St Ives – a thriving artistic community

Wonderful, sandy beaches, narrow cobbled streets and a delightful harbour area

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Cornwall beaches

This magical little corner of Cornwall offers wonderful, sandy beaches and a delightful harbour area.  You can lose yourself in the maze of narrow cobbled streets with flower-filled courtyards and alleyways bursting with galleries, craft and clothing shops,  cafes and artists studios – an absolute joy for those wanting to discover “Classic Old England”.

But what St Ives is internationally renowned for is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden and Tate St Ives.

St Ives has very strong historical ties to the arts community – and testament to this can be found at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Just a few of the famous 20th century artists from St Ives include Barbara Hepworth, John Wells and Ben Nicholson. Those interested in art will also want to check out the Tate St Ives Museum, part of the Tate Gallery in London.  Opened in 1993, Tate St. Ives is perhaps the flagship of Cornish art.

What else is there in St Ives

Art aside there’s plenty for the general tourist too – fine, sandy beaches and a myriad of wonderful shops and restaurants make this a first class destination for those wanting to see the very best that Cornwall has to offer.

As you would expect, the good stretches of beach here makes it another popular location for surfers. Porthmeor Beach, on the town’s western edge, is the pick of the bunch being famous for powerful surf and yet is ideal for non-surfers of all ages as well. Watch the surfers ride the waves at Porthmeor Beach – or get in there yourself and give it a go!

Porthminster Beach, on the town’s eastern edge, is more sheltered and has perfect conditions for family groups. Other good beaches in St Ives include Porthgwidden, Porth Kidney Sands and Windasea.

Boats still fill the harbour and Smeaton’s Pier is still the preserve of the town’s fishing community, although fishing no longer dominates the quays.  Watch fishermen bring in their catch which are sold to some of the finest restaurants.

No holiday is complete without good food and here at St Ives there’s a range of excellent restaurants, cafes and traditional pubs catering for all tastes and budget types.  Chill out with a drink or splash out on the culinary delights at one of the top restaurants around the busy harbour, looking out at the fishing boats and clear water, or dine at one of the many restaurants set back from the seafront.

St Ives is a good base for a Cornwall holiday.  This little town offers a large selection of outdoor activities including birdwatching, fishing, golf, sailing and surfing.  From here you can also explore Land’s End, Penzance, St. Michael’s Mount or make trips to the Isles of Scilly.

There are lots of accommodation options to suit the budgets of all holidaymakers ranging from guest houses with fabulous sea views, charming four-star B&B, hotels or touring caravan parks.


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