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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 from 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 so 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 fast in the summer during the day. There is a large car park at the top of the town next to the leisure centre, a 10 min walk from the harbour. It almost always has spaces. There is also a Park and Ride Scheme, in which you park at one of the station on the St Ives branch line (such Lelant, Lelant Saltings) 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 is picturesque bay that 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. There is a caravan/camping/motor home site on the western fringes of the town (easy walking in and lovely views too).
  • Porthminster Beach is 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 [5], Porthmeor Beach, open March-October Mo-Su 10am- 5.30pm, November-February Tu-Su 10am-4.30pm, tel 01736 796226 (occasionally closed for rehangings so telephone ahead to check status) is a far-flung outpost of the Tate Gallery, a long way from the better-known Tates Britain and Modern in London but 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 an led 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!

Do[edit][add listing]

  • 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.[6]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Wills Lane Gallery - Pick up a painting, sculpture or ceramic from this gallery, which features works by 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 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 continues to serve food until later than many St Ives establishments do.
  • The Bean Inn (Carbis Bay, on the outskirts of St Ives) is a simple, honest vegetarian restaurant serving above average veggie fare and is a nice option for a veggie Sunday roast.
  • The Ocean Grill The Wharf has the best food in St Ives. It is only a small place and looks a bit like a fish and chip/pasty joint from the outside, but the food is formidable. Their breakfasts and the kippers are to die for!
  • Urban House, 4 Chapel St, 01736799280, [1]. Bespoke spray painted fine art and artefacts.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

There is the usual selection of traditional pubs and (more recently) wine bars but also a small nightclub open until 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. [7]
  • Borthalan Hotel, nice family run guest house near Carbis Bay. Open year-round with reasonable rates.[8]
  • Boskerris Hotel , one of the best upscale boutique hotel with modern design, great food and lovely views of the beach.[9]
  • Carbis Bay Hotel, a mid-sized luxury hotel right along the beach. Has an outdoor pool and some self-catering cottages. [10]
  • Coast, 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 is very warm. The town itself is accessible by a scenic coastal walk.
  • Dean Court, a small 12-room hotel with high ceilings and seaviews. Fairly reasonable price. [11]
  • Eleven Sea View Terrace, a small hotel in a converted Edwardian seaside villa very near the centre.[12]
  • Garrack Hotel, a family-run hotel with amazing views, a bit of a secluded hill overlooking the town. Restaurant, indoor pool and onsite free car parking. It accepts dogs in some rooms.[13]
  • Tregena Castle Hotel, a large, smart hotel in large grounds on the hill above the town. Expensive but lots of people go there to get married!
  • The Nook Hotel, a small family-run hotel with cozy rooms. Free wifi and affordable rates. [14]
  • The Sail Lofts, Five-star self-catering, in different-sized luxury apartments available throughout the year. [15]
  • Primrose Valley Hotel, a cozy Edwardian villa with beautiful views of the sea and wonderful organic breakfast made from local produce. [16]
  • Cohort Hostel (formally St Ives Backpackers), [2]. Odfers affordable accommodation right in the centre.  edit


  • Cornwall Cottage Boutique (Cornwall Cottage Boutique), Myrtle Cottage Hellesvean, Saint Ives, Cornwall TR26 2HG, 01736 796 100, [3].  edit
  • Jessie's Place (Jessie's Place), Royal Cottages, 2 1QD, Trenwith Pl, Saint Ives TR26 2PL, United Kingdom, 07775706875, [4]. Four star gold rated town house very close to sandy beaches  edit

Stay safe[edit]

The town is generally crime-free, but avoid leaving valuables, such as laptops on display in your car, or laptops or next to an open window.

St Ives has an abnormally high rate of AIDS/HIV infections (the town has acquired the nickname of STIves). Syphilis is also present in the local population. Practice safe sex.

Get out[edit]

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