Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Cornwall with a dog @ The Polurrian on the Lizard

We have been lucky to have previously enjoyed a stay at the Polurrian, but this time we returned without the children and just with the dog!

As we seem to be in Cornwall at any given chance we have a good idea on where is dog friendly, but this hotel is perfect!

So let’s break it down and start from the beginning. 

First things first the long journey to Cornwall with kids or dogs is not always plain sailing. Our trick is to leave early (4am) and beat any of the build up that you get by mid-morning, usually by this point we are well ahead of where the traffic builds. 

A great place to stop for fresh food, clean loos, family AND dog friendly is the Hog & Hedge. This services on the A30 is great as unlike pretty much all others dogs can come in and no one has to be the nominated person to wait outside with pooch. 

I’m not sure why but it seems to be as soon as you head west, the more dog friendly places get.

I have written a detailed review on the Polurrian on my blog below and this stay echoed our experience before. Everything was very clean and the staff are fabulous. We actually had the same room as we did the last time we stayed and it is spacious and has a great seaview to chill out and read. They actually also have a pool/lounge room too, so if you or older children are looking for something to do one evening when you can't sit outside, or you have had enough of the bar it comes in quite handy! 

For this stay I also used the gym and I found it to be very equipped and with everything I needed to do my applefitness classes which I love! I also had a full body massage, which yet again was incredible! 

To be honest you don't really have to venture far from Polurrian at all, they have everything you need to relax. The garden is great for stretching dogs legs for a toilet break, you can easily walk to Mullion or Poldhu, which is particularly gorgeous first thing and early evening when the crowds are not around and they even have their own beach at the bottom of the cliff.

So where to go with a dog? You will soon find out that most places are actually dog friendly. The hotel certainly offers plenty of reason for you to not venture far and in fact we ate here both evenings, I would even book to eat here should we not be staying. Its a great spot to chill out after and play cards or read, we absolutely love it and each time we have stayed have said how much we would love to renew our wedding vowels here.

It is however worth noting that most beaches in Cornwall enforce a dog ban during 1st July to the 31st of August, including the one at the hotel but you will find these are enforced between 10am and 6pm. That said there are exceptions....

If you are staying at the Polurrian take a walk to Poldhu, this beach is just over the cliff tops and a lovely walk. The dog ban here comes into affect July, however there is a sandy bank that we have sat on when we stayed in Porthleven during the summer. Its great if you have older children or don't mind being sat back a bit from the sand/coast, but still get an amazing view and be "on the beach".

To the other side of the hotel you have a stunning cliff top walk to Mullion and the harbour. Truly rugged, Cornish and you even pass Lovers Rock on the walk down. 

During the summer months we like to surf & body board and so we tend to head for the North Cornwall beaches like Holywell, Perranporth, Crantock or Newquay, these are all dog friendly all year. Expect about an hour drive further up North for those.

You can however also head towards St Ives side where you have Hayle which is also dog friendly all year around on the central stretch of the beach, but their are restrictions at the southern end near the estuary and towards Gwithian to the north. (Head for Mexico Towans) During the summer months you have lifeguards and you can body board, surf etc here, but be careful to stay away from the estuary where the tide is strong. Gwynver beach just along from Sennen is also dog friendly all year around.

The beach at Porthleven is split into two halves (the metal steps halfway down the beach create the half), again come July the side where the slope is becomes the dog ban, however the steps which have just been replaced take you to the dogs allowed. This beach is not really one for swimming, although the lifeguards do man it during peak season. The children have paddle boarded in Porthleven and they have also Kayaked, hiring the kit from Vertical Blue who are fabulous bunch! I have seen dogs head out with their owners, but its not really our Dixie's scene!

St Keverne beach is just off a busy camping site and it does get very busy. There is a large parking field which you have to pay cash for, so go prepared. Again the water is calmer here and so its a good paddle boarder spot. It is split into two beaches, the closest near the car park and the cafe is lifeguarded and no dogs allowed, like Poldhu though you can sit further back on grassier areas. If you walk over the hill and back down you then reach the second larger beach, this one is dog friendly all year.

Kynance Cove - during the summer months 1st July - 31st Aug dogs are unfortunately not allowed on this beach, however this is a beach where it is worth checking the tide times and timing in breakfast or a summer evening stroll. You want to try and go at the lowest tide possible so that you can explore it, it is one of my most favourite places in the world. The cliff tops also offer a nice walk to the Lizard if you are up for a longer stroll. There is a cafe at Kynance Cove and the Lizard and of course the view is second to none. We actually prefer it here out of summer season, its stunning rugged beauty can also make for a great storm watch!

If you don't mind the flatter tide, you are more of a paddle boarder, or just happy to be by the water, you can also head to Coverack which is a gorgeous small bay beach and with a couple of pubs & local shops, dogs are welcome all year around here too.

Porthallow beach is dog friendly all year. At one point in time it was a busy fishing village. The water is very calm and generally very clear and so this area is popular for scuba diving and paddle boarding. Look out for the sea statue!  

The Fat Apples Cafe is nearby and does the most amazing freshly cooked breakfast, we love it here and its well worth a visit for cake or lunch too. 

Porthkerris is just down the road from Porthallow and is an absolute hot spot for divers, in fact there is a dedicated business there for it, they even do shark boat trips! There is also a beach cafĂ© here and if you are looking for somewhere to chill out with a coffee and admire nature in all its beauty this place is a stunning quiet spot worth visiting. Very tranquil and good for a people watch as the divers head out.

If you would like a lovely slower paced walk, Helford is very pretty situated on the Helford River leading out to sea. There are lots of lovely walks and its great for shade on a hot day. In the main car park you will also find a converted chapel called the Holy Mackerel and it has a dog deli!

Lastly a lovely little cove that is well hidden but stunning is Piskies Cove. Its dog friendly and suitable for a paddle, swim.... but it is small and perfect. We sat and laid here for a little while, just watching the day pass. There is a small car park at the top of the hill, but it can get busy due to its size. This cove is one of the places in which John Carter, known as the "King of Prussia", used to land his smuggled goods and you can see some remnants of the small buildings and winches that they would drag things up. It is very close to Prussia Cove which has an absolutely fascinating smugglers history!

Some other great little dog friendly finds are:

The Ship Inn, Porthleven - our first point of call always. A traditional pub with a limited but tasty menu. The staff are fab, great views inside and out. A real Cornish find.

The Harbour Refuge, Porthleven - this is definitely a more formal restaurant, but don't be fooled its still a casual dress scene. Great food and the staff are so friendly.

Nauti but Ice, Porthleven - Great for snacks, coffee, ice cream, breakfast, lunch and dinner (great pizzas during high season)

As always I covered our stay on my instagram, please head there to see more footage. 

Thank you to the Polurrian for our gifted stay.

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