Skidden House

Skidden Hill, St Ives, TR26 2DU, United Kingdom
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


Value Score No Data

Good For Families
  • Families100
  • Couples87
  • Solo100
  • Business0

More about Saint Ives


Yup, that's a dolphin beyond that surfer!Yup, that's a dolphin beyond that surfer!

See how people look up when they swoop...See how people look up when they swoop...

Still, makes a nice Cornish photo...Still, makes a nice Cornish photo...

All hiding inside these thick walls...All hiding inside these thick walls...

Travel Tips for Saint Ives

Dolphin spotting

by Sjalen

Dolphins appear in St Ives summertime and into early autumn when the water is warm enough. The first time we were here we did not see any, but the second time around we were luckier and my daughter even got to surf with one fishing nearby! They pop up at different times throughout the day, but usually afternoons and early evenings rather than mornings. We saw one at Porthmeor Beach, but Porthminster is equally good since they are often seen in St Ives Bay. This is just one of the reasons for bringing binoculars to Cornwall. When my daughter came up from her surfing, saying "mum, I think I just saw a dolphin, how do I know it's not a shark?". We then saw it a second time along with all the other lucky people, and realised that it was indeed a dolphin fin we looked at again and again for a good half hour.

Godrevy Lighthouse

by Sjalen

The island of Godrevy in St Ives Bay got its famous lighthouse in 1859, after yet another ship and its passengers and crew had been lost on the already infamous Stones Reef outside it in 1854. Today it is fully automatic and solar powered and what you see is the 26 metre tower which is visible from St Ives itself a little more than three miles away. If you go on a boat trip from there, you will also find that the island is home to several types of birds. Godrevy's biggest claim to fame is none of this though, but the fact that it features as the lighthouse in Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" which itself is set in Scotland but this is what inspired her to embed it in the story.

For surfers and sunsets

by Sjalen about Porthmeor Beach Café

The best thing about this place is its location right above Porthmeor Beach. You can sit here and just observe the wheather, the sea and people enjoying it. The downstairs bit serve swimmers and surfers with hot and cold drinks and has quite a wide range of freshly prepared fruit juices and smoothies. There you can also find ice cream and some snacks as well as beach toys. Beware of seagulls wanting to share your food...

Upstairs is more of a restaurant but only half of it is indoors and the other half on a terrace so it can get a bit cramped if the weather turns nasty. Still, it is cosy if you manage to find a place and staff is very friendly. The menu here is Mediterranean with dishes including aubergins and meze style things, but they also do tea with scones, their own (small) burgers and stuff. A lot of what is served here is organic and local, such as the bread the appetising sandwiches are made of. There is easy listening music in the background and all in all its a great little place when not too crowded - it's that it often is that is the problem. The place is open Easter to early November, all days from 9-18 and this is prolonged until 21.30 in summer. During our first visit, I had tea and scones which were not the best I've ever had but perfectly yummy still. Some other tourists had the burger which looked nice and healthy but a bit boring with that almost ciabatta-like bread bap and lots of mangold-type salad (and burgers is something you should try at Blas Burgerworks instead - see tip). Probably outstanding quality but just not how I like burgers as then I'd rather have a yummy salad or a steak. The aubergine things looked very good on the menu and I would have had it if we had stopped for more than a short break - hope to come back again soon and enjoy the sunset. Meanwhile, I have stopped several times for a juice or coffee depending on the weather, whilst my daughter has been surfing. I find that if you need something hot, stick to the tea since the coffee is quite weak and might only please you if you are American (sorry but like the Italians and Turks, coffee obsessed Swedes tend to like it a lot stronger). The juices are varying - I absolutely love the mango and orange blend whilst the strawberry, watermelon and mint one depends too much on the strawberries being a ripe and sweet batch and that's not always the case.

Porthmeor Beach

by Sjalen

Porthmeor is the biggest of the St Ives beaches and also the one most suitable for surfing since it is facing outwards towards the wild Atlantic and the waves here can get quite forceful. Due to this and its north facing position, the water is also quite cool and wetsuits are worn by most. I personally had problems standing upright one day at quite shallow stretches so this is for people who can swim and knows to go with the flow without panicking so to speak, there are also suddenly appearing little holes in the sand and if you put your foot on those at the same time as a wave breaks, you will notice.

During the summer season, there are lifeguards here all day long and you can see where they think it is safe to swim by their red and yellow flags and this is where families surf with childrens body boards and such. They also put up black flags for the more experienced surfers where the rest of us do well to stay away if we don't want to be run over by the fast and furious. The positioning of these of course vary depending on wind direction and weather patterns for the day, and the surf this gives. Red flags are for the places where you shouldn't swim at all but that's only there on extreme days and for instance with specific tide. You notice a big difference in high and low tide on this beach and the life guards move their flags accordingly of course.

This is our favourite beach in St Ives since it is wild and scenic and with the ever changing Cornish weather you also get some great pictures here such as the one on my intro page. It is also a favourite since my daughter has discovered surfing here, first with body board (easily bought in several places in town) and then with a real board. At the right side of the beach towards St Nicholas Chapel in the distance is a reef where at low tide you can see the top of the remaining boiler from a wrecked ship. Even when the tide is high you have quite a lot of beach to walk on here so there is no risk of getting cut off as such, but still be aware of the incoming tide. By the roadside near Tate Gallery at the back is a toilet block where you can get changed if you do not belong to those lucky enough to have rented a beach hut by the surf school which is also back here and where you can rent wetsuits and book lessons (our daughter loved her lessons here with qualified instructors and this is something we should have given her already at the start). Up here you also find a café at beach level, selling fresh juices, other drinks, snacks and beach toys, and with a small restaurant at street level above it (see tip).

St Nicholas Chapel

by Sjalen

St Nicholas is the chapel you can see on the hilly peninsula called The Island that make up the far end of St Ives old town and which looks slightly desolate and on its own out there. It is said to be from the 15th century and has been used by excise men to look for smugglers later on. Bernard Leach, a famous St Ives potterer, has made floor tiles with fishing scenes under one of the windows, but I have not yet been able to see the inside other than a peak through the windows since I have come up here in the evening when the chapel is locked. You have a spectacular view from here and whilst the bus station offers you that postcard "old town and harbour" St Ives, up here you instead have the unbroken vistas into Carbis Bay and can also start to appreciate the wilderness of the hills beyond town on the rest of the Penwith peninsula that is south-west Cornwall. Not least you also have great views down to Porthmeor Beach and Clodgy Point.


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 Skidden House

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Skidden Hotel St Ives
Skidden House Hotel St Ives

Address: Skidden Hill, St Ives, TR26 2DU, United Kingdom