Things to do

There’s a reason why so many people love coming to St Ives in Cornwall for their holiday. Renowned for its natural beauty, St Ives is on the north coast of Cornwall, surrounded by golden sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters and picturesque landscapes. Narrow, cobbled streets weave their way through St Ives town with lots of boutique shops, galleries, cafes and pubs to discover. You can spend your days enjoying the thrill of adrenalin-pumping water sports or simply take it easy relaxing on the beach; there are so many things to do during your holiday. Here’s just some ideas to help you start planning your time away in Cornwall.

Food & drink

There’s a wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafes that serve fresh seafood and local produce. From Cornish pasties to Michelin-starred dining experiences, there’s something to suit all tastes.

Porthminster Beach Caféspecialising in Mediterranean and Asian seafood cuisine.
Porthmeor Beach Caféserves from breakfast through to evening dining. Great sunsets.
Porthgwidden Beach Café – café, takeaway hatch, beach bar & restaurant. Great sunrises.
The Mermaid Restaurant – one of the town’s oldest and most popular restaurants.
Seafood Café on Fore Street – delicious fresh seafood and vegetable dishes.
The Sloop Inn – serving food from breakfast through to evenings.


St Ives boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK and there are many more to explore all along the Cornish coast. Here are some of the closest ones.

Porthminster Beach offers a relaxed atmosphere and is great for families.
Porthmeor Beach is popular for surfing and is the closest with Blue Flag and Lifeguards from Easter to October half term.
Porthgwidden Beach is smaller and more secluded, perfect for a picnic.
Carbis Bay Beach is a wide, sandy beach popular with families.
Godrevy Beach is one of the more exposed beaches on the north coast of Cornwall. 

Family Fun

Little ones will love paddling in the sea, looking for shells, exploring the rock pools and making sandcastles. But if you want to have a day out, here are some family favourites.

Take a Sea Safari for a chance to see the seals, dolphins and other wildlife around the Cornish coast.

Visit Flambards in Helston, a theme park with a difference.

Take a trip to Newquay Zoo to see the animals, learn amazing facts and have fun in the play areas.

Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary in Hayle has over 130 species of birds as well as otters, red squirrels, penguins, red pandas and a petting zoo. There is also an indoor play area and a little train to take a ride on.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is run by the Sea Life Trust, a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coast.

Sports & activities

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in and around St Ives. From surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking to boat trips, coastal walks, countryside bike rides and more.

Surfing lessons at Porthmeor Beach Surf School

Kayak hire from Ocean Sports on Carbis Bay Beach.

Sea fishing & boat trips depart from the harbour between Easter & October. Lots to choose from including:

St Ives Boat Cruises

Bluefin Charters

Seahorse Boat Trips

Inland lake fishing is available at Nance Lakes and Bussow Reservoir in St Ives.

Walks & bike trails

There are so many beautiful walks straight from the door, including the south west coastal footpath. That’s just minutes from our holiday properties.

Rent a bike from St Ives eBikes and go exploring. They have some great suggested routes:

Zennor Zoom – 10 miles
Hayle Easy Rider – 12 miles
Godrevy Gambol – 22 miles
Cape Caper – 35 miles


Homes & gardens

As well as some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain, Cornwall has a number of historic houses and gardens that are well worth visiting. Often located in sheltered valleys where they enjoy sub-tropical temperatures, gardens thrive here.

Trebah Garden
Glendurgan Garden
Trengwainton Garden
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Pencarrow House & Gardens

Art & Culture

St Ives has a rich artistic heritage and is known as an artistic hub. The town has attracted artists for over a century, they love its exceptional light quality and inspiring landscapes.

Tate St Ives – discover 100 years of art, celebrating how West Cornwall welcomed and inspired artists from around the world. With galleries and activities for children.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Formerly known as Trewyn Studios, Barbara Hepworth lived and worked here from 1949 until 1975.

Leach Pottery has a museum, studio & gallery.

St Ives Museum is the place to discover local history and facts about St Ives.

The Minack Theatre is an experience not to be missed. The open-air theatre is carved into the cliffs at Porthcurno and has shows and activities scheduled from May to October.

Porthcurno Museum, explore the amazing story of the connected world.

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is the place to enrich your understanding of the sea and Cornwall and discover local, national and international maritime stories.

Places to visit

Some of these well-known places are a little further away. But when you come to Cornwall, it’s worth planning some time to visit these if you can.

St Michael’s Mount near Penzance is just 7 miles away. It is the most recognizable landmark in Cornwall and has a rich history of legend and folklore.

The Eden Project, trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest, send your senses into override in the Mediterranean Biome and explore the outdoor gardens. With contemporary artworks, performances and storytelling this is an experience not to be missed.

Day trips to the Isles of Scilly via boat or helicopter from Penzance.

See the Celtic standing stones at Llanyon Quoit and Treen.

Chysauster Ancient Village is a fantastic place for kids to explore. The Romano-British settlement was originally occupied almost 2000 years ago. It’s said to be one of the finest examples of such in England.