Things to do in St Ives

Are you planning on visiting St Ives? This is one of the most popular and beloved locations in Cornwall. It’s not hard to understand why this is the case. From sandy beaches to picturesque views and breathtaking scenery, you’re bound to fall in love with this location as well. So, what can you not afford to miss when you visit this breathtaking location?Are you planning on visiting St Ives? This is one of the most popular and beloved locations in Cornwall. It’s not hard to understand why this is the case. From sandy beaches to picturesque views and breathtaking scenery, you’re bound to fall in love with this location as well. So, what can you not afford to miss when you visit this breathtaking location?

Discover Incredible Modern Art At St Ives Tate Gallery


Art lovers should definitely make sure that they visit St Ives Tate Gallery. This branch of the art brand has been open to the public since 1993 and is incredibly popular with tourists. Indeed, even the architecture of the building itself is absolutely glorious. The location overlooks Porthmeor beach and the circular entrance is nothing short of iconic. Of course, indoors there is charm to spare with stunning collections of contemporary art. You will also find that there is a focus on St Ives School as well as famed artists like Alfred Wallis. 

Surfing In St Ives

If you are keen to learn how to surf, then you couldn’t have picked a better spot. It’s true to say that Cornwall is the surfing capital of the UK and St Ives is the prime point to try your luck on the waves. This surfing destination is available all year round and skilled surfers are always keen to try ‘the boiler’ come winter. This is quite a challenging wave but there are opportunities for those who weren’t brought up on a surfboard to take a shot as well. Particularly if you visit in summer when Porthmeor provides the perfect spot for new surfers. Regardless of whether you’re an amateur or an avid, experienced surfer, you will always find a spot nearby offering the equipment that you need. The St Ives Surf School is highly regarded as one of the best places to learn to surf in Cornwall, it’s a must do if staying in St Ives.

Get Up Close With Seals 

If you are keen to make sure that you see nature on your trip to St Ives then you need to book a trip to Seal Island. Just 3.5 miles off the coast of St Ives this island is filled with – you guessed it – seals! This is one of the only experiences in the UK where you’ll be able to see these animals up close in their natural habitat. At certain times of the year, the island is also abundant with plenty of other wild creatures too. Even if you’re not one for gazing upon nature, the spectacular views from the boat trip alone are sure to take your fancy. You’ll gain a completely fresh perspective on the rough and rugged Cornwall coastline.  

Enjoy The Beauty Of St Ives Town 

St Ives is wonderfully quaint and it is absolutely delightful, simply wandering around the cobbled streets. There are many streets that are visual treats but you definitely need to make time to see Fore Street. It has some lovely little independent shops. You can buy everything here with designer clothing and fudge sure to tantalise the taste buds both available. This can be a tourist hot spot in the middle of summer, so our recommendation would be to stop by early in the morning before things pick up. 

Take A Hiking Trip To Zennor

You might not be too keen on taking a trip across the water but you could still be anxious to escape the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist town. If so, then you should definitely consider taking a hike to Zennor. This remote, sleepy town is hidden away on the coast. You can reach it by heading west from St Ives along the well-marked path. As you journey towards Land’s End, you’ll be surrounded by incredible scenery. Be warned that this is a long hike. It will take you about four hours to travel the 6.5-mile journey, but it’s well worth the trip. 

Discover Globally Famous Food In St Ives


You probably didn’t expect to find food in this small town that was famous around the world, but you certainly can. Just head on down to Blas Burgerworks. This has been listed in the Wall Street Journal as one of the absolute best places in Europe to grab a burger. You can even pick up a vegan option and you’ll also make new friends. After all, at this location, you’re encouraged to enjoy your meal at one of the communal tables so you’re sure to be able to indulge in great food and good conversation. 
Check out our other blog post ‘Best Restaurant In St Ives With Sea Views” for more suggestions.

Enjoy St Ives Beaches

Are you looking for a beach holiday? Then, St Ives is certainly the place to be. You’ll have your pick of four main beaches, each of which is within walking distance from the town. While there are plenty of choices, Porthmeor is probably the most popular. You’ll have already spotted it if you visited the Tate as we suggested. There’s also Porthminister and this is perfectly located near to train and bus transport links. If you are looking for a more secluded option, then we definitely recommend Porthgwidden. This is tucked away and completely isolated. As such, it can be a quiet spot, perfect for soaking up some sun and there are beach huts to enjoy as well. 

Hop-On The Train


If you’re keen to take a trip, you might want to head to a tiny little railway line. This connects St Ives to the rest of the network around Cornwall and South West England. One of the best things about this particular railway route is that it is incredibly scenic. Enjoy the spectacular views from the train window as the line sweeps along the coast past the golden sands of Carbis Bay & Hayle Towans. The ride is ten minutes to reach Lelant Saltings. Once you get to that location, you’ll be able to walk a couple of miles back into town. You’ll definitely want to have your camera ready when you’re riding this train. Check out Scenic Rail Britain for train times.

Gaze Upon A Glorious Sunset On Porthmeor Beach 


Finally, you can finish off a day in St Ives by finding the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful sunset. On a warm sunny evening there is nowhere better in St Ives to enjoy the sunset than Porthmeor Beach, or more specifically Porthmeor Beach Cafe! Enjoy a evening meal in one of the heated booths whilst being treated to a gorgeous sunset!


Check Out Our Holiday Cottages in St Ives?

Take a look at our special places to stay at So St Ives.
Booking a holiday to Cornwall? Choose from our huge range of luxury holiday cottages in St Ives & Carbis Bay. Whether you’re looking for a large cottage with sea views, a pad with parking or a cosy hideaway just walking distance from the Tate, we’ve got a holiday cottage to suit everyone.

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