For those whose idea of a perfect holiday is a stay in a leisurely seaside town with wonderful landscapes, excellent walks, fabulous food and drink and some culture to boot, St Ives, in Cornwall should top the list of must-see places. Set in one of the UK’s most picturesque locations, the town has a reputation amongst artists and creatives as an inspiring place to work and the quasi-Mediterranean climate (in summer) means that lovers of sun, sea and surf holidays can find their own patch of paradise in the UK without having to travel abroad.
There are plenty of St Ives holiday cottages available to rent in and around the town, and this type of accommodation is becoming more and more popular. Having the use of your own cottage means you can take advantage of the town’s thriving café and restaurant scene, take long ambling walks along the cliffs and pop in and out of the surf at your whim – all within a few easy steps of your comfortable St Ives holiday cottages.
Within the town, many of these cottages are authentic stone dwellings that typify this part of the UK but modernised with all the comforts of home – including WIFI, luxurious amenities and cosy décor.
Get out and about.
But, tempting as it may be to simply hibernate inside, there is plenty to see and do around St Ives. Whether it’s navigating the famous Coastal Trail by foot or cycle, hitting the local galleries (of which there are many) or heading out to tackle the surf on your board, there is literally something for everyone is this stunning area.
Often just steps away from the St Ives holiday cottages, there are several National Trust properties you can visit. It is fascinating to learn the history of these buildings and understand their context within the greater history of the UK.
While the most famous of all the galleries in the town is, naturally, the Tate St Ives, there are a plethora of smaller, more eclectic galleries hidden down the cobbled streets and in every nook and cranny of the town. Many showcase the work of local artists and their presence reinforces the area as a Mecca for artists. Many are drawn to the windswept landscapes and famed “light”, while others flock here for the laidback lifestyle and the creative vibe.
If you enjoy long rambling walks you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to get out in the fresh air while staying in one of the St Ives holiday cottages. Along the famous Coastal Trail you can discover small fishing villages like Mousehole, Lamorna and Porthcurno, or tackle the section around Gurnard’s Head and Zennor if you’re looking for some vigorous exercise.
For those travelling with families, the Eden Project should be high on the itinerary. Touted as the world’s largest greenhouse, the project is undertaking valuable conservation and research work while offering a wonderful and educational site for visitors to experience the beauty of the world’s flora – with biomes to represent countries from all over the globe.