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Best things to do and sights to see in St Ives, Cornwall

Beach view

Porthgwidden beach

A scenic beach found beneath the the grassy hill which leads to 'The Island.' On The Island you will find St Nicolas chapel and beautiful views of the beaches below. On the beach you can enjoy a bite to eat on one of the colourful benches, play on the sand and if you dare to brave the cold, a dunk in the sea. The beach is open all year round.

Smeatons Pier

Smeatons Pier is a staple of St Ives where you can walk and get close to the water and harbour area. The pier was extended in the 1890s and because of this, St Ives now has two lighthouses. You can swim in the harbour and watch the local fishermen as they get their catch of the day. There are also a number of trendy bars and coffee shops around the harbour.

Bamaluz beach

This beach is sandwiched between the St Ives harbour and Porthgwidden beach and often gets missed. However, this beach offers shelter from the sea breeze so it can be more tranquil than some of the more exposed spots.

Tate Museum

This well-known art gallery is a must-see in St Ives and you can experience the art works of the Cornish Coast from talented artists. There are also a number of events on at the gallery such as a toddle tate event which we went to which meant we could get into the gallery for £1 per person and our daughter was free. We understand this is an incentive for locals however they let us be a local for a day!

Tickets on a non-event day are £13.50 with donation, £12.00 without donation.

Tate museum

St Michael's Mount

St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island joined to the mainland by a causeway. It's an attraction of natural beauty and history and only a 20 minute drive from St Ives. You can walk the causeway in low tide and access the island but check the times before you plan your trip or you could miss out. There is a castle, subtropical garden, harbour and village to explore.

Tickets are £26 for the combination ticket to visit the island and the castle.

St Michael's Mount

Boat trip to Seal Island

Seals love the waters surrounding Cornwall and you can see them for yourself with a boat trip to Seal or Godrevy Island. Tickets start from £25pp.

Wine tasting at Polgoon Winery

The Polgoon Winery is located 20 minutes from St Ives and a rare occurence to find wine production in the UK. Given the unpredictable climate in the UK many of the vines are kept under cover at Polgoon to ensure they are protected from the adverse weather. There is also an orchard at Polgoon producing cider.

If you join a wine tour you will have a tour of the vineyards and orchard and a detailed and in depth talk as to how wine is produced in the UK and the difficulties faced. It is quite astonishing to learn how Polgoon have created a successful business in a climate which is not ideal for wine production.

You will then have a tasting of 5 wines, a sparkling rose, rose, 2 whites and a red. The tasting room is a relaxed environment and you are given a score card to make your favourite wines. You can then explore the gift shop and purchase the wines you have tasted and other local produce.


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