Art, culture, food & beach heaven!
From our point of view at Language Tree, St Ives is definitely the most fun town to explore in Cornwall!
Its narrow little streets create a wonderful maze of hidden shops, art spaces, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
We have been coming to St Ives since we were children and there are still little nooks and crannies that we discover whenever we visit the town!
One thing you can always guarantee on a trip to St Ives is an incredible variety of food and drink options! From the tastiest Cornish pasties to fine dining and fresh seafood.
(plus, there’s the best coffee and ice-cream shacks dotted around the harbour. But beware! When snacking around the harbour, the seagulls will swoop and nick your treats if you are not careful 😉
Once you leave the harbour to explore a little winding, cobbled street, you are back in the maze of St Ives. If you’re clever you can find 4, possibly even 5, different beaches to enjoy – each with their own special atmosphere.
At the bottom end of town (from where you can walk the coast path to Zennor if you join our South-West Coast path adventure), you find Porthmeor beach. On a good day, it is one of the finest surf beaches in Cornwall. And with the backdrop of Tate St Ives, it is a perfect place to hang out and explore.
Art & St Ives
At the start of the 20th century, with the arrival of the railway, an important modern art movement developed in St Ives.
Linked closely to similar movements in Spain and France at the same time, a group of artists were drawn to the special light in St Ives as a muse to develop their art. At its core was Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson – much of their art and those who inspired and worked with them is shown at Tate St Ives. Plus, hidden a little further into the town is Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture garden. This was actually her home and studio in the centre of St Ives. It is a magical, peaceful place to visit. Her garden is full of her wonderful sculptures and you can see her workshop where she created these amazing pieces.
Once you have visited the sculpture garden, you are in the perfect spot to get lost down some more cobbled streets!
Take your time wandering in and out of shops, have a drink in a café, find some of the many mini art galleries that you can browse.
For kids and teenagers, the arcade is a must 🙂 – they have a brilliant selection of video games and machines that teenagers love – and you are right next to the best ice-cream in town too.
One of the nicest ways to arrive in the St Ives is by train. It is a 15 min train ride from St Erth. Even though it is short, it is one of the UK’s most scenic train journeys as you roll along the tracks around Carbis Bay.
After the short journey, you arrive in the top end of St Ives, right next to Porthminster Beach – this beach has a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the centre of town. The sea here is normally crystal clear and calm making it the perfect spot for a dip in the sea or even some paddleboarding. Then, after your refreshing dip, there is nothing better than lying on the golden sand to watch the world go by. And with a beach café and restaurant within 100m what more could you need!
St Ives is the town for all ages – there really is something here for everyone!