Nestled north of Penzance, we say with great certainty that St Ives is a Cornwall highlight and the hub of art and beauty in the west of the UK. A combination of clean air, broad skies and reflections from sea and sand lend a special bright blue light that inspires artists and promotes a feeling of well being among all who visit.
Attracting renowned painters such as JMW Turner, sculptors such as Henry Moore and writers such as Virginia Woolf for close to 150 years, this lovely village not only offers The Tate St Ives – whose impressive structure overlooking Porthmeor Beach is home to artworks of international and historical importance – but also the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which gives wonderful insight into the life of a celebrated creative and gardens of truly magical retreat.
But St Ives was not voted best family holiday destination by Coast magazine for nothing. This charming shoreline village is a mere 20 minutes by train from St Erth and those arriving by rail are in for a treat as they see the picturesque seaside village scene unfold before their eyes.
After a meander through sloped cobbled streets, which offer an array of tantalising independent craft shops, traditional pubs and seafood restaurants, there is plenty to see and do around the quayside and on the shore.
One of arguably the best European beaches and boasting the UK’s warmest climate, St Ives’ golden sands are begging to be bathed upon but are just as perfect for sculptors of all ages who like to beat the tides and leave their mark. Those seeking something less sedate might tap into the local surfing culture or venture west by motorboat to visit Seal Island and its friendly inhabitants.
A trip to St Ives will not disappoint and a stay in one of the local holiday cottages is the perfect base for exploring more of this magical coastal jewel.