Stunning St Ives
The Cornish seaside town where beach culture meets arts & crafts culture!
BEAUTIFUL ST IVES is a long drive from pretty much anywhere in the UK, but it’s genuinely worth the effort. This popular seaside town boasts, arguably, Britain’s prettiest harbour, a location that makes it perfect for exploring the very tip of southwest England and enough cultural activites to keep couples and families busy and enthralled.
Spend sunny days on one of the sensational local beaches. Our shortlist would be: Porthminster Beach, Porthmeor Beach, Porthgwidden Beach or the handy little strand at the harbour, which has been voted one of the 10 best in Europe.
St Ives is also famed for its vibrant art scene. The seafront Tate St Ives gallery (TR26 1TG) is in a beautiful building and features permanent and travelling exhibitions, with a specific focus on local artists and contemporary artworks.
Better still, says TripAdvisor, is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. The modernist artist’s former studio displays her bronzes and other works in the property where she lived from 1949 to 1975. You’ll find it at Barnoon Hill, St Ives TR26 1AD. There are lots more galleries, too. Our favourites are: Anima Mundi, The Alexandra Dickens Gallery, both in the town, and the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, nearby in Penzance.
If you’re all cultured out, take a boat trip to Seal Island to see the seal colony there, or sample the simpler things in life and do some beachcombing, keeping an eye out for seaglass, cuttlefish and crab skeletons and eye-catching shells.
At the end of the day, chill out with a glass of something delicious at the Porthmeor Beach Café and watch the sunset. The food’s great, too, and well priced. Go on, treat yourselves.
Make your stay better
Saturday 14 to 28 September
St Ives September Festival
St Ives Guildhall, Street-An-Pol, St Ives TR26 2NE
Price: £25 for Dougie MacLean
This 15-day festival of music and arts begins with folk music legend, Dougie MacLean, at the town’s Guildhall. From there it’s all music, arts, theatre, walks and workshops. Need a laugh? There are comedy events, or pop along to one of the myriad poetry readings.
Seal Spotting Boat Trip
RNLI Lifeboat Station, Wharf Rd, St Ives TR26 1LF
T: 07773 008000
Price: Adults £15 U16s £10
These dog-friendly, one-hour excursions take up to 12 passengers aboard Dolly P, for the 3½-mile trip to Seal Island, which lies west of St Ives. Don’t forget to take your binoculars and a camera with a long lens (150mm+) if you have one. You can also take a cruise aboard Dolly P to see Godrevy Lighthouse.
Philps Cornish Pasties, Hayle
1 East Quay, Hayle TR27 4BJ
T: 01736 755661
Head down the road to Hayle and you’ll find Philps Cornish Pasty bakery on the quayside. This place is a mecca to the humble pasty, which are made daily on site and available in all sorts of flavours, from traditional to more ‘exotic’ concoctions! Grab a couple and take them back to the ‘van for your supper.
Places of Interest
St Michael's Mount
Marazion TR17 0HS
T 01736 710265
Price Adult castle £10.50, Garden £8, Both £16 Child £4, £5, £8 Family £20, £26, £40
Porthmeor Beach Café
Porthmeor Beach TR26 1JZ
T 01736 793366
The Telegraph Museum
Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JX
T 01736 810966
Price Adult £9, U18 £5.50, U5s Free, Senior £8, 2+3 Family £26