St Ives Tourist Information Guide
St Ives - artists' paradise
St Ives has become one of Cornwall's top locations to stay. Artists flock to the town because of its fantastic light all the year round. Stroll along the harbour front for an ice cream, or visit one of the many Art galleries or gift shops within the many narrow streets of the town.
Where is it?
By Road: M5. Leave the M5 at junction 31, then branch left and merge on to the A30. Stay on the A30 until you reach Loggans Moor roundabout and follow the signs for the A3074 for 5 miles, then on reaching St Ives follow the signs to the various car parks or your accommodation.
By Train: The nearest mainline station is St Ives. See the National Rail website for train times and fares.
By Air: Newquay Cornwall Airport is an hour away, north along the A30 and has flights to and from most European and British destinations.
Legend says that St Ives name is derived from the Irish princess St Ia or Hya. It was thought that in the 5th Century she was preparing to leave her Irish homeland with other saints to head to Cornwall. She then discovered the other saints had left without her and prayed for guidance. As she prayed a small leaf floated towards her and as it came closer it began to grow in size. She believed God had sent it to her and she sailed upon the leaf arriving in Cornwall before the other saints. The existing Parish Church is dedicated to her and the feast day always falls on the first Monday after February 3rd, the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St., Eia in 1434.
The town of St Ives was granted its charter by King Edward I in 1295.
The town grew with the development of the Tin industry, the Harbour and soon many ships sailed between St. Ives and every part of the world. In the early days of St Ives, boats were built at the harbour by local craftsmen. Once the Great Western Railway began to run, St Ives quickly became accessible to the rest of the UK and soon became a popular holiday and seaside resort. Today St Ives holidays are more popular than ever and the town is regularly honoured by industry awards.
Old traditions are being restored, such as the Midsummer Eve Bonfire, Mayor Choosing, Hurling of the Silver Ball on Feast Monday and, every five years, the John Knill commemoration dating back to 1801.
Attractions, Activities and Events
Tate St Ives Art Gallery, above Porth Beach:
Tate St Ives is set in a building of modern architecture where you can find work by local, national and worldwide artists. From the famous to the up and coming, in modern and contemporary art. The Tate is situated above Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, and is easy accessible. In the summer months a bus runs from outside the Tate to one of the many car parks just outside the town. There are exhibitions throughout the year so if you stay in St Ives more than once a year the likelihood is you will see something different with every visit.
St Ives September Festival, 2 weeks, music, drama, poetry, exhibitions:
The St Ives September Festival takes place during the middle two weeks of September and includes marvellous variety of live music, theatre,drama, dance, art, talks, poetry and comedy. Just about everything you can imagine to make this a fascinating two weeks in the late summer. Some of the previous year’s performances have included: The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen, Henry Blofeld, The Wurzels, Susan Penhaligon and many more. You can book your St Ives holiday with one of our accommodation providers.
Barbara Hepworth Museum:
Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield in 1903 and moved to Cornwall in 1942 where she created a studio and sculptured many a work in her garden. In 1950 she moved from Carbis Bay to St Ives where she purchased Trewyn Studio which became her home until she died in 1975 at her home. Following her death the studio and house became a museum dedicated to her work as an artist and sculptress. Her work includes sculptures, paintings, drawings and archive material. The garden was actually laid out by Barbara Hepworth with help from a friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier.
Hayle Estuary RSPB Reserve:
Close to St Ives at Hayle, you can’t fail to be impressed by the RSPB reserve. Whatever time of year there is always something to see, migrant birds, the occasional osprey, wading birds, gulls and many more birds. There are pushchair friendly paths so all the family can visit the reserve.
St Ives Food and Drink Festival June:
This event normally takes place in June and is a celebration of all that Cornwall has to offer in Food and Drink. See some of the best chefs in Cornwall, meet and chat with them and also admire their cookery demonstrations. Also at the Festival are producers of meat, vegetables, chutneys, cheese and of course some of the County’s best beer and ciders.
Restaurants along the Wharf:
Walk along the wharf at St Ives and you will be hit by the wonderful aromas of the restaurants and cafes in this popular area. Local fish, poultry are on the menu as well as Mediterranean dishes plus traditional fayre.
Porthmeor Beach is one of the most popular beaches in St Ives. Overlooked by the Tate gallery, the beach is used by bathers and surfers , and is handy for the shops, cafes and refreshments on a warm summers day.
St Ives Boat Trips:
If you fancy a trip out to sea why not try one of the local boat trips. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, bird watcher, fisherman or just love the sea then St Ives will provide something suitable for your enjoyment. There are trips available along the rocky coastline and to the wonderful seal island, just about anything you can think of.
The St Ives Museum (Founded 1824):
Open from March to October, the museum is situated at Wheal Dream, not far from the harbour in St Ives. There a many displays about St Ives and it history, including mining, fishing, geology and agriculture. There are also activities for the children.
Sport in St Ives:
St Ives Rugby Football Club - Tribute South West 1 West
St Ives Football Club - Jolly's Cornwall Combination Football League.
St Ives Cricket Club - Jolly’s Drinks Cornwall Cricket League County 1
Tregenna Castle Golf Club - 18 Hole Academy Golf Course, Visitors welcome.
Walks - St Ives town walk
- St Ives to Lands End.
The Stennack Surgery, The Old Stennack School, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1RU
Tel: 01736 793333. Opening Hours Monday - Friday 08:00 – 20:00
Carbis Bay, 6-7 Boskerris Terrace St Ives Road, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2SF
Tel: 01736 793090 Opening Hours Monday - Friday 08:45 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 17:30
Pearly Whites Dental Surgery, 2 Tregenna Hill, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1SFUK
Tel: 01736 798463 Opening Hours Monday - Friday 07:00 – 14:00
Tregenna Hill Dental Practise, Tregenna Hill, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1SF
Tel: 01736 796260 Opening Hours Monday - Friday 09:00 – 12:30 & 14:00 – 17:30
West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance),
St Clare Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2PF
Tel: 01736 874000
Boots UK Limited, 3 High Street, St Ives, TR26 1RS
Tel: 01736 795072
Naimans UK Ltd, 7 Fore Street, St Ives, TR26 1AB.
Tel: 01736 795432
Your Local Boots Pharmacy, Old Stennack School, Stennack, St Ives, TR26 1RU
Tel: 01736 795047
Your Local Boots Pharmacy, 2 Longstone, St Ives Road, Carbis Bay, TR26 2LJ
Tel: 01736 797462
St. John’s in the Fields Church, at the top of the Stennack in St.Ives, Cornwall.
Tel: 01736 796404
St. Ia, St. Ives Parish Church, St Andrews Street, St Ives, Cornwall. TR26 1AH.
Tel: 01736 796404
Fore Street Methodist Church, St Ives, 77 Fore Street, St Ives, TR26 1HW
Tel: 01736 798530
Lloyds TSB, High Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1RY
Tel: 0845 3000 000
Barclays, High Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1RT
Tel: 01736 796270
HSBC, 5 High Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1RX
Tel: 08457 404404
Nat West, Tregenna Hill, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1ST
Tel: 0870 240 33 99
Tel: 01736 795004
Tel: 01736 795986
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015