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St Germans goes to the dogs with the Port Eliot Dog Festival

Port Eliot Dog Festival is a great chance to see some of the Westcountry's finest dogs & rare chance to enter the gates of the ancient Port Eliot Estate.
Port Eliot once again opens its grand gates to the public for the annual Port Eliot Dog Festival. Held on the second Saturday in May each year, it has become an annual fund raiser for the ‘s Precious Lives Appeal. This project aims to build a much needed hospice facility at Little Harbour near St Austell.

Historic Port Eliot Estate

Dog lovers everywhere will enjoy the excellent Dog Show and Whippet Tea Party in the extensive grounds of the near St Germans. All well behaved pooches will have the date marked on their calendar and will be looking forward to showing off and hopefully picking up an award or two. The event previously attracted around 700 participants.

Roo and Lark, the resident whippets of the Port Eliot estate, look forward to welcoming all their canine friends, old and new and all well-behaved owners are also welcome! The Dog Show has become an annual event since it began in 2009.

The ancient country seat of Port Eliot is home to the 10th Earl and Countess of St Germans and includes a 6,000 acre estate bordering the scenic River Lynher. Known in the past for the wild and unruly Elephant Fayre Music Festival, the estate now hosts the , a mainly literature-themed event, and the annual . The house and gardens are open for public tours on select dates from March to July and for various one-off events such as the event.

If you’ve never seen a Whippet Tea Party….

The Dog Fest and Whippet Tea Party offers the rare chance for locals and visitors to enter these impressive gates and see the stately home, chapel and grounds at close quarters. The Dog Show runs from 11 am to 4:30 pm and entrance is a modest £3 for adults and £1 for entry to each dog show class. Judging takes place from midday onwards.

There is plenty for all two and four-legged visitors to participate in, including the famous Whippet Tea Party when yummy Cornish refreshments are laid out on a cloth-covered table and dogs of all sizes help lick the plates clean. It has to be seen to be believed! Needless to say there are also cream teas and refreshments for humans too, but they don’t get the tablecloth treatment and free-for-all bonanza!

Help raise funds for charity at the Port Eliot Dog Show

Visitors can admire the parading dogs of all breeds and browse the stalls selling all kinds of goods and canine necessities as part of the show. For families there is a treasure hunt, children’s activities and live musical entertainment from the wonderful five piece band.

The Grade I listed house is open for tours on the day of the Dog Show from 2pm to 5pm, for an additional fee, and I am determined to take the opportunity to see how the other half lives this year! Apparently it has 11 staircases, 15 back doors and 82 chimneys, and the roof covers half an acre. Even if you don’t fancy looking through the keyhole, do consider supporting this very worthwhile fundraising event by attending or entering your dog in a class. It’s sure to be a fun day out for all.

The Port Eliot Estate has only recently opened its doors to the public for tours. Have you ever visited, and can you add any personal knowledge about this ancient Cornish home? We’d love to hear from anyone who lives in the St Germans area and knows more about Port Eliot than we do!

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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