• About St Ives

    St Ives is a fishing town protected from the dramatic North Cornwall coast and is renowned for its picturesque harbour, stunning sandy beaches and numerous little hidden coves.

    Photo by Malcolm Lightbody


    St Ives is an unspoilt seaside town with a picturesque bustle of whitewashed fisherman's cottages, art galleries, independent shops, bars and restaurants. Soak up the unique atmosphere whilst walking through the narrow cobbled streets that maze around the old part of the town called 'Downalong'.

    St Ives has eight beaches: Porthmeor a surfing beach, Porthgwidden a small sandy cove, popular for paddling and bathing, Bamaluz a sheltered cove but is very tide dependent, Harbour by the working port, Lambeth the entrance is a little rocky and is very tide dependent and Porthminster which has almost half a mile of sand popular with families. You also have Carbis Bay and Porth Kidney which you can walk to whilst on the South West Coast Path.


    St Ives was a small but thriving and growing town in the Middle Ages based on the traditional trades of mining and fishing, reaching its peak in the 19th Century. The fishing industry was based on catching pilchards (better known as sardines) with around 300 boats operating locally at its peak.

    Artists have been visiting St Ives since the early 19th Century. J M W Turner arrived in St Ives in 1811 on a mission to capture the essence of the beautiful and rugged South West. He managed to capture the unique pink light that the area is blessed with. Turner's masterpieces became an inspiration for thousands to make the same journey in search of that same pink light, making the town a magnet for some of the world's greatest painters, sculptors and ceramists.

    Photo by Maxwell Hunt
    Photo by Simon Godfrey


    St Ives has won various national awards including "best family holiday destination" by Coast magazine, "best seaside town" by The Guardian, one of the 10 best European beach destinations (voted by users of Tripadvisor), several beaches regularly winning the internationally renowned Blue Flag award. Recently the popular walk between St Ives and Zennor was voted to be one of the favourite walks in Britain (ITV Britain's Favourite Walks: Top 100). With these accolades, it is no wonder why St Ives is loved by many. St Ives has something for everyone whenever you are looking to holiday here.