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St Ives

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About St Ives

St Ives, located 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 boast 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 seafront.

The Tate is a big draw. Converted from a former gasworks next to Porthmeor Beach, it houses the work of modern British artists. 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 as well as galleries, 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 also 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.

What Not To Miss

  • Families should definitely spend a day at The Flambards Experience amusement park - complete with thrill rides, a Victorian Village and children's play area. A fun-filled day out.
  • Head over to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and check out their fascinating variety of exhibitions, including one on British tattoo art and another on Captain Bligh.
  • Mên-an-Tol, known locally as the "Crick stone", is an iconic formation of standing stones thought to date back to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.
  • The 22-acre Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens features a range of modern art installations, surrounded by plant-filled gardens and with fantastic views of the bay. A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Don't forget that if you plan to visit the town during the peak summer months (or half terms), you'll need to be organised and book well ahead. The best places to stay in St Ives can be very difficult to reserve!

The Best Places to Stay in St Ives

For Escaping

  • 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.

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 individually designed bedrooms simply ooze style, and with no kids allowed under 14, it's the ideal adult retreat.
  • The boutique 3 Porthminster is located a short distance from the beach, perfect for long romantic walks along the coast. What's more, it boasts a lovely quiet atmosphere and is a mere stone's throw away from the town's top spots.

For a holiday cottage

  • If you're travelling in a larger family group or with friends, you might prefer to opt for self catering accommodation. We recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com for a wide choice.

Travel Information

  • St Ives is a busy destination year round, but is hottest in July and August, with daily temperatures averaging 15°C and the sea averaging 17°C - so it's not exactly stifling, but is perfectly pleasant.
  • Visitors from the UK can take a train to St Ives, 5 hours 50 minutes away from London Paddington and requiring just one change.
  • Alternatively, if you're coming from further afield you can fly into Cornwall Airport Newquay which serves a number of domestic routes (such as Edinburgh, Scilly, Manchester, Doncaster Sheffield and Birmingham). The airport's located about 50 minutes away from St Ives itself.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

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Best Hotels in St Ives

  • Blue Hayes St Ives (West Cornwall) 6 rooms from $205

    Exclusive offer
    Hideaway  -  A real gem that is almost impossible to leave, with friendly and welcoming staff, cosy rooms, great views and spectacular food
    Local exploring  -  If you can pull yourself away, there's plenty to visit including The Tate, The Eden Project, and exploring lovely St Ives
    Restaurant  -  Indulgent breakfasts and healthy light dinners are offered in the restaurant
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives Modern art museum is a brisk 20 minute walk away
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Sawdays

    Glamourous and discreet six 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 back luxury. See More

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  • 3 Porthminster St Ives (West Cornwall) 4 rooms from $115

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly placed within walking distance of the harbour, The Tate, and some of St Ives' most famed restaurants
    Romantic Break  -  A quiet atmosphere, lovely sea views and long walks on the beach — ideal for a romantic getaway
    Great walks  -  Wander along the coast revelling in its natural beauty. The South West Coastal path runs through St Ives
    Minimum Stay  -  Three nights in the high season and two nights throughout the rest of the year
    ViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming B&B situated in the town of St Ives, just a short distance from the beach. Four light and airy rooms are decorated in sunny whites, blues and yellows and have wonderful sea views. Breakfasts are an indulgent affair and St Ives' beaches, restaurants, and sights are all nearby. A cosy stay. See More

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  • Una St Ives St Ives (West Cornwall) 29 rooms from $167

    Groups  -  With one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom self-catering lodges, this is ideal for groups of friends or families
    Great walks  -  Take the scenic four mile coastal path down to St Ives from where you can continue if you want a longer hike
    Restaurant  -  Informal and simply cooked Mediterranean-inspired wood-fired food is served at Una Kitchen
    Swimming Pool  -  A large indoor pool and a kids' pool with a hot tub next door
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    A collection of eco-lodges just outside St Ives. Villas and lodges range in size but throughout interiors are chic and modern with pale wood floors, clean lines, wood-burning stoves, and well-equipped kitchens. Complete with a casual restaurant, spa, & pools. Well suited to families or couples. See More

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  • The Queens Hotel St Ives (West Cornwall) 10 rooms from $187

    Foodies  -  For those in search of traditional pub food done well and made with carefully sourced local produce, this inn fits the bill
    Local exploring  -  A great base for exploring the charming former artist colony of St. Ives as it's minutes from both the harbour and beaches
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Penlee House in Penzance, home to stunning works by the Newlyn School of Artists
    Surfing  -  The coastline near St. Ives is full of great surf spots
    RestaurantNo pets

    A traditional pub with rooms well-positioned in the heart of St. Ives. Beautifully renovated rooms perfectly mix the old and the new with exposed beams set against whitewashed walls. The gastropub serves well-crafted hearty pub fare with attention paid to sourcing produce. A laidback stay. See More

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  • Primrose Valley Hotel St Ives (West Cornwall) 9 rooms from $192

    Boutique  -  A compact 11 room Edwardianm home turned into a chic boutique with minimilist style and a hint of nature in each room
    Local exploring  -  Ideal for exploring popular St. Ives and the surrounding Cornish countryside and beaches
    Surfing  -  The Cornish coast is a haven for surfers. From novice to pro, you'll find a wave for you
    Sights nearby  -  Land's End is just over ten miles away
    ViewsParkingNo pets

    Just off the beach, Primrose Valley Hotel epitomises Cornwall's superb hospitality culture. With views that flow out across the beautiful surroundings and stylishly designed rooms, it's a hotel that makes the best of its surroundings. A coastal gem. See More

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  • Storm in a Teacup St Ives (West Cornwall) 6 rooms from $205

    Families  -  Family rooms with a large double and bunk beds plus the multitude of activties nearby make this perfect family-friendly material
    Local exploring  -  Well positioned in St Ives, you have access to beaches, Tate St Ives, the coastal path, and excellent restaurants
    Great walks  -  The South West Coastal path runs through St Ives so you have great options in all directions
    Sights nearby  -  St Michael's Mount and Land's End are must visits!
    GardenParkingNo pets

    Just a short walk from the beach, Storm in a Teacup is a charming boutique B&B in St. Ives. The rooms are stylishly decorated with modern furniture and pop art that gives the place a chic feel. A laidback launchpad to explore the surrounding Cornish coast. See More

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  • West by Five St Ives (West Cornwall) 4 rooms from $218

    Local exploring  -  St Ives offers the quintessential Cornish experience with beaches, coastal paths, art galleries, and world-class restaurants
    Active Holiday  -  Whether you are surf, sail, hike, or cycle - there is plenty to do in the area
    Sights nearby  -  The Tate St Ives is walking distance from the property and a real must-visit
    Minimum Stay  -  Two nights in the mid and low season and three nights in the high season

    A chic guesthouse set in a converted Edwardian townhouse in the heart of St Ives. Stylish nautically-themed rooms have large bathrooms and stunning sea views. Fabulous hearty breakfasts are served in a light breakfast room. Intimate and relaxed, this is an easy base to explore the area from. See More

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  • Headland House St Ives (West Cornwall) 7 rooms from $224

    Local exploring  -  St Ives is a trendy little town filled with art galleries and cafes. Then there's all the beautiful Cornish countryside
    Boutique  -  All the rooms are individually (and tastefully) designed, many with roll top tubs and stunning sea views
    Great walks  -  Head out from the property and take scenic walks along Carbis Bay
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 14 years old are welcome
    GardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A boutique B&B offering fabulous sea views, cosy accommodation and a friendly welcome. Rooms are individually styled with the right balance of traditional and contemporary design. Fabulous breakfasts are served and there's a well-stocked honesty bar for evening tipples. A grown-up stay. See More

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  • Pedn Olva St Ives (West Cornwall) 30 rooms from $231

    Families  -  With spacious family suites, casual dining, and plenty of activities nearby this is a an easy choice for a family getaway
    Active Holiday  -  The area offers a host of outdoor activities from watersports to rugged hikes
    Surfing  -  Head for Porthmeor beach for excellent surf conditions
    Restaurant  -  Seafood and pub classics are served in the restaurant
    RestaurantSwimming PoolViewsParking

    A chic cliff top hotel overlooking the pristine white sands of Porthminster beach. White on white throughout, the hotel has a distinctly un-British feel, you could be forgiven for thinking you're somewhere in the Mediterranean. The restaurant is a hotspot for foodies and the town for art lovers. See More

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  • St Ives Harbour Hotel St Ives (Cornwall) 52 rooms from $250

    Total relaxation  -  A beautiful coastal property complete with fabulous spa. Ideal for relaxing weekends away.
    Great walks  -  Enjoy scenic walks along the beautiful coastal path.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury Cornish property boasting fabulous sea views in the chic town of St Ives. Smart rooms feature high ceilings, dark hues, contemporary furniture and indulgent bathrooms. A spoiling spa, indoor pool, fine dining restaurant and abundance of activities in the area make this a spoiling break. See More

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  • The Lifeboat Inn, St Ives St Ives (West Cornwall) 7 rooms from $269

    Families  -  As well as a family room with double bed and bunks, there are two apartments which can sleep up to 4
    Beach Life  -  A charming Cornish inn offering cosy accommodation right on the picturesque St Ives coast
    Sights nearby  -  The Tate St Ives gallery is a must visit on any trip
    Surfing  -  Book a lesson in the surf school on Porthmeor Beach
    RestaurantNo pets

    A boutique inn overlooking the harbour in the quaint town of St Ives. A handful of smart bedrooms (most with coastal views) feature sink-into beds, simple contemporary fabrics, and indulgent bathrooms. The atmospheric pub is the beating heart of this inn and serves superb seafood. See More

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  • Boskerris Hotel St Ives (West Cornwall) 15 rooms from $288

    Local exploring  -  From St Ives' art galleries and the Tate St Ives to rugged countryside for treks and surfing - there's plenty to explore
    Restaurant  -  Breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinners are served with regularly changing menus use the best of local produce
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives is within walking distance and is a real must visit
    Great walks  -  Hop on the nearby South West Coast Path
    RestaurantGardenViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A sophisticated seaside hotel with fabulous views of Carbis Bay. Decor is light, airy, and contemporary with a Mediterranean feel. A large terrace is perfect for a sundowner while breakfasts, high teas, and dinners are a choice of small regularly changing menus. A stylish base for a coastal stay. See More

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  • Trevose Harbour House St Ives (West Cornwall) 6 rooms from $314

    Eco break  -  Food is locally sourced and predominantly organic, waste is recycled and cleaning products are enviroment friendly
    Beach Life  -  Decorated in a nautical style, enjoying views of and walking distance from some of Cornwall's finest beaches
    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
    ViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

    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. See More

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  • The Gannet Inn St Ives (West Cornwall) 20 rooms from $333

    Families  -  With spacious family suites, a laidback vibe, and close proximity to the beach this is a good choice for a family getaway
    Local exploring  -  An ideal base to explore the chic town of St Ives, access the beach and discover Cornwall's countryside.
    Spa  -  Guests can enjoy using the C Bay Spa at sister property Carbis Bay Hotel
    Great walks  -  Discover Cornwall on foot taking long walks along the coastal path.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets

    A boutique inn located in a picturesque village just outside St Ives. Individually styled rooms are named to reflect their character. From 'Cosy' to 'Quirky' each is stylishly designed and comfortable. The staff are exceptionally friendly and the food both hearty and skilfully crafted. See More

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  • Carbis Bay Hotel St Ives (West Cornwall) 47 rooms from $641

    Families  -  With excellent facilities and a whole host of family orientated activities, it's a great spot for a trip with the kids
    Active Holiday  -  With a host of watersports facilities on site, a nearby beach and walking trails, it's perfect for an active holiday
    Restaurant  -  A choice of six dining options ranging from casual fare to fine dining
    Spa  -  C Bay Spa offers a wide range of spa and beauty treatments
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury hotel overlooking one of Cornwall's most beautiful bays. Rooms are light and airy with retro furniture and magnificent views. With a wide choice of dining options, a full service spa, and the beach on the doorstep - this is suited to both couples and families. See More

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