Cornwall has been on our list of places to visit for such a long time...we'd heard so many great things about this county being very dog friendly and seen lots of pictures of the beautiful beaches, harbour towns, villages and landmarks, so we thought that it was about time for a Cornish adventure!
We spent a week in Cornwall and since we packed quite a lot into our time there, I have split this post into 3 parts. Here is Part 2 of 3 | Beyond the Beaches:
Another site that has been used as a backdrop for the Poldark series is the historic village and port of Charlestown, near to St.Austell. (You may have guessed by now that I’m a BIG fan of this series…) With the Tall Ships sat in the harbour it’s easy to imagine yourself transported back to the 18th century.
Just along the coast from Charlestown we found the village and fishing port of Mevagissey. This is a working harbour and seemed quite popular with both tourists and locals who had all come out to enjoy the Spring sunshine.
A highlight of our stop here was our visit to She Sells - an open, welcoming and dog friendly coffee shop/ gift shop that sits overlooking the harbour. Their crêpes were absolutely delicious! They also sell a selection of ice cream, cakes and cream teas.
We knew that this town was tourist hotspot, and that parking could be tricky, so we followed the advice of our friends who recommended that we take the Lelant Saltings ‘Park & Ride’ train. Dogs travel for free on the train and, although it’s only a short journey, it takes you along the coastline so you get an amazing view as you travel into St.Ives.
The narrow streets in St.Ives can get very busy with both people and cars, so it’s not the most relaxing place to walk around with your dog. There are lots of dog friendly cafes and restaurants in town, but these were also very busy and many of them are quite small and cramped. We had to try several places before we found somewhere with a free table and even then, half-way through eating our meal, we were asked if we could move onto a smaller table so that another group could fit in! This was certainly a far cry from the laid-back, Bohemian Cornwall that I had expected. The highlight of our visit was finding The Salty Dog Boutique on Fore Street - such a charming shop, full of interesting and beautiful accessories for dogs, along with a selection of things including food, treats, dog beers and dog ice cream!
Compared to the hustle and bustle of St.Ives, Padstow seemed very tranquil and I enjoyed the time that we spent in this town very much! We arrived around lunchtime and headed straight to Rick Stein’s FIsh & Chip takeaway to pick up something to eat.
As fate would have it, we missed seeing Rick himself by a whisker! He’d been there signing his latest book. Although the Fish & Chip restaurant in Padstow is not dog friendly, dogs are welcome in the bar area of St Petroc’s Bistro and Ruby’s bar (along with Rick Stein’s restaurant in Fistral and The Cornish Arms pub in St Merryn). We enjoy watching Rick Stein’s television series, particularly the older episodes that feature his much loved four-legged companion, Chalky. There is a beautiful tribute to Chalky on Rick’s website which features a touching poem by Rudyard Kipling. It never fails to make me well up a little bit... click here to read more about Chalky.
If you like good food and drink then Padstow is definitely the destination to visit! Along with several of Rick Stein’s eateries including a patisserie, there are also many bakeries and an amazing shop called The Padstow Coffee Company, which is dog friendly of course! We were made to feel very welcome here, and enjoyed sampling the fresh coffee before leaving with a speciality coffee to enjoy while we explored the rest of the town.
We finally started to properly relax and enjoy ourselves in Padstow! Another highlight was bumping into a couple with two long-haired Lhasa Apso sisters called Bella & Maya. We spent ages chatting about dogs, grooming and the quirkiness of this lovely dog breed. Bella & Maya have also joined The Paws across Britain Pack! Click here to see their full profile page.
Just outside of Padstow there is a dog friendly garden centre complete with a specialist dog shop called Paws in Padstow. This shop is well stocked with all sorts of food, treats and accessories and the owners are very happy to share recommendations of local dog friendly locations, so it’s an ideal place to visit if you take your pooch to Padstow on holiday!
This coastal town is overlooked by St Michael’s Mount, and although we didn’t venture onto the tidal island, we did enjoy the stunning view of this impressive structure as we strolled along the beach. We found this town to be particularly dog friendly and welcoming, so we visited it several times during our stay in Cornwall.
On our first visit, we had a lovely evening meal in a local dog friendly pub called The Kings Arms. It’s not very big inside, but it’s very nicely decorated and the food was absolutely delicious - highly recommended!
We returned to Marazion the next morning to explore more of the town and ended up in a shop called Morva, filled with locally crafted items including prints, homeware, beauty products, kitchen essentials, gifts and even a selection of things for dogs including toys, bandanas and adorable Cornish pasty shaped dog treats handmade by Paws for Cake. Along with a tub of these treats for Elsa and a few gifts, we also bought a very cute ‘Ross Polbark’ print by Tegan Jade Illustration. (I am obsessed!!).
As we left Morva we were directed up the street to a dog friendly coffee shop called The Copper Spoon, which was actually closed when we arrived, but this didn’t stop the lovely lady inside (who was busy baking) from flinging the doors open and welcoming us in with open arms. We had a lovely time chatting with her as she kindly made us a takeaway coffee! We promised to return, and we did a couple of days later when we were able to sit and enjoy another brew and tasty, homemade treat.
This is a beautiful harbour town and I wish we’d found it sooner because we would have spent more time here...sadly it was our last stop before heading home. It has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and we enjoyed sitting and looking out at the harbour, as well as watching the dramatic waves that were hitting the pier.
This little village is very cute, with lots of interesting, winding streets and there is a good dog friendly coffee shop called Hole Foods Deli & Café overlooking the harbour, but be warned that it’s a small town, and dogs are not allowed on the quays or the beach at any time of year!
This is the only city in Cornwall and is home to a Gothic style Cathedral at its centre. There was a local craft market in the city when we visited, so we had a quick look around that too.
We had a few postcards to send to family and friends, so it was handy to be able to get to a post office. We also visited Waterstones (all of their branches are dog friendly!) where I treated myself to another souvenir… a Poldark mug!
We also visited Lily’s of Truro - an independent ‘cafe & creative space’. As well as being a coffee shop where you can find a selection of both healthy and indulgent treats, there is also an area upstairs called ‘The Dog House’ where individuals or businesses can rent workstations and meeting rooms. The best part is that it’s open to everyone, including furry friends! [Fun Fact: Elsa's mum is called Lily!]
The Cornish Countryside
As lovely as the coastline in Cornwall is, the countryside here is also very alluring and it’s home to many historic and significant landmarks including Mên-an-Tol, a small formation of standing stones.
There is a small lay-by with a few parking spaces about 10-15 minutes away from the stones and on a sunny day it’s a glorious place to take your dog for a walk! We really appreciated the change of scenery. Having spent the majority of our time in Cornwall on a beach, the countryside was so quiet in comparison!
A short drive from Mên-an-Tol, we saw Lanyon Quoit from the road, so we also made a quick stop here to have a look around. The ground was extremely boggy, so we only stayed long enough to take a photograph (of course!), fortunately this dolmen is located very close to a lay-by in the road so we didn’t have to walk far.