sand as the sun goes down. To be honest, your dog will probably be happier during these quieter times, too.

We’re also lucky in St Ives to have two beaches where dogs are welcome all year. Bamaluz Beach is one, and it’s a lovely little cove, hidden in between Harbour Beach and Porthgwidden Beach. It’s also a great place for rock hopping and exploring, so kids love it there too.

The second place is Lambeth Walk beach, east of Harbour Beach, just before you reach sweeping Porthminster Beach. Neither of these allows dogs on summer days, so make sure your pet can’t race off to them across the sand at low water! There are stunning views, and a stream runs down into the sea at this point, which most dogs seem to think is the Best Thing Ever.

If your dog’s up for a short car ride, try Porthkidney beach near Lelant, which is dog-friendly all year (please remember to check the tide times).

Here’s the council’s latest guide to dog restrictions on Cornish beaches (updated January 2024).

Places to take your dog in West Cornwall

We often take our dog across the fields to Steeple Woods and Knills Monument, which is a lovely walk from the campsite. You’re also within easy reach of the South West Coast Path, which is more of an on-the-lead walk, but still one you and your dog can enjoy together.

There’s a choice of two footpaths into St Ives from Polmanter (these are signed from the site). Walk down, treat yourselves to a paddle and a pasty, then come back – and have a shower (more about this in a minute…).

If you’re planning a day out, The Eden Project won’t let dogs inside the biomes, but that still leaves a lot of outdoor areas to explore. Most of the local National Trust properties allow dogs in their gardens; and Trebah Gardens (not NT) is one of the most welcoming places for pets around. Tehidy Woods near Redruth is another good place for a walk, although some paths are restricted.

Trencrom Hill, between St Ives and Hayle, is an ancient hillfort with spectacular views. The springy grass on its plateau is clearly a treat for the paws, going by how bouncy most dogs on Trencrom seem to be!

There are also plenty of dog-friendly family attractions in Cornwall. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is a fantastic outdoor setting to learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of grey seals. Dogs on the lead are welcome to visit The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (except during performances, which are assistance dogs only). Your dog can also join you for a ride on the steam train at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway (and there are lots of great walks in this area, too).

Dogs at Polmanter

As dog owners ourselves, we know how important it is that your pet enjoys their holiday, too. Plus, it’s impossible to relax yourself if you’re worried about your dog or have to rush around sorting out doggy logistics.

We installed a brand new dog wash on the campsite in 2023, which provides warm water and shampoo, as well as a doggy dryer for the ultimate in pet pampering. If you’re staying in a caravan or tent, the last thing you need is a sandy or muddy dog bounding around, so our guests can now hose down and dry their post-beach dogs in the evening. We also have a dedicated field for a good scamper, which now features a dedicated agility course for the more energetic pooches and a gate to offer an enclosed space. We provide free disposable bags at our dog waste bins and Polmanter campsite shop sells dog food, so you’ll never run out.

Bring your dog to dinner with you at The Stable Bar. Our spacious restaurant is a dog-friendly area, and you can also enjoy the outdoor patio on warmer days.

You’ll also find plenty of dog parking points around the site, including outside reception, the shop and swimming pool.

Dogs in West Cornwall: good to know

Rocky’s Pet Care can be found on Tregenna Hill in St Ives. It’s both a pet shop and grooming salon if your pet fancies a pamper.

If you’re in need of some pup-sitting when you’re holidaying, Doggy Daycare in nearby St Erth, provides an excellent service. Local Trusted Pet and House Sitter, Christine Bradly, also comes highly recommended by guests who have used her pet care services.

The Pets At Home store in Penzance has a walk-in vet clinic and grooming parlour, as well as a large range of dog food and equipment.


If there’s anything else you’d like to know about holidays in St Ives with your dog, please get in touch, and we’ll try to answer all your queries.


Please note: we take up to two dogs per pitch and in each of our self catering properties. There is a daily charge per dog for touring and camping and a weekly charge per dog for self catering bookings.