Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall

101 Brilliant Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall

For such a small town there is a wonderful array of things to see and do. Ther isn't fairground rides, water parks or multiplex cinemas, but there is lots of fun, quirky and delightful things on offer.

Getting Outdoors In St Ives

You can’t come to St Ives without going to at least one beach. There are seven of them in St Ives, yes seven! Each one has a different feel, different sand, different sea conditions and often really different weather. They all face different ways, so if the wind is blowing a hoolie on Porthmeor, go round to Harbour Beach and it will (usually) be nice and calm.

The seven beaches are Porthmeor Beach, Porthgwidden Beach, Bamaluz Beach, Breakwater Beach, Harbour Beach, Lambeth Beach and Porthminster Beach.

5 minutes drive down the road is Carbis Bay Beach (beautiful but expensive to park) and then further on there is the stunning Porthkidney Sands (incredibly beautiful, big, popular with dog walkers). Further on from that are the beaches at Hayle where they have 3 miles of golden sand. We really are spoilt for choice with beaches in St Ives!

1. Porthmeor Beach

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Porthmeor Beach
Porthmeor Beach is a large beach with soft sands and often excellent surfing conditions.

Central to the beach is the Tate St Ives, and below this is a cafe, shop, takeaway and surf school. This is the busiest part of the beach and is where the lifeguards are stationed.

On the West side is a Greek cafe, fish restaurant plus a little waterfall and rockpools.
  • large, soft, sandy beach
  • lots of places to eat and drink
  • surf school with lessons and equipment hire
  • beach shops
  • slipway access onto the beach
  • lifeguarded March to November
  • dog rules in place over the Summer months

Read all about Porthmeor Beach here >>

2. Porthminster Beach

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach is the lovely, big, sandy beach that sits below the train station in St Ives.

It nearly always looks amazingly tropical, like a beach from a beautiful, hot island! It’s not though, it really is right here in St Ives!

Because of the direction it faces, it is often very calm here, so it is great for swimming and paddleboarding.

  • large, soft, sandy beach
  • lots of places to eat and drink
  • surf school with lessons and equipment hire - not surfing though
  • slipway access onto the beach
  • lifeguarded May to September
  • dog rules in place over the Summer months

Read all about Porthminster Beach here >>

3. Porthgwidden Beach

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Porthgwidden Beach
Porthgwidden Beach is a fairly small, sandy beach tucked away between The Island and Bamaluz Beach in St Ives.

It is really good if you have young children as you can keep an eye on them easily and it is tricky for them to wander too far away.
  • smallish, soft, sandy beach
  • places to eat and drink
  • good for swimming, paddleboarding and kayaking
  • slipway access onto the beach
  • NOT lifeguarded
  • dog rules in place over the Summer months

Read all about Porthgwidden Beach here >>

4. St Ives Harbour

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Harbour
St Ives Harbour is a beautiful tidal harbour. It is often quite sheltered as it is tucked behind Smeaton’s Pier, and faces into St Ives Bay. It has a fishing fleet and mooring for about 140 boats and so is quite a busy place.

There are 2 sandy beaches at high tide, and when the tide is out you can walk right across to Porthminster Beach.
  • 2 sandy beaches - huge beach when the tide is out
  • lots of places to eat and drink
  • busy working harbour
  • slipway access onto the beach
  • NOT lifeguarded
  • dog rules in place over the Summer monthsan in July and August.

Read all about St Ives Harbour here >>

5. Dog Friendly Beaches

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Dogs On Beaches
Outside of the Summer months, all of the beaches in St Ives allow dogs on.

During the Summer months Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Harbour and Porthminster Beach all have dog bans during the day between 10am and 6pm (these vary dates wise so do check).

There are 3 beaches in St Ives which are dog friendly all year round. They are
  • Bamaluz Beach
  • Breakwater Beach
  • Lambeth Beach
A 5 minute drive out of St Ives is the huge Porthkidney Sands which is also dog friendly.

Read more about dog friendly beaches in St Ives >>

6. Beach Cleans

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Beach Cleans

On first glance, the beaches around St Ives seem very clean. But start looking closer and you start to see all sorts of litter. It is especially bad after a very high tide or storm – or during the Summer when the visitor numbers are really high!

Lots of us go out regularly and do beach cleans and there are more organised ones too. Check our facebook page (St Ives By The Sea) as we do post about them. If there isn't one on, do one yourself, it is always REALLY appreciated!

You might get lucky and find a piece of Lego from the 1997 containers which were washed off the Tokio Express cargo ship. Ironically most of the Lego pieces are sea themed!

Read all about beach cleans in St Ives here >>

7. The Island

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Island

The Island in St Ives isn’t really an island as it is firmly attached to the mainland of St Ives.

It is actually a beautiful headland jutting out into St Ives Bay and provides a lot of shelter for the harbour and surrounding beaches. There are lots of things to see and do there.

  • NCI Coastguard Station
  • St Nicholas Chapel
  • Surfhouse St Ives
  • Gun Battery
  • Walks
  • Wildlife spotting
  • Benches with views!

Read all about The Island in St Ives here >>

8. Man's Head

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Man's Head
Man’s Head is the distinctive rocky outcrop that sits overlooking Porthmeor Beach to the West (left hand side if you are facing the sea).

It is named Man’s Head due to it looking like a gnarly old man from some angles. See if you can spot puppy dog rock too.

It is a lovely place to walk, scramble up the rocks or just sit and enjoy the view. The view of Porthmeor Beach from here is amazing as you get to watch the waves and surfers from side on.

Here you can join the South West Coast Path here and walk all the way to Zennor and beyond.

Read all about Man's Head in St Ives here >>

9. Barnoon Cemetery

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Barnoon Cemetery
Why would you want to visit a cemetery? Simply because it is stunning and full of St Ives history.

Barnoon Cemetery sits high above Porthmeor Beach. It is a really peaceful place with lovely planting, wildlife and views.

The graves tell the history of St Ives, from shipwrecks and wars to artists. It is a fascinating and peaceful place to wander in.

Look out for:
  • Alfred Wallis’ Grave
  • 2 local lads who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster
  • A memorial to those who lost their lives in the SS Alba shipwreck
  • WWI and WWII memorials

Read all about Barnoon Cemetery here >>

10. The Town Gardens

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Town Gardens

St Ives has some lovely little town gardens which offer a little escape from the sand and the crowds in Summer. As well as having some lovely subtropical plants, they also have sculptures and benches to sit and relax on. They are all free to enter.

The gardens to look for are:

  • Trewyn Gardens
  • St Ives Memorial Gardens
  • The Malakoff
  • Porthminster Gardens
  • Norway Square

Read about the town gardens >>

11. St Ives Community Orchard

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Community Orchard
St Ives Community Orchard is a beautiful and inspiring place tucked behind the play park and industrial estate on Penbeagle Hill in St Ives. It has views over the sea and the moors and really is a hidden gem.

In the Orchard you will find:
  • Fruit and nut trees
  • Bees and beehives
  • Willow structures
  • A pizza oven and entertainment space
  • The Core - a brand new eco-building

They hold lots of community events which are open to everyone, and they are always looking out for volunteers to help with the orchard maintence.

Read all about St Ives Community Orchard here >>

12. Steeple Nature Reserve


Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve
The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve sits above Carbis Bay overlooking St Ives Bay. It is a lovely place to visit for a walk and a play in the woods.

It is a 40 acre public open space with Knill’s Monument sitting at the top. It overlooks St Ives Bay and is a lovely place to explore the woods and heathland.

It is free to visit at any time and there a volunteer work sessions, usually held on a Wednesday.

You can start walking the St Michael’s Way here too which takes you across the countryside all the way to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount.

Read about Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve >>

13. Hills With A View

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Hills With A View

There are 6 main hills around St Ives which you can walk up. They all make great walks and have lovely views across the countryside and out to sea. Some have views across to both sides - St Ives Bay and Mounts Bay.

  • Worvas Hill (Steeple Nature Reserve)
  • Carnstabba/Penbeagle Hill (behind the orchard)
  • Rosewall Hill
  • Trevalgan Hill (also known as Buttercup Hill)
  • Trink Hill
  • Trencrom Hill

Discover the hills around St Ives >>

14. Walks


Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall
St Ives is the perfect starting point for lots of scenic, coastal walks. None of them are very flat, none of them are really pram friendly. But all of them are very scenic with some amazing views!

You can pick up the South West Coast Path and go either towards Zennor or towards Hayle and Godrevy.

Or you can take the St Michael’s Way and go overland to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount.

There are lots of shorter walks too, so you will be spoilt for choice.

Read about the lovely walks you can do around St Ives >>

15. The River Stennack & Consols Pond

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - River Stennack and Consols Pond
Why is The Stennack (as in the road) called The Stennack? It is named after the river than runs down the side of it and underneath it. In 1894 it caused a terrible and destructive flood (google it, it is really interesting).

You can follow the river down The Stennack to where it comes out into the sea over Lambeth Beach.

Consols Pond is found at the very top of The Stennack, behind the roundhouse at the junction. At Eastertime there is a town tradition of sailing small boats on it, which has recently being revived and is a lot of fun!each.

Read all about the River Stennack and Consols Pond here >>

16. Coastal Wildlife

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Coastal Wildlife
The cliffs, hills and seas around St Ives are full of amazing wildlife.

There are lots of seal colonies and seals are regular visitors to the beaches and harbour.

At certain times of the year there are huge pods of dolphins, and in recent years there have been quite a few whale sightings.

The bird life around St Ives is also lovely. As well as the obvious seagulls (Herring Gulls) there are plenty of cormorants and shags.

The bushes and scrub on the cliffs is usually teaming with small birds, and there is usually a kestrel keeping a look out for food on The Island.

Read more about the wildlife in St Ives >>

17. Wildflowers

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Wildflowers

The cliff walks around St Ives Cornwall are home to a variety of wildflowers that have adapted to the harsh coastal conditions.

Come and visit St Ives in late Spring and I guarantee you will be blown away by the beauty of it’s wild flowers. The coastal cliffs and moors turn into a mass of stunning blooms!

Look out for:

  • vivid yellow gorse
  • pale and pretty seapinks
  • dark pinky purple valerium
  • elusive and delicate orchids

Find out about the wildlflower that grow in St Ives >>

18. Benches With A View

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Benches With A View

All around the town are benches with the most gorgeous views. It is one of lifes greatest pleasures to have the time to sit on one and just contemplate the view.

It is almost impossible to decide on a favourite, but some of mine are:

  • Man’s Head
  • Porthmeor Beach (near the cafe)
  • Many on The Island
  • Behind Smeaton’s Pier
  • Wescott’s Quay
  • Porthminster Beach walk
  • Hain Walk

Read about my favourite benches with a view in St Ives >>

19. Watching The Sunset

Watch The Sunset In St Ives Cornwall

The sunsets in St Ives can be phenomenal! On all but the cloudiest of days there will be some semblance of a sunset happening over the sea.

The best place to watch the sun setting in St Ives is on Porthmeor Beach. The sun dips over the sea and Man’s Head and melts away into a pool of oranges and blues.

The Summer is never complete for us without a few evenings sitting on Porthmeor Beach watching the sunset. It is a really chilled out vibe with friends and families still playing on the beach and in the sea till dark.

Look carefully and you might even see the elusive green flash!

Find out where to see the sunset in St Ives >>

Cultural Things To Discover In St Ives

20. Tate St Ives

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Tate

The Tate St Ives is such an icon of the town. Built in the old gas works above Porthmeor Beach, it is a really eye catching and unusual building.

It exhibits works by modern British artists with links to the St Ives area.

It includes works by Alfred Wallis and Patrick Heron, and even has a Picasso piece.

  • galleries
  • exhibitions
  • family-friendly activities
  • stunning views
  • gift shop
  • fab cafe

Find out all about the Tate St Ives >>

21. Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens
The Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden is a wonderful place to visit. It is right in the heart of town, but is so tranquil and magical.

‘Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic’, wrote Hepworth. ‘Here was a studio, a yard and garden where I could work in open air and space’. This quote feels so true even today, with lots of visitors. The place has a timeless and still quality, with wonderful light.

Throughout the town you can see various Barbara Hepworth Sculptures.
  • Epidaurus at The Malakoff over looking Porthminster Beach
  • Dual Form outside The Guildhall on Street-An-Pol
  • Madonna and Child in the parish church

Find out about the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden >>

22. The Leach Pottery

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Leach Pottery

Sitting a little way up The Stennack, almost of the edge of town is The Leach Pottery.

The pottery was founded in 1920 and was originally an old cow shed and tin ore store - there were mines and farming all around this part of St Ives.

The site was renovated and reopened in 2008 as a working studio pottery, museum and gallery. It is currently undergoing more building work, but it is still open to the public.

  • Pottery
  • Museum
  • Gallery
  • Offers courses, classes and workshops to both adults and children

Find out about The Leach Pottery in St Ives >>

23. Porthmeor Studios

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Porthmeor Studios

Porthmeor Studios on Back Road W was originally used as net lofts for fishermen. This grade II listed building has housed many renowned artists, including Francis Bacon and Ben Nicholson.

A recent £4 million renovation has revitalized the studios, increasing their number to 19, with 15 for artists, and 2 each for the St Ives School of Painting and the trust.

The studios host various events, exhibitions, and art classes, showcasing the blend of the fishing industry and artistic heritage.

I’m always blown away by the amazing building and the view out to Porthmeor Beach and the sea from the enormous windows.

Read more about Porthmeor Studios >>

24. Art Galleries

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Art Galleries
St Ives is home to a vibrant art scene with many galleries showcasing a wide range of art.

There are of course the very well known galleries such as the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the historic Porthmeor Studios.

However, there are many more smaller galleries which showcase both contemporary and traditional artworks.

Each gallery offers unique contributions to the local art community, from collective exhibits and art classes to historic displays and modern installations.

Read more about the art galleries in St Ives >>

25. St Ives Library

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Library

St Ives Library is a really friendly, welcoming place offering a wide range of services.

It has a well-stocked children’s section, various groups and activities for all ages, a rich collection of local history books, and displays of local art.

The library also has a shop (selling our game and jigsaw!), tourist information center, and provides facilities like internet access, free Wi-Fi, and printing services.

The library runs lots of things to do throughout the year so it is worth checking their Facebook page for more details.

Read more about St Ives library >>

26. St Ives Museum

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Museum

The St Ives Museum is a treasure trove of local history, filled with quirky and fascinating artifacts related to the town's fishing industry, mining, and tourism.

As someone I know remarked, it's like the inhabitants of St Ives have cleared out their attics for all to see. Some of it is odd, most of it is fascinating!

You will find the museum tucked away behind the harbour on Wheal Dream.

It is open from the Monday before Good Friday until the end of October half-term. Admission is £5 for adults, and is free for children.

Read more about the St Ives Museum >>

27. St Ives Arts Club

St Ives Arts Club Cornwall

The St Ives Arts Club is such an eye-catching building overlooking the harbour on Wescotts Quay. You can't miss it, it is the black wooden one.

The club was established in 1890 and is was set up to support various artistic activities including:

  • art exhibitions
  • music performances
  • theatrical productions
  • poetry readings
  • storytelling
  • comedy nights
  • film screenings.

Read more about the St Ives Arts Club >>

Discover Lots Of History Around St Ives

28. Smeaton's Pier

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Smeaton's Pier
Smeaton’s Pier must be one of the most photographed and painted piers in the UK.

It actually started off life as a much smaller pier, only going out as far as the old lighthouse halfway along it. It was extended when the fishing fleet expanded and the new, white lighthouse was built.

It is a working pier with both the St Ives Fishing Fleet and the boat trips working on it.

Look out for:
  • the 2 lighthouses
  • the arches underneath
  • the Cintra Anchor
  • St Leonard’s Chapel
  • The leach tile mural

Read all about the history of Smeaton's Pier >>

29. St Leonard's Chapel

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - St Leonard's Chapel
At the entrance of Smeaton’s Pier is a tiny little chapel called St Leonard’s Chapel.

It has been there since medieval times although its date of original build is not known. There are records in the archives for repairs made as far back as 1577.

It’s where the fishermen used to pray before setting out to sea. Apparently, in “the olden days” a portion of the fishermans’ catch had was paid to the chapel friar on their safe return.

When the door is open you are welcome to look inside. There is a wall of interesting artifacts and a lovely view over harbour beach through the window.

Find out about St Leonard's Chapel >>

30. The Oldest House In Town & Pudding Bag Lane

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Oldest House and Pudding Bag Lane

5 Fish St is known as the oldest house in St Ives. To find it, walk to The Sloop Inn and turn up the road next to it. Look for the big old brown wooden door.

It is often called the Bretons House as it is where the Breton (French) fishermen used to stay in the Summer months.

The plaque on the side of the house is one of the 6 made at the Leach Pottery in 1951 for the Festival of Britain.

The junction of Fish St and The Sloop Inn car park is where Pudding Bag Lane used to be. This was a mass of tightly packed housing which was knocked down during the slum clearances as it was deemed to be unhealthy. Now sadly it is just a car park.

Find out more about the oldest house in town >>

31. Alfred Wallis

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Alfred Wallis

Alfred Wallis was a Cornish fisherman, who took to painting when his wife died. He started painting at the age of 70 and he painted fishing scenes from around St Ives. His style is called naive and was not appreciated until after his death in 1942.

He used to live in a little cottage on Back Road W and there is a plaque on the side of it to remember him.

He died a pauper and his friend Bernard Leach (of the Leach Pottery) made the tiles for his beautiful grave, which can be found in Barnoon Cemetery in St Ives.

His works of art are now displayed in the Tate St Ives.

Find out all about the artist Alfred Wallis >>

32. St Eia Parish Church

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - St Eia Parish Church

The St Ives Parish Church is the big church in town near the RNLI station.

The church is built of Cornish granite from Zennor and the tower is one of the tallest of the cornish churches, standing over eighty feet high, like a shepherd watching over its flock on land and sea.

The church is open daily and the Sunday said mass is at 8am with a full choral sung mass at 9:30am.

Inside the church the ceiling looks like the hull of an upturned boat. At the back of the church is a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth called Madonna and Child which has a very sad story behind it.

Read more about St Eia Parish Church >>

33. Shipwrecks

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Shipwrecks

The seas around St Ives can be very unforgiving when it is stormy weather, and it is no surprise there are lots of shipwrecks around here.

Throughout the town there are lots of plaques and memorials to commemorate those lost at sea here.

The places to look for them are:

  • Porthmeor Beach (SS Alba)
  • Smeaton’s Pier (the Cintra Anchor and plaque)
  • Porthminster Beach (several plaques)
  • Carbis Bay Beach (lots of wreckage in the sand)

Read more about the shipwrecks around St Ives >>

34. The Holy Well Of St Ives

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Holy Well Of St Eia

At the bottom of Porthmeor Hill lies the Holy Well of St Ives. It is called various names - the Holy Well, Well Of St Eia and Venton Ia. Venton means well in Cornish.

Up until 1843 this small well was the main water supply for the Downalong area of St Ives.

It is now used for the blessing in the St Ives Feast Day celebrations in February each year.

The plaque on the side of the well was originally one of the 6 Festival of Britain plaques. This one was lost and has been more recently replaced.

Discover the Holy Well of St Ives >>

35. Knill's Monument

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Knill's Monument

If you have visited St Ives you will have spotted a strange obelisk sitting on the top of the hill overlooking the town. This is Knill's Monument and was built by John Knill as a memorial to himself. Knill was the town mayor and collector of customs in the late 1700s.

Every 5 years on the 25th of July there is a weird and wacky ceremony held at the monument. John Knill left money in his will to pay for the ceremony and the next one will be in 2026.

To get to Knill's Monument you need to walk up Worvas Hill through Steeple Nature Reserve.

Read the story of Knill's Monument and Ceremony >>

36. St Nicholas Chapel

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - St Nicholas Chapel

St Nicholas' Chapel is the tiny building perched high on the top of The Island in St Ives. A structure has stood there since pre 1434 and it is believed to have been used as a place of worship until the main St Eia Parish Church was built in 1434.

Its uses have been varied; as well as a place of worship it was used by revenue officers on the lookout for smugglers, smugglers as a lookout for revenue officers, and it was later used by the war office during WW2.

These days you can walk up there to visit it and pop inside when the doors are open. You can also hire it for blessings (but you can’t legally get married there).

St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors.

Find out about St Nicholas' Chapel >>

37. Fishermen's Lodges

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Fishermens Lodges

Have you ever wondered what those fairly unprepossessing wooden building are on the harbour? The are the Fishermen’s Lodges.

They were used by fishermen waiting for the tide and are now used for socialising and keeping traditions alive.

There used to be 5 in total:

  • Rose Lodge
  • Shore Shelter
  • Shamrock Lodge
  • One and All Lodge
  • Bayview Lodge

One and All and Bayview were wrecked in storms. The remaining 3 are in need of lots of repairs and money is being raised for this.

Interestingly, swearing in the lodges is strictly forbidden. But spitting and smoking is fine!

Read more about the Fishermen's Lodges >>

38. The Festival Of Britain Plaques

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Festival Of Britain Plaques

You might have seen the various plaques on buildings around St Ives. These were commissioned in 1951 to celebrate The Festival Of Britain.

They were made from shelf tiles from the Leach Pottery and are on notable buildings in St Ives.

The 6 plaques can be found at:

  • Hicks Court, just off The Digey
  • The Baulking House on Hain Walk
  • St Leonard’s Chapel on Smeaton’s Pier
  • The Oldest House on Fish St
  • The Wesley Chapel on Street-an-Garrow
  • Venton Ia Well at the bottom of Porthmeor Hill

Find out where the Festival Of Britain Plaques are in St Ives >>

Shopping In St Ives

39. St Ives Farmers' Market

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Farmers Market

Held every Monday in The Island Centre in St Ives, the St Ives Farmers' Market is a wonderful mixture of local makers, producers and growers.

It is usually held in The Guildhall but this is in the process of a huge refurbishment.

There is always a great range of stalls including:

  • local, seasonal and organic veggies
  • fresh Cornish fish and crab
  • breads, quiches, cakes and more
  • jams, preserves and chutneys
  • local plants and succulents
  • Cornish cheeses, olives and more
  • Cornish honey

Read more about the St Ives Farmers' Market >>

40. Other Local Markets

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Markets

Cornwall does local produce exceptionally well. They grow so much down here that is no surprise. They also have AMAZING small local businesses who bake, cook and preserve and bring them to local markets. This creates a wealth of delicious food high in goodness and low in food miles and packaging.

Markets to visit are:

  • Little Market On The Front - St Ives
  • St Ives Artisan Market
  • Hayle Monthly Food & Craft Market
  • Rosudgeon Car Boot
  • Penzance Farmers' Market
  • St Erth Farmers' Market

Find out about all the local markets in and around St Ives >>

41. Fore Street

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Fore Street

Fore Street is the biggest shopping street in St Ives. From clothes to books, jewellery to homewares and toys, there are lots of fantastic shops here.

Fore St isn't pedestrianised and the traffic runs one way - from the Wharf Post Office to St Ives Bookseller. It moves very slowly though and I wouldn't advise driving down there.

Some of my favourite shops on Fore St are:

  • St Ives Bookseller
  • Leddra
  • Seasalt
  • Finisterre
  • Atlantic Shore Knitwear
  • Rolys Fudge Shop
  • Ula
  • Wharf Post Office and Toy Shop

Find out more about the shops on Fore St in St Ives >>

42. Shopping Arcades

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Shopping Arcades

Whilst there is no Bluewater, there are 3 little shopping arcardes in St Ives that are well worth popping into if you are out shopping for lovely things.

 The shopping arcades are:

  • The Drill Hall - off Royal Square. This is the biggest arcade
  • Cyril Noall Square - tucked away off Fore St.
  • Court Arcade - on Wharf Road by the harbour

The shops inside the arcades are a really fascinating and eclectic mix, from antiques and collectables, chocolate shops, rock shops and the amazing gift shop called Paraphernalia.

Find where the shopping arcades are in St Ives >>

43. The Sloop Studios

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Sloop Studios

The Sloop Studios is a real hidden gem in St Ives. It is full of workshops with fantastic local makers, creatives and artists.

You will find it behind The Sloop Inn at the back of the car park there, and it is a lovely, tranquil place to wander and watch craftspeople at work.

Inside you will find:

  • glass makers
  • jewellery workshops
  • art studios
  • paint makers
  • illustrators
  • sculptors and more

Read all about the Sloop Studios here >>

44. St Andrews' Street

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - St Andrews Street

St Andrews Street in St Ives is a lovely street with some gorgeous shops on it.

To find it you need to walk to the parish church and turn down by the Memorial Gardens. St Andrews St is the road running parallel to the sea.

The shops on there I love are Em Gems (my children spend so much of their pocket money in there) and the Corner Shop (which used to be Fabulous).

You will also find the fabulous Beer Huis Grand Cafe and Moomaids Ice Cream Parlour.

45. Market Place

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Market Place

Market Place is in the part of town right by the parish church, where Market House sits.

A building has been on the site of Market House since 1490, but the current building was built in 1832. Market House used to be the Guildhall of the town, and in the 19th century it was the town jail.

These days it houses some beautiful shops - Jo Downs, Kirsty Bridgewater and the Blue Bramble Gallery are all gorgeous. Upstairs is being taken over by the St Ives Archive.

Food and Drink In St Ives

46. Pubs

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Pubs
For such a small town, St Ives has a good amount of pubs. Apparently in days of yore there were many many more, but now there are 11 proper pubs - not including bars of which there are plenty!

They range from gastropubs to micro pubs, rowdy night out pubs to traditional real ale pubs.

The ones we like to go to are:
  • The Sloop Inn
  • Lifeboat Inn
  • Pilchard Press (don’t miss this it is tiny and amazing!)
  • The Castle Inn
  • The Union Inn
  • Queens

Read all about the pubs in St Ives >>

47. Cornish Pasties

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Cornish Pasties

You can’t visit St Ives without having a Cornish Pasty. If you have been put off eating pasties by chomping on certain well known lesser tasting versions rhyming with "Minsters", then I urge you to try again!

The Cornish Pasties baked by the bakers of St Ives are simply delicious. The pasty is flaky and crumbly with a beautiful brown sheen, the fillings are sumptuous, hot and so tasty. Nothing like the pale, tasteless versions you know I am talking about!

Most people have their favourite Cornish pasty shop in town. Mine is the St Ives Bakery which is the shop with the glorious window display on the corner of Fore Street and The Digey.

A shortcrust steak washed down with a cup of tea has to be one of the finest lunches ever. Especially if it is eaten in a seagull-free, sunny corner on the beach.

Discover the best places to buy Cornish pasties in St Ives >>

48. Cream Teas

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Cream Tea
You can’t come to St Ives and NOT have a cream tea. It wouldn’t be proper! It is an iconic food symbol of Cornwall, and St Ives does cream teas really well.

Jam first, jam first! Whatever you do put your jam on first, you are in Cornwall for heavens sake, not Devon!

A freshly baked scone with homemade jam and clotted cream is beyond devine! There are lots of cafes that do a superb cream tea.
  • Olives
  • Scoff Troff
  • Market Place Tea Rooms
  • Cafe Art
  • The Yellow Canary

Find out where does a great cream tea in St Ives >>

49. Sunday Lunch

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Sunday Lunch

Who doesn’t love a nice proper Sunday lunch out? No cooking, hurrah, no washing up, even more hurrah!

There are lots of great places in St Ives to have a Sunday Lunch. Some of my favourites are:

The Sloop
Pedn Olva
The Lifeboat Inn
The Badger Inn (in Lelant)
The Bucket Of Blood (over in Hayle)

I’ll be honest, these are the ones I have most recently sampled and I’m happy to be told there are other ones that do good Sunday lunches too!

Find out where to get a great Sunday Lunch in St Ives >>

50. Fish & Chips

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Fish and Chips

Fish & Chips down here in St Ives taste completely different to eating them anywhere up country. The fish tastes fresher, the batter is crispier and the chips are the most chippiest! Honest!

If you are in the heart of the town, you can’t go wrong with The Balancing Eel. This is tucked up the slope by The Wharf Post Office, and you can eat in or get a takeaway.

Slightly off the beaten track is the very up and coming By The Sea (nice name guys), which is just off Royal Square down Chapel Street. They used to be called The Albatross but it fairly recently changed hands and I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about them. Again, you can eat in or take away.

There are two slightly out of town proper Fish & Chip takeaways. The one we use is called Sharkeys, which is up at the top of Penbeagle Hill in the industrial estate.

My parents love Becks, which is on the main road in Carbis Bay. My Mum has to eat gluten free (not a fad, she is massively allergic!) and they do the best gluten free batter she has ever eaten!

Discover the best fish & chip shops in St Ives >>

51. My Favourite Restaurants

Favourite Restaurants St Ives Cornwall
St Ives has an amazing range of places to eat out in. From top notch fine dining, to takeaways.

Some of my favourites are:
  • The Mermaid
  • Rum & Crab Shack
  • Talay Thai
  • Peppers
  • Porthmeor Beach Cafe
  • Porthminster Cafe
  • Blas Burgerworks
  • Pedn Olva
  • Una Kitchen

Read about my favourite restaurants in St Ives >>

52. Coffee Shops

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Coffee Shops

I love going out for a coffee and so I've tried a lot of coffee shops in St Ives. There are lots to choose from with new ones popping up all the time.

My go to places for coffee in St Ives are:

  • The Hub
  • Market Place Tea Rooms
  • Porthmeor Beach Cafe (the takeaway is good too)
  • Yallah
  • Mount Zion (when it is open)
  • Cafe Art
  • Scoff Troff

Just in case you are wondering, the nearest chain coffee shop is a small Costa coffee shop in the Tesco supermarket at Carbis Bay.

Find a great coffee shop in St Ives >>

53. Ice Cream Parlours

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Ice Cream Parlours

There are some super ice cream shops in St Ives. Our favourite is Moomaids Of Zennor. Their parlour is on the corner of Street-An-Pol and St Andrews St. Their ice cream is made from milk from cows rearer in Zennor and is simply delicious. Shipwreck is the best!

Inside the parlour there is also a little shop where you can buy some lovely gifts and when in season, locally grown flowers.

There are lots of other ice cream parlours to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice.

The question is though, have you ever had your ice cream stolen by a seagull? If you have you can call yourself a true St Ives lover.

Visit the Ice Cream Parlours in St Ives >>

54. Local Produce

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Local Produce

There are lots of brilliant places to buy fresh, locally sourced, locally grown and locally made produce in St Ives Cornwall. From delis to food stands and farmers' markets.

There are also several makers of cider, beer and gin which are incredibly delicious.

Some places to try are:

  • St Ives Farmers' Market - full of local producers
  • Harvey Brothers Butchers Shop on Tregenna in St Ives
  • Norway Stores on Back Road W
  • St Ives Cider - local family making the most delicious cider!
  • Cornish Deli - on Chapel St in St Ives

Find out about local produce in St Ives >>

Sporty Things To Do In St Ives

55. Surfing

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Surfing

Whether you are a dab hand at surfing or you have never tried it before, St Ives is a good place to surf.

Porthmeor Beach is the best surf beach with good waves most of the year round. It does occasionally go as flat as a pancake in the Summertime, but this is fairly unusual. There is usually decent surf, sometimes fantastic surf!

Porthmeor Beach is the home to the St Ives Surf School. This is an excellent place to go to hire equipment or book lessons. They take people of all ages and abillities, providing you can swim. However, children under 8 will need a parent or guardian with them in the water.

If you are surfing on Porthmeor Beach, always stay between the black and white checked flags and listen to any announcements by the lifeguards.

Learn to surf in St Ives >>

56. Stand Up Paddleboarding

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Stand Up Paddleboarding SUP
Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP is really popular in St Ives. It gives you a unique opportunity to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the beauty of St Ives’ coastline.

It isn’t unusual to see people out there on SUPs with dogs, drinking beer and doing yoga! It all gets very zen.

The best places to SUP in St Ives are:
  •     From the harbour at high tide
  •     Porthminster Beach
  •     Porthgwidden Beach
  •     Carbis Bay
You can hire equipment from the harbour and from the St Ives Surf School on Porthminster and Porthmeor Beach.

Find out about Stand Up Paddleboarding in St Ives >>

57. Body Boarding

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Body Boarding
Bodyboarding is so much fun and it is pretty easy to do. It doesn’t require a huge amount of skill.

You just need a board, probably a wetsuit (depending on how hardy you are) and a good amount of enthusiasm.

The best place to body boarding in St Ives is pretty much any beach with a bit of a swell! You do get more waves on Porthmeor, but just a few waves can be fun too.

You do get a lot of young children body boarding on Porthminster - fun if you have young kids too.

Body boarders need to stay between the red and yellow flags - you are NOT surfing!

Read more about body boarding in St Ives >>

58. Kayaking

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Kayaking
Kayaking in St Ives is an awesome activity and one of my favourite things to do.

You get to see the town and beaches from a completely different perspective, and on a calm day it is an easy paddle around. You get to see loads of wildlife such as inquisitive seals and dolphins.

The best places to launch your kayak are in the harbour a high tide, or from Porthminster Beach.

You can hire kayaks from the harbour and from the St Ives Surf School on Porthminster Beach.  They also offer guided tours of the bay.

Always check the tides and weather before setting off on a trip, and always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Read more about kayaking in St Ives >>

59. Wild Swimming

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwal - Wild Swimming In The Sea

Wild swimming (aka swimming in the sea) is a very popular thing to do in St Ives. You will see people swimming in the sea all year round - some looking very pink with the cold! Many swim without a wetsuit which I personally could not do.

Porthminster Beach is one of the best all year round beaches to swim from as it is flat and doesn't have many strong currents.

During the Summer months, swimming on a lifeguarded beach is a really good idea (Porthmeor and Porthminster), or swimming off Porthgwidden Beach when it has the buoys out makes a safe place to swim.

If you are looking for swimming buddies, there is a local sea swimming group called St Ives Swimmers which usually swims from Porthminster Beach on a Monday morning.

Find out where to wild swim in St Ives >>

60. Swimming Pools

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Swimming Pools

If swimming in the sea isn't for you, St Ives has several swimming pools to visit.

  • St Ives Leisure Centre - the big one at the top of town.
  • Ayr Holiday Park - you can pay £5 to use this one.
  • St Ives Harbour Hotel - you get use of the pool if you are using the spa
  • Una Spa in Carbis Bay - you can pay to use this as a guest

Nearby we are lucky enough to have 3 lidos

  • Una Spa - this has a lovely outdoor pool
  • Hayle Open Air Pool - this only opens in the Summer months
  • Jubilee Pool in Penzance - this has a seawater lido and a geothermal pool

Discover all the swimming pools in St Ives >>

61. Tennis

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Tennis

Did you know that St Ives has tennis courts? They above Porthminster Beach, just below the St Ives Harbour Hotel.

They have two synthetic clay all-weather courts which are open all year round. They have great views of the sea too.

Visitors can use the courts on a pay and play basis during the week. The weekends are reserved for members only.

To book you will need to visit the St Ives Tennis Club website.

Read more about St Ives Tennis Club here >>

62. Sailing & Boat Hire

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Sailing and Boating

Whether you are wanting to sail a yacht, row a boat, or buzz around the bay in a motor boat or jet ski, St Ives has it all.

You can hire a self drive boat from St Ives Boat Rides in the harbour. This costs £70 for an hour and can seat 5 adults or up to 6 including children. Dogs are welcome on the boats too.

You can hire a jet ski from St Ives Boat Rides too, for an adventure tour. These tours either take you North East, up past Godrevy towards Portreath, or down the coast towards Zennor.

St Ives has a lovely sailing club which you don't need to be a member of to sail with. They often race on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons - but this can vary.

St Ives Jumbo Luggers are the boats with a square red sail you might often see out in the bay. You can join the club and sail with them for £30 a year.

St Ives Gig Pilot boats are the amazing long greeny-blue rowing boats you see in the harbour. These are used by a club for rowing in races and are great to watch.

63. Fishing

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Fishing

Fishing in St Ives is very popular. You can go mackerel fishing or wreck and reef fishing from St Ives Harbour. The main boat to do this (the one you often see with all the fishing lines sticking up into the air) is the Blue Fin Charter - google St Ives Fishing Trips. No experience is needed and they provide all the rods, reels and tackle.

You can go line fishing in St Ives. You can catch mackerel or flat fish on lures from St Ives Harbour and pier.

3 miles out of St Ives are the Amalwhidden fishing lakes and the Nance fishing lakes. They often run coarse fishing competitions from here, and you can also get tuition.

64. Horse Riding

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Horse Riding

There are several stables where you can horse ride in St Ives.

The 2 closest stables to town are the Standing Stone Stables in Carbis Bay (near Una) and the Penhalwyn Trekking Centre in Halsetown.

Further afield is Old Mill Stables in Lelant Downs which we have used in the past.

Horse riding is quite popular, especially with the local kids. If you would like to book a lesson or a hack during your holiday I would advise you to book in advance.

The stables often advertise Own Your Own Pony days and little fun events for children. These are usually put on their Facebook pages.

Horse Riding in St Ives >>

65. Golf

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Golf

There are several places to play golf in St Ives.

  • Tregenna Castle has an 9 hole golf course which has been voted as one of the most scenic golf courses in the country!
  • West Cornwall golf course has an 18 holes Par 69 Championship Course, a practice ground, chipping and bunker facilities and a putting green.
  • Tehidy Park Golf course is an 18 Hole Par 71 Parkland Course, offering a challenging round to golfers of all abilities.

If you are looking for something a little more low key, you can play mini golf at Porthminster Beach and pitch and putt and football golf at Penwith Pitch and Putt in St Erth.

66. Cycling

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Cycling

Cycling in St Ives and West Cornwall offers an exhilarating blend of breathtaking scenery and challenging terrain (there are lots of hills!).

The area's winding coastal roads and scenic trails provide cyclists with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, rugged cliffs, and lovely villages.

Routes such as the St Ives to Lands End cycle path, part of the National Cycle Network, take you through picturesque landscapes, including lush countryside and dramatic coastal vistas.

If you are not a strong cyclist (like me) I highly recommend hiring an e-bike. There is a shop in St Ives who will help you out and give you tips on riding too.

Find out more about cycling in St Ives & West Cornwall >>

Lovely Trips To Take From St Ives

67. The Train From St Ives To St Erth

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Train

It may sound like a big claim, but I think the train ride from St Erth to St Ives one of the most picturesque train journeys on earth!! The train hugs the coast round the estuary around Lelant and Porthkidney Sands. It then turns towards Carbis Bay, along the cliffs and through to St Ives and Porthminster Beach. It is simply breathtaking!

It’s not too pricey either. At the time of writing an adult return cost £4 and there are around 2 trains per hour. Dogs are allowed and under 5s go free. The trains run from about 7am to 10:30pm but do check current times and costs with the train company.

Find out about the train from St Ives to St Erth >>

68. The Open Top Bus

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Open Top Bus

The bright blue bus called the Land's End Coaster goes from St Ives to Land's End, all along the coast. The upper deck has an open top and it is perfect for taking in the truly amazing scenery along the way. If you are in the area of St Ives you really can't fail to miss it as it pootles along the coast roads.

It is a beautiful trip to take on a sunny day but do be aware of rain squalls and sunburn in the same trip!!!

The journey takes about 1.25 hours to get from St Ives to Land's End, but with a day ticket you can get on and off at your leisure. I highly recommend stopping off at Zennor, Sennen and Porthcurno and making the trip into an all day thing. No need to worry about traffic and parking.

Find out about the open top bus >>

69. Boat Trips To Seal Island & St Ives Bay

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Boat Trips

You can't come on a visit to St Ives and not go on a boat trip. The seas around the coast are stunning and being out on the sea looking back at the land is breathtaking. The change in perspective always amazes me, especially seeing the town from the sea. It looks so different!

There are 3 main trips which the boats take from St Ives.

  • Seal Island (always lots of seals)
  • Godrevy Lighthouse
  • Up and down the coast around St Ives

There are lots of boats to choose from, some big, some small. And even one with a glass bottom!

To book a trip you can either go online, or get yourself down into the harbour and talk to the boat reps there. There are lots of them and they are only too keen to help!

Discover the boat trips from St Ives harbour >>

Things For The Kids To Do In St Ives

70. Play Parks

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Play Parks

For those days when your kids have had enough of the beach, St Ives has 3 play parks for them to burn off some energy in.

  • Ayr Park and Field. This is just above Porthmeor Beach and has a bucket swing, climbing frame, rocker and slide. There is also a big field for dog walking or ball games.
  • Penbeagle Park. This is the biggest park and has swings, climbing frames, slides, a roundabout, a zip wire and a big field with goals. It is also right by the skate park and orchard.
  • Richmond Park. This is in Carbis Bay and is about to be refurbished.

Further afield there are some really good play parks in Hayle and Penzance.

Find out where the play parks are in St Ives >>

71. The Skate Park

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Skate Park

St Ives has an excellent new skate park. It is behind Penbeagle Park, just up the hill from the fire station on The Stennack.

It was designed by world renowned skatepark builders Maverick and is made from concrete which will not only stand up to the St Ives weather (salt can cause havoc to structures such as skate parks) but will appeal to all levels of users.

In a nod to the town, there is a loop the loop named the Hepworth Vortex!

Further afield, there are skate parks in Hayle and Penzance.

Visit the Skate Park in St Ives >>

72. Soft Play

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Soft Play
Soft Play centres can be an absolute life saver for parents, especially on a rainy day in the school holidays!

Sadly, St Ives itself is a bit lacking in soft play facilities.

However, there are some good soft play places you can visit, all within a short(ish) drive from St Ives.
  • Paradise Park - Hayle
  • Base Camp - Portreath
  • Brewers Fayre - Hayle
  • Roar Jungle Play - Redruth
  • Raze The Roof - Penryn

Find where the soft play places are near St Ives >>

73. Amusements & Activities

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Amusements and Activities

There are lots of amusements and activities in and around St Ives. From escape rooms to VR centres, skating rinks and proper old fashioned amusement arcades. Plenty to keep kids of all ages amused, even the very big ones!

  • Harbour Amusement Arcade
  • St Ives Escape Rooms
  • Porthminster Mini Golf
  • Go Karting - Hayle
  • Country Skittles - Hayle
  • Pitch & Putt - Hayle
  • VR Centre - Redruth
  • Rollers Rink - Redruth

Find out about amusements and activities in St Ives >>

74. Visit The Animals

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Animals

My children love to go to places where you can get up close and personal with animals. There are quite a few places to choose from in Cornwall, from a proper zoo to small animal farms and sanctuaries.

  • Trevaskis Farm
  • Paradise Park
  • Guys Butterfly House
  • Seal Sanctuary
  • Newquay Aquarium
  • Newquay Zoo

Discover the animal sancturies near St Ives >>

75. Rockpooling

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Rockpooling

At low tide there is nothing more captivating for young children (and old) than looking in rockpools.

In St Ives there are several good places to go rockpooling at low tide:

Porthmeor Beach – the best ones are at West Beach (the opposite side to The Island).

Porthgwidden Beach – there are no proper rockpools here, but plenty of good rocks that are covered in limpets, mussels and anemones.

Porthminster Beach – there are lots of rockpools and rocks to explore at low tide in front of Pedn Olva Hotel. Do watch the tide though, it is easy to get cut off here!

There are also good rockpooling spots a short drive away by Godrevy and St Michaels Mount in Marazion.

Read about rockpooling in St Ives >>

76. Crabbing

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Crabbing

Next to rockpooling, crabbing is our of my favourite seaside activities.

The anticipation of what you might catch always lures us in. And sitting for a few hours with your legs dangling over the side of the harbour looking at the sea is a pretty fabulous thing to do!

One of the best places in St Ives to go crabbing is off the old pier wall behind Smeaton’s Pier. There are lots of crabs lurking there just waiting for your bait.

Warning: watch out for hide tides and seals! Please stay away from both of these, we don’t want anyone to fall in or get hurt. Also, please hide your bait from pesky seagulls. They will be only too happy to have a free lunch of bacon, cheese and fish!

Just remember to treat the crabs you catch correctly. Keep them out of the direct sun, don’t catch more than one as they might fight, and always put them back in the sea afterwards.

Read more about crabbing in St Ives here >>

77. Big Days Out

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Big Days Out

On the rare days you want to leave St Ives, there are some great places to visit for a day out.

Some of the ones we like to do are:

  • The Eden Project
  • Lost Gardens Of Heligan
  • Paradise Park
  • The Minack Theatre
  • Cornish Seal Sanctuary
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Newquay Zoo

There are lots more too, depending on what you fancy doing.

Find the big days out near St Ives >>

Entertainment In St Ives

78. The Cinema

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Cinema

I'm not sure if many people realise there is a cinema in St Ives. We go lots and it is often almost empty! It is in Royal Square in a slightly grubby but very cool looking art deco building.

They have 3 screens, the best being screen one upstairs. They show the latest films and really reasonable prices, and also have Mini Merlins sessions showing kids films, which are super cheap and fun.

During the Summer, the cinema goes outdoors in St Ives. There is sometimes a big screen on Porthmeor Beach, and Tregenna Castle has had an outdoor screen too. This year the Jubilee Pool in Penzance is also doing screenings.

Find out about the cinema in St Ives >>

79. Visiting The Theatre

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Theatre

Down here in West Cornwall we are lucky to have so many creative and artistic people around. There are some great theatres and touring companies that put on fabulous shows throughout the year.

In St Ives are the amazing youth group called Kidz R Us. They put on shows to an incredibly high standard and use the St Ives theatre on The Stennack.

  • Kidz R Us in St Ives
  • The Acorn Theatre in Penance
  • Penlee Park Open Air Theatre in Penzance
  • The Minack
  • Rogue Otherworld
  • Squashbox
  • Hall For Cornwall

Find out where the theatres are in St Ives >>

80. The Guildhall

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Guildhall

The Guildhall in St Ives is usually a hive of activity. From markets to music, plays, theatre and comedy.

However, it is in the process of a huge refurbishment. We are hoping it will be back open in 2025 and have many more wonderful events and shows on.

Find out more about The Guildhall in St Ives >>

81. Live Music & Quiz Nights

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Live Music and Quiz Nights

There is lots going on in the evening in the pubs in St Ives.

Lots of the pubs and some cafes have live music on, especially on the weekends. They post about it on Facebook and there are boards outside advertisting them too.

There are regular quiz nights (Hosted by Liz’s Quizzes) at the Castle Inn in St Ives. There are also ones out of town at Polmanter, Bird in the Hand and  the Royal Standard in Hayle. Check out St Ives Liz’s Quizzes on Facebook for details.

Some of the pubs who screen sports are The Three Ferrets, Queens and The Lifeboat Inn. There may be others but these are the ones I know about (I've school age children so I don't out as much as I'd like!)

82. Workshops & Classes

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Workshops, Classes and Courses

St Ives has so many creative people living here. And lots of them run lovely courses, workshops and classes for both children and adults to enjoy.

Places to find workshops & classes:

  • Tate St Ives
  • The Leach Pottery
  • St Ives Community Orchard
  • Barnoon Arts
  • The Drill Hall
  • St Ives Library
  • I Should Coco

Find out where workshops & classes are held in St Ives >>

83. Events

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Events and Traditions

Throughout the year there are lots of local events and traditions that take place in and around St Ives.

  • St Ives Feast Day & Hurling Of The Silver Ball
  • St Pirans Day
  • May Day
  • Golowan and Mazey Day (Penzance)
  • Mid Summer Celebrations
  • Lifeboat Day
  • September Festival
  • Mid Winter Celebrations
  • New Years Eve

Keep an eye on the St Ives Community Orchard facebook as they hold lots of amazing evenings and traditions, such as Wassailing, Mid Summer celebrations and Beltane.

Find out about events and traditions in St Ives >>

Quirky St Ives

84. St Ives Mermaid

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The St Ives Mermaid

There is nothing quite so wonderful as telling my children the St Ives Mermaid is coming for a visit. They get so incredibly excited, I just love the naivety and imagination of children.

When the time and tides are just right, the St Ives Mermaid comes to town. She is very modern in that she puts a message out on facebook. This starts the St Ives network rolling, and soon, everyone under the age of 11 can’t wait to spot her again in the sea.

She often lands on Porthminster Beach. This seems to be her favourite landing spot. A sure sign she is on her way are the crowds of children at the water’s edge.

She often is collecting for charities such as Mind, so bring some change with you.

Have you seen the St Ives Mermaid? >>

85. The Green Door

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Green Door

Can you call yourself a true St Ives fan if you haven’t had your photo taken in front of the Green Door?

What on earth am I talking about I hear some of you say? What is the Green Door?

The Green Door is a beautiful old door hidden away up the cobbled slope on Virgin Street.

It allegedly dates back to the 1800s and apparently The Tate offered to buy it from the owners - who thankfully refused!

Many visitors to St Ives take their photo in front of it and post their pictures onto Love St Ives. Only then can you call yourself a true St Ives Lover!

Discover the famous Green Door of St Ives >>

86. Invisible Man

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man is another of St Ives quirky institutions.

Walk to the harbour and along Quay St. Turn right when you get to Smeaton’s Pier and onto Wheal Dream. You should see him up by the St Ives Museum by the wall.

In good weather he is there, ready to have his photo taken (£1 donation please).

But when the wind blows too strong he becomes even more invisible!

Have you ever seen the Invisible Man of St Ives >>

87. Beach Chalets

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Beach Chalets

Who doesn’t fancy hiring one of those jaunty looking beach chalets on Porthgwidden Beach?

It has always been a little dream of mine to hire one for the whole Summer. We would pack all our beach gear in there with deckchairs and a little camping stove. We’d have warm weather gear, wet weather gear, wetsuits, buckets and spades and all the trammel that we cart down to the beach and rarely use!

You can hire beach chalets on:

  • Porthgwidden Beach
  • Porthminster Beach
  • Porthmeor Beach

Hire a beach chalet in St Ives >>

88. Deckchairs

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Hire A Deckchair

There is nothing so quintessentially English than sitting by the sea in a blue & white striped deckchair. Complete the look with a hanky on your head!

When Harbour Deckchairs start getting the deckchairs out on The Wharf it is a sure sign that Spring is in the air and Summer is not too far round the corner.

You can hire all sorts of different deckchairs and parasols there, if the classic blue and white striped ones aren’t your seat thing.

Deckchairs are also available to hire on Porthmeor and Porthminster Beach.

Hire a deckchair in St Ives >>

89. Seaglass Collecting

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Seaglass Collecting

If you look in the tide line after big winds or a storm on the beach, you will find pieces of seaglass. These are pieces of glass that have been lost into the sea and churned and polished by the waves.

They make beautiful momentos and my daughter loves to turn them into pictures and mosaics.

The best places in St Ives to collect seaglass are:

  • Harbour Beach
  • Porthmeor Beach

Discover the best places for finding sea glass in St Ives >>

90. Stone Balancers

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Stone Balancers

Head past the loos by the RNLI station on Wharf Road and you will get to Lambeth Walk Beach.

At low tide it is a dog walker’s heaven, with a vast, sandy beach at your disposal (all year round!).

At high tide it is just rocks. Or is it?

Look closer and you may see some strange and almost unnatural looking sculptures! I’ve no idea how it is done, but it is fascinating to watch and see the towers of beautifully balanced stones defy gravity.

Watch the Stone Balancers >>

91. Kitty's Corner

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Kitty's Corner

A sit in the sunshine at Kitty’s Corner is a must do for any visitor to St Ives.

Kitty’s Corner is an iconic spot in St Ives. It is the little corner on the Harbour Beach by the sweet little cottages and the dream Quay House.

It is called Kitty’s Corner after the lady who used to live there with her cats. She could often be seen feeding them and the seagulls on the beach.

Because of the way that corner of the beach faces, it is often warm, sheltered and sunny, even in Winter.

Discover Kitty's Corner >>

92. Jumbo Luggers

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Jumbo Luggers

The St Ives Jumbo Luggers are the small, wooden sailing boats with 2 reddish brown sails. You might have seen them sailing in the bay.

It is boat unique to St Ives. There are other types of lugger but the Jumbo is specific to St Ives. It was specifically designed for the tricky St Ives inshore fishing during the 1880s. They are notoriously hard to sail, which is probably a big reason why they stopped being sailed.

In 2007 they were brought back to life again in St Ives, and how there are several of them that sail in the bay. You can join the Jumbo association and sail with them when you visit.

Find out about the St Ives Jumbo Luggers >>

93. The Murals

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Murals

There are 2 really stunning murals in St Ives. They are both on The Stennack at the entrance to the laundrette car park.

The one on the side of the laundrette (left if you are looking into the car park) is by the artist Urban Gypset. It is of an angel embracing a woman with a small image of St Ives at the top right.

The one on the right was painted much more recently, in May 2021. It is by the artist Joe Greenaway and is of the local potter Callum Trudgeon, who is a very successful local potter at the Leach pottery.

Discover where the murals are in St Ives >>

94. Quirky Road Names

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Quirky Road Names

St Ives has some of the loveliest and quirkiest road names I’ve ever come across.

Some of my favourites are:

  • The Digey
  • Virgin St
  • Salubrious Terrace
  • Fish St
  • Wheal Dream
  • Teetotal Street

Find out the meaning of the quirky road names in St Ives >>

95. Wave Watching

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Wave Watching

St Ives is a stunning place to watch the waves. From the amazing surfing waves on Porthmeor Beach to the stormy waves crashing over The Island, Man’s Head and Lambeth Walk.

A fun place to spot big waves is on the walk from the RNLI along what is known as Lambeth Walk on the way to The Warren. Lambeth Walk is actually called Pedn Olva Walk on the maps but no one actually calls it that (apparently it was nicknamed this during the 2WW). During stormy weather big waves come crashing onto Lambeth walk and wash onto the street behind.

Other good places to see some incredible waves in down on the prom in Penzance, and out at Sennen Cove and Porthleven Harbour.

Always keep your distance from the edge of the sea when the waves are big as they can be very powerful and sweep you away. It’s not worth putting yourself in danger for a photo!

Read about wave watching and Spring tides in St Ives >>

96. Telephone Box

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Telephone Box

If you come into St Ives along Fern Lea Terrace (past The Malakoff and Train Station) you will see perched high up an eye catching telephone box.

For different events it used to get re-decorated. It was the brain child of local man Mark Campbell, who sadly died in 2023. His designs and ideas were really loved and made a lot of people smile.

Read about the St Ives telephone box >>

97. Play The Great St Ives Pasty Dash Game!

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - The Great St Ives Pasty Dash Game

Play our fun, frenzied, quirky game, filled with everything you know and love about St Ives. Get to know St Ives like you never have before.

From mermaids to lifeboats, beaches to lighthouses, and everything in between!

Dash through town, passing all the fabulous landmarks, shops, pubs and cafes. Celebrate all the traditions and quirks that makes St Ives such a unique and special place. But make sure you mind those pesky seagulls!

The game includes:

  • 4 brightly coloured little surfboards with beach names on
  • 24 tiny Cornish pasties
  • 80 postcards with fun facts about St Ives on
  • A beautifully illustrated game mat full of everything we love about St Ives!

Click here to read more about the game >>

Useful Things

98. RNLI

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - RNLI

The RNLI station in St Ives has a long history, dating back to 1840 when a lifeboat was first stationed in the town.

Since then, generations of brave volunteers have manned the lifeboats, risking their lives to save others in the treacherous waters off the Cornish coast. Their selfless dedication to duty has earned them the admiration and gratitude of the local community and beyond.

The RNLI operates 2 boats out of St Ives - the Shannon class Nora Stachura, and the D class rib, Donald Dean

On Wednesday evenings the St Ives RNLI do their practice runs. If you are down in the harbour these are interesting to watch.

Read about the RNLI in St Ives >>

99. The NCI Coastguard

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - NCI Coastguard Station

The NCI Coastguard Lookout station is right at the top of The Island, overlooking the whole of St Ives Bay. It is run by a team of volunteers who watch over the coastal activity in St Ives Bay. They also monitor weather and sea conditions and provide information for mariners, walkers and other users of the sea and coast.

To help with fundraising they have a little second hand book stall in the lookout. Donations of books are welcome, as are buyers! You can also visit the station when they aren’t too busy.

If you are on Facebook, follow NCI St Ives as they post lots of really interesting and useful information about the sea and wildlife they have spotted.

Read about the NCI Coastguard watch station in St Ives >>

100. Lifeguards

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Lifeguards

It is always a welcome sign that warmer weather is on its way when the lifeguards return to the beaches of St Ives

The beaches that are lifeguarded in St Ives are Porthmeor and Porthminster.

All of the other beaches are not lifeguarded, so do keep an extra eye on your children if you are in the sea on Porthgwidden, Bamaluz and the Harbour beaches.

The lifeguard flags to look out for are:

  • Black and white - surfing area
  • Red and yellow - swimming and body boarding
  • Red - do not enter the sea
  • Orange windsock - no inflatables

Read about the lifeguarded beaches in St Ives >>

101. Car Parking

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall - Car Parking

Don’t panic, car parking in St Ives is honestly not as awful as people make it out to be.

Yes, you probably won’t be able to park in the centre of town in the height of Summer. I mean, St Ives is a really small town and thousands of people flock to visit, most of them with a car. But there are plenty of solutions if you know where to look.

There are several big car parks slightly out of town. The main council car park at Trenwith does get full quickly. I always tell people to park at the locally run Rugby Club where I’ve been told they always have spaces. They also have a shuttle bus that will drop you just outside the Tate, above Porthmeor Beach. So you don’t have to tackle the hills with your beach bags and surfing gear.
And yes I know car parking isn’t exactly a “wonderful” thing to do. However, if you sort out your car parking you will enjoy the 100 other things much more!

Read more about car parking in St Ives >>

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