The sun doesn’t always shine in St Ives but that’s no cause for worry. On the rainier days, there are plenty of enjoyable activities to keep you entertained, enabling you to immerse yourself in the culture and magic of the area and make your trip just as worthwhile as it would have been during the sun.
Check out our list of tenntenine things you can do in St Ives while it’s raining below and book your holiday cottage with us to make the most of the rainy weather activities in town!
1. Visit the Tate St Ives
Located right on the waterfront, the Tate St Ives is a world-renowned art gallery dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Spend your rainy day exploring the impressive collections and exhibitions, including works inspired by St. Ives’ unique landscapes and showcasing the work of both famous and local artists..
The expansive windows provide panoramic views of the sea and views out over Porthmeor Beach, with the views being incorporated into the visual art of the museum itself.
From paintings to sculptures and multimedia installations, Tate St Ives offers a thought-provoking journey through the world of modern art, providing an engaging experience for visitors looking to learn more about art and interact with the wider community.
These activities include workshops, talks and interactive activities for visitors of all ages. Add that to the diversity of the exhibitions held here and you can be sure you’ll never run out of something to do on a rainy visit.
Don’t forget to take time out for a little refreshment before you leave at the Cafe at Tate St Ives, located on the top floor of the gallery with its stunning views over Porthmeor Beach.
2. Explore the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
Delve into the world of renowned artist Barbara Hepworth by visiting her former home and studio. Marvel at her sculptures, displayed in an inspiring garden setting that perfectly complements the art and the St. Ives scenery.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is not just a museum; it’s a glimpse into the life and creative genius of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated sculptors. Inside Hepworth’s former studio, you’ll find a captivating display of her sculptures, tools and personal artefacts. The museum’s intimate setting allows you to appreciate the intricate details of Hepworth’s work and understand her artistic process.
The sculpture garden is another complete experience in itself, marrying the magic of art and nature to create a display that has charmed and fascinated visitors for decades. Hepworth’s sculptures harmonise beautifully with the lush greenery and stunning sea views, creating a serene atmosphere on rainy days. The best course of action would be to explore the museum during rainy periods and heading out into the garden during the dry spells in between.
3. St Ives Museum
Another great rainy day option is a trip to the iconic St Ives Museum on Wheal Dream. Discover the history and heritage of St. Ives and discover more about the town’s maritime, fishing and artistic history through a fascinating collection of artefacts and exhibits.
St Ives Museum is a treasure trove of local history, offering a captivating journey through the town’s past. It’s not just a place for history buffs; it’s a fun place for families to come and relax as you wait out the rain.
The museum’s exhibits include everything from vintage fishing gear and seafaring artefacts to documents and photographs that provide insight into the lives of the people who have called St Ives home over the centuries.
What sets St Ives Museum apart is its commitment to community engagement. It often hosts events, talks and exhibitions that explore various aspects of St Ives’ history and culture. So, even on a rainy day, you can delve deep into the town’s rich and diverse heritage, gaining a deeper appreciation for this coastal gem.
4. Indulge in Cornish Cuisine at a Local Café or Restaurant
St Ives is home to numerous cosy cafes and restaurants where you can savour Cornish delicacies. Try fresh seafood, Cornish pasties or a traditional cream tea while sheltering from the rain.
St Ives’ dining scene is a culinary journey that shouldn’t be missed, especially on a rainy day. While the rain taps on the windows, indulge in the cosy atmosphere of local cafes and restaurants. Warm up with a bowl of hearty Cornish fish chowder locally sourced from the area or head to any one of a number of bakeries or cake shops to grab a freshly baked pasty.
Many of these establishments prioritise sourcing local, seasonal ingredients, so you can expect a true taste of Cornwall with every bite. There a wide range of international cuisines on offer too from Thai to Mexican, enabling you to carve out your own culinary journey in St Ives and discover new and exciting tastes.
5. Shop for Unique Souvenirs
St Ives has a vibrant arts and crafts scene and you can spend your rainy day exploring its many shops to find the perfect souvenir to take home with you as a lasting memory. Pick up unique pottery, jewellery or artwork created by local artisans. You will be able to pick up an item you won’t find anywhere else and give back to the community at the same time.
Many shop owners are artists themselves and they are often more than happy to share insights into their craft and the inspiration behind their creations. Whether you’re looking for a special memento of your trip or a thoughtful gift for a loved one, St Ives’ boutiques have something for everyone.
6. Watch a Show at St Ives Theatre
Head to St Ives Theatre for an evening of live entertainment. Check their schedule for plays, concerts and performances that are sure to keep you engaged and entertained with plenty of options for family friendly viewing.
The intimate setting of the theatre ensures that you’re never too far from the action, allowing you to fully engage with the performances. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or just looking for an entertaining way to spend your rainy evening, St Ives Theatre provides an enjoyable and memorable experience.
7. Enjoy a Pint at a Cozy, traditional Pub
Seek refuge from the rain in one of St Ives’ charming pubs. Warm up with a pint of locally brewed ale or cider while chatting with friendly locals or fellow travellers and make the most of the quintessentially Cornish atmosphere.
St Ives is home to several charming pubs that serve a diverse range of food and drinks. These pubs often feature traditional décor, cosy fireplaces and a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
From classic fish and chips to Cornish sausages and stews, you can pair your favourite dishes with a fine selection of beverages that provides the perfect escape from the rainy weather.
8. Participate in a Cooking Class
Some local cooking schools in St Ives offer classes where you can learn to cook traditional Cornish dishes. It’s a fun and interactive way to spend a rainy day while acquiring new culinary skills.
Embrace the flavours of Cornwall by taking a cooking class on a rainy day. Several local cooking schools offer hands-on experience. Under the guidance of skilled chefs, you’ll discover the secrets behind creating a wide range of dishes, whether they be savoury or sweet.
These classes are not only educational but also a lot of fun. You’ll get to work with fresh, local ingredients and gain valuable cooking skills and ideas that you can take home with you. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious dishes you’ve prepared, making it a memorable and tasty rainy-day activity.
9. Take Part in a Creative Workshop
Aside from cooking classes, St Ives also provides a wide range of arts and crafts workshops. Take advantage of the rain to learn a new skill and spend your time doing something fun whether you’re travelling with family, friends or a romantic partner.
From pottery and painting to jewellery-making and photography, these workshops offer the chance to learn new skills under the guidance of talented local artists. The stunning coastal landscapes, charming cobbled streets and the artistic history of St. Ives make it a perfect backdrop for unleashing your inner artist, as well as providing plenty of inspiration.
These workshops are an opportunity to connect with the town’s vibrant artistic community, share ideas, and create something beautiful to take home as a lasting memory of your visit.
10. Relax in Your Holiday Cottage
If the weather is too bad or if you just want to unwind from exploring town, the holiday cottage you’re renting from us can prove to be just as good a refuge as the halls of our best and most lauded art galleries.
There’s no shortage of things to do in your home away from home. Keep stocked up on food and devise meals that bring the heart of St Ives into the kitchen, making the most of local ingredients to create your own culinary experience.
You can even pop the telly on for a family movie night or snuggle up with your loved one and your favourite book, drinking wine or warm coffee to while away the evening hours. If you have board games or card games on hand, you can add a fun spark to your rainy day proceedings or simply settle down on the sofa to call loved ones from home and catch up with their lives.
Whatever your interests, you’re bound to find something to do on a rainy day in St Ives that is sure to leave you with a lasting, memorable experience now. Book a cottage with us today and make the most of the opportunities on offer.