Those looking for a late season holiday in St Ives will not be disappointed. After the mad rush of the school summer holidays, St Ives returns to a more leisurely pace of life in September. But the calm weather and long sunny days can sometimes last long into October when the Cornwall resort basks in the warmth of an ‘Indian Summer’. As well as the promise of pre-autumn serenity, there’s still plenty going on to keep visitors occupied and entertained.
St Ives September Festival
One of the highlights of the St Ives social calendar is the September Festival of art, music and culture. Each year hundreds of artists and performers from all over the UK descend on the town for a series of concerts, comedy gigs, art workshops and street performances at a mix of different venues.
If the Indian Summer delivers fine weather to St Ives, the streets come alive with locals and tourists mingling as they wander from one event to another enjoying impromptu open-air acts from street theatre groups, jugglers, comedians and musicians.
One of the key event venues for the September Festival is the Guildhall, which this year will welcome renowned musical acts such as Seth Lakeman, Fisherman’s Friends, The South (featuring members of the Beautiful South) and Hawkwind.
The September Festival is all about diversity. And alongside the musical highlights at this St Ives venue will be the Miracle Theatre’s magical reworking of Shakespeare play The Tempest. Plus there will be a chance to catch the rising comedic talent of Kernow King – who will be delivering his Cornish brand of humour to the Guildhall stage during the festival.
If there’s one thing that St Ives is famous for it is art and there are plenty of workshops, courses and lectures to enjoy during the festival. Most of the town’s galleries and art schools will be putting on events, which will range from life drawing classes to printmaking, and landscape art to drawing with an iPad.
Out and about in St Ives, visitors can drop in on pop-up performances such as Music & Poetry in Norway Square. Other can join guided walks of exploring the unique features of St Ives and the town’s heritage. Or they could test their sand-sculpting skills in the architectural sandcastle competition on Porthmeor Beach.
There is truly for something for everyone during the St Ives September Festival. For a full programme of events visit the festival website at stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk
Surf’s Up in St Ives in September
While many people will be entranced by the plethora of art, music and culture filling the town in September, holidaymakers should also find time to explore the beaches and the phenomenal activities and watersports available in and around St Ives. Chief among these is surfing which can be enjoyed in the heart of St Ives at Porthmeor Beach.
September is the perfect time to experience surfing or learn to surf for the first time. The water temperature is usually at it’s warmest at this time of year, as the sea has been warmed by the sun all summer long, plus the first of the autumn swells start rolling into shore producing optimum wave riding conditions. And if the Indian Summer takes hold the surf scene in St Ives in September can feel more Californian than British.
Surf lessons for all abilities are available from St Ives Surf School. Other ways to explore and enjoy the pristine waters of St Ives Bay are on a kayak or stand up paddle board tour, also offered by St Ives Surf School. Meanwhile, holidaymakers with sea legs can take a tour along the coast or a fishing trip from St Ives harbour with one of the boat trip operators such as St Ives Boats.
Early Autumn is Prime Time to Explore the Coast
Holidaymakers wishing to go at their own pace should take a stroll out of town to explore one of Cornwall’s most beautiful stretches of coast. The South West Coast Path runs straight through St Ives, and it’s only a ten minute walk in either direction to reach some secluded beaches, quiet coves and high cliffs with far reaching sea views.
The walk east leads to the golden sands of Porthminster Beach and Carbis Bay which offer laid-back alternatives to the popular beaches in the town. The walk south along the coast from St Ives leads to even quieter shores where the rugged scenery is breathtaking. Local walking suggestions can be found on the South West Coast Path website.
Sample the St Ives Indian Summer
September is a beautiful time to visit St Ives. With the September Festival, loads to see and do in the town or on the water and the prospect of an Indian Summer, St Ives promises a magical setting for late season getaway.