One of Cornwall's most iconic towns, St Ives never tires of things to do with its world class beaches, maze of higgledy-piggledy cobbled streets filled and some of the best restaurants, cafes, shops and galleries Cornwall has to offer.
Breath taking sea views - this spectacular detached home is privately set within its own sub tropical gardens on the edge of one of the finest coastlines in Cornwall. *Short breaks available*
To The Lighthouse is a delightful apartment with sea views. It's within walking distance to St Ives, one of Cornwall’s most charming towns and short walk to Porthminster Beach *Short breaks available*
With nine beaches, St Ives is a beachgoers delight. Although it’s busy in summer there’s a beach for everyone. From Porthmeor, a wide-open surf beach with the Tate Gallery as a back drop, to the north east facing Porthminster with an excellent beach café and many smaller beaches. Check out Porth Kidney or Lambeth Walk for their names alone.
St Ives isn’t just about beaches though, art is also important, to the extent that Tate has both Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth’s studio. The light attracted artists, and the train made it easy for them to visit. Names such as Ben Nicholson and Mark Rothko are associated with the town along with potter Bernard Leach and local artists such as Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Alfred Wallis and many others.
ST IVES - Unfortunately, there are seasonal dog restrictions on many of the beaches, meaning dogs are either completely not allowed or restricted to early mornings and evenings. There are three permanent dog friendly beaches, although all are tide dependent. Bamaluz beach is just below St Ives Museum and is a lovely sandy cove. Lambeth Walk is a between Harbour Beach and Porthminster, it’s both sandy and pebbly and the views are amazing.
On the far side of Smeaton’s Pier, only discoverable at low tide, is Breakwater Beach. There’s also Porthkidney Beach, a huge sandy beach, next to Hayle Towans. It’s the perfect playground for your four-legged friend, and being off the beaten track, it’s often much quieter here.
GWITHIAN - Slightly beyond St Ives is Gwithian, a golden stretch of beach backed by sand dunes and wild grass; learn to surf with Global Boards Surf School or explore the rockpools. There’s also three miles of sand at Hayle Towans and some areas are dog friendly. Try the Rockpool Café at the Godrevy National Trust car park.
ST IVES - It's easy to spend a day wandering through the tiny streets, just watch out for the seagulls – they’re very brave in St Ives! Look out for our favourite street name Salubrious Place, just off Fore street. It means conducive to health or wholesome and is suspected to be named around the time Teetotal Street was named by the local Methodists. The “Downalong” is the old, lower part of St Ives that is built on the narrow ridge of land separating the Island from the rest of the town. It’s a maze of little cobbled lanes and courtyards which were once fishermen’s houses. You’ll no longer find fishermen but you will find cafes, galleries and little shops. The Island is the imposing headland extending out into the sea and the views out over St Ives from the top of the Island are spectacular. On top of the Island is the small chapel of St Nicholas which would have been built to look over passing sailors in the medieval times, fishermen would pray for a good catch and a safe harbour. In the early 1900s it was rescued from demolition and in 1911 the chapel was restored.
BOAT TRIPS - A popular day activity to do in St Ives is to take a boat trip to Seal Island, on the coast between St Ives and Zennor. The boat trips run out of St Ives on the Dolly P and you’ll head towards Godrevy Lighthouse and Hayle Towans. We also recommend St Ives Boats who are accredited wildlife safe operators and their sea safari crew features a BDMLR marine mammal medic who specialises in the rescue of dolphins, whales and seals. The best way to get to St Ives while avoiding parking is to park at St Erth and take the train over to St Ives. It offers some of the best views in Cornwall as you travel along the picturesque coastline.
NEW YEARS EVE - New Year’s Eve in St Ives has become a popular celebration in the town over the years. There’s food, music and fireworks and thousands of revellers in fancy dress party in the streets, pubs and bars. The harbour is the focal point and there’s a great atmosphere.
It's easy to find the ideal gift to take back home as a memento of your stay in St Ives, or a gift for a loved one as St Ives has something for everyone. From bespoke gift shops to surf shops and studios with paintings, jewellery and ceramics, it's possible to spend the day wandering merrily between independent boutiques selling hidden gems.
St Ives has a fantastic range of restaurants, cafes and bars and seafood is naturally celebrated. There’s plenty of café-bars along the front offering great views as well as beachside cafes at Porthminster, Porthgwidden and Porthmeor. A lot of the pubs and restaurants are also dog friendly, particularly along the front where there’s plenty of outdoor seating.
Just a short drive from St Ives is Zennor, a quaint little village with a beautifully rugged landscape. Take the coast path between St Ives and Zennor to make the most of the scenery and expect to spot grazing ponies and even the occasional seal. Stop off at The Gurnards Head on your way back for an amazing meal or drink in the gardens.