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New Year’s Eve in St Ives


New Year’s Eve in St Ives is always a hit. What started out as very much a locals’ event, is now a well-renowned party destination, with speculations being that it’s the country’s third largest fancy dress party – after London and Edinburgh. Despite having no real organization (no official program, leaflets etc), St Ives still remains as one of THE places to go to celebrate and ring in the new year.

The streets are full of revelers, all dressed up in costumes, some of which have been in the planning stages for months. It is not unusual to see a table full of laughing zombies enjoying a bite to eat, or witness a conversation between Batman and a sheep. Early evening is the ideal time to take your family out for a spot of costume admiration.  We love strolling round pointing out characters – it’s always such a happy vibe. The roads in St Ives shut for the evening, which helps to make the occasion feel extra special and making the short walk from your holiday cottage to the centre of town an easy one.


Dressing up brings out the friendly side in everyone – it is easy to meet a whole new set of friends amongst the crowds. Restaurants are full of robots eating with nuns, and witches and dinosaurs getting on like a house on fire.


If you like the sound of it, and want to join in the fun, remember; fancy dress is obligatory (trust us, you’ll feel out of place without!). Basically anything goes (homemade outfits are commonplace and very much encouraged!) – with a bit of lateral-thinking, charity shops can be a gold mine, plus there’s a great fancy dress hire company (Ribticklers) in Falmouth if you want to go the whole hog.

Although the crowds are out,  a low-key police presence keeps everything in order, allowing you to party in safety. If the revelry gets too much, there are plenty of beaches surrounding you for ‘break away’ parties and controlled bonfires.

A local samba band – Samba Celtica – usually makes an appearance, leading a parade through winding back streets to the harbour, gathering dancing participants along the way – in a sort of tribal unison!

At Midnight, most people flock to the Harbour front, where the fireworks display takes over the celebrations; the effect doubled by the reflections on the sea. It’s a time for hugging friends old and new and seeing in a new year with style. The celebrations don’t die out as the fireworks do however, with festivities continuing until the early hours, when the proximity of your holiday cottage will seem like a true blessing. Many of our cottages in St Ives are just a short stroll from the fun, so whether you intend to pop out for a quick drink or are in it for the long haul, you won’t have far to walk (or stumble) home.

St Ives harbour lights at night

New Year’s Eve in St Ives is a truly memorable event, and one which is well worth making the time for a special trip down.

If you fancy a night to remember, check out our holiday cottages for a New Year break in St Ives  >>

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