24 Hours in Cornwall: St Ives
Have you got some time to spend in St Ives but you're not quite sure where to begin? I have the answers for you...
Endearingly quaint and arty, St Ives has always been many peoples favourite sea side towns in Cornwall. For those that have visited St Ives before, then you would understand why the Telegraph has just names St Ives as one of the top British destination to visit in September and other Autumn months.
As a child growing up in Cornwall, I spent a lot of time roaming the back streets of St Ives for shells in the gift shops (yes, I was that weirdo kid at school that collected shells). Now as a twenty something, St Ives is one of my favourite 'date night' places. It's always the perfect spot for a couple of glasses of wine (or two bottles) whilst watching the world go by from a restaurant balcony before rewinding back to your youth with a game in the arcade.
During October, I had a group of international journalists that came to visit Cornwall to gather angles for new media coverage - assisting on press trips and creating itineraries is always one of my favourite things about my job as it allows me to get out and explore my own home county as if I was an outsider - it really makes you to notice things that haven't come to your attention before. I saw St Ives in a whole new light!
In the morning, we walked from high street, through some of the quaint back streets to The Tate which is located on Porthmeor Beach. A family member of The Tate Modern, The Tate Britain and The Tate Liverpool, The Tate St Ives focuses on Modern Art and provides a permanent presence to those iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the local area.
If you're not into art, why not try a spot of surfing during your trip? Surfing lessons with St Ives Surf School still carry on right through the Autumn and Winter months depending on the weather.
From The Tate, head to the other side of the beach and take your pick of what road to take. We strolled back through to the Main Street, stopping to appreciate the picturesque streets.
Along the high street, you'll come across tonnes of independent shops and cute cafes and bars. I ALWAYS prefer to go into independent restaurants and shops rather than chains - 1) because their products are always so much cuter, and 2) it helps local people to stay established! St Ives is booming with bakeries, sweet shops, fresh food stores, seafood restaurants and gift shops, so there's plenty to pick from. There's also no real St Ives trip without stopping off at the Moomaid Of Zennor Ice Cream parlour, for some of the best ice cream in town!
Now, the important bit...where to lunch?! My favourite place in St Ives is Pedn Olva, a hotel and restaurant located five minutes out of the main town and a fab place to hide away from the hustle and bustle. Pedn Olva has panoramic views over Porthminster beach and St Ives town - honestly, I'm not lying when I say that the views are breathtaking. As well as the views being pretty special, the food is great too. Using locally sourced produce, Pedn Olva shares the very best of seafood, meats, salads and sandwiches. Of course, I opted for the crab and prawn burger. ALWAYS.
Did you know that there are three major beaches in St Ives? We've already covered Porthmeor and Porthminster, but you can't forget the Award-winning Blue Flag 2018 beach, Carbis Bay! Carbis Bay is a five minute drive or a 20 minute walk from St Ives town, but it's absolutely incredible so I would definitely recommend making the trip. It is also worth to head into Carbis Bay Hotel for lunch/drink too as the setting is lovely. There is also a Spa there too, that recently won Gold at the Cornwall Tourism Awards!
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to staying overnight in St Ives. A personal favourite of mine is St Ives Harbour Hotel - the boutique hotel is perfectly positioned overlooking Porthmeor Beach and is in prime location for exploring the rest of what St Ives has to offer.
As well as gorgeous rooms, St Ives Harbour Hotel is also home to the HARbar, a newly refurbished bar with panoramic views across St Ives Bay - my usual go-to for wine! For dinner, head to the HARbar kitchen that celebrates the very best local flavours, suppliers and producers; with menus that reflect the changing moods and climates.
So there you have it, my '24 hours in St Ives' suggestions! St Ives has plenty more to offer than just the recommended in this post, so make sure that you get out there and explore all of those back streets as you'll definitely come across a few hidden gems!
I'd love to hear where your favourite places are in St Ives?
Drop me a comment below!