"Porth Ia" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Ives by Sjalen

Saint Ives Travel Guide: 150 reviews and 332 photos

We came here for the first time summer 2009, as we had seen and heard that it was scenic and I had wanted to go to Cornwall for years and years. I guess it was the distance that made me wait so long (it's not an easy daytrip from say London or Bristol), coupled with the fact that I tend to spend summers in Sweden and go abroad at other times, and Cornwall always struck me as a place that should be visited in summer for the first time. Now I have done so, I don't mind visiting any time of year (New Year is great), and St Ives itself is definately a place for all seasons even if it goes quieter in winter. People still come to this old pilchard fishing town with its peculiarly sheltered but still tricky harbour all year round.

The light is amazing due to it being on the northern coast but facing south in a curve, and it keeps changing depending on time of day and on the weather. No wonder that this is one of Britain's big art centres. Having said that, there is a lot of surfing going on too and this is what makes this place so amazing - the diversity of it all with intellectual artists and lively surfers mixing, and at the same time it is very much a working town with proud Cornish locals with all their Celtic and mining heritages in the blood, even if they today are forced into the tourist trade instead of fishing. Go here and find out for yourself - I know you will want to return. Just try to avoid the school holidays if you can since then prices are high and there is a lack of space everywhere. If not, go anyway!

Yes I am known for coming back from holiday destinations really enthusiastic, telling my colleagues that I could settle in this or that place for quite some time. This time though, it is really serious even if I am well aware of the fact that I was hardly the only tourist stopping to browse the estate agent's window as I walked up Treganna Hill one final time to go back home in 2009. It's one of few places that have affected me so much I'm crying when I leave, and it is not a matter of if, but when I shall call it my home in one way or another. St Ives is nothing but fantastic and it is not surprising that the little town of 11 000 people won the title of "Best seaside town" in The Guardian newspaper in 2007 and one of its beaches ended up top on Trip Advisor 2010. I have been a restless soul all my life due to various things, and always envied people who were not constantly longing for some other place. With St Ives, I have found a place where locals I have met only once greet me in the street as if I am a long time friend when we meet again. I have found a constantly changing seascape with ten different types of wheather in one day and which surprises me even though I have a long experience of other British weather systems. I have found a place loved not only by me but equally much by the rest of the family, and not least; I have found inner peace. I could sit and watch the harbour for hours.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:scenic, great beaches for everyone, friendly, great food
  • Cons:a bit expensive, crazy rush for accommodation summertime, harbour traffic
  • In a nutshell:A feeling of home whoever you are!
  • Last visit to Saint Ives: Jan 2012
  • Intro Updated Jan 12, 2012
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Reviews (46)

Comments (5)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Great and informative page Charlotta! St Ives sounds to be wonderful and I'm glad I have booked three nights there. Hope there will be some sunshine in April!

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Hi Charlotta, a wonderful page about St Ives :-) I am planning my trip to Cornwall for the end of March and this page was very helpful, and gave much more information than my guidebook! Thank you! :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Ah yes, I know exactly what you mean - you arrived :-) I love your emotonal view on St Ives and can feel the breeze and smell the sea :-)) Zennor looks gorgeous (I walked on GoogleEarth a bit) and yummm. avocado burger!!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Charlotta, fabulous new page. Great description of the train trip. I once stayed a few days in Penzance and also visited lovely St. Ives. Haven't been to Zennor and Godrevy though. I am looking forward to seeing more new pages from you. :-)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2010 at 3:38 AM

    I especially like your description of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. The Saint Ives town museum run by volunteers reminds me of a small-town museum in Wisconsin that my uncle Bill started after he retired.

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