The location of attractions is intended only as a guide. Distances are 'as the crow flies'.
One for foodies and families alike! Producing quality pub food from local produce at pub prices, the award winning Queens Hotel is establishing itself as one of Cornwall’s leading pubs for food. A family-friendly establishment in the heart of St Ives, where the staff provide an unpretentious, friendly atmosphere, just minutes from the sea.
This large, sheltered, sandy St Ives beach is great for families, close to all facilities and home to the excellent Porthminister Beach Cafe.
Wonderful beach in the heart of St Ives
A must visit beach with great beach restaurant
Lovely Beach close to St Ives
Porthminster Beach is a small sandy beach just on the edge of St Ives with pure white sand - perfect for family time. The water is great for paddling and there are good facilities close by - a beach shop, juice bar and ice cream stall as well as a take-away cafe and the essential toilet facilities.
The Porthminster Beach Cafe is open for morning coffee and afternoon tea as well as lunch and dinner. The cakes are fab and the views amazing from the deck. The good thing about Porthminster Beach is that is is bigger than the main Harbour beaches so you'll have more space whilst still being just a stone's throw from town. Enjoy!
Taking place throughout the year, these walking tours give a facinating insight into the history, art and people of St Ives. Tours start from The Guildhall (Visitor Information Centre) and run for appoximately 75 minutes.
Winner of the Best UK Coastal Town at the British Travel Awards for the third year on the trot, a St Ives holiday is a must for anyone visiting Cornwall. The picturesque harbour has plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can just sit back, relax and watch the world go by as you stay in one of our self catering cottages in St Ives.
There is a maze of cobbled streets behind the harbour to be explored, with holiday cottages, shops, galleries and artisan delis all waiting to be discovered. St Ives bay has beaches galore to suit everyone's holiday needs. Harbour Sands and Porthminster beach offer sheltered bays for the family but a short stroll around to Porthmeor Beach means you are more likely to catch a wave or two and let the surfing bug take hold.
The cliff walks are stunning for those that prefer not to sit around in one of our St Ives holiday cottages, with panoramic views of sparkling sea and a coastline of beautiful sandy bays. The unusual micro-climate and unique quality of natural light have ensured that St Ives has long been a Mecca for artists, inspiring painters and sculptors alike for well over 100 years.
Testament to this is it has become home to not only the Tate St Ives, but the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden, the St Ives Society of Artists and the St Ives art school.
We have gone to great lengths to handpick only the best St Ives cottages to ensure that your break is as relaxing as possible and you will have a self catering holiday to remember for years to come.
St Ives is a big place and has everything you could need for your holiday having a classic fish 'n' chips, corner shops for groceries, pubs etc it's a must go too for the experience.
Myself and my partner have visited St Ives on numerous occasions in both the summer and winter time. There is so much to do and see whilst here. It is so full of character with it's cobbled streets and beachfront restaurants. Even better in wintertime when places are much less busy! Great to sit on a balcony of one of the restaurants and watch the tide! There is a wide variety of shops and restaurants to suit all tastes! We love walking along the harbour rain or shine. We have often seen seals visiting in the summer months which is always lovely. I'm sure that we will be back again and again! Lots of small arty shops which sell some lovely things! Definitely our favorite place in the South West!
A myriad of cobbled streets with art galleries and independent quaint shops makes this town a must-see for anyone who loves Cornwall. Not much else to do there though - unless you want to laze on the beaches which are nice and sandy.
We avoided the Tate Gallery because of the admission charges for adults, but there were plenty of other art galleries (all free) - and often artist working in / outside them.
Get there early for parking - and be prepared to walk quite a way (up/down steep hills) to reach the harbour/beach/ Art Galleries. For all practical purposes, you can't drive round St Ives - there are restrictions for non-locals and the roads are extremely narrow anyway! A great place for 'mooching around'! 5*, except for parking access, which lowers score to 4*
I'm very surprised to have so few reviews. St Ives is without doubt one of the prettiest towns in Cornwall, the view as you approach it from the train is quite breathtaking. You could be forgiven for thinking you have been transported to the south of France. There is an incredible amount of galleries, shops, eateries.
A must see.
No town can be better provided with beaches than St Ives, on any day it's possible to find a patch of sand to suit. The variety of beaches mean that you can spend a morning surfing at the more exposed Porthmeor followed by an afternoon on the lilo at the sheltered island or picturesque harbour beach. The problem with seagulls is over exagerated, just use common sense in choosing a location to unwrap your chips!
One restaurant, one beach, one menu, one excellent approach to food. Recommended in the Times (2012) as one of the top five places to eat fish!
Nice but VERY expensive
Agree with comments as far as very tasty, freshly cooked food and great views straight over the sea go. We arrived on the off chance and got a seat on the terrace, it was rather chilly but they gave us rugs! However you pay for the privilege, we are probably not high class diners but £66 for 2 courses for 2 people? Including £6 for what was really quite a small glass of wine? Ouchie. Stick with coffee and get your main meal elsewhere.
Absolutely superb lunch at a magnificent location - and service to match
Simply The Best!
Forget Michelin Stars, this must be one of the best restaurants in Cornwall. No need to say any more!
great place on the beach
Walked from Carbis Bay to St Ives on the coastal path - the walk was lovely but somewhat busy. Spotted the beach cafe on our way out and couldn't resist on our way back! Had a good lunch on the beach at the cafe - dogs are allowed so a massive plus for us, then returned back to the station car park at Carbis Bay.
Excellent food/ambiance/service so do try it!
Has to be one of the best places to stop for a coffee!!
Great location and very good food. Service a bit patchy - some new staff being trained?
We were lucky enough to get a table last week and the food was delicious! The atmosphere was really chilled, great staff and a view to die for.
Not only excellent for the food & view, but award winning too!
This is a real treasure - we always recommend to friends when they visit St Ives. Beautifully fresh food, lovely staff and the views are just out of this world. If you want to try it out, you can just have coffee and cake - but book for lunch or dinner or you may not get in. It is great for family dining too - they prefer you to eat early in the evening with children and although they don't advertise a children's dinner menu - they do offer a selection of dishes for them.
Our favourite restaurant. Excellent food and wine. The Telegraph gave it a 10 out of 10- very rare indeed-we would give it 12 out of 10. The decor and views are outstanding with lovely touches (the wine comes in a beach bucket cooler). Imaginative fresh dishes that are simply mouth watering. Don't miss it!
The Porthminster Beach Cafe is delightful. The staff, location, food and consistant high standards always makes for a fantastic treat! Something to share with family and loved ones alike.
This local landmark looks like something straight out of a fairytale; a medieval castle perched on top of a little tidal island, complete with cobbled streets and even its own harbour and gardens. At low tide, 'the Mount' can easily be reached on foot from Marazion town by way of a man-made granite causeway. Wait for high tide to take the lazy option and go by ferry. If you've got time to kill while you wait, you can enjoy the view across Mount's Bay with a pint in hand at The Godolphin Arms near the ferry departure point.
Perfect also for children
A MUST TO VISIT....
St Michael's Mount is a truly unique and magical place and was the highlight of our stay. Check the tides on the website; you need to walk the Causeway one way and get the boat in the other as the tide will come in/out while you are there. I would advise going early during the high season. That way you will park easily in the National Trust Car Park on the beach and will avoid the worst of the crowds. Both National Trust Cafes on the Mount do amazing food, often sourced from local producers, and they have spectacular views of the mainland. The Crab Rarebit will linger in my memory...mmm!
The warnings of uneven ground should be heeded; you do need to wear supportive footwear...no flip-flops! The cobbled, steep paths up to the Mount are poorly maintained and have great gaps in between the cobbles. One section known as 'The Pilgrim Steps' dates from mediaeval times and are now little more than tumbledown boulders that have to be scrambled up. Buggies are better left behind or you will end up carrying them (and the kids)!
However, it is SO worth the climb for the amazing views from the top and to look around the house and Church. What a history! Medieval Abbey, to Civil War fortress, and now a private residence. Stunning!
Be prepared to hike
Whether you walk across the causeway or get the ferry (likelihood is you'll do both), at some point you will have to walk. The walk from quay to either the gardens or the castle is a bit of a trek, with the latter needing the visitor to scramble up steep cobbled steps and pathways. Once you reach either the strenuous walk is immediately forgotten as you are left agog at the stunning views, both natural and man made.
The top of the castle commands spectacular views across Mount Bay, with Newlyn, Penzance and Marazion all within a perfect vista. If you're brave enough you can peer over the ramparts and spy the fabulous gardens from on high.
Children are easily entertained by the castle quiz and they get a prize at the end, adults can simply wonder at the artefacts on display and the fabulous architecture.
Well worth a visit
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to St Michael's mount. The castle was delightful and there was much more to it than we had expected. Would recommend a walking stick/pole for the ascent to the castle.
Perfect day out
We love St Michael's Mount. If the tide is right you can walk across to the mount and then get a boat ride back. The house and surrounding area are very atmospheric and if you are fortunate enough you will get to see the Basking Sharks. A great day out and well worth a visit.
Good day out for all the family
Took the ferry as it was high tide. A long queue but with several ferries we didn't have to wait long. Kids enjoyed the ferry ride and the interesting things in the castle. Quite a steep climb on cobbles up to the castle so wished I had worn more sensible shoes but worth the climb. Cafe's were good and also places to picnic. Lovely views from the castle. Spent several hours on St Michael's Mount.
A truly worthwhile visit and highly recommended. But you do need to be physically fit and able to cope with steep uphills on cobbled paths! Not for the elderly or infirm!
Lovely day out
We got there on a small boat. Had a nice scone in the cafe and waked around the house. Lovely day out
Fabulous views on the mount !
The views are amazing and the castle is full of history. A bonus is the castle is still inhabited as a family home, which gives it a nice lived in feel. Gardens look fantastic from the ramparts, but are not open every day. Phone up before you visit to check tide times. We went out by boat, then walked back across the causeway.
The NT cafe is lovely, and you can have an above average waitress served meal.
I would recommend everyone to make the walk across to the Mount, it is magical but do watch the tides!
ST M's Mount
Well worth being a member of the National Trust to be able to enjoy this treasure. Great afternoon's outing for family - we had our 2 older teenage kids who were very happy to go round the castle. Lovely place to sit and relax too enjoying an ice cream after you've viewed the property. Keep your eye on the tide though - it comes in very quickly but it adds to the fun to have to wade back through thigh-high water!
The view from Sunnyside over St Michael's Mount is magical and a trip there doesn't disappoint. We were impatient for the tide to recede and so began our visit by paddling over the causeway, an adventure in itself. The walk up to the house was an exciting scramble, but not for the infirm. At the top the views were tremendous and the property quite as wacky as the octagonal dairy on the way up suggested it would be. Lunch in the tea shop was one of the best we had during our stay. All in all, a delight. Brilliant for anyone with children. Best not paddle over the causeway if you're taking the buggy though.
Wonderful St Michael's Mount
When in the area there is nothing nicer to do, whatever the weather, than walk or take a boat to the Mount (depending on the tide). At low tide you can meander up the causeway the to the Mount where a nice NT cafe awaits and a steep walk up to the castle (passing over the giant's heart on the way), here the views across the Mount's gardens are second to none. A magestic place.
Check the tide times before you leave, as it's great to walk over to the mount. If you have small children it is better to walk or bring a baby carrier as pushing a buggy on the cobbles is really hard work. It's a magical place, nothing quite like it, it's amazing how the access to the mount suddenly appears and then disappears later in the day. There is also a fab outside play area for children with plenty to do for small tots and children up to about 12 years.
Sub tropical gardens
Great attraction to visit if you haven't already been. The castle is worth the climb, and the gardens are wonderful - many sub tropical species there which can only be found in this part of England. Well worth a visit.
Set out from a beautiful beach, this is a great place for a day out. If the tide is in you can get a boat across to the Mount which is great fun. There are lovely gardens as well as the Mount to explore.
A trip to St Michael's Mount is a wonderful way of spending a sunny summer's afternoon or even a beautiful autumn one, if you want to avoid the crowds! The view of the castle in the bay is so well known, it is lovely to get another perspective of the coastline by looking back from the island to Marazion beach and the sweep of the bay to Penzance. To get the full experience you need to walk across the causeway at low tide (there are often puddles!!) but the walk up to the castle itself is very steep, so not a day for heels! The restaurant is nice, and there is also a tea-room/cafe, but we like to buy pasties in Philps at Marazion and sit round the island's harbour to eat them. On your ascent to the castle don't forget to look out for the heart of Cormoran the Giant, now turned to stone...
Wonderful five minute trip by sea or if the tide is low, you can walk across the causeway to this fairy tale castle which dominates Mounts Bay. Steep walk up to the castle itself which is not for the faint hearted! Those who would rather not can wander round the little harbour. Good coffee and pasties at the Cafe or there is the Sail Loft Restaurant. N.T. shop. There is plenty to see in the Castle and the views from it are stunning.
The Cornish theatre with real ‘wow’ factor is the Minack. Perched on the cliffs at Porthcurno, the Minack is an open-air theatre-in-the-round – and a triumph of vision over reality.
Stunning views, gardens, ammenities and the actual theatre itself is worth the trip down alone. Recommended to anyone visiting Cornwall, add the MinackTheatre to your itinerary.
An Absolute Must!
The views from this magical place are gorgeous and all the gardens that are painstakingly laid out between the seats are a real pleasure to see,but the theatre itself is so spectacular that it almost takes your breath away.We have been to Cornwall lots of times and have always promised ourselves a visit to the Minack but this was the first time that we had made it.I have to say that having been once we will certainly be returning.Thank you Rowena Cade for starting this truly magical place!
An absolute must!
Worth a visit. Wonderful views, sea birds amazing to watch. Warm welcome good cafe, great cakes!
A unique experience!
What can one say? This was my second trip to The Minack, but my partners first. She was utterly enthralled - the production of "Mack & Mabel" was fabulous! But, let's be honest, the real star of the show is the theatre itself - absolutely tranquil setting, looking out over the sea and Porthcurno Beach while the production unfurls before you (there is something truly magical about the sound of the sea drifting in during the quiet parts of the show). Really - if you do one thing whilst in Cornwall, please make it a trip to see a play at The Minack Theatre. You surely will not regret it - and it's outstanding value for money too (less than a tenner for a seat)!
Minack Theatre – Spectacular
The story about how the theatre was created is fascinating.
The views from inside the theatre and out to sea are stunning.
Once you have visited the theatre either walk down the footpath or go to the car back at The Telegraph Museum and walk down to Porthcurno Beach. What a way to spend a day.
Have wanted to visit Minack for ages & it lived up to expectations, fantastic views & what an amazing story.
Wonderful evening at the Minack Theatre
Wonderful evening at the Minack Theatre performance of David Copperfield. The weather on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon had been appalling - pouring rain- but we received text updates from the Minack, and in line with the BBC weather forecast the rain stopped in time for the show and later on the moon shone over the sea. The play was very well done and we all enjoyed it, even the teenage boys. We wrapped up warmly and invested in hire of the Minack padded seat cushions with backs. This year we had stone seats with backs which were much more comfortable than sitting on the grass terraces. I booked the seats online about a month in advance, and I believe they were sold out for the week's run of the play.
Squashbox Theatre - Craig
If Squashbox repeats in 2013 ...you must go and see it. Morning shows for children - but equally enthralling for Adults.
Craig is a fantastic performer and you get the chance to see the Minack.
But you will need to book - performances in August are usually sold out a few days in advance.
Amazing and great value
I rang the theatre to ask for advice and they were incredibly helpful.Unfortunately the weather was rubbish - but the show went on and we enjoyed a great play in an amazing location - even the weather couldnt ruin the evening. Well worth a visit and good value for money.
Worth every penny - the history about how the theatre was created is fascinating; the views from inside the theatre and out to sea are stunning.
Excellent attraction with fantastic views.
We tried to book tickets online prior to our visit, but the theatre was fully booked. However, when we visited during the day, we found that the booking office had received some cancellations and we were delighted to be able to get tickets for two days later . Worth checking with the booking office when you visit!
This is truly uplifting, the story about it is amazing ,the views are simply wonderful. No plays on when we visited but truly a great place to spend some time, free car-park!! decent reasonably priced cafe, friendly staff.
We got tickets to see Titanic The Musical which was being performed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Adult tickets were a very reasonable £8 for the upper terraces, which gave a decent view. We all wrapped up warm with blankets and foam sit mats (essential) and thoroughly enjoyed the show. The backdrop of the sea and cliffs on the opposite side of the bay gave this show special significance. The real water gushing down the steps and the marine distress flare illuminating the sea made this a truly emotional and memorable experience.
Go to the Minack Theatre - you won't be disappointed
Read the story of Minack Theatre before visiting and then marvel at what you see there!
Saw Pirates of Penzance in Sept and was fab. Do take warm clothes even if the weather seems mild and totally exposed to elements! My partner nearly had frost bite on his ears so had to buy a silly hat! Some people who were not dressed for cold weather left at the interval.
Wonderful - everyone should visit this place, truly amazing.
A wonderful place to visit, for all the family. Attended chidren's storytelling session on a Tuesday morning (on Tues. & Thurs. morning during summer holidays), which was a great hit with both children and adults. Enjoyed some delicious Cornish pasties in the cafe on site before heading down to Porthcurno beach below - a great day out!Superb views when the weather is fine.
Fantastic. Super setting for The Death of Sherlock Holmes which was funny and very entertaining. Wrap up warm, even on a summer's evening, and take cushions to sit on. Plenty of opportunity in the break to wander round and explore,taking photographs, up and down the steps. We bought fish'n'chips in Sennen to eat there which were lovely rather than have the hassle of carrying a picnic round all day.
A superb location, made even better by a great performance.
We loved the Minack: the turquoise sea as a backdrop to the action on the stage. We were there for a matinee on a hot September day in 2010. A traditional production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikardo by actors from Cambridge University. Many years ago, a friend had performed in this at the Minack.
Words of warning: the tiers are very steep, and the sun can be very hot: not a venue for the very elderly (who were there when we were, but a couple were overcome by heat). Recommend the canvas seat covers which make the narrow tiered seats, cut from the rock, more comfy.
The Minack Theatre
A wonderful venue. Attending at least one event is a must. Take plenty of warm clothing along with a picnic and something hot to drink because you really are exposed to the elements. Early booking is essential for many events. If you love the theatre then a visit to the Minack is not to be missed. Plenty of easy access parking.
A stunning location for this original open air theatre. Fantastic views with the possibility of fabulous sunsets. If you are lucky you may also see dolphins. Book early for the summer time plays as it is very popular and remember to take a picnic and lots of warm clothing!
Open air theatre built by Rowena Cade in the most stunning cliff top setting near Penzance at Porthcurno.
Whether you attend a performance or simply visit the site (there's the Rowena Cade visitors' centre and a cafe), you'll find the setting utterly breathtaking. I'm still in awe of the determination of Rowena Cade to create this utterly unique theatre where a great variety of imaginative performances take place. The weather is important, so it's a good idea to check the forecast before you book.
- J Wallwork
This must be the most dramatic setting for an open air theatre in Britain. Book early if you want to go to a performance.
Wow is not enough
To say that it has 'wow' factor is not enough. No photograph does it justice. People walk in through the gates for the first time and their jaws hit the floor. Daytime visitors can enjoy the exhibition about Rowena Cade, the single lady who built the theatre with her own hands, and take refreshments in what must be the most spectacularly appointed coffee shop in the country. But it's even better to come on a summer evening when there is a show on. No trip to Penwith is complete without experiencing this unique and wonderful theatre.
The train journey to St Ives from Lelant Saltings is lovely.The track runs along stunning coastline to St Ives. Get a window seat on the right for the best views.
GREAT WAY TO AVOID PARKING IN ST IVES....
Depending on the tides, Lelant Saltings will either be a lake, or uncovered salt marshes covered with amazing birdlife. Take your binoculars! We saw herons and oystercatchers. The car park is £2.80 to park all day, and the return family train ticket (2 adults + 2 kids) is £8.00. The trains only run every half hour and the queues build quickly, so I would GO EARLY and get into St Ives ahead of the rush.
The train drops you right on Porthminster Beach, so dead easy.
train with a view
Perfect trip around the estuary and into the bay at St Ives, then a short walk into beautiful St Ives. Try the Sloop Inn for lunch.
This is such a beautiful stretch of coastline - we like to park at Lelant and then walk the coast path to St Ives (about 5 miles, with some short steep sections up from beach level); it runs parallel to the train track and alongside the beach. You get to have a great lunch and wander round St Ives as your reward, before hopping on the train and taking the easier option home!
Coffee by the beach.
Just up from the Tate at St Ives and on Porthmeor beach, walk to the end of the beach [West End]. There is the West End Bakery, great for Breakfast, Lunch and Coffee. Before the crowds and the beach sitters arrive, have coffee and a bun. Very well priced and the best view of the beach away from the crowds.
Stunning ride with a view
We recently used the train to visit St Ives and what a joy it was. A relaxing ride along the coast, with absolutely breath-taking views. A brilliant way to beat the sometimes crowded car parks in the town centre!
A wonderful experience for the whole family, including the dog!! The views from the train are just stunning. St Ives is a very pretty harbour, and well worth a visit, particularly for its art galleries, Cornish pasties, cream teas and clotted cream fudge! There is a lovely beach for the children and Bamaluz beach is specifically for dog owners. A truly wonderful day out.
Try St Earth station instead. It is often not as busy.
If you go after 10 am car parking is very reasonable for the whole of the day. St Earth is only a very short distance from Lelant and has a wonderful little cafe where you can take refreshments whilst you wait for a train.
Don't forget your family and friends rail card. Return to St Ives for family of 5 is then only £7.60!
Wonderful way to get to St Ives
A must if you are staying in Cornwall!
This must be the most beautiful train journey in the country with stunning views across St Ives Bay (and it saves you the hassle and cost of trying to park in St Ives!)
This has to be one of the most picturesque train journeys there is even though it only lasts for about 10 mins.
Chilled out cafe in amongst the dunes at Godrevy Lighthouse National Trust car park. Bright and breezy with great views across the bay to St Ives from the deck and big plates of really fresh, imaginative food - try the Mediterranean mezze.
Situated on the headland at the end of the huge Hayle/Gwithian Beach. National Trust owned and offers excellent food. Seating is both indoors and outdoors and justifiably popular. Open during the day and also some evenings.
Great breakfasts and so close to the seals
Lovely breakfasts (full Cornish is massive, honestly it'll keep you going the entire day) and surprisingly good coffee which i didn't expect. Best of it is, it's just a few minutes walk from the seal colony which we visited three times during our stay locally to see their antics at different tide times (best to see them as the tide is going out as they come ashore to rest so there's lots of activity then).
Outstanding food, drink and view
Our favourite beach cafe in Cornwall. Great food, particularly in the evenings when you can sit upstairs with a view of the beach and watch the sunset (really family friendly - they always spoil our kids). For lunch the wraps are brilliant (Mexican and vegetarian are particularly good) - we get them takeaway and eat them on the beach when body boarding.
Lovely on a sunny day
Great place to stop if you're on a trek to refill your energy levels with local cakes and decent coffee.
Its become a 'tradition' for us now to have our final days breakfast at Godrevy Cafe. If you leave on a Saturday you are going to wait, but its worth it. Excellent, wholesome ingredients cooked perfectly and no skimping on portions either. There is so much more that the usual 'full english' - but this is sooooooo nice! Excellent location off the beaten track.
Also does excellent cream teas which you can justify eating if you've just returned from a long walk (but don't try going for a walk after eating one!). Can get very crowded and service can take a while, but the food is worth the wait.
Fab! The food is freshly cooked and very tasty. The large hot chocolate is especially good after a long coastal walk. The cakes are again home cooked and huge! The ice cream is a treat after a day on the beach. Well worth a visit.
Another mention for the breakfast!
It's been mentioned before but who cares. I can confirm that the breakfast IS simply divine. Don't look for a healthy option (have that at home), give yourself a real treat and go for the full English. I'm still dreaming of it :-)
Great location - call in here for a full English breakfast - it is to die for - get your day off to a fantastic start. Then walk it off either along the beautiful sandy beach or climb the cliff path to the top and watch the seals in the little secluded cove. A real treat.
The largest mug of hot chocolate ever! Lovely freshly cooked food and huge cake portions - a must stop if you are visiting Gwithian.
Lovely lunches, great for a cake and a big mug of coffee!!
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Things to do
Things to do