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7 reasons to visit St Ives, Cornwall, England

Holidays in St. Ives are some of the most sought after in England as it’s considered the most beautiful gem in the crown of Cornish resorts. The boundless ocean, rugged cliffs, cosy bays, old buildings, art galleries, and snug restaurants – this is what St. Ives is all about. This town is one of the most magical and fabulous places in the entire United Kingdom. You need to explore it slowly, savouring its laid-back atmosphere and discovering new exciting landmarks every day. St. Ives draws in thousands of tourists every year, and this is why…

It’s beautiful

St. Ives, a magnificent resort located in western Cornwall, is a member of the exclusive Club “The Most Beautiful Coves of the World” and a multiple winner of the “Britain in Bloom” award. It is recognized as the best seaside resort of Britain according to the British Heritage Magazine. This charming town is more than just fabulous beaches, sparkling sea, and Mediterranean charm. It is also narrow streets, homey courtyards dotted with flowers, fresh sea air, and friendly hospitable people. St. Ives is rightly considered to be the most Caribbean-like place in the UK. At the same time, it preserves the true Cornish spirit, especially in the port area. Shady tangled streets with bizarre names, honey-coloured granite cottages, walking galleries, markets, atmospheric pubs, and wonderful restaurants make St. Ives so fascinating.

The beaches

Golden beaches of St. Ives are Cornwall’s pride and the main tourist attraction. The widely spread Porthmeor Beach dominates on the northern part of St. Ives. Its highlight is stone houses sinking in the yellow sand. Unlike many urban beaches, the water quality at Porthmeor Beach is excellent, and the sea swell is suitable for surfing. There is also a range of lovely outdoor cafés and restaurants where you can feast on gourmet seafood. Another stretch of sand, Porthminster Beach, is located to the south of the train station. It is a bit wider than Porthmeor and normally less crowded, which makes it an ideal place for sunbathing, swimming, and water activities. Going east from the town, you will find a chain of excellent golden beaches spread out along St. Ives Bay.

The climate

The climate in Cornwall, and St. Ives, in particular, is the most pleasant and sunny in the UK due to the Gulf Stream influence and southern siting. The southernmost part of Cornwall is located in the subtropical climate zone. Here, the sun shines more than 1500 hours per year. Thanks to the favourable climate, St. Ives and the entire south-west coast of Cornwell is teeming with evergreen flowering oases. Exotic plants from the whole world easily take root in this cosy corner of warm weather. Cornish winters are the mildest in the country, and frosts are extremely rare. However, since Cornwall is washed by the Atlantic waters, storms sometimes occur here in the winter months.

Great choice of places to stay

St. Ives is bristling with various hotels, guesthouses, apartments for rent, and other accommodation options. Despite the huge concentration of places to stay, St. Ives suffers from a shortage of accommodations at the high season so you’ll have to book in advance.

Picturesque hiking

St. Ives is a place where walkers are welcome. With miles of scenic well-marked trails, wondrous countryside, and marine landscapes, St. Ives is the best place for hiking in Cornwall. Put your hiking boots on, fill the backpack with provisions, and hit the road for vivid impressions. You can start your acquaintance with St. Ives at Worvas Hill on top of which sits Knill’s Monument. It was built in 1782 at the whim of then-mayor John Knill. He planned to make the building his mausoleum. Well, that did not work out, but now you can admire amazing views from the monument’s viewpoint. If you are not scared of strenuous hiking, you can take a scenic trip from St. Ives to Zennor. Along the route, you will discover the ruins of Clodgy Point, an old leper hospital, enjoy the views of the charming Seal Island, and gasp for breath admiring the Trig point’s oceanic panorama.

Artists love the place!

St. Ives is the point of attraction not only for tourists but also famous artists. At the beginning of the 19th century, a colony of artists settled in the town. They were the forerunners of the second wave led by Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, and potter Bernard Leach. The third influx followed in the 1960s and included Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and Patrick Heron. The most famous venerator of Cornwall is William Turner (1775-1851), who admired the extraordinary light illuminating the local landscapes. His romantic seascapes glorified this place. No wonder that the Tate Gallery opened its branch in St. Ives. The town also houses a sculpture garden and Barbara Hepworth workshop. Modern artists do not lose touch with St. Ives either. You can view their work at numerous exhibitions and art festivals annually hosted in this beautiful town.

The water activities

The tranquil and warm sea is a perfect playground for various water activities. You can take surfing, windsurfing or SUP lessons, and when you feel ready, set off to conquer the waves. If you deftly handle the paddle, do not hesitate to go sightseeing in a sea kayaking tour. If rowing is not your thing, no problem, hire a boat or yacht and take a tour around the coast of St. Ives and vicinities. Although perhaps the most memorable impressions await you on a dolphin and whale watching tour. Do not miss your chance to capture these mighty marine mammals tearing the sea surface to greet you.

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