Things to do in St Ives, Cornwall

Located on the stunning coast of Cornwall, St Ives is a charming seaside town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, artistic heritage, and a vibrant cultural scene. With its picturesque beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes, St Ives is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The town's narrow cobbled streets are lined with art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes, making it a paradise for art enthusiasts and shoppers. Whether you're looking to relax on the beach, explore the rich history and culture, or indulge in delicious seafood, St Ives has something for everyone.

Things to do

Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives is a contemporary art gallery located in St Ives, Cornwall. It showcases a wide range of modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on artists who have lived and worked in Cornwall. The gallery is housed in a stunning building overlooking Porthmeor Beach, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the coastline. With its ever-changing exhibitions and diverse collection, Tate St Ives is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and anyone interested in exploring the local art scene.

St Ives Harbour

The picturesque St Ives Harbour is a hub of activity and a must-visit destination in St Ives. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and admire the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the clear blue waters. Enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the many waterfront restaurants and cafes, and soak in the charming atmosphere of this bustling harbor. You can also take a boat trip from the harbor to explore the stunning coastline and spot wildlife such as seals and dolphins. Don't forget to capture the iconic view of St Ives from the harbor, with its white sandy beaches and quaint cottages.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a unique attraction in St Ives that offers visitors a glimpse into the life and work of renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The museum is located in Hepworth's former studio and showcases a collection of her sculptures, drawings, and personal belongings. The highlight of the museum is the sculpture garden, where visitors can explore Hepworth's outdoor works in a tranquil setting. The combination of art and nature makes this museum a must-visit for art lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located just a short walk from the center of St Ives. With its crystal-clear waters and golden sand, it is the perfect spot for a relaxing day by the sea. Take a dip in the calm waters, build sandcastles with the kids, or simply unwind and soak up the sun. The beach is also home to the Porthminster Beach Café, a popular eatery known for its delicious seafood and stunning views. Enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the panoramic vistas of the beach and St Ives Bay.

St Ives Museum

Step back in time and discover the rich history of St Ives at the St Ives Museum. Housed in a former pilchard press, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the town's maritime heritage, art colony, and mining industry. Explore the various exhibits, including artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring the history of St Ives to life. Learn about the town's fishing industry, the artists who flocked to St Ives in the early 20th century, and the mining activities that shaped the local economy. The museum is a hidden gem that provides a deeper understanding of St Ives' cultural and historical significance.

St Ives Bay

St Ives Bay is a stunning stretch of coastline that offers breathtaking views and a range of outdoor activities. Take a leisurely walk along the South West Coast Path and enjoy panoramic vistas of the bay, with its turquoise waters and rugged cliffs. The bay is also a popular spot for water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Whether you're an experienced water sports enthusiast or a beginner looking to try something new, St Ives Bay provides the perfect conditions for an exhilarating adventure. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this coastal paradise.

St Ives September Festival

If you're visiting St Ives in September, don't miss the St Ives September Festival. This annual event celebrates the town's rich cultural heritage and showcases a diverse range of music, art, theater, and literature. The festival features performances by local and international artists, exhibitions, workshops, and talks. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, explore the various venues across town, and discover the talent and creativity that St Ives has to offer. Whether you're a music lover, art enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, the St Ives September Festival is not to be missed.

St Ives Farmers' Market

For a taste of the local produce and a chance to support local farmers and artisans, visit the St Ives Farmers' Market. Held every Thursday throughout the year, the market offers a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more. Browse the stalls, chat with the friendly vendors, and sample some of the delicious offerings. The market is a great place to stock up on picnic supplies or find unique gifts to take home. Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the market and savor the flavors of Cornwall.

St Ives Surf School

With its beautiful beaches and consistent waves, St Ives is a popular destination for surfers of all levels. If you've always wanted to try surfing or improve your skills, head to the St Ives Surf School. The school offers lessons for beginners as well as more advanced surfers, with experienced instructors who will guide you through the basics and help you catch your first wave. Whether you're a complete novice or looking to take your surfing to the next level, the St Ives Surf School provides a fun and safe environment to learn and enjoy the thrill of riding the waves.

St Ives Theatre

For a night of entertainment, head to the St Ives Theatre. Located in the heart of St Ives, this intimate venue hosts a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, comedy shows, and live music. Enjoy a night out with friends or family and immerse yourself in the local arts scene. The theater also hosts community events and workshops, providing opportunities for local talent to showcase their skills. Check the theater's schedule and book your tickets in advance to secure your seat for an evening of entertainment in St Ives.