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St IvesUnited Kingdom

With its white-washed cottages and white-sand beaches, this seaside village is as pretty as a painting and a magnet for artists and artistic happenings.

The town of St. Ives curves around a harbor overlooking the clear waters of its eponymous bay. Beyond the shoreline lie a cluster of fishermen’s cottages and narrow cobbled lanes where galleries, cafés and craft shops proliferate. Splash around in the surf and explore the impressive artistic offerings in town.

Though once just a regular fishing village, St. Ives has attracted many prominent artists since the early 19th century, including J.M.W. Turner and James McNeill Whistler. The town’s reputation as an artistic hub still remains and many renowned galleries are now based here.

Stop by the Tate St. Ives near the popular swimming spot of Porthmeor Beach. See works from modern British artists, including painter Ben Nicholson. Another important figure in the art scene of St. Ives is modernist sculptor Barbara Hepworth. She is honored at the Tate-owned Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Continue your artistic explorations at the Leach Pottery museum, where displays are devoted to the work of the master British potter Bernard Leach.

For relaxation during the warmer months, hit the golden sands of Porthminster Beach. From here, admire views of the Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famous 1927 novel To the Lighthouse. Adventurers surf, kayak and paddleboard here too.

Explore the labyrinthine streets in the old heart of the town, known locally as Downalong. To learn more about the town’s history, visit the St. Ives Museum. Exhibits focus on its mining, fishing and boatbuilding industries.

When dining, seafood is the obvious choice. Eat beer-battered fish and chips at a cozy gastro pub or try some other delicious Cornish seafood. In between meals, snack on traditional Cornish pasties, savory baked pastries filled with minced meat and vegetables.

There is lots to keep you excited and amused in St. Ives, but consider a boat excursion out to Seal Island, where a colony of seals reside.

St. Ives is located in Cornwall on England’s southwest coast. Make the 3-hour drive from Bristol or use rail or coach services instead. Enjoy simple seaside pleasures and artistic delights at this picturesque harbor town.

Top hotels in St Ives

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Tregenna Castle Resort
Tregenna Castle Resort
3 out of 5
Tregenna Castle Estate, Treloyon Avenue, St Ives, England

Situated by the sea, this spa resort is within 1 mile (2 km) of Carbis Bay Beach, Porthminster Beach and St Ives Harbour. Harbour Sand and St. Ives Theatre are ...

4/5Very Good! (389 reviews)

"Fantastic location and views, short walk into St Ives. Had seaview room with four poster bed and beautifully decorated. All around hotel was historical photos. Will be coming back."…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar 2020

Tregenna Castle Resort
St. Ives Harbour Hotel
St. Ives Harbour Hotel
4 out of 5
The Terrace, St Ives, England

Situated on the beach, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Porthminster Beach and St Ives Harbour. Harbour Sand and St. Ives Theatre are also within ...

4.2/5Excellent! (216 reviews)

"Good amount of space in our room, spa access up to 9pm was a treat, decent bar food and lovely staff"…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2020

St. Ives Harbour Hotel
Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate
Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate
4 out of 5
Carbis Bay, St Ives, England
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
£190
per night
30 Apr-1 May

Nestled on the beach, this St Ives hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Carbis Bay Beach and Porthminster Beach. St Ives Harbour is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) away. Carbis Bay ...

4.2/5Very Good! (48 reviews)

"Excellent hotel and staff where brilliant!, I can only complain about one thing room 116 the window in the shower room you CAN NOT lock or secure not ideal if you where to leave valuables in the room"…"

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2020

Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate

Popular things to do in St Ives

St Ives Harbour
Image for St Ives Harbour

St Ives Harbour

4.5/5(239 reviews)

Explore the waterfront in St Ives with a trip to St Ives Harbour. Stroll along the seaside in this culturally rich area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

Porthminster Beach
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Porthminster Beach

4.5/5(160 reviews)

Rent a hut and play mini-golf with your family with a picturesque backdrop of headland cliffs, the sea and the Godrevy Lighthouse.

Porthmeor Beach
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Porthmeor Beach

4.5/5(95 reviews)

Enjoy views of rugged cliffs and take lessons with a local surf school at this picturesque cove that has long inspired artists.

Tate St. Ives
Image for Tate St. Ives

Tate St. Ives

4.5/5(86 reviews)

At the seaside outpost of this renowned British gallery, exhibitions celebrate the work of artists who have lived and worked in St. Ives.

Carbis Bay Beach
Image for Carbis Bay Beach

Carbis Bay Beach

4.5/5(74 reviews)

If a restful holiday is part of your travel plans, Carbis Bay Beach might be the perfect place to visit during your trip to St Ives. While you're in the area, stroll along the seaside.

Barbara Hepworth Museum
Image for Barbara Hepworth Museum

Barbara Hepworth Museum

Witness the work of a celebrated sculptor in her St. Ives home, where she experimented with new materials and made works that were inspired by the Cornish landscape.

Top activities in St Ives

Sterling Silver Heart Stud Earring Workshop
Image for Sterling Silver Heart Stud Earring Workshop

Sterling Silver Heart Stud Earring Workshop

£36
Per adult
Sterling Silver Ring (3 mm) Workshop
Image for Sterling Silver Ring (3 mm) Workshop

Sterling Silver Ring (3 mm) Workshop

£42
Per adult
Sterling Silver Bangle (3 mm) Workshop
Image for Sterling Silver Bangle (3 mm) Workshop

Sterling Silver Bangle (3 mm) Workshop

£49
Per adult
Sterling Silver Circle Stud Earrings
Image for Sterling Silver Circle Stud Earrings

Sterling Silver Circle Stud Earrings

£36
Per adult
St Ives Ghost Walk
Image for St Ives Ghost Walk

St Ives Ghost Walk

£5
Per adult
Sterling Silver Bangle (2mm)
Image for Sterling Silver Bangle (2mm)

Sterling Silver Bangle (2mm)

£39
Per adult

Reviews of St Ives

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
92
5 - Excellent 69.17293233082707%
4 - Good
36
4 - Good 27.06766917293233%
3 - Okay
4
3 - Okay 3.007518796992481%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.7518796992481203%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Mar 2020

Recommend Crab & Rum Shack

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Jan 2020

My partner and I stayed at the Mustard Tree over New Year and I cannot praise Mark and Anna (the owners) enough. Lovely B&B and even lovelier people. They made the trip. facilities were great, breakfast was excellent. Best part was Mark and Anna.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan 2020

Fabulous for NYE celebrations

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan 2020

We visited St Ives for NewYear and really enjoyed the evening.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

25 Nov 2019

Great place to visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Oct 2019

Fantastic stay ! We're definitely coming back next year 