Things to do in St Ives

If you’ve just booked a trip to St Ives, we’re here to help you create the perfect itinerary for your holiday. From the best landmarks to visit, outdoor activities, beaches and places to eat, we’ve collated a list of the best things to do in St Ives below:

Tate Gallery
Address: Porthmeor Beach, Saint Ives TR26 1TG
Description: The St Ives branch of the Tate Gallery opened its doors in 1993. One of the most popular attractions in St Ives, the Tate Gallery houses collections from world-renowned artists along with the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden also onsite. Perfect for a nice cultured afternoon out, visitors can book tickets for exhibitions online ahead of their arrival. Located a stone’s throw away from the beach, the Tate Gallery is a thoroughly enjoyable activity for all the family.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden
Address: Barnoon Hill, Saint Ives TR26 1AD
Description: Barbara Hepworth was one of St Ives' most influential artists with works featured in prestigious locations around the world. The museum and gardens are where Hepworth worked from 1949 until 1975. The gardens include many examples of her sculptures and are complemented by the subtropical plants that grow there. If you’re already planning to visit the Tate Gallery, we’d definitely recommend exploring the museum and gardens too!

Seal Island
Description: Seal Island is located around 3.5 miles west of St Ives and is home to a colony of grey seals. You can travel to the island via a boat trip which runs on a daily basis from the harbour. The short boat trip along the coast also showcases some spectacular views of Porthmeor Beach, The Island and rugged Cornish coast. Once you arrive at seal island you can get fairly close to the seals and whilst soaking up the scenery. On the right day, visitors will also be able to see a whole host of other wildlife along this sea safari.

St Ives Bay
Description: Most people who visit Cornwall do so in hopes of avoiding loud and busy tourist attractions. St Ives Bay offers visitors some of the most gorgeous natural landscapes as well as a range of unique locally run shops, hotels and restaurants. The beach itself is six-miles of soft golden sand stretches past coastal dunes, the quiet Porthkidney Sands, and the beautiful Gwithian beach. The bay extends from St Ives in the west all the way to Godrevy Head in the east. Visitors can expect great waves for surfing and plenty of spots to practice the latest in sandcastle designs.

Porthminter Beach
Address: Warren, Saint Ives TR26 2EA
Description: Porthminster Beach is known as one of the best beaches in the country. The beach itself is a golden crescent of sand backed by towering palm trees, giving it an amazing tropical feel unlike any other beach in England. Visitors will also experience beautiful views of the Godrevy Lighthouse from across the bay. This family-friendly beach is located a short walk from the centre of town. The waters are known as safe and calm and if you don’t fancy a dip, there’s also an 18-hole mini-putt course to keep you busy. With plenty of cafés and restaurants nearby, it couldn’t be easier to spend a full day here. Lifeguards are on duty from mid-May to the end of September, so it's best to visit then, especially if you're travelling with children.

Porthmeor Beach
Address: TR26 2BN
Description: This small, sandy beauty is definitely worth a visit on your holiday to St Ives. at only a half-mile in length, Porthmeor is one of the most popular beaches in St Ives. In addition to the soft, firm sand and rolling waves that make every beach worth visiting, Porthmeor features an array of tasty cafés and restaurants nearby, so a great option if you’re looking for a full day out. Porthmeor was presented a 2019 Blue Flag Award for its water quality, safety, and devotion to environmental management and education. Lifeguards can be found on duty between late March and the end of October.

Paradise Park
Address: 16 Trelissick Rd, Hayle TR27 4HY
Description: Paradise Park is a wildlife sanctuary which houses tropical birds in exotic gardens as well as a huge JungleBarn indoor play area for children. Visitors will be able to see a collection of exotic parrots as well as various birds of prey, owls, otters and penguins. There are daily events and attractions on offer at the Park depending on the time of year you visit so we’d advise reviewing the website and booking ahead if you can.

Description: Positioned where it is, jutting out into St Ives Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, St Ives is a very popular surfing destination. During the winter Porthmeor provides some of the only surfable waves in West Cornwall. But surfing in St Ives doesn't end at Porthmeor, there are a few other secret spots that produce great waves on the right day. In summer, beginners can take advantage of Porthmeor's sheltered aspect to learn to surf, with plenty of places to hire the gear and book a lesson right on the beach, why not give surfing a go!

St Ives Harbour
Address:  St Ives Harbour, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1LG
Description: The harbour in St Ives is a cut above the rest with the area doubling as both a beach and bustling shopping street. With an array of cafes and restaurants overlooking the harbour and the view alone the best reason to visit. Glorious clear, turquoise waters with small boats bobbing around between the piers, what more could you ask for on a staycation?

Blas Burgerworks
Address: 19 Warren, Saint Ives TR26 2EA
Description: If you’re looking for the best burger in St Ives, look no further than Blas Burgerworks. Not only well known in St Ives but actually famous worldwide, Blas Burgerworks, was listed in the Wall Street Journal as one of the absolute best places in Europe to grab a burger. Choose from beef, chicken or vegan options and dine on the communal tables outside or grab some nibbles to go, One thing is for sure, you won’t regret your visit!

Visit our Cornwall page for more information and inspiration on where to stay in and around St Ives.

Published on March 11th, 2021

← Back to blog