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Welcome to my blog. I write about my life with my family, renovating our cottage and trying to lead a more creative life.

Travel: St. Ives, Cornwall

Travel: St. Ives, Cornwall

The eclectic houses of St Ives.  You will discover something new each time you visit.

The eclectic houses of St Ives.  You will discover something new each time you visit.

For years St. Ives has been mine and my husband's favourite place.  We lived there for a short while nearly ten years ago and eloped to marry seven years ago this year.   There are many things that I love about the place but in an effort to not write the longest blog ever I am summarising my five favourite things.  If you are a fan of this part of England I hope you will share your favourite things about St Ives in the comments below.

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We have visited this lovely town for the past two New Years and absolutely loved it.  The temperature is much warmer than up here in the Midlands, the beaches are quieter and still as beautiful and there is a magical atmosphere as always.  If you do plan on celebrating the New Year in in St Ives one year make sure you bring your fancy dress costume.  Virtually everyone dresses up and parades the streets.  Pubs don't have tickets or bouncers so you can come and go as you please and everyone goes down to the beach at 12am to see the fireworks.  There is an atmosphere suitable for couples, youngsters and families and everyone is so happy and friendly.  We always book a restaurant way in advance or you could just have fish and chips in the harbour.

The view of St Ives from Porthminster beach.  Look at those blues on New Year's Eve!!

The view of St Ives from Porthminster beach.  Look at those blues on New Year's Eve!!

1. The winding streets and houses

This is my favourite part about St Ives.  I could wander around the hidden streets and alleyways day after day.  I have visited here so many times and I still discover new little nooks and crannies.  The old houses are the cutest and so pretty.  There is a lot of development in St Ives lately, building luxury houses and apartments for the rich but I hope this isn't done too much as I would hate for the charm of this beautiful town to be ruined.

The white washed houses reflect the light beautifully in St Ives.  Add that to the hints of grey, yellow and blue and it is one of the most picturesque towns in Britain.

The white washed houses reflect the light beautifully in St Ives.  Add that to the hints of grey, yellow and blue and it is one of the most picturesque towns in Britain.

2.  The light

It is the light of St Ives that has attracted artists to live and create here over the years.  Apparently it is because of it's peninsula that gives it the bright but muted grey tint to it.  We noticed that it didn't get dark until at least half an hour later than up here in the Midlands.  It is really clear when you take photographs how different the light is. 

The harbour of St Ives.  I love the way the small fishing boats are left stranded on the sand. 

The harbour of St Ives.  I love the way the small fishing boats are left stranded on the sand. 

Even on a rainy day the light is beautiful.  It always has a grey/ blue tint to it.  This is the view of Carbis Bay beach from the walk into St Ives.  This is a lovely twenty minute walk that takes under the railway and by some beautiful houses.  It brings you out onto Porthminster beach where you could go for lunch at the wonderful Porthminster Café or grab a hot chocolate from one of the kiosks on the beach and drink it over looking the pale turquoise sea.

Even on a rainy day the light is beautiful.  It always has a grey/ blue tint to it.  This is the view of Carbis Bay beach from the walk into St Ives.  This is a lovely twenty minute walk that takes under the railway and by some beautiful houses.  It brings you out onto Porthminster beach where you could go for lunch at the wonderful Porthminster Café or grab a hot chocolate from one of the kiosks on the beach and drink it over looking the pale turquoise sea.

The harbour at dusk.  The blues intensify as the sun goes down. 

The harbour at dusk.  The blues intensify as the sun goes down. 

3.  The beaches

St Ives spoils us with so many beautiful beaches.  My personal favourite is Porthgwidden.  It is one of the smaller beaches so when you have younger children it's easier to keep an eye on them.  The waves aren't as strong here so the sea is safer and it has my favourite café. 

Each beach comprises of beautifully pale turquoise sea and soft, clean golden sand.  When the sun shines they really cannot be beaten.  Sitting on the beach with my family on a sunny day after Christmas drinking hot chocolate is a memory that I will treasure forever.

The beach huts and café on Porthgwidden beach.  The café has one of the best views that you could possibly have.  You will need to book, especially if you want the window seat.  One of the main benefits of staying in St Ives in the Winter is the emptier beaches.  On a dry day it's still lovely to sit on the sand wrapped up warm enjoying a picnic and the sound of the sea. 

The beach huts and café on Porthgwidden beach.  The café has one of the best views that you could possibly have.  You will need to book, especially if you want the window seat.  One of the main benefits of staying in St Ives in the Winter is the emptier beaches.  On a dry day it's still lovely to sit on the sand wrapped up warm enjoying a picnic and the sound of the sea. 

The beautiful beach of Carbis Bay.  Even on a dull day the colours are gorgeous.  All of the beaches in St Ives are immaculately clean.

The beautiful beach of Carbis Bay.  Even on a dull day the colours are gorgeous.  All of the beaches in St Ives are immaculately clean.

Sitting on the beach wrapped up on a sunny Winter's day equals any Summer one.  This was taken on Porthminster beach.  This beach has calmer waves and doesn't get deep too quickly.  On low tide you can walk across the sand straight to the town of St Ives. 

Sitting on the beach wrapped up on a sunny Winter's day equals any Summer one.  This was taken on Porthminster beach.  This beach has calmer waves and doesn't get deep too quickly.  On low tide you can walk across the sand straight to the town of St Ives. 

The crashing waves of Porthmeor and the Island of St Ives.  This is the main beach for surfing in St Ives and there were quite a few out on this fresh New Year's Eve.   This is the beach that The Tate overlooks and also has it's own fabulous café that sell tapas meals as well as mains.  There are outdoor booths with heaters and blankets are provided.  In the summer the West Beach bakery sells amazing freshly baked pizzas and is a little quieter than some of the main restaurants in the centre of town.

The crashing waves of Porthmeor and the Island of St Ives.  This is the main beach for surfing in St Ives and there were quite a few out on this fresh New Year's Eve.   This is the beach that The Tate overlooks and also has it's own fabulous café that sell tapas meals as well as mains.  There are outdoor booths with heaters and blankets are provided.  In the summer the West Beach bakery sells amazing freshly baked pizzas and is a little quieter than some of the main restaurants in the centre of town.

4. The Shops

There are lots of gorgeous shops for you to peruse whilst on holiday in St Ives.  One of the lovely things about visiting here during the Christmas holidays is the effort that the shops go to decorate their windows.  It adds to the magical feeling of the place.  There are lots of crafters that have studios for you to buy from and independent boutiques.  There are a growing number of chains opening but these are good quality ones and mostly ethical.

The pretty windows in St Ives Craft Centre.  Even on a wet evening they give the perfect festive glow.

The pretty windows in St Ives Craft Centre.  Even on a wet evening they give the perfect festive glow.

5. The Tate

The Tate Gallery is my favourite place to visit in St Ives.  It has recently had a make over making the gallery space even bigger and better.  There is a charge to enter the main exhibitions but you can visit the shop, café and children's area for free.  The interior is spectacular with white washed walls and windows allowing light to flow around the building.  These create different tints and shades in all of the spaces.  The café sells very good quality food for reasonable prices and has the most spectacular views across the rooftops of St Ives and over Porthmeor Beach.  The shop has a really good range of art books and gifts to buy and the children's area encourages creativity based upon the current exhibitions.

The view from a window in the Tate overlooking Porthmeor beach.

The view from a window in the Tate overlooking Porthmeor beach.

The stairs from the café.  The windows from the café overlook St Ives and its beaches.

The stairs from the café.  The windows from the café overlook St Ives and its beaches.

The art of France-Lise McGurn that runs down the stair well through the gallery. 

The art of France-Lise McGurn that runs down the stair well through the gallery. 

So those are my five favourite things about St Ives.  Do you love other things about this special place?  There are also lots of wonderful places to visit in this part of Cornwall which I will write about soon on another blog. 

Boats resting on the harbour.  Spot the remnants from New Year's Eve.

Boats resting on the harbour.  Spot the remnants from New Year's Eve.

 

 

 

 

Ivy Cottage Renovation:  Bedroom

Ivy Cottage Renovation: Bedroom