St Ives Harbour, Forever Cornwall
St Ives

Picture postcard perfection...

Nestled on the north Cornish coast, pretty St Ives has it all. From tropical looking beaches to a buzzing creative scene, days here can be spent wandering the historic, cobbled streets that tumble down to the sheltered harbour before whiling away the evening hours in the many bars and restaurants, admiring the sweeping sea views across the Atlantic.

The town is surrounded by glorious beaches with hidden coves to be found slightly off the beaten track. Don your walking boots and head inland to explore the rugged, untamed moor-like landscape, souvenir shop in the boutique shops, dine in world-class food or visit internationally acclaimed galleries. With so much going on it is little wonder that this incredible town has been voted the best family holiday destination by Coast magazine.

The st ives guide

St Ives Scenic Viewpoint Over The Atlantic Ocean With Barbara Hepworth Epidaurous Bronze Statue Which She Donated To The Town Of

A Passion for the Arts

In addition to its award-winning beaches and top-notch dining offering, St Ives boasts a huge range of notable cultural attractions. Visit the world-renowned Tate St. Ives Gallery set overlooking Porthmeor beach and home to some eclectic and intriguing exhibitions. Before visiting do be sure to check opening times, it is seasonal.

An extension of the Tate, the Barbara Hepworth museum, celebrates the life and work of the Modernist artist and sculptor who lived in St Ives for the later years of her life. Take a wander through The Bernard Leach Pottery & Museum and marvel at the Asian inspired pottery before meandering the narrow streets, uncovering local artists and their studios. You can even try your own hand at painting by enrolling for a lesson or two with the St Ives School of Painting.

Aside from the art galleries, St Ives is home a multitude of independent boutiques selling local handmade wares.  From high-quality clothing to bespoke jewellery, these little shops are not to be missed, and whether you are treating yourself or browsing for gifts, you can guarantee there will be something that everyone will love.

Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall

Pristine beaches

For many, the main lure of St Ives is the plentitude of gorgeous Blue Flag beaches, all within walking distance from the town centre. From family favourite Porthgwidden to sheltered coves such as Bamaluz, there are a total of nine different beaches just a stone’s throw away from the town.

While Porthmeor offers some world class surfing, with the option to wander into the town for lunch, try Porthminster for a much more sheltered, family-friendly beach. For a Caribbean-esque experience head to Carbis Bay where you’ll be greeted by soft, white sandy beach and clear azure sea, even in the winter. There are plenty of smaller coves dotted around however do bear in mind that the larger beaches will be the ones offering amenities and lifeguard cover.

If you’re keen to venture out of town, head along the coast to Gwithian and Godrevy for a change of scenery, or make the 30-minute journey down to the south coast and visit Marazion beach which sits at the bottom of the astonishing St Michaels Mount. If it’s a beach holiday you’re after, St Ives certainly won’t let you down!

Porthminster, St Ives Cornwall

A foodie favourite

The gastronomic scene in St Ives is enviable and the Food Festival held every May is a firm date on many a foodie’s calendar.  The harbour front is lined with a range of fantastic eateries from award-winning seafood and fine dining to family friendly burgers, fish and chips and traditional Cornish pasties. Where ever you turn you’ll be simply spoilt for choice and don’t overlook the pubs either – The Sloop serves great toasted sandwiches!

For a light bite or a make-your-own picnic, dive into one of the many delis or cafes, all offering outstanding local produce and handmade treats. From vegetarian and Italian to Spanish and Mexican, the variety of cuisine in this little town is exceptional. Take the time to stroll the streets and you’ll soon discover rooftop bars, courtyard restaurants and ice cream parlours serving scoops of the finest locally made ice-cream.

Beaches
Porthmeor Beach St Ives Cornwall Building Cliff

Porthmeor

Detailed above is the selection of beaches in St Ives – but these three are our top picks. Porthmeor is our number one. It does attract crowds in the summer, but it also offers sheltered waters, gentle waves and golden sands. In the winter, it’s the perfect place to sit with a coffee, and just immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the view. There’s lifeguard cover from 30th March through to the end of October, and dogs are welcome from the 30th September through until the Sunday before Easter.

Porthminster Beach, St. Ives

Porthminster

An excellent beach ‘cafe’, sheltered sands and turquoise waters – what more could you want from a beach? It’s a particularly good beach for families, with plenty of places in sight for kids to run, and lifeguard cover from the 19th March until the 30th September. The waters are often free from fast-paced surfers too, with Porthmeor being their go-to St Ives beaches – so you’ll be able to swim and the kids will be able to bodyboard without interrupting anyone’s flow! Dogs are welcome at this beach from the 30th September through until the Sunday before Easter.

Porthgwidden St Ives Forever Cornwall

Porthgwidden

This beach is slightly smaller and a little hidden from view. Unless you head onto the small section of the coastal footpath that goes around The Island (the St Ives headland), Porthgwidden is tricky to see. But, discover it, and you’ll be rewarded with a beach just as sandy and a sea just as turquoise as the other St Ives beaches. Dogs are welcome here from the 30th September through until the Sunday before Easter.

Food & Drink
Porthminster, St Ives Cornwall

Porthminster Beach Cafe

A beach cafe is an unfairly modest name for what this restaurant offers – it is far from sandwiches and jacket potatoes. Think fresh seafood, prime steak and vegetarian dishes that will delight your tastebuds. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, come here to indulge in a spectacular setting.

Cheeses Allotment Deli St Ives Cornwall

The Allotment Deli

The freshest fruit and veg, locally baked bread, award-winning cheese and locally caught fish are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find at The Allotment Deli – picnic anyone? Grab olives to take back to your retreat, salami for homemade sandwiches or freshly made quiches for a lunch on the go. Whatever you choose, it’s certain to be delicious, local and sustainably sourced.

Silco St Ives Cornwall

Silco (St Ives Liquor Company)

This new ‘gastrobar’ was launched by local spirit makers. Offering some of the best cocktails in town, tapas-style dishes that are all utterly delicious, and a breathtaking view over the harbour, this place is friendly, chic and by all means a must-visit.

Things to do
Tate St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives attractions

You haven’t got to travel far out of St Ives town centre to be met with plenty to do. The boutique shops, designer home and clothing stores are a great place to start, and the many galleries including The Tate must be on your hit list too. To keep kids entertained, book an hour in Escape Time – St Ives’ very own escape room!

St Ives Train

Take the train

St Ives is known for its stunning, Cornish appearance and dazzling views, and what better way to experience them from a different angle than via the train. Running from St. Erth to St Ives and back, this journey is one of the most spectacular in the country, and takes you along the cliffside, above the coves on the approach to St Ives – a definite must see!

Porthcurno Cornwall St Ives

St. Ives’ past

The history of St Ives can also be seen in the surrounding area, with UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geevor Mine (and now a museum) demonstrating the importance of the mines in the county. Travel to Porthcurno and you can visit the fascinating Telegraph Museum, and explore its underground tunnels, buried deep within the cliffs to hide the telegraph equipment during WWII. Going further back into the history of West Cornwall, you can visit several Bronze and Stone Age sites, with St Ives’ surrounding area housing the most sites in one area in Western Europe.

You could stay in