Why visit St Ives? Well, for starters, St Ives has been a winner of various national awards, such as the best family holiday destination, as voted by Coast magazine. TripAdvisor has also listed it as among the top ten best European beach destinations. Come and see St Ives for yourself – the golden beaches and luscious vegetation, bathed in the sunlight will give you a rich and wonderful experience that you will never forget.
The picturesque seaside town has lured artists to its shores for decades. Its natural beauty has beena source of pictorial inspiration. Renowned artists such as J M W Turner and the marine artist Henry Moore were among the first to come to St Ives in the mid-1800s and spearheaded the influx of artistic talent of painters, sculptors and ceramists. To this day the town remains a centre of artistry, as evidenced by the paintings and crafts of the local population. There are numerous galleries with exhibitions that also attract famous artists from further afield.
The four beaches of St Ives – Harbour beach, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, and Porthminster – are renowned for their warm beach climate. Porthminster beach, by virtue of its waves, is a particular favourite with surfers who come to try to conquer the brilliant power of the waves – come down and experience it for yourself! You can arrange for a surfing lesson from the local surf school, at the blue flag-rated Porthmeor beach, but if surfing is not necessarily your first pursuit, you can also troop down to various pavement cafes or lounge in the pubs with great histories. Various eateries serve a large range of cuisine and you are guaranteed to find what you want, with a range of mouth- watering menus on offer!
The picturesque working harbour can be easily spotted from the train. Departing St Erth at regular intervals, the branch line to St Ives takes only twenty minutes and as its journey around the golden bays to finally arrive at St Ives, will leave you mesmerised. You can spot the colourful fishing boats coming into the harbour, a myriad of inspirational colours.
Feel the lovely white sand under your feet at Portminster Beach and as you stroll out along the bay, Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famous novel To the Lighthouse, calls out to you from the distance.
Away from the coast, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives is a favourite with visitors. Take in the sensual sculptures exhibited in the tranquil garden, and discover more of her celebrated works as you venture along pathways through the trees and shrubs.
If you are interested in the historical origins of St Ives, the local museum is a good place to start. St Ives’s long history as a hub for marine activities such as fishing and boatbuilding, as well as the attraction for art and subsistence agriculture, are all encapsulated in the vast memorabilia and displays on show in the museum. What the locals know and fondly refer to as Downlong, is the heart of the old St Ives town. As the town of St Ives gradually expanded to its modern day look, the character of the old town changed, but the signs of bygone times can still be located if you know where to look. Behind the Sloop Inn, dating back to the 14th century, and the Harbour beach, you can observe that the character of the past has been retained; you can still see the narrow cobbled streets from which horse-drawn carriages clinked over, and the fisherman’s cottages from which they would rise at dawn and return only at dusk. These harken back to bygone times, and you could easily spend an afternoon exploring the maze of streets and taking in the atmosphere.
There are only four Tate galleries in the world and Tate St Ives, which opened in 1993, is proud to be one of them. The importance of art in Cornwall and St. Ives in particular was perhaps recognised in the decision to base a Tate museum here. Hundreds of works produced by the St. Ives School over the past three centuries can be seen here.
Seal Island, located 3½ miles from the west of St Ives, has been a favourite with visitors since the 1930s when it was possible to embark on the boat trip from the harbour to watch the local colony of seals playing in the sea and bathing on the rocks. The colony of seals has grown to around forty and they are known for their inquisitive behaviour. As they watch the boat approach, you can almost sense them raise a quizzical eyebrow at the visitors who come to observe them, and some more exuberant ones are happy to approach.
St Ives is the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown, and you will never be short of things to do or places to explore. But if you prefer a quiet day, then this simple pleasure can be enjoyed at the beach, where children can have fun building sand castles or playing in the rock pools.
And if all that’s still not enough? You can also walk towards Lands End, stopping to take in the view of the dramatic cliffs along the coastal path.
There are so many things to do in St Ives, that if you come from outside the immediate area, it is reasonable to stay for at least a week in order to experience it fully, without either feeling rushed to do it all, or unfulfilled in not having seen all the things on offer.
St Ives has many places to stay, with accommodation ranging from, top hotels, bed & breakfast, self-catering cottages or apartments. But if you are looking for the right balance of view, cost and vicinity, why not consider staying at Blue Mist?
Blue Mist is a great holiday cottage located in an unbeatable location. You are close to a range of eateries, pubs and cafes while only a two-minute walk away from Porthminster beach. Blue Mist was previously a popular bed and breakfast and the layout of this holiday home is reflected as such. Each room has en-suite facilities and hence it is ideal for families or big groups who are visiting St Ives together; individuals who like to have a quiet enclosed private area at the end of a busy day exploring the many sights and sounds St Ives has to offer. Each bedroom has an en suite shower room, television and stunning sea views which look out across the harbour. After a day spent at the beach and drinking in all that St Ives has to offer, Blue Mist will give you a quiet space, and a personal area within that space, to spend an evening admiring the beautiful lights of the harbour, and the world go by.
There are four bedrooms in Blue Mist cottage. All have great sea views, and all have shower and WC facilities. They are also equipped with a TV and DVD. Two of the rooms have double beds, while two of them have twin beds. The lighting is dimmable and can be maximised if you need it or lowered for just the right level of comfort for your eyes.
Dogs are permitted on the beach around Blue Mist all year round, so it’s perfect for four-legged friends. Easily found at the end of the street is Lambeth Walk and at low tide you can walk your dog all year round on the beach right down to the end of Smeaton’s Pier.
Within the Blue Mist cottage accommodation itself, the sitting and dining room has two sofas, two armchairs, table with seating for eight, and a breakfast bar style seating for four, so however you prefer your meals, informally or formally, the room will sit your needs and you can take in the brilliant sea views in comfort.
The kitchen has been designed for eight occupants in mind and also has washing facilities such as a dishwasher, tumble dryer and washing machine. On the occasions you prefer a quiet night of dining, as some respite from your daily sojourns, you can rustle up something from the ingredients in the large fridge/freezer and work your Masterchef magic using the utilities you would expect in a modern kitchen.
There is also a small outside patio area, perfect for storing beach equipment such as surfboards, sand buckets, and deck chairs.
The property is set over three floors on a road called The Warren. The Warren cottages are the preferred location for many families because of their vicinity to the beach, museums and the town’s restaurants, pubs and cafes.
The Warren is also within easy walking distance to the bus and train station. The latter offers pay and display parking which many people holidaying in St Ives often use.
Come visit St Ives and make your base in St Ives in one of the oldest streets with lots of character. Your stay in Blue Mist will give you all the amenities you need to ensure your time in St Ives is one you will look back on with fond memories!