A Day Out in St Ives | All You Need to Know

7th October 2016

St Ives – the jewel of Cornwall’s crown.

With golden beaches, clear waters and a variety of waterfront eateries, St Ives is a seemingly subtropical oasis.

Here’s our guide for what to see and do in St Ives.

St Ives Harbour

The town is part of West Penwith, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, extending around Cape Cornwall to include the central Penwith Hills.

Porthmeor Beach

It’s no surprise that St Ives has been attracting artists for decades who come to capture the essence of the town.

St Ives Pebble Balancer

From marine artist Henry Moore, who visited in the mid-1800s, to twentieth century sculptor Barbara Hepworth, St Ives has attracted many painters, sculptors and ceramists.

Barbara Hepworth worked with bronze, stone and wood. Her sculptures are on display in the Museum and Garden, located in the heart of St Ives, along with paintings, drawings and archive material.

The Museum and Garden is well worth visiting for a unique experience into the work and life of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists.

Some of Hepworth’s sculptures can be seen around the town. Wander along pathways through trees and shrubs and discover some of her most celebrated designs.


Epidauros II Bronze casting, which is one of an edition of seven made by Hepworth in 1961, is situated on the Malakoff overlooking the harbour and Porthminster beach.

Porthminster beach from malakoff

With views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, that inspired Virginia Woolf’s famous novel To the Lighthouse, Porthminster beach is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and relax.

Couple on Porthminster beach

On the beach enjoy fresh, local produce from Porthminster Beach Café. Serving delicious
food throughout the day, some of which is grown in their adjoining garden, the café has won many prestigious awards such as Coast magazine’s Best Coastal Café and The Times’ Best Coast Restaurant.

If you enjoy strolling along the beach, breathing in the fresh sea air, then you will love wandering the coastline around St Ives and discovering the sheltered coves it has to offer.

couple walking along Porthminster beach

A popular beach with families, dogs and surfers, Porthmeor is perfect for hitting the surf and making a splash in the shallows.

Surfing and wild swimming at porthmeor beach

Walk in the shallows at porthmeor

The beach is just a stone’s throw from the town where you’ll find ancient pubs, contemporary cafes and inspirational art galleries.

The Rum & Crab in St Ives

Walk a little further and you will find a charming sandy cove called Porthgwidden nestled beneath the steep grassy slopes of St Ives “Island”. This is a popular spot for wild swimming.

wild swimming in st ives

Porthgwidden Beach Café, which is on a small slope up from the beach, is a great place to sit and eat lunch looking out onto the bay or to relax with a glass of wine and watch the sun set.

Watching the day pass in St Ives is one of our favourite pastimes. In the harbour, sheltered by thick stone walls, is a soft sandy beach which is revealed when the tide is out.

boat rental St Ives

Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the town, the harbour beach is a perfect spot to take a picnic and watch the local fishermen land their catch of the day.

St Ives harbour boats

For those who enjoy being out on the water, St Ives Self Drive Boats & Kayak Rental provides you with the opportunity to explore the beautiful Bay. The boat and kayak hire company operates within the summer months.

Harbour beach St Ives

Behind the harbour beach, on the cobbled wharf, is the fourteenth century Sloop Inn. A cosy, ancient pub, the Sloop Inn hosts live music nights most weekends and provides a great outdoor drinking area that overlooks the colourful port.

Find a discounted retreat in St Ives on our special offers page. Or, browse our other beach locations to explore more of the Cornish coastline.