St Ives is a picturesque seaside town where we opened our second shop in 2018. It's a must-visit destination for those looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend getaway. From stunning beaches and a vibrant art scene to delicious seafood and historical landmarks, St Ives has something to offer for everyone.
Beautiful St Ives
In this blog post, Allison and I will take you through our idea of a perfect weekend in St Ives, including a great circular walk with a pub lunch [of course!], the best beaches to explore, and where to go if you want to learn to paint.
One of our favourite places in St Ives is the Tate St Ives. A beautiful and modern gallery that sits on the edge of Porthmeor Beach. The building is made up of several interconnecting galleries and has a striking white façade that contrasts with the blue of the sea and the sky. Upon entering, you'll find yourself in a spacious and light-filled atrium with a large skylight that floods the space with natural light.
The Tate Gallery
As you make your way through the gallery, you'll encounter minimalist white walls and high ceilings that allow the artworks to take centre stage. The gallery's design is contemporary and sleek, yet it complements the surrounding landscape and echoes the town's artistic heritage.
It holds a stunning collection of contemporary and modern artworks and really is a must-visit for art lovers, with exhibitions changing regularly, so there's always something new to see.
Another one of our favourite places is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, dedicated to the work of one of St Ives' most famous artists. This historic building, formerly the artist's home and studio, is a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of Hepworth and her contemporaries, including Henry Moore and Naum Gabo.
The museum is such an intimate space, just like stepping into the artist's own studio. And the sculpture garden! It's like a magical oasis where nature and art come together in perfect harmony. You'll be enchanted by the stunning sculptures surrounded by lush greenery. It's a great chance to explore Barbara Hepworth's incredible talent and creative vision and experience her amazing artistic contributions. It really is a special place.
Barbara Hepworth's Sculpture garden
Beaches are a favourite of ours; we just wish the water was slightly warmer! But a visit to one of St Ives' beautiful beaches is a must. Porthminster is known for its beautiful golden sands and crystal-clear blue waters. This popular beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shore.
Book a table at the iconic Porthminster café; it’s the perfect place for a leisurely lunch, you won’t be disappointed.
Another popular beach is Porthmeor, famous for its waves and surf culture, it's a great spot for surfers, as well as for those who want to take in the breath taking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Both are safe for swimming and the water is getting warmer every month, so be brave and take the plunge, it really is worth it.
St Ives is famous for painting due to its association with the St Ives School of artists, who were drawn to the town's unique coastal beauty and extraordinary quality of light. In the early 20th century, artists such as Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson, and Barbara Hepworth, among others, flocked to St Ives, establishing it as an artistic hub and putting it on the map as a centre for modern and abstract art.
Looking out to Porthmeor beach from St Ives painting school
For those who want to learn to paint, St Ives School of Painting is a great place to start. This historic art school offers a range of courses and workshops for all levels, from beginners to experienced artists. Over the years, the school
has attracted a range of prominent artists to teach and lead workshops and has lots of courses on offer. With its stunning coastal views and vibrant artistic community, St Ives School of Painting is the perfect place to get inspired and unleash your inner artist.
It's a lovely thing to do, real "me" time and you always come away feeling very inspired.
If you love walking then Cornwall has so many beautiful walks. Personally we like a circular one and one of the best circular walks is the St Ives to Carbis Bay coastal walk. The walk is approximately 2 miles or 4.5 miles, depending on whether you choose to walk one way or do the circular route. It is a relatively easy walk and offers stunning sea views and lovely scenery along the coast path. The beach at Carbis bay is stunning, so stop for a quick dip.
Carbis Bay beach
Another circular walk that is also popular is the St Ives circular walk, which takes you through some of the most famous parts of the town, including the harbour, the Island, the Tate and it offers picturesque scenery. St Ives has many beautiful walks available, whether it's a coastal trail or a woodland path, and there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Looking down on St Ives
St Ives has lots of independent shops, [including ours!] which makes it a great place to shop. Beautiful art galleries with local artwork, ceramics and jewellry, bookstores with a wide range of books, craft shops with handmade items, and boutiques with special clothes. There are also stores for things like camping gear, surfing equipment, and gifts. These independent shops make St Ives special and give visitors a fun shopping experience.
Outside our very cute shop in St Ives
The lovely view from the back of our shop in St Ives
Work your way through the town, stop for a coffee at one of the many great cafes and enjoy being in a town which has every shop occupied with great options.
When you’ve done all your shopping, then maybe it’s time for some real R & R.
If you love having a massage as much as we do, then St Ives is the place to be. There are three great spas to choose from, C spa at Carbis bay, the Harspa at the harbour hotel and the Spa at Una. All are equally gorgeous and it’s the perfect way to relax after a full weekend.
St Ives really is the perfect destination for a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend getaway. From its stunning beaches and vibrant art scene to its delicious seafood and historic landmarks, it has something to offer for everyone.
Rebecca & Alison X