About ST. IVES
This is St. Ives, one of the most famous holiday towns in Cornwall - a jewel
situated at the south-western tip of this island kingdom yet readily
accessible by road, rail and air.
Crystal blue waters, the surf, the golden sands, year round sub-tropical
temperatures and the warmth of the local welcome.
Today, as for centuries before, life centres around the harbour where
fishing boats still moor alongside granite piers, their catch being sent
around the world and earning an enviable reputation for its quality and
variety in some of the finest restaurants.
The annual Harbour Day revives the hustle and bustle and creates a carnival
atmosphere. Radiating from the harbour into the old town is a maze of narrow
cobbled streets, lined by fishermen's cottages, many with the original steps
to the first floor doorway.
The ground floor would have been an open cellar housing fishing nets, boats
and pilchard presses. Steep sloping passageways and secret corners conceal
unexpected delights at almost every turn.
St. Ives during the summer months is a blaze of colour. Radiating from the
harbour, its maze of narrow cobbled streets are filled with flowers - not
particularly surprising for a town which regularly wins the 'Britain in
A mild climate, warmed by the gulf stream and almost frost-free winters
makes it possible to grow plants and shrubs normally native to semi-tropical
countries hundreds of miles further south.
Take a leisurely walk along some of the miles of coastal footpath, perhaps
to Lelant and soak up the sounds and images of the mythical and rugged land.
Take the opportunity to return by branch line train along what has been
described as one of the most spectacular railway journeys in Britain as the
track hugs the edge of the cliff in a spectacular feat of Victorian
engineering. Enjoy the view across to Godrevy Lighthouse, immortalised by
the novelist Virginia Woolf, or take a short boat trip to watch seals
basking on the rocks in the sunshine. St. Ives has something that will
appeal to everyone, young or old.
As well as its tradition of fishing, St. Ives is world famous as an art
centre and studios, shops and galleries are everywhere.The Tate St. Ives,
part of the Tate Gallery in London, was opened in 1993 and is, perhaps, the
flagship of Cornish art.
The Gallery's inspirational building stands high above the magnificent
surfing beach of Porthmeor and features exhibitions which represent the
modern 'St. Ives School' of painters such as Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and
Sir Terry Frost as well as a changing programme of other contemporary work.
Also part of the Tate Gallery is the Barbara Hepworth Museum, a lasting
memorial to the great sculptress who lived and worked in St. Ives at her
Her workshop has been carefully preserved and the gardens and house contain
many examples of her work and some of her finest pieces.
As night falls at the end of another perfect day, St. Ives comes alive -
with bars restaurants and cafés to suit every pocket and every taste in a
truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.
And finally as the disappearing sun paints the sea and sky in glorious pink,
it is time to plan what to do tomorrow. One thing though is for certain,
whether it is time to relax or inspire, or for the mystery and romance, St.
Ives has nothing but the finest holiday ingredients.