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About St. Ives
St Ives on the north coast of Cornwall, is home to Tate St Ives, the second Tate opened outside London. It is also home to some of the most perfect seaside experiences Britain can offer.The best places to stay in St Ives all have lovely views and bags of atmosphere. Often voted the best UK seaside town (impressive in a crowded market) it has retained most of the historical buildings and detail from its time as a busy fishing port without succumbing to slot machines on the sea front.
The Tate is a big draw. Converted from a former gasworks next to Porthmeor Beach, it houses the work of modern British artists. But before that many people came just for the beaches. There are four glorious beaches in St Ives: Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Porthminster and Harbour Beach, with Carbis Bay a mile around the headland or a half hour walk along the coastal path.
St. Ives is also known for the charm of its bijou boutiques and galleries and buzzy cafes and restaurants with impressive water views.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is another attraction, housed in the artist's former house and studio on Barnoon Hill, a ten minute walk from the Tate.
It's not all about art here, from the best places to stay in St. Ives you can witness the famous gig racing. A gig is a 32 foot long clinker-built rowing boat seating six rowers and a cox, and they were originally used to take pilots out to sailing ships as they approached the Isles of Scilly or Cornish coast. The first pilot aboard the sailing ship got the job, so gig racing is an ancient local tradition.
The Best Places to Stay in St. Ives for Escaping
- The deliciously tranquil six room Blue Hayes Hotel is a discreetly glamorous proposition, perched above the bay with its terraces and balconies looking out to sea.
- The Boskerris is another hotel with a wonderful sun terrace. The fifteen rooms are modern but natural and the whole place has a Mediterranean feel, with the palm trees outside! The lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf to write "To the Lighthouse" can be glimpsed as you sip a cold glass of wine.
The Best Places to Stay in St. Ives for Romance
- West by Five has stylish themed rooms and, more importantly, stunning sea views. You're walking distance from all the highlights, and many excellent restaurants, so this is perfect spot if you can only spare a weekend in St. Ives.
- Book Trevose Harbour House for a gorgeous nautically themed B&B. Six individally designed bedrooms simply ooze style, and with no kids allowed under 14, it's the ideal adult retreat.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in St. Ives for you?
Best Hotels in St. Ives
West by Five 4 rooms from $73St. Ives (St Ives)
A contemporary chic guesthouse on the Cornish coast. Stylish beach themed rooms have large bathrooms and stunning sea views. Fabulous hearty breakfasts in a lovely breakfast room. Walking distance to restaurants, the beach, harbour and museums. A great choice for a weekend by the sea.Country Escape - Tranquil seaside town of St Ives, yet with plenty of sites on the doorstep. Fresh seafood, surfing, walks and pubs of CornwallGreat walks - Porthminster Beach, up on to the coastal path to Carbis Bay or LelantSights nearby - The harbour of St IvesSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Boskerris Hotel 15 rooms from $184St. Ives (West Cornwall)
A sophisticated seaside hotel, the ideal place to relax and take in the sea air. Light, airy contemporary decor with a Mediterranean feel. Afternoon tea is served on the decked terrace, where you can enjoy spectacular views across St Ives Bay.Views - Wide coastal views from most roomsSit-out Terrace - Coastal views are beautifulSights nearby - Tate St Ives within walking distanceRomantic - A tranquil retreat for couplesRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Trevose Harbour House 6 rooms from $202St. Ives (West Cornwall)
As refreshing as the Cornish coastline you can see from your window this nautical inspired B&B is simply stunning. Six individually designed bedrooms ooze style with colour palettes to match the sky and surf of St Ives. The downstairs snug offers an honesty bar & breakfast is totally organic.Sights nearby - For art lovers the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are worth a visit.Sailing - Take a boat trip to Seal Island where you can spot seals, dolphins and much more.Great walks - To the Lizard Peninsula and the Kynance Cove makes for an excellent day out.Surfing - Nearby Porthmeor Beach is where surfers go to hang ten.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Blue Hayes 6 rooms from $233St. Ives (West Cornwall)
Glamourous and discreet 5 room boutique hotel in buzzy St Ives. A tranquil spot with sweeping views. Large airy rooms and suites with neutral tones and splashes or pastel colours. Informal dining based on Cornish produce. Excellent and personal service. Perfectly achieved laid backed luxury.Exclusive offerHideaway - A real jem that is almost impossible to leave, with friendly and welcoming staff, cosy rooms, great views and spectacular food.Sights nearby - Tate St Ives Modern art museum is a brisk 20 minute walk away.Great walks - Walk from St Ives around the stunning rugged coast to Zennor.Restrictions on children - No children under the age of 10Recommended by - Frommers, Sawdays