Introduction to St Ives
The town become famous because of the great influx of European artists, who have been drawn to the place not only due to it scenic location, but also for the brilliant light in the area. The Tate St Ives is a relatively new, excellent addition to the art life of entire Cornwall and features art from great international names. At the foot of the modern building, there's Porthmeor Beach which is excellent for basking in the sun or just taking a walk all year round.
The town is easy to explore on foot as traffic is entirely banned from the streets, yet getting around the area is easy due to local trains and the magical South West Coast Path which is a paradise for hikers and cyclists.
Culture & attractions in St Ives
Sculpture fans will love the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, where you can see the bronze, stone and wood work of Barbara Hepworth, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century.
The New Millennium Gallery is a unique collection of fine art and ceramics from artists who have been drawn to the area.
The Tate St Ives, a small branch of the London Tate showcases a collection of international modern art from artists like Alfred Wallis, Sir Terry Frost and Barbara Hepworth, but also features a section dedicated to Cornish artists. Barbara Hepworth fans will be glad to know that you can by a joint ticket for the Tate and the Hepworth studio.
St Ives is packed with beaches for every taste, from sheltered, quiet beaches perfect for sunbathing to those with wild, rolling waves that offer great surfing experiences and have inspired many a painting. Portminster Beach is another fun beach that is a great place for families to enjoy a fun-filled day with games and splashing in the sea.
Must-do highlights in St Ives
There is a variety of zoos and other places to experience wildlife in Cornwall, but Paradise Park is undoubtedly one of the best. More than 650 birds live here, among them beautiful parrots, flamingos, toucans and red-billed Cornish choughs, as well as red squirrels, red pandas, otters and a farm with donkeys, goats, guinea pigs and much more. The JungleBarn indoor play centre which is part of the park makes an excellent trip for the whole family on a rainy day.
St Michaels Mount is an island steeped in mystery and has an amazing history going back thousands of years. The causeway is said to have been the bridge of a giant, and later became and important place for Pilgrims to cross over the to the island. Explore the castle and the tropical gardens, watch for dolphins in the crystalline waters around the island or just while away the time in one of the small cafés in the 300 inhabitant village which is the heart of the island.
Picturesque Carbis Bay offers great views and a stellar sandy beach from you can swim, boat, surf, rock climb and much more. For an unusual view of the sea and St Ives, head to Barnoon Cemetery – it's not gloomy at all as the cemetery overlooks Porthmeor Beach and is a great place for an easy walk.
No visit to Cornwall would be complete without a stop in Land's End, the westernmost point of England, which also features a big visitor centre where you can learn about local history and shop to your heart's content.
Eating & drinking in St Ives
St Ives is famous for it's big variety of pasty shops, and the original Cornish pasties make for a great snack any time of the day. The Ocean Grill maybe offers the best seafood in St Ives. It might look like just another chippy from the outside, but don't be fooled. From breakfast to dinner, this is a place you surely will want to return to!
For something less heavy, head to The Bean Inn, one of the rare vegetarian restaurants in the area which also offers a traditional vegetarian Sunday roast.
Accommodation in St Ives
With a wide variety of holiday apartments and holiday houses, there's a home away from home for everyone in St Ives.
Whitsunday House is a lovely free-standing house on the outskirts of St Ives, and is the perfect place to relax after an action-filled day in and around town. It's also located just a five minute walk from Carbis Bay, from where a local train runs to the town centre.
The stylish three bedroom Helios Apartment is bright and sunny with excellent views of the sea and surrounding countryside.
If you prefer to be closer to the action, the Oceanis luxury apartments are a perfect refuge just a few minutes' walk from St Ives harbour and offer space for groups of all sizes and age.
So that's our round up of things to do on a weekend in St Ives. Have you ever been there? What would you recommend doing if someone went there for the weekend? Please share you experience with us…