There's so much we could tell you about the fine golden sand and the clear blue ocean, the way the sunlight flickers over the cottages and quays, about the galleries, the gardens, the cafes and wonderful places to stay. Would you like to know about the ancient sites and stones, the famous people and buildings? We could tell you how easy it is to travel here and how Cornwall's wonders are all close by.
St Ives, the most famous of Cornish holiday towns, loved for generations, is easy to reach by road or by air and easy by train, too, along one of the most spectacular railway journeys in Britain to crystal blue waters, golden sands and a warm welcome. We nearly forgot the mild sub-tropical climate, warmed year round by the Gulf Stream!
Life here is cradled around the harbour where boats still land good catches of freshest fish for the local restaurants to nourish you with. Brought ashore on the ancient granite quays, the catch is of the highest quality for your dinner plate or for the tables of some of Britain's finest restaurants. A maze of tiny cobbled streets to wander through, lined by fishermen's cottages, with a breathtaking seaside vista to greet you at the end of each one.
We have won the 'Britain in Bloom' competition many times and several European titles too. There's a blaze of colour all around the town: houses smothered in baskets of blooms, parks and public areas a rich spectrum of radiant colours. Our mild climate and almost frost-free winters makes it possible to grow plants and shrubs normally native to semi-tropical countries hundreds of miles further south. Try us for a winter break in Cornwall!
Take a leisurely walk along the coastal footpath, perhaps, south to Lelant with the opportunity to return by branch line train or opt for a more energetic hike west towards Zennor and Gurnards Head. Soak up the sounds and images of the mythical and rugged land. Paint, pencil and clay. St Ives is renowned for its art and rightly so as there are workshops, studios and galleries everywhere. Often you will find painters hurrying to finish a sketch before the light changes or before the waves wash their palettes away!
Tate st ives, part of the Tate Gallery in London, is a stunning building with a varying exhibition of local and national works, well worth a visit. The Gallery's inspirational building stands high above the magnificent surfing beach of Porthmeor and features exhibitions which represent the modern 'st ives School' of painters such as Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Sir Terry Frost as well as a changing programme of other contemporary work. Allied to Tate St Ives is the Barbara Hepworth Museum, a lasting memorial to the great sculptress who lived and worked in st ives at her Trewyn Studio. Her workshop has been carefully preserved and made accessible; the gardens and house contain many examples of her work and some of her finest pieces.
Tall palms and exotic flowers bask in the sun, as you will, the air filled with scents from honeysuckle, cordyline and roses. The cafes and restaurants open their doors, the town comes alive and you'll find that St Ives has evolved into a cosmopolitan and chic resort. Enjoy the view across to Godrevy Lighthouse, immortalised by the novelist Virginia Woolf, or take a short boat trip to watch seals basking on the rocks in the sunshine. Finally, as the disappearing sun paints the sea and sky in glorious pink, it is time to plan what to do tomorrow. st ives has something that will appeal to everyone, young or old. June, January, tonight...