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St Ives

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Cornwall : St Ives
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St Ives

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St Ives is a small seaside town in the English county of Cornwall, north of Penzance and west of Camborne. St Ives is a lovely Cornish village that has grown into a town. In the centre are quaint cottages, small alleys, craft and gift shops - often original, especially the paintings due to the influx earlier this century of artists from around Europe.

View of the harbour at St. Ives.


Get in[edit]

Trains from London Paddington to Penzance normally stop at St Erth one stop before Penzance. From St Erth take the St Ives branch line train (they normally connect with London trains), a bus or a taxi.

Get around[edit]

Trying to drive through the narrow streets of St Ives is a bit of a nightmare; go on foot like everyone else.

There are numerous car parks in St Ives (£3-5 for the day), but the ones closest the town fill up quick in summer during the day. There is a large car park at the top of the town next to the leisure centre, a 10 minute walk from the harbour. It normally has spaces on all but the busiest days. There is also a Park and Ride Scheme, you park at one of the station on the St Ives branch line (e.g. Lelant, Lelant Saltings, etc) and get the train in to the town. Follow the signs.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden showcases the work of one of the 20th Century’s most important sculptors. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display.
  • Carbis Bay This picturesque bay offers outstanding views and a magnificent sandy beach offering many recreational activities such as swimming, boating, surfing, rock climbing and tennis.
  • Porthmeor Beach this half-mile-long beach with firm sands is a popular recreational area. Sometimes has some good waves for us surfers (although again parking even to drop off the sticks can be sadly problematic); it is a lovely family beach too. There is a caravan/ camping /motor home site on the western fringes of the town (easy walking in AND lovely views too).
  • Porthminster Beach A lovely place for a family outing, this wonderful stretch of beach overlooks Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance. It also has the advantage of being right next to the railway station.
  • New Millennium Gallery showcases a unique collection of modern fine art and ceramics.

  • Tate St Ives [1], Porthmeor Beach, open March-October Mo-Su 10am- 5.30pm, November-February Tu-Su 10am-4.30pm, tel 01736 796226 (occasionally closed for re-hangings - telephone ahead to check status) - a far-flung outpost of the Tate Gallery, a long way from the better-known Tates Britain and Modern in London - a refreshing collection of international modern art. The northern light allied to the beautiful sea has been an inspiration to artists and sculptors such as Alfred Wallis, Sir Terry Frost and Dame Barbara Hepworth. This lead to The Tate building a gallery specialising in Cornish Art. The building itself is notable, and is round in shape - mirroring the gas works which previously sat on the site. You can buy a joint ticket for the Tate and the Hepworth studio. Under-18s get in free!
  • Coasteering: This exciting adventure activity gives you the chance to explore the stunning cliffs around St. Ives and eslewhere in the area of Penwith, with caves, hidden coves and cliff-jumps [2]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Wills Lane Gallery Pick up a painting, sculpture or ceramic from this gallery that features works of local artists.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are loads of pasty shops, but always avoid the steak and stilton pasties; they may appear nice, but they often spend a couple of months on sale and can upset the gut.

Blas Burgerworks (The Warren) is a cosy restaurant serving a tasty selection of gourmet burgers for meateaters and vegetarians alike. With friendly, straightfoward service and solid locally sourced produce credentials, Blas is a thoroughly modern sort of restaurant, perfect for a quick but wholesome evening meal - and continuing to serve food until later than many St Ives establishments too.

The Bean Inn (Carbis Bay, on the outskirts of St Ives) is a simple, honest vegetarian restaurant serving above average veggie fare. A nice option for a veggie Sunday roast.

The Ocean Grill The Wharf. Best food in St Ives. Only a small place, and looks a bit like a fish and chip/pasty joint from the outside. But the food is formidable. Don't miss their breakfasts. The kippers are to die for!

  • Urban House, 4 Chapel St, 01736799280, [3]. Bespoke spray painted fine art and artefacts.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Usual selection of traditional pubs and (more recently) wine bars. Theres also a small night club open till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Over 70 B&Bs and several nice little hotels - call the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) on 01736 796297 to find out which ones are available.
  • Blue Hayes Hotel A small private hotel with great views and friendly staff. [4]
  • Borthalan Hotel A nice family run guest house near Carbis Bay. Open year round with reasonable rates. [5]
  • Boskerris Hotel One of the best upscale boutique hotel with modern design, great food and lovely views of the beach.[6]
  • Carbis Bay Hotel A mid sized luxury hotel right along the beach. Has an outdoor pool and some self-catering cottages. [7]
  • Coast is an unimaginatively named but reasonably priced, friendly and totally vegetarian B&B in Carbis Bay a couple of miles in the outskirts of St Ives. Rooms are small but clean and modern, and the welcome could not be more warm. The town itself is accessible by a scenic coastal walk.
  • Dean Court Small 12 room hotel with high ceilings and seaviews. Fairly reasonable in price. [8]
  • Eleven Sea View Terrace A small hotel in a converted Edwardian seaside villa very near the center of town.[9]
  • Garrack HotelA family run hotel with amazing views as they are on a bit of a secluded hill overlooking the town. They even have a restaurant, indoor pool & onsite free car parking. They also accept dogs in some rooms. [10]
  • Tregena Castle Hotel - Large smart hotel in large grounds on the hill above the town. Expensive, lots of people go there to get married!
  • The Nook Hotel Small family run hotel with cozy rooms. Free wifi and affordable rates. [11]
  • The Sail Lofts Five star self catering in different sized luxury apartments available throughout the year. [12]
  • Primrose Valley Hotel A cozy Edwardian villa with beautiful views of the sea and wonderful organic breakfast made from local produce. [13]
  • Cohort Hostel (formally St Ives Backpackers), [14]. Cohort offers affordable accommodation right in the centre of St Ives.  edit


  • Cornwall Cottage Boutique (Cornwall Cottage Boutique), Myrtle Cottage Hellesvean, Saint Ives, Cornwall TR26 2HG, 01736 796 100, [15]. Cornwall Cottage Boutique have five holiday cottages, providing guests with quality self-catering accommodation in St Ives, Cornwall.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

Generally crime free, but don't leave valuables on display in your car, or laptops on display next to an open window. St Ives was highlighted in 2006 as a town with an abnormally high rate of AIDS/HIV infections (the town has acquired the nickname of STIves). This was later traced to a bi-sexual bouncer at a local night club. Syphilis is also present in the local population. Practice safe sex.

Get out[edit]

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