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COMPETITION: Murphy’s Day Out – St Ives September Festival – Porthminster Sandcastles and Chips!

Murphy loves a day out in Cornwall, and so we’re launching our Doggy Day Out competition which could see you win a stay with us here at Merchant House! All you have to do is post a picture on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page of your hound out on a Cornish adventure, tell us where you are and use the hash tag #doggydayout to be in with a chance of winning!

Recently, Murph and I went to spend a day at the St Ives September Festival. St Ives really is beautiful and unsurprisingly has been attracting artists for centuries. Home to the Leach Pottery, Tate St Ives, and Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives is brimming with culture and a happy arty atmosphere.

The September Festival has a great vibe—I don’t know of anywhere else in Cornwall that enjoys such a prolonged period of creative celebration, as it runs from Saturday 12th to Saturday 26th of September every year.

To start with, Murph was excited at the prospect of a 40-minute car ride—that’s a lot of ear flapping opportunity with his head as close to the open window as he can get!

We arrived in St Ives and parked up near the sea front where Murphy was instantly enticed by the smell of fresh pasties and crispy battered fish and crunchy chips. Walking along the harbour front we watched the gulls fly in and out of people, looking for an easy target to pinch some lunch from. Murph attentively watched them dive across the sea front with their stolen chips and settle out on the water with their prize as the salty Cornish breeze bristled his fur.

We walked past the lifeboat station which had its doors open for us to see the beautiful big boat poised ready for action. The lifeboat station always attracts cameras and tourists alike as you can see it in all its glory and sometimes visit an open day or other form of event there. At Christmas, Santa comes into the harbour on a cold Christmassy night in one of the lifeboats, causing crowds to line the barriers to the water of children and adults desperate to get some Cornish Christmas cheer!

I bought some vinegary sea salted chips and we continued on with our stroll…

As we walked along the front toward Porthminster Beach, Murphy snaffled the occasional ‘fallen’ chip, taking his mind off the seagulls for a moment. Porthminster Beach isn’t open to dogs until October, so Murph and I found a nice bench overlooking the sand on the path close by. We sat finishing our chips and watched the famous sandcastle competition that takes place. It starts at noon and continues on until four and while we sat overlooking the sun glint on the ocean’s blue and green ripples, we got to see some amazing sandcastles being made. There are three categories, children’s, family and friends, and architect’s build, which sees teams from across Cornwall come to show their design skills.

Murphy settled on the bench with me, enjoying the ocean breeze and warmth of the sun and we saw a man eating Octopus sandcastle being constructed, which was quite impressive and ended up taking second place in the competition. We also watched a sphinx, an elephant, several mermaids, a living room with sofas and a coffee table complete with a bottle of bubbly, and many other wonderful creations all being constructed just from sand.

Murph and I then took a stroll through the streets where there were plenty of street entertainers such as dancers and singers all enjoying the last day of the festival while onlookers revelled in the arty vibe.

We had a great time at the festival and we’d love to hear from you if you attended any of it—tell us what you thought of the festival or share your pictures on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter)

T&C: No cash alternative. Travel not included and prize must be booked subject to availability. Prize includes Cosy Double or Cosy Twin bedroom for two people and doggy, includes Bed and Breakfast only. Prize cannot be claimed during school holidays or UK bank holidays and must be taken by November 30th 2016.

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