10 reasons you should visit St Ives (Part 2)

St Ives – so good, it can’t be contained in one blog post! Last week I offered five great reasons to add St Ives to your travel plans… ahh, the vibe… the beaches… the coastal walks… and not forgetting the great local food and eateries. What more could a beach town offer to get you packing your bags and heading to the sea? Here’s five more reasons to head to beautiful Cornwall and make St Ives your base:

1. The Weather

St Ives is located at the foot of England on the Atlantic coast and is one of the sunniest parts of the entire country. Cornwall itself is bordered on three sides by sea and this makes for a micro-climate which can lash the coastline with storms, yet bring out the sunshine within a few hours. The weather can change very quickly here, but as much for the good as anything else. I woke up one August morning to this view from Porthmeor beach over to the Island and St Nicholas’s Church on the hill:

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View from Porthmeor Beach to the Island

And yet just a couple of hours later, the cloud had blown away, the wind had dropped and this was the view from the same beach:

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St Nicholas’s Church, St Ives

So don’t despair when the sun doesn’t shine… It might be just around the corner!

2. The St Ives Line

Travelling to St Ives by train is a pretty smart way to get there. Parking is really difficult in the town and many holiday homes do not offer parking. There are Park and Ride facilities and pay and display car parks (prepare to dig deep), but by far the best idea is to take the train. Nearby St Erth sits on the main line between Penzance and London which means there are several intercity services per day. The St Ives Line is a small branch line which connects St Erth to St Ives. It takes approximately 15 minutes and is one of the most stunning train trips you will ever take. The line follows the coast around the headland and as you come around the last turn, the beautiful sprawl of St Ives drifts into view. It’s a sight I will never tire of, the memory of which can lift me right up on a grey day back home in Manchester, and I’m not ashamed to say it can bring a tear to the eye. Here’s what’s in store:

3. 50 Shades of Blue…

I mentioned last time that St Ives is a magnet for artists. With the sea bordering on three sides, the light here is magnificent. I’ve truly never seen as many blues as on a sunny day in St Ives when the sun is shimmering and dancing on the Atlantic Ocean… The featured image at the top of this post gives just a little teaser, but you really have to be there and see it for yourself.

4. The Local Area

St Ives is ideally placed as a hub for visiting the whole of West Cornwall. You can take a bus or drive the coast road past Zennor, Pendeen and Botallack all the way round to Penzance. On this route you will pass many ancient tin mine workings, many of which are included in the 200 or so engine houses which make up a World Heritage Site. Some of the most spectacular mine workings can be found perching dangerously on the cliff edge at Botallack. If you love the current BBC production of Poldark, you’ll recognise some of these sights. Further along the coast road you will come to Lands End (overrated and often overcrowded in summer), Cape Cornwall and Sennen Cove (both much better places to spend your time).

As the coast winds round toward Penzance, be sure to stop by the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno. If you’re lucky there will be a performance on at this outdoor amphitheatre with the sea and the sunset as a beautiful backdrop.

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The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

Continue to follow the road and you will reach Newlyn, just on the fringe of the larger town of Penzance. Newlyn is a traditional Cornish fishing village and is probably most famous for the crab which is landed there. Do not leave Cornwall without trying a Newlyn crab sandwich, an absolute treat! You can do this right here in the village, but I would also recommend The Dolphin pub in nearby Penzance. Penzance is the most westerly major town in England. It’s full of intriguing little spots, including the Egyptian House and the Morrab Gardens. Don’t miss St Michael’s Mount either:

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St Michael’s Mount

From Penzance you can complete the circuit back to St Ives by train – and ride the aforementioned St Ives Line again. You’ll never tire of it, promise…

5. The Legends

Cornwall, like its Celtic cousins, is a land of storytelling and mystery. You won’t need to stray too far to find reference to smugglers, ghosts and pixies. A couple of good ghost walks run from the centre of St Ives and tell of the monks walking to the top of the Island to St Nicholas’s church, drownings, smuggling and much more. These twisty streets take on a distinctive echo after dark.

Legend has it that pixies inhabited much of Cornwall and you will see references to this wherever you go. The Potter’s Shop in Fore Street sells handmade pixie ceramics which make for a charming gift. And of course smuggling is synonymous with the Cornish coast, so you will see references to this all over St Ives. The Sloop Inn on the Wharf is a great pub to visit as it was featured in the book ‘ West Cornwall Smugglers’ Pubs from St Ives to Falmouth’ by Terry Townsend. The Sloop has been in St Ives since 1312 and history just oozes out of the walls!

So that concludes my ten reasons to visit beautiful St Ives. Wishing you Bon Voyage!

Missed Part 1? Catch it here.

 

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31 thoughts on “10 reasons you should visit St Ives (Part 2)

  1. I absolutely love this. I love the pictures of Cornwall. I love seeing pictures of anywhere out of London because I’ve never been out of London to go somewhere within the UK. So I enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really glad you enjoyed it and hope you get to visit Cornwall someday 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol thanks. And I will try to visit someday if I can afford to. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You really make me want to book a trip here! Do you know any books set here? I’ll have to start googling! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not any books set exactly in St Ives but in Cornwall you have all of the Poldark books by Winston Graham (the first two are called ‘Ross Poldark’ and ‘Demelza’). There are twelve books in the Poldark saga. There’s also ‘Jamaica Inn’ by Daphne du Maurier. She set many of her books in Cornwall. Happy reading, Cornwall is as special on the page as it is in real life 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so so much for this info! So cool! Wow. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could do this? Hopefully one day! I’m gonna save these titles. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It would be awesome… then you could do one of your book tours in Cornwall!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to plan a trip after reading this post. Lovely pictures.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really glad you enjoyed it. The reality of these places is even better than the pictures!

      Like

  4. Now that I have read part 2, I am really wanting to go there! It is beautiful! Thank you taking me along through your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. It’s such a fantastic place for mind, body and soul. I always leave Cornwall with some kind of glow 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d love to go to St Ives one day! Brilliant post x

    Melanie || http://www.melaniewithanie.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you very much for your kind comment x

      Like

  6. It looks absolutely stunning down there I bet it’s glorious in this weather too! I followed too honey x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! What I’d give to be down there right now… x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve visited the south coast of England before but not St Ives. Your blog has inspired me to return. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that’s great! You won’t be disappointed with St Ives 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Britt | Alternatively Speaking July 2, 2018 — 5:08 pm

    We’re planning a big European trip in 2020, and I think we might just have to add St. Ives to the list of places we stop while there just because your pictures are so beautiful!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you won’t regret it! Would love to hear where else you might go on your big trip! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Britt | Alternatively Speaking July 4, 2018 — 8:15 pm

        The plan is to go over for a wedding in Wales, plus I have always wanted to visit Paris – outside of that we still haven’t made any decisions lol

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never thought about going to St. Ives, I’ll have to check it out. Your reasons are very convincing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you decide to visit, it’s a little slice of bliss 😊

      Like

  10. It looks an amazing place to visit, wish I do someday. Like the idea of how you have created 2 posts out of this topic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to visit. The post was getting so long last week that I opted for two parts, like a double scoop ice cream! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved reading part 1 to this and part 2 has convinced me I must visit St Ives even more! It’s absolutely stunning, I love the photo of Porthcurno, the sea is so blue and vibrant. Cornwall is such a perfect place for exploring and relaxing. Thank you for sharing 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you read parts 1 and 2. The sea off Porthcurno is so clear and the light positively dances on the surface. Hope you get to visit! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We went to St Ives as a family about 18 years ago and I only remember 3 things being poorly the entire time, a gypsy telling my mum and grans fortune and the stunning scenery. For reason 3 I have always wanted to go back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that sounds like it was eventful! Reason 3 is as good a reason as any to return, so I hope you get to go and in good health this time! 😊

      Like

  13. St. Ives looks like a gorgeous and majestic place to visit! The weather is amazing out there. It’s always cool to see the trains going by – and the history that came with it! Oh wow, The Sloop has been around for CENTURIES! Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really glad you enjoyed it! There are so many old pubs in Cornwall, the Sloop is a great example. And it’s right on the waterfront so you get that feeling of what it was like a few hundred years ago.

      Like

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