The stunning St Ives, a true gem in Cornwall, is a charming fishing town and seaside resort. Recognized as the best family holiday destination by Coast magazine and ranked among TripAdvisor’s top 10 European beaches.
Take a stroll through the charming cobbled streets, unique shops and traditional fisherman’s cottages that make up the heart of St Ives. With a variety of accommodations including top hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages, and apartments, you can indulge in the best dining experiences offered by the award-winning restaurants, cafes, and bars in the Southwest.
Hit the waves at the blue-flag rated Porthmeor beach, feel the sand between your toes and take a scenic walk along the coastal path leading to Land’s End. We invite you to come and experience it all for yourself! And who knows, maybe one day you will call St Ives home? This really is one of the best places to live in Cornwall.
What is St Ives famous for?
St Ives is a seaside town in Cornwall, England, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and historic harbor. It was a major center for the arts in the 20th century, attracting artists and writers such as Barbara Hepworth, Virginia Woolf, and D.H. Lawrence, and is now home to many galleries and museums showcasing contemporary and modern art.
St Ives, Cornwall hotels
St Ives, Cornwall has a variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury beach resorts. Here are some popular hotel options in St Ives:
- The Sloop Inn: A historic pub located in the heart of St Ives, with rooms that offer a traditional and cozy stay.
- The Rose in Vale Country House Hotel: A luxurious country house hotel set in 17 acres of gardens and offering stunning views of the countryside.
- The Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate: A contemporary beach resort located on the outskirts of St Ives, offering a range of amenities, including a spa, indoor pool, and private beach.
- The St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa: A stylish hotel located in the heart of St Ives, offering luxurious rooms, a spa, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the town and coast.
- The Tregenna Castle Resort: A castle hotel set in extensive grounds, offering panoramic views of the coast and a range of facilities, including an indoor pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant.
- The Sail Lofts: A collection of boutique self-catering apartments located in the heart of St Ives, offering modern and stylish accommodation.
- The Porthminster Beach Cafe: A chic beachfront hotel located in the heart of St Ives, offering luxurious rooms and direct access to the beach.
These are just a few of the many hotel options available in St Ives, Cornwall. You can find hotels to suit all budgets and tastes, and many are within easy reach of the town center, beaches, and other attractions.
Why is St Ives so popular?
St Ives, Cornwall is popular for a number of reasons, including its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant arts scene. Here are some of the key factors that make St Ives so popular:
- Beautiful beaches: St Ives is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, including Porthminster, Porthmeor, and Carbis Bay. These beaches are known for their crystal-clear waters, golden sand, and stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
- Artistic heritage: St Ives has a long history of attracting artists, writers, and other creative individuals, and the town has a thriving arts scene that includes galleries, workshops, and exhibitions.
- Scenic location: St Ives is located on the coast of Cornwall, surrounded by rolling hills, rugged cliffs, and beautiful countryside. This stunning landscape provides a dramatic backdrop for visitors, and the town is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- History and culture: St Ives has a rich cultural heritage, with a history that dates back to the Bronze Age. Today, the town is known for its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and thriving arts scene, which attract visitors from all over the world.
- Food and drink: St Ives is home to a thriving food and drink scene, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering everything from fresh seafood to traditional Cornish cuisine.
These are just a few of the many reasons why St Ives is so popular, and why it continues to attract visitors year after year.
St Ives – car hire:
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Is St Ives good for a staycation or a weekend trip in the UK?
Yes, St Ives is a great destination for a staycation or a weekend trip in the UK. Located in Cornwall, St Ives is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque harbor, and charming streets filled with galleries, cafes, and shops.
Visitors can spend their days lounging on the sandy beaches, exploring the cobbled streets, or visiting the town’s many art galleries and museums. St Ives is also a great destination for outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and kayaking, with many local businesses offering equipment rental and guided tours.
In addition, St Ives is known for its vibrant food and drink scene, with plenty of local restaurants and pubs offering delicious seafood, locally sourced produce, and traditional Cornish fare.
Can you walk around St Ives?
Yes, you can walk around St Ives as it is a relatively small town with a compact and pedestrian-friendly center. The town’s main attractions, including its historic harbor, beaches, and art galleries, are within easy walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore on foot.
St Ives also has a network of narrow streets, alleyways, and steps, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll and offer a glimpse into the town’s traditional architecture. Whether you’re exploring the town center, taking a walk along the beach, or hiking the South West Coast Path, walking is a great way to experience the beauty and charm of St Ives.
Does St Ives have a town Centre?
Yes, St Ives has a town center that is considered the hub of the town’s activity. The town center is located around the harbor area and is home to many shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries. It is also where you will find some of the town’s most famous landmarks, such as the St Ives Museum, the Guildhall, and the Sloop Inn, which is one of the oldest pubs in the town. The town center is a lively and bustling area, especially in the summer months, making it a great place to explore, relax, and soak up the local atmosphere.
Things to do in St Ives Cornwall
1. Porthgwidden Beach
Top St Ives places to visit? Porthgwidden Beach is a small sandy beach located in St Ives, Cornwall, UK. It is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and rockpooling. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, providing stunning views of the coast.
Despite its small size, Porthgwidden Beach is a great spot for a peaceful day out and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting St Ives.
2. St Ives Harbour
Best things to do in St Ives? St Ives Harbour is a historic fishing port located in the town of St Ives, Cornwall, UK. The harbor is a hub of activity, with fishing boats coming and going, and is a popular spot for tourists. Visitors can stroll along the harbor, watch the fishing boats come and go, sample seafood at one of the many restaurants and cafes, and enjoy views of the surrounding coastline.
The St Ives Museum, the Tate St Ives art gallery, and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are also located nearby and are popular attractions. St Ives Harbour is a picturesque destination that provides a glimpse into the town’s maritime heritage and is well worth a visit.
3. Porthmeor Beach St Ives
Nice St Ives attractions? Porthmeor Beach is a large sandy beach located in St Ives, Cornwall, UK. It is popular among surfers, artists, and families and is known for its clear blue waters and rolling surf. The beach has a vibrant atmosphere, with a surf school, cafes, and restaurants along the promenade.
There is also a large car park and public toilets nearby. Porthmeor Beach is a great destination for anyone looking for a fun day out by the sea and is a must-visit for anyone visiting St Ives.
4. St Nicholas Chapel
Best places to visit in St Ives? St Nicholas Chapel is a historic chapel located in the town of St Ives, Cornwall, UK. The chapel dates back to the 14th century and is one of the few remaining examples of a medieval chapel-of-ease in Cornwall. It is a grade I listed building and is considered to be of significant historical and architectural importance.
The chapel is located on a hill overlooking the town and is surrounded by a charming cemetery. Visitors can explore the chapel’s history and admire its beautiful stained-glass windows and ancient stone carvings. St Nicholas Chapel is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in local history and architecture, and is well worth a visit when in St Ives.
5. St. Ives Museum
Top things to do St Ives? The museum provides an insight into the history of the town and its maritime heritage, showcasing the story of St Ives from its early origins to the present day. Visitors can learn about the town’s fishing industry, its artistic heritage, and its links with the nearby tin mining industry.
The museum has a range of exhibits including artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays, making it an interesting and educational destination for visitors of all ages. If you’re interested in learning about the history and heritage of St Ives, the St Ives Museum is a must-visit destination.
6. Porthminster Beach
Best things to do in St Ives for couples? Porthminster Beach is a large, sandy beach located in St Ives, Cornwall, UK. The beach is popular among families, sunbathers, and swimmers and is known for its clear blue waters and rolling surf.
The beach is backed by a promenade that is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, providing a lively atmosphere. There is also a large car park and public toilets nearby. Porthminster Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting St Ives and is a great place to spend a sunny day by the sea. This really is one of the best beaches in Cornwall.
7. St Leonard’s Chapel
Great St Ives historic sites? The chapel dates back to the 15th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the town. It is a grade II listed building and is considered to be of significant historical and architectural importance. The chapel is located on a hill overlooking the town and has been beautifully preserved, with many of its original features still visible today.
Visitors can explore the chapel’s history and admire its ancient stone carvings, stained-glass windows, and historic monuments. St Leonard’s Chapel is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in local history and architecture and is well worth a visit when in St Ives.
8. Bamaluz Beach
What to do St Ives? The beach is situated in a sheltered cove and is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach has a mix of sand and shingle, and the clear waters are ideal for swimming and exploring the rock pools. There are steps leading down to the beach, but it is not easily accessible by road, so visitors typically have to walk down the steep hill to reach it.
Despite its remote location, Bamaluz Beach is a popular destination for those seeking a quiet spot for a swim or sunbathing, and its stunning views of the coast are well worth the effort of getting there.
9. Tate St Ives
What is there to do in St Ives? The Tate St Ives is part of the Tate network of galleries and is dedicated to showcasing the work of artists associated with St Ives and the surrounding area. The gallery has a rich collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by famous artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, and Ben Nicholson.
The gallery also hosts a range of temporary exhibitions and events, making it a vibrant cultural destination in St Ives. If you’re interested in modern and contemporary art, the Tate St Ives is a must-visit destination, and its beautiful location in the heart of St Ives makes it a unique and memorable experience.
10. St Ives art Galleries
Things to do in Cornwall St Ives? St Ives has a long history of artistic activity, and there are many art galleries located in the town that showcase the work of local and international artists. Some of the most notable art galleries in St Ives include the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Porthminster Gallery, the Odysea Gallery, the Leach Pottery, and the Fishermen’s Mission Gallery.
These galleries showcase a wide range of artistic styles and mediums, from contemporary and modern art to traditional ceramics and sculpture. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for a unique cultural experience, St Ives offers a wealth of art galleries and exhibitions that are well worth exploring.
Is St Ives nice for a holiday?
Yes, St Ives is considered nice for a variety of reasons. With its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and unique atmosphere, St Ives attracts a wide range of visitors looking for a coastal getaway.
The town offers a variety of activities and attractions, including art galleries and museums, historic landmarks, and outdoor recreation, making it suitable for both families and couples. Whether you’re interested in exploring the local culture, relaxing on the beach, or simply enjoying the scenery, St Ives is a nice place to spend a holiday in Cornwall.
Is the sea warm in St Ives?
The temperature of the sea in St Ives can vary depending on the time of year and the weather conditions. In general, the sea is warmer in the summer months, with temperatures typically ranging from around 14°C to 20°C. However, it is important to note that the sea in St Ives can still be chilly even in the summer, so it is recommended to bring a wetsuit if you plan on swimming or surfing.
In the winter months, the sea temperature can drop to around 10°C, making it much colder and less suitable for swimming or other water activities. It’s always a good idea to check the latest sea temperature and weather conditions before visiting St Ives, and to take appropriate safety precautions when in and around the water.
Which is nicer Penzance or St Ives?
Both Penzance and St Ives have their own unique features and attractions.
Penzance is a historic town located in the far west of Cornwall, known for its Georgian architecture, picturesque harbor, and mild climate. It is a busy market town with a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, including the legendary open-air theater, the Minack.
St Ives, on the other hand, is a charming seaside town famous for its vibrant arts scene, beautiful beaches, and historic harbor. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors with its narrow streets, traditional buildings, and bustling atmosphere.
In the end, both Penzance and St Ives are worth visiting and the best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for in a holiday destination. If you prefer a bustling market town with a rich cultural heritage, Penzance may be the better choice. If you’re looking for a picturesque seaside town with a vibrant arts scene, then St Ives is the place to be.
What shops are there in St Ives Cornwall?
St Ives has a variety of shops, ranging from independent boutiques and art galleries to larger chain stores. The town is known for its unique shopping experience, with many shops selling local crafts, artisanal goods, and beach-inspired souvenirs. Some popular types of shops in St Ives include:
- Art galleries: St Ives is famous for its arts scene, and there are many galleries showcasing contemporary and modern art.
- Gift shops: These shops sell a range of souvenirs, gifts, and locally made products, including pottery, jewelry, and prints.
- Surf shops: Newquay is a popular surf town, and there are many surf shops selling surf gear, wetsuits, and surf-related clothing and accessories.
- Fashion boutiques: St Ives has a range of fashion boutiques selling high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Food stores: There are several food stores in St Ives, including local supermarkets and specialty food shops, where you can buy fresh local produce, seafood, and bakery goods.
St Ives offers a unique shopping experience, with many shops selling locally made products and artisanal goods.
Is St Ives nicer than Newquay?
St Ives is a charming seaside town known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and historic harbor. It attracts visitors with its narrow streets, traditional buildings, and lively atmosphere.
Newquay, on the other hand, is a popular surf town located on the north coast of Cornwall. It is known for its stunning beaches, including Fistral Beach, which is considered one of the best surf spots in the UK. Newquay also has a lively atmosphere and a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, making it a popular destination for families and young people.
In the end, both St Ives and Newquay are worth visiting and the best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for in a holiday destination. If you prefer a charming seaside town with a rich cultural heritage, St Ives may be the better choice. If you’re looking for a lively surf town with great beaches and a fun atmosphere, then Newquay is the place to be.
What to do in St Ives in the rain?
While St Ives is known for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches, it is still possible to have a great time there even when it’s raining. Some indoor activities that you can enjoy during a rainy day in St Ives include:
- Visit an art gallery: St Ives is famous for its thriving arts scene, and there are many galleries showcasing contemporary and modern art.
- Explore the St Ives Museum: This museum is located in the town center and offers a fascinating insight into the history of St Ives and its artistic heritage.
- Visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden: This museum is dedicated to the work of the famous sculptor Barbara Hepworth and is located in the heart of St Ives.
- Take a pottery class: St Ives is known for its pottery, and there are several studios in the town where you can take a class and create your own unique piece of pottery.
- Enjoy a spa day: St Ives has several spa and wellness centers, offering treatments such as massage, aromatherapy, and facial treatments.
- Go shopping: St Ives has a range of shops selling locally made products, artisanal goods, and gifts, making it a great place to go shopping during a rainy day.
- Enjoy a meal: St Ives has a variety of restaurants serving delicious local cuisine, from seafood and pasties to gourmet burgers and salads.
There is still plenty to do in St Ives even on a rainy day, and these indoor activities are a great way to make the most of your time in this charming seaside town.
Is St Ives, Cornwall safe?
St Ives, Cornwall is generally considered to be a safe place to visit. Like any tourist destination, it’s always a good idea to take basic safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and keeping valuables secure.
Crime rates in St Ives are low, but visitors should be mindful of pickpocketing and other petty theft, particularly in busy tourist areas. Visitors should also take care when swimming in the sea, as the currents can be strong and unpredictable.
If you are visiting St Ives, Cornwall, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local area and to follow the usual safety advice, such as avoiding walking alone at night and being mindful of your personal belongings.
What to buy in St Ives in Cornwall?
St Ives, Cornwall is a great place to buy a range of unique and locally made products, from handmade crafts to food and drink. Here are some of the things you can buy in St Ives:
- Art and crafts: St Ives has a thriving arts scene, and visitors can buy a range of handmade crafts, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and jewelry from local artists and craftsmen.
- Food and drink: St Ives is home to a range of local food and drink producers, offering everything from artisanal cheeses and cured meats to fresh seafood and locally made beers.
- Clothing and accessories: St Ives is home to a range of shops selling locally made clothing and accessories, including handmade knitwear, leather goods, and jewelry.
- Books and souvenirs: Visitors can buy a range of books and souvenirs related to St Ives, including guides to the local area, maps, and postcards.
- Homewares: St Ives is a great place to buy unique and locally made homewares, including pottery, textiles, and decorative items.
Famous residents of St Ives Cornwall
St Ives, Cornwall has a long history of attracting artists, writers, and other creative individuals. Over the years, many famous residents have lived and worked in the town, drawn by its stunning scenery and bohemian atmosphere. Some of the most famous residents of St Ives, Cornwall include:
- Barbara Hepworth: A pioneering British sculptor and one of the leading artists of the 20th century, who lived and worked in St Ives for many years.
- Ben Nicholson: A leading British painter and sculptor, who was associated with the St Ives School of Art in the mid-20th century.
- Patrick Heron: A British painter and writer, who was associated with the St Ives School of Art and was known for his abstract and color-field paintings.
- Virginia Woolf: A famous British writer, who visited St Ives regularly and was inspired by its landscape and atmosphere.
- Derek Jarman: A British film director, artist, and writer, who lived in St Ives for several years in the 1980s and 1990s.
These are just a few of the many famous residents of St Ives, Cornwall, who have been inspired by the town’s natural beauty and creative spirit. Today, the town continues to attract artists and writers, and its legacy as a center of creativity and inspiration remains an important part of its cultural heritage.
St Ives tourist information
St Ives is a picturesque seaside town located in Cornwall, England, and is a popular tourist destination. Here is some tourist information about St Ives:
- Location: St Ives is located on the coast of Cornwall, in the far southwest of England.
- Beaches: St Ives is famous for its beaches, which are some of the best in the country. The town is home to several sandy coves and bays, including Porthmeor Beach, Porthminster Beach, and Carbis Bay.
- Art and Culture: St Ives has a thriving arts scene and is home to several galleries and museums, including the Tate St Ives, which is dedicated to contemporary art.
- Food and Drink: St Ives is known for its seafood and there are many restaurants, cafes, and pubs serving local cuisine. The town is also home to several traditional fish and chip shops.
- Accommodation: St Ives offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages.
- Surfing: St Ives is a popular destination for surfers, and there are several surf schools offering lessons and rental equipment.
- Walks and Hikes: The coast and countryside surrounding St Ives offer many opportunities for walking and hiking, with several coastal paths and trails to explore.
Is St Ives Cornwall worth visiting?
Yes, St Ives is considered a popular tourist destination in Cornwall and is worth visiting for its stunning beaches, vibrant arts scene, and unique architecture. The town is known for its picturesque harbor, narrow streets, and historic buildings, as well as its lively atmosphere and diverse range of shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply want to relax by the sea, St Ives has something to offer everyone.
Best places near St Ives to visit
St Ives is a charming seaside town located in Cornwall, England, and there are many nearby attractions that are definitely worth a visit. Here are 10 of the best places to check out:
- The Tate St Ives: This is a modern art gallery that showcases works by artists associated with St Ives and the surrounding area.
- Porthmeor Beach: This is a stunning beach with turquoise waters and is popular with surfers and sunbathers.
- The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden: This museum showcases the works of the famous British sculptor and is set in a beautiful garden.
- The Minack Theatre: This open-air theater is carved into the cliffs and offers panoramic views of the ocean.
- Lands End: This is the westernmost point of mainland Britain and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Godrevy Lighthouse: This iconic lighthouse is located on a remote headland and offers great views of the coast and sea.
- The Eden Project: This unique attraction showcases the relationship between plants, people, and the planet.
- Tintagel Castle: This legendary castle is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur and offers breathtaking coastal views and historic ruins.
- The South West Coast Path: This is a 630-mile trail that runs along the coast of South West England and offers stunning views of the coast and sea.
- Padstow: This fishing port is famous for its seafood and has a charming harbor, great restaurants, and interesting shops.
These are just a few of the many great places near St Ives that are well worth a visit.