As the jewel in the crown of the Cornish Riviera, St Ives is better known as a destination for Summer breaks and fun family holidays.
It’s not difficult to understand why, when this beautiful seaside town boasts five golden sandy beaches, all within a few minutes of each other. And while it is stunning in the Summer months, it has just as much to offer during the Winter with fewer visitors, blustery coastlines and open spaces.
Popular for its clear skies set against a backdrop of rugged coastline, St Ives is most famous as a destination for artists, having been home to the modernist art movement in the mid-1950s.
We've worked with Cottage Boutique, an independent holiday lettings agency with a range of properties to suit all budgets from fisherman’s net lofts to a converted police station, to give you a close-up view of what the Cornish coast has to offer, no matter what time of year.
THE RURAL TRAVEL GUIDE’S TOP THREE:
PLACES TO STAY:
Perfect for a couple’s getaway, Thimble Cottage is a reverse level one bedroom cottage that has been renovated from a local artist's studio in 2016. Contemporary, yet with a rustic charm, this beautiful property boasts a wood burner for cosy night, as well as a luxurious bathroom with a roll top bath.
Nestled in the heart of Downalong, St Ives between the Digey and Bunker’s Hill, this fabulous cottage is bursting with interesting features and is perfect as a base for families wanting to explore the local area. Complete with an AGA, wood burner and all mod cons, it’s the perfect retreat for those in need of rest and relaxation.
A beautifully appointed three-bedroom cottage with harbour views and outside space, this property is a comfortable and spacious home from home. It’s a perfect location close to the harbour and the cobbled streets of the town centre.
PLACES TO EAT/DRINK:
The Brewhouse Café is above the town’s microbrewery and has stunning, uninterrupted views of St Ives Harbour and the bay. Serving a simple, locally sourced menu for those seeking breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, it’s a welcome retreat away from the town centre. While you're there, you can sample the Brewery’s fine tipples including Boilers and Knill By Mouth.
To enjoy views right by the beach, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere as good as Porthminster Beach Café. Nestled beneath the steep slopes of Porthminster Point, this fine eating establishment is right on the beach with unbeatable and uninterrupted views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy Lighthouse. As a multi-award winning seafood restaurant, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.
Specialising in Mediterranean and Asian seafood cuisine it is open most of the Winter serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and a selection of homemade patisseries and fine coffees.
If you’re looking for somewhere extra special, then this restaurant in the harbour is a perfect Winter destination. Located in the former lifeboat house, it has a stylish bar serving delicious cocktails downstairs with a modern feel to the restaurant upstairs. Perfect for people watching as everyone goes about their daily business.
Open all year round, the team at Alba serve up a culinary storm including local seafood such as scallops, Cornish crab, sea trout and St. Ives Bay mackerel.
THINGS TO DO:
1) Walk the coastal path
Take to the coastal path and walk to the village of Zennor to discover rugged coastline as well as breathtaking countryside.
Start your route at Porthmeor Beach in St Ives to admire the many scenic spots along the way including Man’s Head at the start and the ruins of the Klavji, the old leper hospital which is now known as Clodgy Point. Not for the faint-hearted, this walk takes a good couple of hours, but you’ll be welcomed by a refreshing drink at the Tinner’s Arms in Zennor before walking or catching the bus back.
2) Brave the waters and experience the thrills of surfing
Located on the Blue flag awarded beach of Porthmeor directly in front of the Tate Gallery, St Ives Surf School is highly regarded as one of the best places to learn to surf in Cornwall offering a variety of surf lessons for absolute beginners to advanced surfers.
The friendly and experienced team also offer other sea activities including SUP, coasteering and sea kayaking if you’re looking for alternative ways to brave the sea. The shop on Porthmeor is closed during the Winter but off-season bookings can be made via the website or by calling directly.
- St Ives Surf School
3) Enjoy local woodlands at nearby Tehidy Country Park
For a walk that ticks lots of boxes you can’t go wrong by heading to Tehidy Country Park.
With a central position just off the A30 near Illogan, this park covers 250-acres of woodland. With a lake to enjoy and over nine-miles of paths way-marked by ‘can’t go wrong’ signposts, this is a great destination for families with its off-road, flat and easy going paths provide lots of opportunity to get wellies nice and dirty.
There’s also a cafe for some all-important refuelling.
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