Saint Ives, Cornwall, a quaint fishing village and seaside town

Photo of Saint Ives in Cornwall (Cornwall region)

Visit Saint Ives

Saint Ives is a beautiful seaside town and one of Cornwall's iconic destinations. It has a working harbour, lovely beaches, a trendy arts scene, a branch of the Tate museum and regular boat trips out to a seal colony. What more could you ask for? Saint Ives often wins awards for being the best seaside destination in Britain.

Explore Saint Ives

Saint Ives is one of England's most popular beach destinations. The mix of quaint houses, fabulous beaches and a working harbour make it very popular with visitors. The town winds dpwn from cliff top views to its harbour, beaches and lots of seafront cafes and restaunts in lovely stone buildings. Its lovely position and quaint charm as well as the clear light of the seaside has attracted many artists and the many galleries add to the charm.

Blessed with long sandy beaches Saint Ives is very popular with families and being in Cornwall it also experiences some of Britain's warmest weather. If you are looking for surf the nearby Porthminster beach has great surf.

Saint Ives has four excellent beaches to choose from: Porthmeor beach, Porthgwidden beach, Harbour beach and Porthminster beach. Walk out onto Portminster beach for good views of the Godrevy lighthouse which was the inspiration for Virginias Woolf's novel 'To the Lighthouse'. As well as inspiring writers Saint Ives has been popular with artists for years and as welll as a thriving artist community and lots of galleries there are a few particularly impressive artistic destinations.

There are only four Tate garlleries in the world. Two are in London, one in Liverpool and one in .....yes, Saint Ives! Tate St Ives. Tate St Ives is housed in a wonderful modern building with circular galleries and splendid sea views. Through its exhibits you can explore the history of modern art in St Ives.

Saint Ives is also home to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. A strolll through the garden reveals many of her most important sculptures. Barbara Hepworth lived in St Ives for more than 30 years and the museum was once her home and studio. Other artistic destinations include the Leach Pottery, the Penlee House Gallery and Museum, the Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange.

It is possible to get a pass with combined entry for the various artistic destinations.

Behind the harbour beach there are lots of narrow lanes to explore. With fishermen's houses and cobbled streets these are a treat and of course there are plenty of places to stop for a cornish pasty or some locally caught crab and other seafood. On the Wharf is the 'Sloop Inn' which dates back to the early 1300s and is one of the oldest pubs in Britain.

If you fancy getting a sea view of St Ives you can take a boat trip out to Seal Island and see a colony of seals that live there.

From the main car park above St Ives (recommended as St Ives gets busy) you get some great views over the town and the bay and a regular bus service can take you up and down the hill if you prefer not to walk down (or more likely -up) to the centre.

Places to visit nearby

Saint Ives is situated to the east of Zennor which has some large stone monoliths nearby. There is a nice garden and National Trust property nearby at Godolphin House. The beautiful Saint-Michaels Mount is to the south of Saint Ives.

See also:

Photos of Saint Ives

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • bay
  • beach-front
  • beach
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  • church
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  • cove
  • pub
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Map of Saint Ives and places to visit

Saint Ives places to visit

See more places nearby in the Cornwall guide