The picturesque fishing town St Ives - often called the ‘jewel in Cornwall’s crown’ - has an abundance of beautiful beaches, incredible light beloved by artists and creatives, and a vibrant buzz. Voted best family holiday destination by Coast magazine, and with a boost in popularity thanks to the 2021 G7 summit, it's no surprise families and couples alike flock to this dreamy coastal retreat.
Whether you’re lucky enough to be heading to St Ives for a weekend or week-long stay, or are on the hunt for somewhere to stay, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Cornish Secrets we have a stunning range of luxury self-catering St Ives holiday cottages to fulfil your Cornish getaway.
But what’s the best way to spend your days in St Ives? Well, we’ll let you in on a secret (or 10), with our locals guide to St Ives…
What better way to start the day than with great coffee? The Kiosk in St Ives is nestled on the waterfront, overlooking the harbour, from where it sells single-origin coffee, roasted in Cornwall by Yallah Coffee Roasters, now you can’t get much more local than that. Yallah pride themselves on keeping things sustainable while producing a cracking cup of coffee.
From the harbour, why not take a boat trip to Seal Island? Home to a colony of grey seals, get up close and soak up the scenery – things always look gloriously different from the sea.
If it’s a good enough location for 2021’s G7 summit, then naturally a trip to neighbouring Carbis Bay has to be on the list. A 2 miles or 4.5mile circular walk, start out at the Trenwith car park. If you don’t fancy doing the whole loop why not hop on the train at Carbis Bay. The pretty route between St Erth and St Ives is regarded by many as one of the most scenic rail routes in Britain, and it’ll take just 15 minutes from Carbis Bay station.
No holiday in Cornwall is complete without tucking into a humble pasty. St Ives’ cobbled streets certainly aren’t short of a bakery or two. Our favourite? Head to independently owned St Ives Bakery, it sits on the corner of Fore Street. Choose from trusty traditional, Lamb n’ Mint, Chicken, Steak n’ Stilton, Vegetarian, Cheese n’ Onion, Cheese n’ Veg and Wholemeal Vegetarian.
Whether the sun is out, or it’s pouring with rain be sure to put some time aside to check out the Tate Gallery with its wonderful collection of modern art.
A small set of farmers and local allotments bring you fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at The Allotment Deli. They also make Cornish cheese hampers to order, we urge you to try their nettle-wrapped Yarg, it’s a delicacy.
All the exploring will build up quite the sugar craving. Check out the Moomaid of Zennor for its luxury Cornish farmhouse ice creams. We can’t get enough of the Salted Almond & Hazelnut Praline flavour, just keep those pesky seagulls away.
Don’t forget to trawl the sand for colourful pieces of sea glass. Sea glass is glass which has ended up in the sea and been polished by the waves. It is a treasure you can take home, so it also feels like a mini beach clean. St Ives mainly gives you white sea glass.
And lastly, don’t fill your days up! Allow some time to meander the streets of St Ives, it’s a feast for the eyes (and insta grid). Take in the atmosphere at the working harbour, appreciate a glorious sunset at Porthmeor Beach and explore Down-a-long’s cobbled streets lined with whitewashed Fishermen cottages.