Sustainable, educational tourism is fast becoming the hot topic on everyone’s lips as schools and students recover from nearly 2 years of disrupted educational experiences.
As far as school trips go, there aren’t many places better than St Ives. It’s like going abroad without the hassle of currency exchange or having to get on a plane and deal with the logistical nightmare of navigating busy airports as a group.
As well as the obvious safety and security benefits of bringing a group of students to St Ives you also have a plethora of amazing itinerary options on your doorstep; and that’s before you even start thinking about travelling further into West Cornwall to visit the Minack Theatre or Land’s End.
Popular with GCSE and A’level Art groups St Ives, with its rich cultural history and huge community of working artists, enables students to explore all sorts of disciplines with traditional artists, photographers, and textile artists. Workshops are available in all areas and world famous, iconic institutions such as Tate St Ives, Leach Pottery and the Barbara Hepworth are the cherry on the cake.
For science and humanities groups St Ives and its surrounds are home to unique geological and geographical characteristics with Cornish towns and landscapes offering a wealth of opportunities for field investigation work.
Primary Schools and schools on activity weeks can plan a superb few days taking in the Eden Project on the way down then spending their time in St Ives with the St Ives Surf School, on beach cleans, doing storytelling workshops, treasure hunts and sand sculpture on the beach.
From a mental health perspective St Ives offers great benefits. As well as all the curriculum-based activities there is all round access to blue spaces, a proven catalyst to better social cohesion and wellbeing. Research shows that residential experiences promote deep engagement, including among previously disaffected students and those with challenging behaviour so where better to base yourself than in the spectacularly beautiful St Ives.
Schools visit from all over the UK, usually coming down by coach, train, or minibus. It’s truly amazing to see the change in students from the day they arrive to the day they leave and with St Ives open 12 months a year the winter offers inclusive and far cheaper opportunities for residential trips.
Accommodation providers in St Ives including Cohort offer group accommodation for up to 60 people with accommodation-only through to full-board options. They are on hand to help teachers and trip organisers with their planning, introducing them to local people and organisations, assisting with transport queries, and fielding questions from parents and carers.
You’d be hard pushed to find better ambassadors for the area than people who live and breathe St Ives all year round.
Article with thanks Lee Strickland, Cohort 2021