Saint Ives Travel Guide

  • St Ives harbour
    St Ives harbour
    by aukahkay
  • Overlooking St Ives Harbour
    Overlooking St Ives Harbour
    by citytrip
  • Saint Ives
    by LittleDee

Saint Ives Things to Do

  • Porthmeor Beach

    Portmeor is the largest of St. Ives’ four beaches and the only one not enjoying the protection of St. Ives Bay. Whereas the other three beaches are idea for sunbathing and swimming, Portmeor is better suited to surfing. The waves that travel across the Atlantic hit this side of the Cornish coast producing some good surfing conditions, and as a...

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  • The Tate

    The Tate St. Ives attracts a lot of attention, and opinion about its merits or otherwise are very polarised. Opinions are subjective of course, but firstly here are a few facts.The gallery was opened by Prince Charles in 1993 to a design by architects Evans and Shalev. Perched above Porthmeor Beach The Tate was designed to celebrate and compliment...

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  • The Island

    St. Ives gets a fair number of day visitors and I wouldn’t mind betting that most will go to the beach, have a wander around the harbour and tramp the streets looking for a shop or two to spend their money. Absolutely nothing wrong with that of course, but it would be a shame not to find some time to walk up to ’The Island’ .It’s no distance away...

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  • Porthgwidden Beach

    Excluding Carbis Bay, which is further on around St. Ives Bay, there are four main beaches in St. Ives - the Harbour Beach, Porthminster, Porthmeor and Porthgwidden.All these Porths can be confusing and I’d like to be able to tell you how to remember which one’s which - but I can’t. What I can tell you though is the meaning of the word ‘Porth‘, and...

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  • Porthminster Beach

    If you arrive in St. Ives by train the first thing that you’ll see, apart from the platform, is Porthminster beach. It’s a great introduction to the town because it gives people an idea on what to expect from St. Ives.It gets its name from the minster that was here up until the 15th century and is a sheltered beach of golden sands that stretch for...

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  • The Harbour

    Even if you’ve brought the kids away just to play on the wonderful St. Ives beaches, it’s the harbour that you’ll always be drawn back to.Protected by the West Pier next to the Lifeboat Station, and the longer Smeaton’s Pier on the opposite side, the harbour is a magnet for both tourists and locals alike. Between the two piers are a plethora of...

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Saint Ives Hotels

  • Boskerris Hotel

    The Boskerris is a small, family run hotel located in Carbis Bay, a few miles out of St Ives. We...

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  • Pedn Olva Hotel

    The Pedn Olva is one of the most famous hotels in St Ives, and we found out why during our first...

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  • Western Hotel

    I am the webmaster for the Western Hotel St Ives - so this is practical information only not a...

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Saint Ives Restaurants

  • Food and drinks at Treloyhan Manor Hotel

    Treloyhan Manor Hotel was where I stayed while I was in St Ives.Twice I had the breakfast buffet and it was £8.50 (April 2014). I’m not very fond of fried things in the morning (like bacon, eggs, mushrooms etc) so for the second time I asked for two boiled eggs instead. Besides that I had toast, yogurt with muesli, juice, coffee and a fruit....

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  • Popin’s Tea Room

    Popin’s is a café situated in a small courtyard just off Fore Street. I came here to have coffee and scones. Outside there was a sign saying the Cornish Cream Tea was only £4.95 (April 2014). Usually I had paid just over £5 for Cornish Cream Tea in other places in Cornwall (and £4.95 in Hayle) and then it was always served with two scones. At...

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  • Balcony Café Bar Kitchen

    Balcony is situated by the harbour in St Ives. There are many windows facing the harbour and if you get a table by the windows you will have a good view of what is going on outside. I came here twice. The first time I had seen on the menu outside that they had beef burger with bacon and avocado. It sounded very tasty so I went inside. I ordered at...

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  • Moomaid of Zennor

    It is good to look in the guidebook sometimes, otherwise I would not have gone to Moomaid of Zennor. It is an ice cream place along the Wharf with locally produced ice cream from a farm near Zennor. The ice cream is absolutely delicious! I came here twice and at both occasions I choose three different flavours. For three scoops it was £4.25 (April...

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  • “Winning Service & Excellent quality,...

    We stumbled across this place after originally quite a while ago, and have always found the staff warm and friendly staff. The menu was varied and offered a great choice, portions were absolutely huge!. The food was very tasty and offered good value for money, You can ask for any other fish from the Fresh Fish counter good range that they sell, and...

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  • Great food, great views, and dolphins!

    Well, this really was a dolphin-friendly meal! Just as I was finishing my main course, the waitress said ' look, dolphins!' And there in the bay, very close to shore, was a school of dolphin, playing beside the fishing boats. Anyway, back to the restaurant. It's perched above the smallest of St Ives' beaches, Porthgwidden, in the lee of the mound...

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Saint Ives Nightlife

  • Proper Job

    You’ll often hear people in Cornwall saying “Proper Job” which loosely translated means “Ideal”. It’s a phrase in such common use that the St. Austell Brewery has even named one of its beers ‘Proper Job’The reason I mention it here is because I reckon that The Castle is a Proper Job. It sells a good range of excellent real ales and good honest food...

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  • Haunt of Fishermen, Artists and Tourists

    I’d love to know how many people have been through the doors of The Sloop. This is one of Cornwall’s best known pubs and has supposedly been here since 1312.Situated on The Wharf right next to the harbour, it also became known as ‘The Artists Pub’ when many of the town’s artists gathered here to unwind, chew the fat, and hang their pictures on the...

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  • People watching

    Nightlife in St Ives for me is much about walking along the harbour, looking at how the light changes and how people start coming out to dine after a day on the beach and all of a sudden there are loads of people chatting and enjoying their holidays. I have been told it gets a bit madder on New Year's Eve down here though :))) For those in need of...

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Saint Ives Transportation

  • By Train to St. Ives

    St. Ives, like all Cornish fishing villages, wasn’t built with road traffic in mind and without doubt the best way to get here is by train. It’s a no-brainer really. For starters, driving through the narrow streets and finding somewhere to park can be a nightmare. On top of that the train journey is a delight (as long as it’s not too busy), and the...

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  • Bus to and from St Ives

    I visited St Ives in April 2014 and during my stay there I travelled by bus several times. It is cheaper to buy a return ticket than two single tickets, and the driver does not always have change, so it is good not to pay with £10 or £20 bills.The webpage transportdirect.info is good to use when planning your journey.These are the bus journeys I...

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  • One Of The UK's Most Scenic Rail Routes

    The short, 4.25 miles, length of single track of the St Ives Bay Line definitely is well worth taking the train for in its own right. The line was built in 1877 to provide freight services for the pilchard trade and passenger services to the upcoming seaside resort. It connects to the London - Penzance mainline at St Erth and the first stage of the...

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Saint Ives Shopping

  • Where To Get Your Postcards And...

    ...stamps and where to post them!!Whilst there are plenty of places around the town to buy postcards buying them here has the advantage of being able to get the correct stamps - especially for sending abroad - plus the post box is right outside. You just need to pop down to the Sloop Inn to write them out first.The Post Office is open Monday to...

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  • The local look

    Since you are never far from the coast in Cornwall, fishing plays a big part of local life, and Cornish fishermen have long worn these "smocks" to protect their own clothing underneath. For the same reason, the smocks later became very popular with all the artists who also settled down here, and today both these categories love to wear this useful...

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  • For the shopaholic

    I have no special favourite shop here so I mention the whole of Fore Street (a common name for a main street in western England) which is where most tourists end up sooner or later but for a good reason for this is a street full of art galleries and other specialist shops so everyone will find something they like here, along with some cafés and a...

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Saint Ives Local Customs

  • St. Ia

    I’m not sure how these tales come about but sometime during the 5th century St. Ia is supposed to have landed below Pendinas (What we refer to as The Island today). She apparently came from Ireland to Cornwall as a Christian missionary and all this is very plausible, until you find out that she came over on a leaf! There doesn’t seem much doubt...

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  • Artists and Art Galleries

    I may be able to draw a pint but that’s about all I can draw I’m afraid, but artists who work in St. Ives have always said that it’s the quality of light that draws them here, and I can see what they mean. There may be other reasons as well, but there’s definitely a clarity of light down here that captures the seascapes so well. There’s no...

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  • The Community Of Artists

    From my only visit, so far, I can easily understand why St Ives has developed as an artists community. The relative lack of development (Tate Gallery aside LOL), the fresh Celtic Sea to wash the cobwebs away, the amazing light, which I'll extrapolate to even when it's cold and dank, and just that sense of being which the town has.So here's a little...

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Saint Ives Warnings and Dangers

  • Mugging Seagulls

    Anybody who has looked at some of my other coastal Warnings and Dangers tips will see that I’ve mentioned this problem before, but in my view St. Ives is the seagull mugging capital of the whole south-west.There are lots of different types of seabirds including gulls - and there are lots of different types of gulls, but there is really only one...

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  • One Hates To Be Political...But...

    ...maybe our present (UK as of Oct 2012) government should take note.Another pic I just wanted to use and so totally supercilliously have stuck here LOL.But that's the St Ives effect isn't it? Get the creative juices running and don't give a damn about the results.

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  • Leave your car

    You can drive to St Ives if you want to have a holiday here and intend to use it for driving around the wonderful countryside, but whatever you do, please do not drive down Treganna Hill and into the harbour area unless you absolutely must because of mobility issues or because you have rented a cottage in Downalong. Wharf Road starts at the...

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Saint Ives Off The Beaten Path

  • Godrevy Lighthouse

    Across the other side of St. Ives Bay you can just make out a small island with a lighthouse - Godrevy. To get a closer look it’s possible to drive around to Godrevy Point and park up, but there’s another, and better way, to get up close to it - by boat.The Dolly P operates out of St. Ives harbour and is a 10m long fibreglass boat with a capacity...

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  • Godrevy Lighthouse

    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...

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  • Zennor

    A most wonderful village, Zennor is perhaps not stricly off the beaten path since buses stop here between Land's End/St Just and St Ives, but so many people miss it when they get stuck in St Ives itself so I have chosen to put it here. The countryside around the village is really ancient and you can see old Celtic farmland patterns from 3000 BC and...

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Saint Ives Sports & Outdoors

  • Walking

    There are a number of walking trips to be done from St Ives, all depending on how far you want to go, and you can buy booklets in most bookshops as well as the tourist office and other places to guide you. The South West Coast Path which runs along the coast of England comes through St Ives so either side of town connects to it. One side (leading...

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  • Surfing

    There are several surf schools with board and wetsuit rentals in the St Ives area. The one in the picture is the one at Porthmeor Beach, the surf friendly beach right in the town centre but that one does not seem to have a website, you just have to turn up and book. Here at Porthmeor, the real die hard surfers sometimes complain that they get too...

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  • Saint Ives Hotels

    44 Hotels in Saint Ives

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Saint Ives Favorites

  • An Urban Taste Of Atlantic Wildness

    Known locally as "The Island" the promontory that juts out into the sea was once topped with a fortress - it's old name was Pandinas, meaning "fortified headland". Nowadays it has the St Ives lookout station of the National Coastwatch Institution which was formerly used by the Coastguards. The NCI is a voluntary organisation established in 1994 to...

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  • Dolphin spotting

    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...

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  • Beach cricket

    Do like the English - buy yourself a cheap beach cricket set in any of the souvenir shops in the town centre or on the beaches. Then hit your favourite beach - even the harbour at low tide like the guys in this picture. If you pay for my trip I'll be your umpire. :)

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Explore Deeper into Saint Ives
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St Ives Lifeboat
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Seagulls!!!
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Fish & chips
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Paint courses
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Geevor Tin Mine - A World Heritage
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St Leonard's Chapel
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Map of Saint Ives

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