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Picturesque and arty
St Ives

St Ives Holiday Cottages

Nestled on the north Cornish coast, St Ives is one of Cornwall’s most popular beauty spots. It really does tick all the boxes — from tropical looking beaches to a buzzing creative scene and wonderful places to eat, 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. All this just a short stroll from our St Ives holiday cottages.

Our St Ives holiday cottages are near six glorious beaches with hidden coves, some of which can be found slightly off the beaten track. Don your walking boots and head inland to explore the rugged, untamed moor-like landscape, browse boutique shops 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.

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The st ives guide

Viewpoint in St Ives near holiday rentals by Forever Cornwall

A passion for the arts

In addition to its award-winning beaches and top-notch restaurants, St Ives is home to world-renowned cultural attractions, all within striking distance of our St Ives holiday cottages. A visit to the world-renowned Tate St. Ives, overlooking Porthmeor beach, is a must, as is a wander around the Barbara Hepworth museum, which celebrates the life and work of the artist and sculptor who lived in St Ives for the later years of her life.

Take a wander through the Leach Pottery Museum and marvel at the Asian inspired pottery before meandering around the narrow streets, uncovering local artists and their studios. You can even try your own hand at painting by signing up for a lesson with the St Ives School of Painting. A wealth of independent galleries and studios are crammed into the town’s winding tangle of streets, from The New Craftsman, one of St Ives’ most important and influential galleries, to the tiny studios that are crammed around the harbour.

Bay near St Ives holiday cottages by Forever Conrwall

Pristine beaches

From family favourites with epic surf to sheltered, dog friendly coves and white-sand stretches of coast with amazing places to eat, there are six different beaches right in the town — and a further three an easy walk away — making St Ives one of the best places in Cornwall for a seaside holiday, whatever sort of beach you’re after.

With its Blue Flag status and the iconic Tate St Ives as a backdrop, St Ives most popular beach, Porthmeor, has world class surfing — practice your pop-up at the surf school on the beach. Porthminster on the opposite side of the headland is a more sheltered, family-friendly beach, and is home to a brilliant cafe. Porthgwidden is slightly more hidden, tucked away on St Ives’ head. There are plenty of smaller coves dotted around, including Harbour Beach, which have fewer amenities and limited or no lifeguard cover.

A foodie favourite

If you’re a foodie, the St Ives Food & Drink Festival, held every May on Porthminster beach, should definitely be on your 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.  Suffice to say, foodies staying in one of our St Ives holiday rentals will be in food heaven.

Beaches

Porthmeor

One of only nine Cornish beaches to be awarded Blue Flag status, Porthmeor is tiptop for water quality, safety and environmental management. It does attract crowds in the summer, but it also offers sheltered waters, gentle waves and golden sands. Nestled below the iconic Tate St Ives and just a stone’s throw from the centre of town, it’s easy to explore the town from here…visit old pubs or quirky cafes for a spot of lunch, or wander into the Porthmeor Beach Cafe for lunchtime tapas or afternoon cocktails. You’ll also find St Ives Surf School here; they offer surf, paddleboard and kayak lessons and hire, as well as coasteering sessions.

Porthminster

With gorgeous views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse, this award-winning Blue Flag beach has an almost tropical feel, with waving palm trees and clear, calm waters — it’s a firm favourite for swimmers, bucket-and-spade families and deckchair dozers. It’s also next to the train station, so an easy choice for those that have caught the train from St Erth. The brilliant, award-winning Porthminster Beach Cafe, just off the sand, serves up great local food.

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. Facing east, it’s perfect for those who wish to get to the beach early and bask in the sun all day. It also has a lovely café right on the beach, a row of beach huts, a handy snack kiosk, as well as toilets and parking nearby. Dogs are welcome here from the 30th September through until the Sunday before Easter.

Harbour beach

This beach sits inside the town’s working harbour from which you can often watch local fishermen catching fresh seafood. A natural sun-trap, this soft sandy beach is ideal for swimming and sandcastle building, whilst being in the hustle and bustle of town, with its independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. From here you can join boat trips to spot seals or sail across the bay to the famous Godrevy Lighthouse and Hell’s Mouth.

Food & drink

Bars, restaurants and pubs in St Ives

Just off the beach, the award-winning Porthminster Beach Cafe is a must-visit, combining incredible food (fish comes from the day boats), relaxed vibes and one of St Ives’ most enviable spots. Another beachside eatery worth a visit is Porthminster Kitchen, which has a playful take on Cornish cuisine is packed with global flavours. 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.

Cafes in St Ives

Grab things for a picnic from The Allotment Deli, from freshly baked bread to award-winning cheeses and locally caught fish. The fabulous Yallah Coffee, roasted in Porthleven, has a cafe hub in the centre of the town.

 

 

lobsters on the bbq, best restaurants Newquay

Seafood in St Ives

It’s hard to find a place in St Ives that doesn’t serve seafood but here are some of our favourites. The friendly Seafood Cafe right in the heart of the town is a friendly spot serving delicious fish and seafood; they also run the Harbour Fish & Chips on the front — order a takeaway to eat on the harbour or grab a table and eat in. Also worth a visit is the Rum and Crab Shack, tucked in a back street behind the harbour, serving small plates and platters to share.

 

Things to do
Tate St Ives near holiday rental cottages by Forever Cornwall

Art galleries

Whilst names like Tate and Hepworth may attract the crowds, St Ives has over 20 smaller galleries which are perfect for a quiet potter. The New Craftsman Gallery is one of the oldest, supporting Cornish artists through a packed schedule of exhibitions ad workshops throughout the year. Modern art lovers will love Anima Mundi gallery, which brings together international artists from all medias, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance and installation. Just off Porthminster beach, the welcoming Portminster Gallery showcases the best of British art, including prints, paintings, sculpture and ceramics from some of the biggest names in modern art.

ea Kayaking

Out on the water

Right in the heart of the town, the St Ives Surf School runs beginner, improver and advanced surf lessons, as well as paddleboarding, kayaking and coasteering, which has to be one of the most exhilarating coastal activities around. You can explore the coastline with St Ives Boats, who run boat trips and sea safaris where you can spot all sorts of wildlife, from migrating birds to colonies of seals. The friendly team at Nemo St Ives runs trips from St Ives Bay along the coastline, as well as longer excursions to Lands End. You can’t beat an evening Twilight Adventure Trip around the bay, spotting seals, dolphins, and maybe even a minke whale.

Delve into the past

The history of St Ives can also be seen in the surrounding area, with UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geevor Tin 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.

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