Land of light
This wonderful seaside town has a rare quality of air and light that has drawn countless painters and artists. Its unique character springs from its fishing traditions, its artistic inheritance and its tourism industry.
As well as being an archetypal Cornish fishing port, it’s also got magnificent sandy beaches, top-rated beach cafes, fab boutiques, ice cream parlours and restaurants, and two of the best art galleries in the county, if not the country.
St Ives is a delight overall, whether you like art or not, because of its narrow, canyon-like streets, ubiquitous granite cobbles and clear, sea-mirrored light. The harbour area, known locally as Downalong, is a maze of exquisite granite buildings where you catch satisfying glimpses of shady courtyards and passageways.
Whatever you’re doing in St Ives, it will be a pleasure. It might be eating cake in Tate St Ives’ cafe with views of slate rooftops, seagulls and the sea. Or perhaps paddling on the beach, slurping cornets of local ice cream. It could even be walking along the coast to either side of town.