Watch our St Ives harbour webcam!
When you enjoy a self catering holiday in St Ives you have the flexibility to arrange your day around you. If a little exercise is on the cards the South West Coast Path is right on your doorstep and can lead you to some of the most spectacular spots in West Cornwall. Alternatively, pack up the clubs and play a round of golf at the West Cornwall Golf Club which also enjoys incredible sea views. If you're up for it, why not try Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Porthmeor? With the sea surrounding you in St Ives, there is almost always one beach you can surf from and you don't have to be super fit to enjoy the range of watersports on offer.
There is a huge art culture in St Ives, with dozens of art galleries and artist studios lining the cobbled streets where you can view local artists at work. The iconic Tate Gallery is located on the site of the former gas works, and features international modern and contemporary art exhibitions. The Barbara Hepworth Museum showcases some inspiring sculptures as well as paintings and drawings. If you would prefer to get more hands-on, book an art course with the St Ives School of Painting or try one of their drop-in life drawing sessions.
With a range of quirky, independent shops throughout the town, St Ives is a great place to shop, offering everything from local art galleries to traditional Cornish produce outlets and surf shops. Read more on our blog about Shopping in St Ives.
Boat trips run regularly from the harbour throughout summer where you can enjoy the views from a different angle. If you're lucky you may even see one of the 'resident' seals or view the dolphins at play. Read more on our blog: A trip to Seal Island
Surfing & Watersports
Learn to surf at the St Ives Surf School based at Porthmeor beach or why not try your hand at stand up paddleboarding or kayaking at Porthminster beach. Lessons are available for all skill levels. Read about surfing in St Ives on our blog.
Self catering in St Ives is the only way to go. With so many restaurants, pubs and cafes throughout the town, you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to go. From the freshest Fish and Chips, to gourmet burgers, you'll struggle to find something you don't fancy. View our blog posts on Pubs in St Ives, Restaurants in St Ives and Affordable places to eat in St Ives. St Ives' popular 'Harbour Fish and Chips' also features in our blog post on The best fish and chips shops in West Cornwall.
In a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, St Ives was voted as the UK's No 1 Beach Resort. Stay at one of our St Ives self catering properties, and you'll be close by to 4 stunning beaches; Porthmeor, Porthminster, the Harbour, and Porthgwidden. Watch local fishermen land their daily catches on the harbour, or soak up the sun in at one of the family friendly blue flag beaches. With each beach boasting its own charm and appeal; you'll find something for everyone, with family friendly beaches, popular watersports venues, wide-open flat sands and hidden rock pools. Find out more about St Ives beaches or read about beaches in the surrounding area.
Holidays in St Ives are popular all year round. Whether enjoying a family summer holiday or out-of-season break, there's always something going on in St Ives.
Christmas & New Year's Eve in St Ives
Visit during the festive period and you can watch Santa arriving on an RNLI lifeboat before switching on the Christmas lights. Soak up the atmosphere on New Year's Eve in St Ives and enjoy a spectacular firework display and a huge variety of fancy dress. Be warned though, as its gets extremely busy, so book tables in pubs and restaurants to avoid disappointment. Read more about New Year's Eve in St Ives >
Food and Drink Festival
Held in the middle of May each year, the St Ives Food and Drink festival is the UK's only festival of this type to be held on a beach. With live music, a wide range of products from Cornwall's finest food producers, and demonstrations from some of the country's best chefs, this two-day event attracts both locals and visitors alike. Read more on our blog.
Running for two weeks each year, St Ives hosts the ever-popular September festival. Perfect for the whole family, the festival includes live music, theatrical performances and comedy sketches. Browse the dozens of artist studios, take part in a theatrical workshop or just simply soak up the atmosphere on the harbour front.
If you want to enjoy the surrounding scenery but don't want to do the walking, why not take the coastal train to St Erth? From there, you can connect to Penzance, Truro or even further afield. We believe St Ives is a great self catering holiday location – there's always something to do and you’ll soon understand why we are so proud to be involved in the St Ives community.
View all of our St Ives Cottages >
Read our blogs about St Ives >
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Possibly the most well-known and popular Christmas Lights in the county, Moushole combines stunning displays against the backdrop of their gorgeous Cornish fishing harbour to bring real festive magic to all who visit at this special time of year.
17th December - 6th January 2017
The tradition of Tom Bawcock comes from the feast or famine lifestyle of Cornwall. The story goes that it was just before Christmas; there had been no fish for weeks, the boats couldn’t get out into the raging storm, the village was starving. One man, Tom Bawcock, dared to take his boat out of the harbour’s safety. He returned with enough fish to make fish pie for the whole village.
Today, a festival takes place each year to celebrate Tom Bawcock's bravery. During the festival, Star Gazey pies are eaten in memory of this famous event.
23rd December 2017
Held on the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD, Feast Day offers visitors to witness - and even join in with - some centuries-old traditions. A morning precesison led by the Mayor to bless the Well of St Eia. Following this, the Mayor will 'Hurls the Silver Ball' into a crowd of children who assemble on the beach below. The one who returns the ball to the Guildhall steps by midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon the Mayor then throw pennies from the balcony of the Guildhall for children to collect.
5th February 2018
The small Cornish fishing village of Porthleven hosts its annual Food & Music Festival every April and encorporates street performers, a range of local produce, Samba dancing, theatre, beer marquees, hip-hop dancers, fireworks, Cornish singing & much, much mmore...the list is endless!
20th - 22nd April 2018
Growing in size and popularity, the St Ives Food Festival features top chefs, quality Cornish goods, sandcastle competitions for children and food demonstrations.
12th - 13th May 2018
Golowan Festival is an annual community arts event that celebrates local culture and the social and natural environment. 'Mazey Day' takes place on the Saturday of the festival and guarantees to be a very colourful affair!
23rd - 28th June 2018
A three day event celebrating Cornwall's Maritime heritage, with traditional sailing vessels, live music, and craft and cookery demonstrations. Profits donated to local charities.
13th - 17th July 2018
A fun packed day hosted by the RNLI lifeboat Station. See the lifeboats on display and in action on the water with demonstrations featuring one of the Search & Rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose!
TBC August 2018
Newlyn Fish Festival is the biggest and best of its kind in the UK. Taste some of the finest seafood on offer and enjoy cookery demonstrations, live music and arts and crafts. Local fishmongers take part in the The Cornish fishmonger of the year competition and the popular 'Fishy Trail' is perfect to keep the kids entertained.
TBC August 2018
Now becoming a sellout event, this festival keeps attracting more and more visitors who come to enjoy a wide range of acts, including music, theatre, poetry and visual arts.
8th - 22nd September 2018
Popular with visitors and locals alike, this exciting festival celebrates everything literary, including spoken, written, recited and sung word. Take part in the reading and writing discussions and activities and enjoy the many performances.