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Things to do in St.Ives

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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 the perfect sun trap for those sun seekers!


Water sports 

If you fancy a bit of water sports, there are a few options depending on your activity. Surfing and body boarding are based on the Porthmeor Beach.  The St Ives Surf School is situated here, you can book lessons here and 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 the Hawaiian canoe on my birthday and had a great time, Glyn our skipper took us to a secret cove, he is very experienced on the water and 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.

You can book activites online.


Get the kit- wet suit hire/purchase

There are a few surf shops in St Ives where 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.

A great shop for hiring or purchasing wetsuits and boards from.

They will always do group or family deal too.

Off the Beaten Track, 2A Fore Street, St.Ives.


Boat Trips

On the harbour you will find companies running boat trips out of St Ives. 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 by the Porthmeor beach, along the rocky Cornish coast 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 there are a range of fishing trips, from mackerel fishing to wreck or deep sea fishing, to chartering your own boat.  You will need to book these trips as they 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

If you don’t fancy yourself as a beach goer, you can head over to Porthminster beach for some Pitch and Put



St.Ives is a bustling town in the summertime full of people shopping and browsing the streets in order to find clothes, gifts, arts, crafts and that little holiday souvenir 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 forgeting the all important fudge, confectioners and liquor shops. There is a big Mountain Wearhouse on Fore street that is packed with seasonal clothing, this is really handy if you forgot to pack your raincoats!

Your freshly baked morning 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 crafts to take home.


Art Courses in St. Ives 

At the St.Ives school of painting you will find various short Art courses, including drop in weekly Life drawing sessions. See their website for short courses, weekenders and more.


Galleries and Museums

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

St.Ives has an array of galleries, from The Tate, to the smaller Galleries selling Artists one off pieces.  Artists all conveying their individual perspective of St Ives and 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 its that after that one of piece or commission you after, 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.

The Tate gallery is an excellent place to get your holidays worth of Art.

There are tours and guides so you can discover the Art movement that started in St.Ives while being a small fishing town.


Barbara Hepworth

 A famous sculptour, that moved to St Ives with her young family at the outbreak of war. She lived and worked here for the rest of her life creating beautiful organic inspired pieces. Keep your eyes peeled for them around town!


The Barbara Hepworth Museum is in the centre of town, just off Fore street, on Barnoon Hill, St Ives TR26 1AD.

The Sculpture Garden and Museum was her actual studio and home.

It is definitely one of my top things to do in St Ives.

Tickets for the Tate and Hepworth Museum and can be bought together.


The history of St.Ives is extremely fascinating. You can visit the St.Ives Museum situated close to the access of Bamaluz beach. Here you will find everything you need to know about a small fishing town to tourist heaven.


Leach Gallery

Slightly out of the main hub of town and up by the Fire station, on the Higher Stennack, you will find a the Leach Gallery created by its founder Bernard Leach. Famous for Pottery production, Bernard’s popular designs attracted quite a following.

I have experienced a taster session on pottery making and glazing which was very enjoyable.



Go Karting

Just out of St. Ives around a 10 minute drive on the edge of Hayle. You will find the Go Karting track. This is the Go Karting track.  It has different Karts depending on age and height, its a fun activity, as a family we love a trip here.


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 with plenty to do and enjoy as a family. The Eden project is in St.Austell about a 50 minute drive. For gardens and places of natural interest visit