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Things to do in St.Ives

Things to do in St.Ives


One of the most favourite things to do in St.Ives, is go to the beach and set up a camp there all day long until the sun goes down.

All the beaches have a different vibe, (see beach guide) depending what you are planning to do… quite often one beach may be windy where another is a sun trap!

Water sports 

If you fancy  a bit of water sports, there are a few options depending on your activity. Surfing and body boarding you are best to be on the Porthmeor Beach.  The St Ives Surf School is situated here,  You can book lessons here or hire surf boards and suits.

Or head over to Carbis Bay beach where you will find Ocean sports centre,  an excellent water sports centre.  Here you can hire stand up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, you can even go on a  hawaiian canoe experience, we hired his on my birthday and had a great time, Glyn our skipper  of the hawaiian canoe took us to a secret cove, he is a very experienced water man and we felt really safe in his hands.  They also run a kids club during the summer months. Check out their website for more exciting water sports and all the up to date info. http://www.oceansportscentre.co.uk

Get the kit- wet suit hire/purchase

There are a few surf shops in St Ives that you can buy of hire wet suits from.

However, we always use Off The Beaten Track, situated on fore street, these guys have always given us a good honest service, they really take time to fit the wet suits properly. An excellent shop to hire or purchase wetsuits and boards from. they will always do group or family deals too.  Off the Beaten Track, 2A Fore Street, St.Ives.

My sons recently bought a boards here last summer, they have had heaps of fun on them and they will last for years.

These are the charges that they apply. (Feb 2017)

The charges Daily and Weekly are:

D    W

Summer Suits –    £5   £25

Winter Suits –       £8   £35

Surfboards are:

Soft boards –         £10  £45

Bodyboard –          £5    £25


Boat Trips

There are a range of boats  trips that run out of St Ives, along the harbour you will find  a few companies that offer boat trips. What ever your trip, don’t forget to look out for dolphin pods!

Go see the seals 

This boat trip goes round the back of the harbour and passes the Porthmeor beach along the rocky Cornish cast line to the home of the Grey Atlantic seals, here they bask in the sunshine on what has been named seal Island!

Fishing Trips

As well as the seal trips their are a range of fishing trips, from mackerel fishing to wreck or deep sea fishing to chartering your own boat.  You will need to booking these trips as these trips are very popular with budding fishers!

Self Drive & Rib Rides 

If fishing or seal watching is not your thing how about a driving your own boat or even getting the adrenalin pumping with a rib ride?

Boat Companies




Pitch and Put at Porthminster & Porthmeor

If you don’t fancy yourself as a beach goer, you can head over to Porthminster beach, or Porthmeor beach at Clodgy, and set yourself up for a round of golf over looking the beautiful beaches and sea.


St.Ives is a bustling town in the summertime full of people shopping and browsing the streets in order to find clothes, gifts, arts and crafts, or souvenirs to take back home.

The main shopping Street is Fore Street, but the shops bars and cafes are spread out far more than just Fore Street. What I love about St Ives is there is so much to explore around the cobbled streets and alleys. You will find individual gift shops, galleries, arts and crafts clothing shops, boutiques, glass shops, antiques and furniture shops. Not to forget the all important fudge and confectioners shops. Also there is a big Mountain Wearhouse that is packed with seasonal clothing, this is really handy. Another handy place is Boots on the way into to town, and another chemist on Fore Street. Don’t worry about cash you will find loads of banks. And your freshly morning baked bread is produced at various bakers dotted around St.Ives.

You can always find something unique to buy, surfer hoodies are a must, along with some local Art or craft to take home.


Art Courses in St. Ives 

At the St.Ives school of painting you will find  various courses, including drop in Life drawing sessions. see their website for short course, weekenders and more.  www.schoolofpainting.co.uk


Galleries and Museums

A main attraction to St.Ives is its Art culture, that has through History thrived upon the beautiful landscape.

St.Ives has a array of galleries, from The Tate, to the smaller Galleries selling Artists works.  Artists all conveying their perspective of St Ives, how the light and space has inspired  them to create amazing pieces.  Galleries in St ives offer a range of  Art works with studies beyond St Ives and using a range of media, processes and disciplines,  So if you are after that one of piece or commission you are in the right place.

The Tate gallery 

Over looking the famous Porthmeor Surf beach, the Tate Gallery is a must to visit, for exhibitions and events visit their website. http://www.tate.org.uk. The Tate gallery is an excellent place to get your holidays worth of local art. It features a lot of exhibitions with a amazing artwork.

There are also tours for it so you can discover that art movement that started in St.Ives while being a small fishing village.

Barbara Hepworth

 She was a famous sculpturist, that moved to St Ives with her young family at the outbreak of war. She lived here for the rest of her life.   The Barbara Hepworth Museum is in the centre of town,  just off Fore street, Barnoon Hill, St Ives TR26 1AD.  This was her actual studio and home. It is a Sculpture Garden and Museum.  Its definitely one of my top things to do in St Ives. Tickets for the Tate and Hepworth Museum can be bought together.

The history of St.Ives is also fascinating. You can visit the St.Ives Museum which is close to the access of Bamaluz and in there you will find everything you need to know, from a small fishing town to tourist heaven.

Leach Gallery

This is up by the top of St.Ives. It was a famous  Pottery production place where Bernard produced pottery and other sculpture pieces. However I have been up there for a session on making pottery with my kids which was a enjoyable experience. You will find it if you head to the bus top on the edge of the main town by bot Co-operatives. Then you can head up to the top of the hill past the surgery and forestation until you reach the Leach pottery.http://www.leachpottery.com/


Go Karting

Just out of St. Ives a 5 minute drive from St.Ives, in Hayle. As you take the route out of St.Ives and head towards the lower road to Hayle past the estuary, yo will see a road on your right. If you head up this road you will find the Go Karting track. This is the Go Karting track.  It has different Karts depending on age and height, and its a fun activity, as a family we love a trip here.http://www.coast2coastkarting.co.uk/

Cornwall Gardens

Cornwall hosts a fantastic amount of gardens to visit, all constructed under the precision of great gardeners with real talent. We have visited The Eden project, probably one of the most famous gardens in Cornwall, consisting of tropical and summer flowerings. It is a great day out as their are loads of things to enjoy as a family. This is in St.Austell a 50 minute drive. But not to worry if this is too far their are many close by. Head over to http://www.visitcornwall.com

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