In most parts of the country and indeed the world you’ll find strings of chain restaurants, your Subways, Mcdonalds, KFC’s etc; in West Cornwall, however, you’ll find something a little more magical like Meadery Restaurants.

Mead is an ancient alcoholic drink predating beer. Similar to wine it is made using water, yeast and honey and is often flavoured with fruit and usually comes in at around 13/14%. The aptly named Cornish Mead Co. is over 50 years old and provides mead for all the Meadery restaurants featured here.

Now we don’t want to spoil the surprise, we must stress a visit to a Meadery is a must, it’s a unique experience, fun and extremely memorable and this applies to each location. So if your interest in piqued read no further and just go.

Calling all pirates, knights, wizards, wenches, maids and swashbuckling rebels a feast awaits at four independent restaurants that will transport you back in time full of feasting, celebration and you guessed it, mead.

Family friendly establishments with a concept that has been truly committed to; low lighting, wooden panel walls, taxidermy, chandeliers, suits of armour and wooden tableware to boot.

An ambience that harks back to Medieval times reminiscent of the legends of King Arthur or perhaps a hulking, creaking interior of a pirate vessel or decorated dining halls complete with ‘serving wenches’ (their words not ours) and a menu featuring gluttony-inducing dishes you eat with your hands.

You can’t book tables at Meadery restaurants so get there early or be prepared to wait for a table, we promise it’s worth it. You’ll find tourists and locals alike, young and old, couples and parties; it really is an experience that is enjoyed by all.

A Quick Guide to Meadery Restaurants in West Cornwall

So, where can you find these places of outstanding hospitality? Chicken in the Rough is on offer as well as fish, seafood and vegetarian options. Leave room for dessert, though, there is quite a choice on offer.

Waterside Meadery, Penzance

Penzance is home to the Waterside Meadery, it is located on Penzance’s harbour front which adds to the pirate-y ship like interior decor. Open Monday to Sunday: 6 pm to 10 pm.

Newlyn Meadery, Newlyn

Newlyn Meadery, Housed in what was the Gaiety Cinema, built in 1905. By far the most popular of the restaurants so arrive early as they don’t take bookings. Open Friday 6:30pm, Saturday: 6:00pm and Sunday 6:00pm

Trewellard Meadery, Trewellard

Trewellard Meadery is located in a small village not far from the famous Geevor Tin Mine. It boasts medieval décor creating a warm and relaxing environment to dine in. Open 6:30 pm- 9 pm daily

Redruth Meadery, Redruth

Redruth Meadery based in the middle of Redruth and alongside the offerings of meat, fish and vegetarian finger food they also offer a Sunday roast – not as medieval but just as delicious we’re sure. Open Thursday – Sunday 6 pm Sunday roast 12-3pm.

Planning a trip to the area?

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By: Tony Townsend On:16th May 2018
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

Fresh air, great weather, enriched soil, clean seas and passionate people. These are the ingredients that have put Cornwall on the culinary map not just nationally but globally.

Yes pasties, yes fish and chips, yes cider but there’s plenty more on offer if you scratch the surface! One of the best ways to experience (taste!) the Cornish smorgasbord is by venturing to some of the best Food festivals in Cornwall.

First, some context to wet your appetite; it’s no surprise that the economic history of the county has shaped its culinary culture and without a doubt, the most famed dish, the Pasty, was made famous due to the Cornish mining industry.

The concept, meat, vegetables in Pasty was exported around the world with the miners themselves and could have been the influence for dishes such as The Mexican empanada or the Jamaican Patty.

Geography shapes the food culture too, the peninsula is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and still boasts one of the largest working fishing ports in the country, Newlyn. Flatfish, scallops, crabs, monkfish, ray, pollock, bass and cod are just a few of the species landed.

Then, of course, you have the swathes of green fields, farmland with rich soil, rich enough for spectacular vegetables and fruit, rich enough to even host vineyards and the UK’s first tea plantation.

So there’s a pang of hunger and interest in your stomach, where you can sample some of the produce to be born from this county? Let’s see if our guide to the best food festivals in Cornwall can help:

St.Ives Food and Drink Festival

Our favourite the St.Ives Food and Drink Festival has all the mandatory attractions nailed; live cooking demonstrations, artisanal traders, workshops and live music but what really sets it apart is the beautiful location.

Situated on Porthminster beach with its sandy shores and clean water the event is a highlight for locals and repeat visitors alike. Kid-friendly, free and if you’re staying in the area very easy to get to and stagger home (alcohol or food induced).

Friends at a food festival in Cornwall

Porthleven Food Festival, April 20-22

The picturesque town of Porthleven becomes a foodies mecca once a year as the harbour, shipyard and playing fields plays host to over 90 eateries. Expect live cooking competitions with famous chefs like Anthony Worrel Thompson, stalls from butchers, bakers and brewers, events at local businesses, live music and a literary tent. Family friendly, free, get the bus!

Great Cornish Food Festival, Truro, on hiatus in 2018

3,000 of the 40,000 visitors say they plan their holiday around this event located in the heart of Truro on Lemon Quay. A celebration of Cornish produce, expect a range of quality meat dishes such as gourmet burgers from the Duck Truck to niche products like edible insects, cricket falafel anyone? All weather and easy to get to.

Mevagissey Feast Week, 24th – 30th June

Celebrated since 1754, Mevagissey Feast Week has its origins in a religious festival but now the atmosphere is more reminiscent of a Carnival so expect a colourful parade, floats, music, dancing and of course food. The focus is fish with Mevagisseys traditional working harbour, freshness is a given.

Port Elliot Festival, 26th – 29th July, St.Germans

Whilst technically not a food festival Port Elliot offers exquisite outlets to feed your hunger and quench a thirst. From locally sourced sustainable seafood to international street bites, every palette catered for. They have their very own restaurant (bookings taken now!) serving North African and Southern Med dishes as well as the chance to dine with festival performers and musicians. An oyster bar serves up only the freshest fayre alongside Vietnamese, Booja Booja dairy free ice cream, scones, pies and delightfully named Fleetwood Mac and Cheese. Get stuck in.

couple drinking at food festivals in cornwall

Falmouth Oyster Festival, 11th -14th of October

The festival celebrates (guess) all things Oysters and kickstarts the beginning of the sail powered dredging season in the river and surrounding estuaries. Watch the speedy professionals process the shellfish in the famed competition, shuck your own or chow down at one the many stalls and restaurants around the Maritime museum.

Perhaps your idea of a great food festival involves rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in, if that’s the case then then our final recommendation is right up your street.

The World Pasty Championship, Eden Project, March

A celebration of the Cornish Pasty in all it’s various iterations. Traditionalists and rule breakers collide in a bake off for companies, professionals, amateurs and juniors alike. This is no village hall event but rather an official Cornish Pasty Association soiree who are serious about keeping the status of the delicious baked delight protected all whilst welcoming refreshed versions.

So there we have it our Guide to Food and Drinks Festivals in Cornwall, a complete rundown of some top culinary events for you to wine, dine and probably dine again. Double dinners all around.

Planning a trip to the area or coming down to one of these Food festivals in Cornwall?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:14th May 2018
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

As diverse as its scenery and beaches, Cornwall is also host to some of the most varied music festivals in the world.

Whether your genre is folk, sea shanty, classical, rock, jazz, blues or the more mainstream pop music, Cornwall’s music festival scene offers an eclectic range of artists supported by a backdrop of craggy cliffs, majestic moorlands and stretches of golden sands. Even the acts can’t resist this opportunity and there’ll be guests from across the globe coming to Cornwall.

Tunes in the Dues

Perranporth hosts “Tunes in the Dunes”, a festival set on the beautiful golden sands of Perranporth beach in Cornwall. Set amongst scenic cliffs and sand dunes, top bands will be on display with the ocean only a stone’s throw away.

2018 welcomes a top line-up including the original members of UB40, The Skints, Gypsy Queens and Pixie Lott to name but a few. They will be supported by a host of popular local Cornish acts.

The festival is on from Friday 8th June starting at 12 pm through to Sunday 10th June 2018, finishing at 11 pm. Check out their website: or ring 01872 572888 for details of tickets and facilities available.

St Ives Semptember Festival

St Ives September Festival boasts 15 days of music as well as art events.

From the 8th through to the 22nd September 2018, more than 300 music events will take place throughout St Ives in venues including: St Ives Guildhall, St Ives Theatre, The Western Hotel, and many of the local pubs who will have free music sessions every night during the Festival.

There will be two Saturday afternoons of street entertainment and the traditional open air music in Norway Square. This year the line-up includes Seth Lakeman, Fisherman’s Friends, New Jersey Boys, and more.

For more information, and regular updates on this fabulous St Ives Festival, visit their website

Bude and Stratton Folk Festival

Bude and Stratton Folk Festival is a fantastic weekend featuring some of the best and brightest folk artists in Cornwall.

The festival takes place on the late May Bank Holiday weekend, May 25th to 28th, 2018. There are many internationally known artists amongst the line-up including Against the Grain, Capella, Didjan. For more information go to

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is one of the biggest maritime music festivals in Europe and there will be hours of free to attend shanty performances.

Falmouth will be filled with music, singing and great community spirit. There are multiple stages throughout Falmouth to watch performances, the main stages are Seasalt Stage on Custom House Quay, Skinners Stage on Events Square (Discovery Quay) and Seven Stars Stage on The Moor.

The fun at Falmouth takes place between June 22nd – 24th 2018, expect over 60 shanty groups, 25 venues and over 350 hours of shanty singing. Past performers include Fisherman’s Friend, The Oggymen, Rum and Shrub. For lots more information on their website is

Looe Musci Festival

Looe Music Festival, 21st September-23rd September 2018, is three days of great live music on the stunning Cornish coast.

The Festival transforms the beach and streets into a party atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Every bar and restaurant will have something going on. In the past, Looe Music Festival, has attracted amazing acts: Roy Wood, The Darkness, The Stranglers, Showaddywaddy, Squeeze, Jools Holland, The Proclaimers and the list goes on.

For further information on this superb live music festival, check out their website:

Cornwall has so much to offer and the aforesaid festivals are just a few of the jam-packed Feast of Cornish Music Festivals for you to enjoy.

Planning a trip to the area or coming down to one of these music festivals in Cornwall?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:11th May 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Events

Cornwall has always had an artistic aire about it, from the Tate St Ives to the historic Newlyn School of Painting to the Iron Age stone sculptures that litter the county. Creativity, and the arts, are bound to Cornwall’s history and its culture. So if the shops, beaches, sea views, coastal walks and fine food and drink weren’t enough to lure you to this part of the world we’ve compiled an exquisite list of theatres where you can be entertained and enthralled by the performing arts.

St Ives Theatre

In the heart of St Ives, in a former chapel, is the St Ives Theatre. Home to the award-winning youth theatre company Kidz R Us, their mission; to get young people involved in the performing arts. In the past they’ve performed popular musicals including Les Miserables, Oliver and Jesus Christ Superstar and Our House, the Madness musical.

This year is no less exciting as their planned productions are Mary Poppins Jr and Bugsy Malone, check their website for dates and when to book. The “grown-ups” also stage productions here so keep an eye on the What’s On page of their website.

The Minack Theatre

A visit to this world famous, open air theatre carved out of the cliffs is a must, it’s a short but truly beautiful drive from St Ives; breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean, a spectacularly stirring location for theatre.

It’s open all year round for you to explore and learn its history of which it is steeped despite being just over 80 years old. As for performances and what’s on throughout 2018; Shakespeare’s’ Henry VI, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and Dr Doolittle to name a few pluses if nothing lines up with your visit chances are you’ll catch a music performance instead.

The programme of productions usually runs from April to early October and depending on the weather it’s advisable to equip yourself with a blanket, waterproofs or sunblock, sunglasses etc.

For more information visit:

Birdseye view of Minack Theatre Cornwall

The Boathouse Theatre

A stone’s throw from the harbour front, The Boathouse, once a pilchard cellar is now an independent theatre. The unassuming entrance opens into a thick whitewashed granite room with a stage and puppet boards, it is here you’ll witness a culmination of art and imagination, an invigorating experience especially in this digital age.

Productions aren’t all year round so check their website. Suitable for children and adults alike with puppet shows and performances in the evening. This is a quirky and unique space so check the website and be sure to book.

Kneehigh Theatre

This theatre group started life in Cornwall back in 1980, a village schoolteacher began to run theatre workshops in his spare time, others soon became involved and before long village halls, harboursides, cliff tops and even quarry sites became their stage.

They are known as an exciting touring theatre company and create fabulous performances throughout the UK. However, Cornwall is their “physical and spiritual home”, drawing inspiration from the landscape, history, people and culture.

In 2010, the company launched The Asylum, a giant nomadic like structure in The Lost Gardens of Heligan. The gardens are one of many locations where you can experience a truly atmospheric performance from this touring troupe.

For more information please visit:  

The Acorn

The Acorn is located in the former Wesleyan Methodist Church in Parade Street, Penzance. In 1987 it was taken over by a small touring theatre company whose aims were to increase and expand audiences to the arts in the local community.

There’s a diverse variety of live music events going on throughout 2018 as well as performance art. Intimate and friendly loved both by the artists and audiences, easy to get to and recently made fully accessible.

For more information please visit:

red curtains of a theatre in st ives

Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

From humble beer-crate-stage origins the group has maintained a lo-fi approach but with spectacular local, national and international performances.

Chairs in a open theatre

Seating for 300 people set in a beautiful park the entertainment here is perfect for warm summer evenings; there’s a fully licensed bar and they serve delicious hot food during the matinee or pre-show.

From Around The World in 80 Days to the classic Pirates of Penzance (where better to see it than Penzance itself) the outside location makes for a unique experience, especially during outdoor scenes.

For more information please visit:

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By: Tony Townsend On:19th April 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Why would you come to Cornwall and eat Italian food? Well because Cornwall, St.Ives in and Carbis Bay, in particular, boast exceptional spots and to be honest who doesn’t enjoy Italian food no matter where you are.

It’s simplistic yet delicious, the ingredients fresh and fragrant and then, the elephant in the room, Italian food often means Pizza. Here’s a list of a few of the bellissimos Italian restaurants in St Ives and its surroundings.

Caffe Pasta

Caffe Pasta is a busy restaurant pretty much all year round so booking is advisable. It’s located on The Wharf so you are assured of stunning sea views. Open 7 days a week for morning coffee, lunch and dinner and boasts great pasta, pizza and drinks.

There is a Specials menu, with both starters and mains; pan fried sea bass fillet, slow roasted lamb, king prawn and chilli pizza to name a few. And of course be sure to leave room for dessert, maybe the traditional Tiramisu or lemon cheesecake. They stock imported alcohol, wines, beer and spirit to accompany your meal for an authentic experience.

You can call and book on 01736 798899

Linguine Bolognese on a white plate over a wooden in a St Ives Italian Restaurant

Peppers Pasta and Pizzeria

This lovely Italian restaurant in St Ives can be found at 22 Fore Street, it’s open every evening (5 pm- 22:30 pm)throughout the year and offers traditional pasta dishes, fresh dough pizzas, steaks and poultry using the “best local produce”.

You can build your own pizza, starting from a base of tomato and cheese with yummy toppings like chicken, chillies, chorizo, mussels to name but a few. Steaks are chargrilled to your liking and you can have sides of onion rings, parmesan mash, or chunky fries.

There are specials on offer too, so check the specials board on your way in. If you still have room, maybe share a dessert, how about a rich sticky Italian orange cake with Cornish Clotted Cream! Bella!

Make your reservation by ringing 01736 794014

whole marguerita pizza on a wooden table

Onshore, St Ives

Onshore is also located on The Wharf, a view of bobbing boats, spectacular sea views of the Cornish coast and at night, shimmering lights reflecting on the sea’s surface will make your meal all the more special.

Onshore, as well as serving the finest seafood and Cornish produce, has one of the largest wood burning stoves in Cornwall, to make your pizza perfect. Pizza choices are many and varied including a Chinese inspired creation with hoisin duck and fresh spring onion.

Pastas, risottos and a seafood fettuccine are amongst the popular choices. Finish your meal off with an affogato, a scoop of vanilla ice cream with an espresso shot on the side, or if you still have room you could try the passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake, served with fruit sorbet.

To book a table call 01736 796000

three slices of pizza from a Italian Restaurant in St Ives

Antoninis Italian Restaurant, Hayle

Antoninis is a small Italian restaurant in Hayle awarded with a certificate of excellence, just over 6 miles from St Ives but well worth the trip. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 6:30 pm and on Saturday are open for morning coffee from 10:30 am and lunch from 12:00 noon.

The head chef, Michael Antonini, was born in Italy and uses local, seasonal product to make delicious meals that change regularly, the menu is a small one, “which ensures our produce is fresh and high quality”.

They will always try to accommodate dietary requirements. Booking is essential.

Give them a ring on 01736 758357

White Plate of Spaghetti ao Sugo decorated with cherry tomatoes from one of the Italian Restaurants in St Ives

So there you have it, our list of Italian restaurants in St Ives and its surroundings, buon appetito.

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By: Tony Townsend On:18th April 2018
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

St.Ives is the idyllic hotspot on the Lands End Peninsula and famous for it’s glorious sandy beaches. We’ve curated a list of the top sports to dip your toes in, make sand castles and soak up rays.

St Ives beaches, a warmer than average climate and rolling waves draw people from around the world all year, every year. The main bay is a shallow crescent moon shape, 4 miles across, and is situated on the Atlantic coastline of north-west Cornwall.

St Ives Sky view of the harbour on a sunny day

A great way to take in this breathtaking view is to board the train at St Erth (the penultimate stop on the Paddington to Penzance mainline), it presents a sweeping vista as you pull in to the St.Ives station. There are a number of beaches to choose from in this area so if you’re on holiday, explore and see how many you can experience.

Three RNLI lifeboats in St Ives harbour

Harbour Beach

Harbour Beach is located as the name implies in the working harbour of St Ives. It’s a sandy beach with the shimmering sea at its front and behind is home to the shops, galleries, cafes, amusement arcade, and everything that you would associate with an iconic seaside town. There is always lots going on here and there’s nothing better than sitting on one of the benches and looking out to the boats bobbing in the water. Take it all in, Cornish ice cream in hand just beware of the seagulls, they are partial to both pasties and ice cream. There is a seasonal dog ban here and no lifeguard cover.

Sunset view from a St Ives Beach

Porthmeor Beach

Porthmeor Beach sits under the iconic Tate St Ives, it’s a golden sandy beach and very popular with families, it’s a Blue Flag beach and has lots of facilities including a café, surf school and lifeguards on duty at peak holiday times. There is a seasonal dog ban here.

Lambeth Walk Beach

Lambeth Walk Beach is dog friendly all year round. At high tide, it’s not accessible but at low tide, you can walk across to nearby Porthminster Beach. This beach is sandy and rocky and located behind the Church of St Ia, on the northern side is the RNLI lifeboat station. No lifeguard cover.

Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach is a large sheltered sandy beach, making it especially good for families, and located next to the St Ives train station; there is a car park, too, although in the busy season this will fill pretty quickly. It’s a Blue Flag beach with good facilities and lifeguard cover from May 19th to the end of September. There is a seasonal dog ban.

Bamaluz Beach

Bamaluz Beach from here you can see the remains of the Wheal Dream tin mine. It’s a quiet, sandy beach located between the harbour and Porthgwidden Beach. Due to the high walls there, the sun may be blocked and at high tide, the beach is reduced. However, it’s dog friendly all year round and often overlooked by visitors. St Ives museum is nearby.

Porthgwidden Beach

Porthgwidden Beach is smaller than some of the other beaches, in its favour it is quite sheltered and a good place to enjoy the sun. It’s a sandy beach with a quality café nearby, there is no lifeguard on duty and there is a seasonal dog ban.

These St Ives beaches are just a few that this glorious coastline has to offer. Get out and explore, most can be accessed as long as you take care to note the times of high tide and adhere to the safety advice given, you can check for advice on https://rnli.og.

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By: Tony Townsend On:12th April 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Be an Alfred Wallis

11th April 2018

Alfred who? Alfred Wallis was a St.Ives local, born in 1855 he grew up to become, like many others during that time, a fisherman venturing as far as the Newfoundland and surrounding deep seas.

Unlike many others Alfred Wallis developed a love of painting; his story is wrought with tragedy yet is inspiring and one that we can all deduct something of worth from.

St Ives is a town surrounded by beaches, it has a magical quality with it’s unique light that drew a lot of artists post-Alfred Wallis – what drew Alfred was a business opportunity to set up a Marine Store selling scrap metal, wood, sails and rope.

He operated his business as well as continuing to fish only this time locally having stopped venturing so far since the death of both his children. He wanted to be closer to his wife who sadly died also in 1922. It was in this loneliness that Alfred Wallis sought a new purpose, perhaps an outlet for his sorrow, painting.

Alfred Wallis produced paintings on odd scraps of paper and torn card. He painted, with materials bought at a shipping Chandlers, from memory and his scenes included his experiences of boats, the sea, harbour and Godrevy lighthouse. He painted in an age where he saw the mainstream dissolution of sail boats and the age of steam. His style is what you could call Naive Art, an approach redundant of perspective and scale which results in a childlike, charming quality.

It was a fortunate meeting with Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood, founders of the new era of art in St Ives, that brought him out of his hermitt like obscurity. They were walking the backstreets of St.Ives and spotted a door open, they saw an array of images painted on to bits of card and board and they knocked on the door and were invited inside.

Both artists commended Wallis on his honest, direct approach to image making, there was no doubt that his approach was unique and totally self developed. His paintings are based on real life events rather than constructed scenes which added to his fresh and untainted view of art.

He was propelled into a circle of highly progressive artist sof which Wallis was a huge influence. Sadly, during his lifetime Alfred sold few paintings and he died a pauper in the Madron workhouse; you can visit his tomb at Barnoon workhouse which is decorated with Tiles made by Bernard Leach.

Alfred Wallis grave in St.Ives decorated in the style of his paintings

Things have moved on in the art colony since Alfred’s days and the range of art galleries and courses available are plentiful. The Tate St Ives is there for inspiration too but really if there’s one takeaway from Alfred Wallis it should be do what you feel is right.

If you fancy just getting out your sketchbook and pencil and scribbling on the back of a train ticket, do it. Express yourself how you see fit and don’t care about what others are doing; be authentic and true to yourself. Examples of Alfred’s painting can now be seen at Kettle’s Yard and at the Tate St Ives.

Image credits:

By: Tony Townsend On:11th April 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Cornwall, located in the deepest depths of the south of England is a peninsular and thanks to the Gulf Stream enjoys a warm subtropical climate. We’d be fibbing if we said all year round but our summers, generally speaking, consists of full days of warming sunshine which is great news for visitors and great news for the fauna and flora that flourish here.

Seaview of a garden in St Ives covered with flowers

Spring and Summer sees the fields, clifftops, roadside verges and hedgerows full of wildflowers, all in glorious colour, including Dog Violets, Primroses, Mallows and Campions. Alongside the wild array of flowering plants you’ll spot fields teaming with yellow Daffodils; Cornwall is the largest producer with 30 million tonnes harvested each year. In late spring sometime around May the woodlands are covered in stunning carpets of Bluebells. Head to Tehidy Woods and you will not be disappointed as you wander through a sea of blue.

St Ives Forest with floor covered in violet flowers

Most people will call your bluff as you tell them that Palm trees sway in in the breeze all year long thanks to the aforementioned mild climate; step outside St.Ives station and you’ll notice them lining the streets in to the town. Along with crystal clear waters and sandy beaches you could easily fool friends and family back home that you are holidaying in the caribbean – just make sure you crop out the cawing seagulls.

St Ives Palmtrees

Cornish Heath, found on the the Lizard Peninsula, has bright pink flowers speckling its course vibrant green foliage, head to Kynance Cove later in the summer to find it for yourself. This species in particular is native to Cornwall being its national flower and is particular rare.

st ives hill covered flowers seaview

You’re going to stumble across Cornish flora no matter where you go but perhaps you want to see a curated selection of exquisite examples.There are a number of gorgeous gardens where you can witness explosions of colourful flowers, a few to mention are:

The Barbara Hepworth Gardens, St.Ives

Alongside her famous sculptural work, you’ll find a beautiful garden to explore. The two worlds of art and horticulture make for a truly magical experience so take your time. It reopens this spring after a reconfiguration of the space.

Burncoose Garden and House, Redruth

The gardens at Burncoose are fairly flat which make it ideal if you struggle with sloping hills and valleys or perhaps you had a big lunch and just fancy a gentle walk. Pick up a map and take it all in. Opens Sunday 15th April from 11am to 4pm.

Tanglewood Wild Garden, Nr Newbridge, Penzance

Tanglewood Garden offers much more than the name may suggest. Whilst the garden welcomes brambles and nettles, they’re well maintained amongst the native plants and trees. With three ponds onsite, Tanglewood attracts a selection of wildlife throughout the season.

An article on the plantlife in Cornwall couldn’t neglect the famous Eden Project, two giant biomes feature thousands of species from a range of diverse climates including rainforest and the mediterranean. The outside botanical gardens contain native species as well as many thought provoking sculptures. The aim of the Eden Project is to educate and inform visitors of the relationship between people and plants. Not to be missed.

Cornwall's Eden Project

These are just a few of the beauties that Cornwall has to offer for those even with the faintest interest in plants and flowers you can’t deny the remarkable contribution it has on the overall feeling of the place. Nature and Cornwall are synonymous, best of all to enjoy it you merely have to step outside your door.

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By: Tony Townsend On:19th March 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Cups of tea, Big Ben and God save the Queen. Fish and Chips are just as synonymous with British Culture and St Ives is lucky enough to play host to some of the best eateries around.

A quintessential dish so good you have to guard it with your life from shifty pinching fingers and the occasional brash swooping seagull. Here’s the lowdown on where to find the best fish and chips in St Ives and its surroundings, from the no frills fryer to the artisanal dishes served on plates rather than paper.

The Best Fish and Chips Shops in St Ives

Fish and Chips plate from a local shop in St Ives

Sharky’s Fish and Chip Shop, St Ives Unit 7a Penbeagle Industrial Estate, St Ives

“Our aim is to provide delicious food with a friendly service” state this well established fish and chip shop, run by Stephen and Benny. It’s not in the most idyllic of places but the good news is that you’re a short walk away from the seafront so park up here, get your order and wander down for a alfresco meal. You’ll see locals and well informed visitors alike tucking into proper traditional fare.

Opening times are Tuesday – Friday 11:45am -1:30pm /4:45pm – 8:00pm. Saturday 4:45pm – 8pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Peckish Fish and Chip Shop in Camelford

Run by Rob and Louise and their skilled team, they are proud to say that they only use fish from sustainable sources and the best quality potatoes around; they even make their very own tartare sauce. Customers say “By far the best fish and chips I’ve ever had”. There is an extensive menu, including vegetarian options.

Peckish is located in Victoria Road, Camelford and open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 noon- 1:30 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm.

Steins Fish and Chips Restaurant and Takeaway, Padstow

This fish and chip shop is both a takeaway and restaurant and probably the most famous in Cornwall due to Rick Stein being a familiar face on TV and notable British Chef personality.

You can rely on the fish being fresh, often landed in Padstow and in fact and there is a good variety of other seafood on the menu too, including hake, plaice, haddock and lemon sole as well as the traditional cod.

They make their own mushy peas, curry sauce and tartare sauce plus they cater for gluten free diets too. They don’t take bookings for the restaurant so get there early to guarantee a table.

Opening times, restaurant and takeaway, are: Monday-Sunday 11:30 am – 3 pm. Thursday, Friday and Saturday is 5 pm – 8:30 pm.

Steins Fish and Chips place with mush peas, tartare sauce and a slice of lemon

Port and Starboard, Indian Queens, St Columb

Award winning Fish and Chips from a father and son duo. Eat in or takeaway the choice is yours. All food is freshly cooked using only the best produce. Fish available includes cod, haddock, plaice, and rock salmon all from sustainable sources. Save room for ice cream.

Lunchtime opening is: Restaurant: 12 pm – 1:45 pm. Takeaway: 12 pm – 2 pm.
Evening opening: Monday to Thursday. Restaurant: 4:45 pm- 8 pm. Takeaway: Take Away 12 pm – 2 pm.

Friday and Saturday – Restaurant: 4:45 pm – 8:30pm. Takeaway: 4:45 pm – 8:30 pm.

Port and Starboard Fish and Chips takeaway

Harbour Lights Falmouth

“Fish and chips is in the DNA of being British”, says Harbour Lights who were crowned “Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the year 2017”. There is always a variety of Cornish fish on their menu as well as best sellers: cod and haddock.

The chips are award winning, too, and cooked in rapeseed and palm oil using only the finest Cornish potatoes. We think a queue out the door is always a good sign and if the restaurant area is full take a stroll down the adjoining road to the harbour and dangle your legs over the side. It can’t get better than this.

Opening times:
Restaurant: Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 8pm. Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 8:30pm
Takeaway: Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 8:30pm and Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 9pm

Becks Fish and Chips, St.Ives

Family owned, fresh and deliciously fried. What more could you want? How about an extensive menu, restaurant setting and a fully licensed bar? Okay ample parking, deserts and this food coma inducing portion policy, ‘our regular is your large’. Situated in Carbis Bay next to the HQ of the Roam Surf School (could be a good post paddle meal perhaps?), Beck’s has a cult following which may explain if you have to wait ten or so minutes to be seated. We think this is a great sign of good food so be patient. They don’t just stop at the traditional Fish and Chips either, Goan curries, steaks and they even cater for Coeliacs too.

Opening Times:
Thursday 4:45 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 11:45 – 1:00 pm 4:45 pm – 9:00 pm

So there you have it, precious information shared; the only thing you have to decide now is tomato sauce or mayonnaise.

Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:16th March 2018
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

Most people think of Cornwall as a relatively hidden, insular place that hasn’t changed all that much, enclosed from the rest of the world, untouched by outsider influence.

Most people wouldn’t know about the county’s mining relationship with Mexico or perhaps even it’s strong links with the Bretons over in France and other Celtic identifying states. Most people would be surprised to hear how one of the most famous British craft institutions has its origins on the opposite side of the world, in Mashiko, Japan.

Leach Pottery is considered by many as the birthplace of British Studio Pottery, Located at Higher Stennack (on the B3306) on the upper outskirts of St Ives, created in homage to Bernard Leach.

Bernard Leach was born in Japan, his mother sadly dying in childbirth, he spent his first 3 years there until moving back to the UK with his father. He later studied etching at the London School of Art which rekindled his interest in Japanese Culture.

He returned to Japan to introduce western art after the 250 years of seclusion. Here he became great friends with Hamada Shoji, a potter, who was a great influence on 20th century studio pottery.

Hamada established a world renowned pottery centre in Mashiko town (about 62 miles from Tokyo). Leach surrounded himself with Japanese artists, scholars and philosophers; he began to give talks and write for publications creating credibility and a greater understanding of the craft developing a new approach.

Japan's influence on St Ives Artistry and Craft

On his return to England he brought back a utilitarian approach to pottery, bucking the trend of aesthetic and decorative considerations focussing instead on functional values. He establishing Leach Pottery in St.Ives with his wife and Shoji building a Kiln inside an old barn.

Through his work he promoted pottery as a combination of Western and Eastern art and philosophies. This idea of art, philosophy, design and craft intertwined formed the basis of a influential counter-culture to the fine art pots of the time. Through the collectives understanding and organisation formed a foundation for modern studio pottery.

Japanese pots made in St Ives

For over a century, the Leach family potters collaborated with Japanese artists, the two very different communities support each other through trials and tribulations.

The relationship runs deeper still after an appeal was created to aid the devastating earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 which offered support in rebuilding kilns and studios in Japan; created by Leach

street in Japan with old style building and two geishas walking

Pottery to ensure the future of pottery in Mashiko in the face of disaster. In 2012 the town council welcomed the Mayor of Mashiko for a friendship ceremony to formalise the relationship.

If you enjoy art and pottery, a visit to Leach Pottery is a must. If you are going with a friend but you are not a pottery fan, the actual history of the Leach family is riveting and fascinating. The site includes a museum in homage to its creator Bernard Leach, as well as exhibitions by leading regional, national and international studio potters throughout the year.

There are a host of activities on offer, check out their website, Things like Clay Days, where you can get messy and learn how to create a masterpiece. There are courses on throwing and glazing, evening classes and masterclasses.

Admission prices are quite reasonable at full price of £6, concessions (inc’ over 60’s) £5
Under 18: Free

Opening times:
Monday-Saturday : 10:00- 17:00 Sundays 11:00- 16:00
November- February
Monday – Saturday : 10:00 – 17:00
Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Open all other Bank Holidays

Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:14th March 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

St Ives Live Music Guide

21st February 2018

From the good ‘ol Rock-n-Roll to Classic Music Venues through to one of the best Jazz clubs in the UK, our St Ives live music guide has it all.

If the sound of seagulls calling takes it toll fear not; St.Ives offers far sweeter sounds to those that wish to listen. After your beach walk and museum jaunt and gallery perusing maybe some music would be a great way to spend your evening or perhaps offer a soundtrack to your Sunday lunch.

There is an endless list of venues offering live music with different genres, be it rock, pop, classic, blues or folk. From cosy warm pubs and bars to the sizeable guildhall.

So, if music is the food of love, play on St Ives Live Music Guide

Right in the heart of St Ives, The Castle Inn, Fore Street, a lovely traditional pub, that hosts gigs on a Friday and Saturday evening from 9 pm and on Sunday, after a delicious roast, enjoy the music from about 3 pm onwards.

On the Wharf, you have The Sloop Inn, a friendly relaxed pub, where solo, duo and full live bands cut their teeth or rock the regulars. Ideally situated by the harbour and the shimmering sea. In the summer you can even catch bands outside, Brothers & Bones, a young band from here in Cornwall played last year packing the place out.

St Ives Live Music Guide to Jazz

Not surprisingly, St Ives because it’s such an amazing place, has its own Jazz Club, officially one of the best Jazz Clubs in the UK. If you want somewhere special to go on a Tuesday night and hear top class jazz then the aptly named Jazz Club is your venue. It is housed in the Western Hotel and has its own bar at pub prices. There are ample seating and standing room. It reopens on February 13th 2018, doors open around 7:30 pm and the music starts at around 8:30pm.

Folk Music Banjo Player

The Queens Hotel is located on the High Street in St Ives. It is a bistro pub and offers food at great prices and has a lovely, lively atmosphere. It hosts a regular open mic night every Wednesday, from 9 pm check their outside blackboard for who’s playing or give them a ring on 01736 796468.

If a classical concert is your cup of tea then check out Concerts Penzance brings high quality music to Penzance from April to October.

Friday and Saturday performances take place in St John’s Hall Penzance, the “quality of concerts that you might expect to hear at London’s Wigmore Hall, but at Penzance prices”. The next concert is on Saturday 10th March 2018 in St John’s Hall, Penzance with Nordic legends The Engegaard Quartet. For more information contact: or phone 07422 972 622.

The Engine Inn, Cripplesease is located on the B3311 road between St Ives and Penzance. It is a traditional pub with a cosy log fire and comfy leather sofas. Every Sunday from 3 to 6 pm they host a terrific band called Sunday Shambles, a talented bunch of musicians who play wonderful blues music amongst other genres. Each week they have invited guests who play live music as well. Why not have some grub and then get toe tapping or swinging your hips.
The Guildhall is largest venue in St.Ives hosting international world music acts, bustling boogie nights and even plays host to the St.Ives September Festival, held from the 8th of September for two weeks.

St Ives Live Music Guide to RocknRoll

The venues listed above are just a few of the places where you can find great live music that St Ives and its close surrounding area have to offer. Your holiday will be all the better for hearing some mesmerising music in the most beautiful of settings and if none of it is up your street what’s stopping you taking a guitar down to the beach?

Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:21st February 2018

St Ives Lifeboats RNLI Station, providing sea and inland safety for locals and tourists for over 170 years.

On your visit to St Ives you will no doubt walk along the busy Wharf Road home to shops, inns and art galleries. And you will also no doubt see and smell the ocean, perhaps you’ll dip your toes in it or swim or surf.

How are the two areas connected?

The St Ives Lifeboat station. A gateway from terra firma to the sea, it stands proudly at the end of the West Pier, manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for over 170 years.

RNLI St Ives Lifeboat alarm bell

It houses two lifeboats, one a £2.1 million all-weather boat named Nora Stachura, Nora Stachura was a lady whose legacy paid for the purchase of this Shannon – Class, beach launchable lifeboat.

St Ives is the first station in Cornwall to receive this type of lifeboat, which says a lot about the need for high technology rapid emergency responses in and around the county.

Capable of 25 knots and powered by water jets she can achieve high speed, be used in any weather and will turn herself back over if she capsizes. Things have moved on since the days of paddling out to assist those in need.

RNLI St IVes Lifeboat Compass


The other is an inshore lifeboat called Donald Dean, it has its own mobile launch and recovery system with a top speed of 25 knots and fuel capacity to operate for 3 hours at maximum speed. She comes into her own in searches and rescues in the surf, shallow waters and confined locations, so important for Cornwall and it’s rugged coastline of caves and rock pools.

The St Ives Lifeboat Skipper Family Tradition

The RNLI is a charity that saves lives at sea as well as inland, at times of flood. There’s been a lifeboat station at St Ives since 1840 and one local family, in particular, holds a tradition of coxswain (pronounced Coxon!) or skipper of the lifeboat.

The Cocking family name is synonymous with the St Ives lifeboats, and Rob Cocking has followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, father and brother as coxswain. All of which would have trained at the dedicated lifeboat college in Poole.

The RNLI St Ives Remote Station

The crew come from all walks of life but share one thing, they are on hand always to drop everything and rescue lives. So enjoy the water in the safest ways possible even though the lifeboat crew are there for us all they’d much rather they didn’t have to meet us. You can discover tips on how to be safe in the sea here:

RNLI Equipment Equipment on the wall

The Lifeboat Station opens up to the public from April onwards and holds an annual fundraising event in August, where there is lots of fun to be had.

Check their website for further news. Inside the station, you can have a close-up view of the boats and digest the many years of history all around the station.

A great way to get some new perspectives and understanding of St.Ives relationship with the sea, its people and community spirit.

St Ives RNLI shop is located next to the lifeboat station and open from mid- February through to December but is dependent on the help of volunteers, so these times could change.

Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:20th February 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Depending on your attitude (whether you’re a realist or a romantic) you would be forgiven for thinking we mean holing up in a near-derelict studio stroke asbestos-lined-shell, eating tins of beans, huddled round seven shades of oil based vermilion red trying to keep warm. However, for the sake of this article we’ll be looking at the life of an artist through the most rose tinted glasses you can imagine; after all this could be your holiday.

Many people know that St Ives and its surrounding peninsula are famous for harbouring artists of varied disciplines; from painters, potters, poets and writers. All have been drawn to this very dramatic and wild tip of the country. Even before the painters born out of the aptly named St Ives School, this area is renowned for its creative output and inspirational nature.

In 1811 J.M.W. Turner along with Henry Moore took a train off the main branch line to visit this coastal town and were met with a rare and remarkable quality of light; of which Turner was a master of rendering. This unusual light quality, piercingly bright and cool, cemented the sub-tropical oasis that is St.Ives on the map as an artists haven.

Together with the element shaped coastline, the moor and the remnants of industry scattering the landscape there is a balance of both softness as well as toughness. Why else is Cornwall synonymous with artistic endeavours? Geographically, Cornwall is cut off from the rest of country, out the way of trend, convention and all the other barriers that constrict artists and their vision. Cornwall offered them artistic freedom as it could do for you. That and really, really good cider.

Picture this; you, with your sketchbook and assortment of paints, pencil and pens tucked under your seat gazing out the window as the train trundles next to a symmetrical vista of green, and blue. You can smell the sea air but you can’t yet see it. Until you do. Swathes of golden sand, white sea foam rolling rhythmically in to shore and the palm trees, yes palm trees jutting out along the stations exit. Seagulls call overhead floating on thermals, the smell of freshly baked pasties waft up winding streets, their pastry flakes fluttering down between the cobbles. We said romantic and rose tinted didn’t we.

Whether you’re considering driving or indeed taking undoubtedly one of the most scenic train journeys in the UK you’re going to want to refresh yourself, pause, and prepare for a day of inspiration and expression. We could recommend the aptly named Cafe Art but we want you to take a moment of mindfulness, no distractions, just you in a new place; Mount Zion Coffee it is. Small cups, big taste, bring your own cake.

A trip to St Ives wouldn’t be complete, whether you’re an artist or appreciator, to a gallery of some sorts, there are many to visit including Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden. Now we know inspiration can come from anywhere but a trip to the Tate, especially since its £20M refurbishment, has an air of authority about it. It’s quite easy to spend a whole day here, whether you’re wandering through the exhibits, taking part in a workshop or taking in spectacular views but just remember why you’re here. To live like an artist, not a critic.

From here why not walk down to the harbour, through white washed granite lined streets, bustling shops and teaming cafes. You’re itching to get your tools out and create especially after feeding your mind with iconic and unusual influences; but don’t settle til you’ve found your unique point of view. Let the caffeine and cake carry you that bit further; it could be Bamaluz Beach, salt encrusted surfer’s hair, the aforementioned pasty crumbs or perhaps you feel the creative call of one of St.Ives most charming Inns?

The Sloop has always been a bastion of character, a haunt of painters such as Grier, respite for sailors, seaman and weathered walkers of the coast. Perhaps it’s here where you sketch, write, ponder; where you’re mind connects dots and pours out new creations. It could be thirsty work.

Artists need their sleep, whether you’re exhibiting in the Tate or would rather be painting on the walls outside it; a St Ives holiday cottage, quaint, cosy and comfortable let’s your brain compute the days the activities and frees your mind up for the next day of enriching experiences.

By: Tony Townsend On:26th January 2018
Categories:Blog,Holiday Cottages

What’s in a name? In the case of these streets nestled in between the picturesque fisherman’s cottages in the Down’long area of St.Ives a lot of strange town trivia!

Teetotal Street

The Methodist movement began in the eighteenth century with John Wesley, he visited Cornwall often to carry out his open-air sermons to miners and village folk alike. He must have taken note of the ‘thirsty’ Cornish culture and pushed for new ways, like street names, to spread his abstinence movement.

Virgin Street

Saint Ia is the patron saint of St.Ives (if we had a pound for every…), she was of noble birth who devoted her life to prayer until her untimely martyrdom at the hands of the particularly nasty Medieval king. The parish church in St Ives is called St Ia and she is celebrated every 3rd of February.

Salubrious Place

It’s thought this street was named around the same time as Teetotal St by the Methodists and meaning ‘health-giving’ which is ironic considering there’s a fudge shop nearby.

Fish Street

When fishing was the mainstay of economy for St Ives, this was where the main fish gutting and filleting went on.

Wheal Dream

This street is named after the Wheal Dream mine. Wheal means mine in the Cornish language back when tin mining was lucrative. The St Ives Museum now stands in this street.

Court Cocking

Don’t let your imagination run away with you, Court Cocking has a very innocent meaning, though it does seem quite a rude name. It is perhaps where the “cockyn” were kept. (These were small boats used for seine fishing. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats). Or it could be a reference to the Cocking family. Or you can go ahead and create your own meaning not that you need encouragement from us.

So there you have it six silly names that reveal some St Ives town trivia, why not plan a walk and tick them all off?

If you do decide to visit it, don’t forget to book your stay with us on one of our holiday homes in St. Ives or surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:25th January 2018
Categories:Blog,Local Area

Our tantalising rundown of our favourite eateries to go for Sunday lunch in and around St Ives.

Why does lunch, or dinner for that matter, on a Sunday seem so much more poignant than the rest of the week? We’re not sure, it’s food for thought but thought alone does not fill bellies especially after meandering coastal walks, gallery jaunts or perhaps you’ve worked up a big 3-course worthy appetite doing very little, which in our book is exactly what Sundays are all about. St Ives, just like the rest of Cornwall, has plenty of wonderful cafes, restaurants and foodie-pubs to offer, the only downside is that you have to pick one.

Where to go for Sunday lunch in St Ives?

Here is our selection of places you can go to

Porthminster Kitchen

An award winning establishment with stunning views to boot. Its Sunday lunch will stand up to your mother’s and then some – no matter how good her roasties are. Best to stave off the snacks because the starters and deserts are truly exceptional, unusual but exceptional. The main course is built around locally sourced beef or lamb and there are always vegetarian options which can be altered to suit plant based diets. The head chefs bring Asian and Mediterranean influences to traditional British dishes. The space features large windows for guests to take in a 180 degree view of the harbour as well as illuminating artwork from the likes of Anthony Frost.

To avoid disappointment it is essential to book: 01736 799 874


The Sloop

One of the oldest Inns in Cornwall, circa 1312, low ceilings, tankards and a sea-view to boot. This Inn cannot be missed as you walk down to the harbour from the shops in Fore Street. A traditional Sunday lunch in St Ives is served between 12 and 3 pm with all the trimmings and is very popular with tourists and locals alike. Could it have something to do with the complimentary bottle of wine with any two roast dinners, perhaps, could it have something to do with its authentic fisherman pub feel? Most definitely!

Contact number : 01736 796584


The Loft Restaurant and Terrace

Whilst the restaurant is located just behind The Sloop in the artist’s quarter of the town, its look and feel is completely different. Light, airy and spacious, their ethos is simple cooking with the best local ingredients; which even if you’re staying for the weekend is in abundance. It is advisable to book, it is dog-friendly and portions are large enough to feed the hungriest of guests, but of course, save room for dessert. Again Sunday lunch is served between 12 and 3 pm from £10.95 with all the trimmings.

To book ring: 01736 794204


The Lifeboat Inn

This is another traditional Cornish Inn, situated next to the lifeboat house and again with wonderful views over the harbour. They can host groups but be sure to book as this place gets busy quick, if you don’t you may have to queue which we think stands testament to how good it is! The chef’s use only Cornish ingredients and their Sunday lunch carvery has a choice of two types of meat, fresh vegetables, potatoes and homemade Yorkshire pudding. There is homemade nut roast for vegetarians and smaller portions are available for children and those that may have had a proper Cornish breakfast. Served between 12 and 3 pm, adults roast is £11.50 and children’s £8.25.

Contact number: 01736 794123


The Badger Inn

The Badger Inn offers a winter and summer carvery which consists of a choice of roast meats and seasonal vegetables, homemade Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings. This pub has loads of history, about which you can read, by going to their website but in our opinion, the greatest pull is the family dog, Elvis. The Great Dane adds to the character and is well worth the short walk or drive there. Alternatively, you could get the coastal train. There is plenty of choices, they cater for Vegetarians and do children friendly portions.

Contact number: 01736 752181



Located in the aforementioned Lifeboat House and the pinnacle of 5-star dining in St.Ives Alba boasts an exquisite fine dining experience. Delicious food presented in a beautiful manor created by a Michelin trained chef. When booking, which you must, be sure to ask for a window table for the sweeping vista of the harbour. Alba offers a roast of sorts on Sundays but not like your mother makes them, expect fillets of Cornish Beef, belly Pork and delectable dessert wines in a contemporary setting where every detail is considered.

Contact: 01736 797222


So whether you travel back in time to eat in Inns, or end up cosying up with Elvis, or you choose to experience the classy side of Cornwall, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed when going for Sunday lunch in St Ives or any other day for that matter.

Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?

Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.

By: Tony Townsend On:24th January 2018
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

Not sure where to go for your Winter break? Look no further than the quaint Cornish seaside town of St Ives, the perfect escape for families, couples and group holidays.

One of Cornwall’s most loved destinations is undoubtedly the North Coast fishing town of St Ives. The town is built on a narrow peninsula and surrounded by many sandy beaches and quirky little streets.

The cobbled streets and fishermen’s cottages make for the most incredible atmosphere, alongside the rich artistic heritage you can enjoy with the internationally acclaimed galleries – and intimate local ones.

As far as getting away from it all goes, St Ives is one of the best places to do this all year round. Many people only think of visiting during high season, in the Summer, but visiting during Winter can be a unique and amazing experience too.

The beaches aren’t full all of the time and there are locals and off season visitors enjoying the town everywhere. The pubs are bustling, the already gorgeous streets have a winter wonderland vibe about them, and you can let the sound and smell of the sea relax you and carry all of your troubles away – even if you don’t plan on getting in it in the freezing cold.

Here are some suggestions on things to do in St Ives during the Winter:

Visit Fore St

Fore St is one of the main parts of St Ives, a cobbled through street that remains busy during winter. You will find an abundance of pubs, cafes, and shops here, such as the Firehouse Bar and Grill.

You’ll be surrounded by locals and you’ll feel much less like a tourist during the winter season. Many proclaim Cornwall in winter to be a very humbling experience.

Godrevy Beach

Here you’ll see the beautiful lighthouse and golden sands of Hayle only a few miles away from St. Ives. During Winter especially you will notice the true community spirit of the place and spot people from dog walkers to surfers.

Panoramic views to Godrevy and Hayle sands

You must wrap up warm, and don’t attempt to be a cold weather surfer if you’ve never done it before! However, if you’re experienced then surfing here can be a great idea, as people come from all over the place for the surf here. All year round, this place is buzzing with activity and positive vibes.

Finding A Cozy Corner

Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, you’ll likely want to find a cosy corner to curl up in. The Sloop Inn is a great place to go after a walk if you’re in the town area. There’s also The Garrack, where you are free to choose your hot drink and then relax with a good book.

Feet by fire, Christmas

Sit by an open fire to warm up, or go by the window if you want to watch the waves crash. Feel free to find your very own St Ives local, get acquainted with the staff and choose your ‘regular’ spot.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden (Tate St Ives)

This museum will allow you to get in touch with your arty side. The museum and garden are incredible and dedicated to the tremendous works of Barbara Hepworth.

One of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists, a visit here will allow you to understand her mind a little better.

Shanty Baba Storyteller

If you don’t like spooky things, it is probably best you give this one a miss! If you’re a little braver and love a thrill, then it’s something you should try.

You could do a Lantern Ghost Storywalk and explore some of the most haunted places in the area, or even the Pirate Walk (and yes, you should dress up). These activities are great for all ages.

Christmas And New Year In St Ives

You may have never considered Christmas and New Year in St Ives, but it’s a great place to visit if you want to enjoy beach walks spattered with bouts of Christmas shopping in a beautiful independent shop, before relaxing in one of the welcoming and cosy pubs.

Sandman on Harbour Beach in St Ives at Christmas time.

It’ll make you feel so far away from all of your troubles that you might not want to return.

In fact, December is when St Ives really comes alive. Santa visits early on in the month; December 2nd at 3pm, to be precise. This can give a truly festive feel to your visit.

There’s also the St Ives Christmas Parade, where both locals and tourists can join in on the lantern parade that starts at St Ia Parish Church and goes through the streets lined with sparkling Christmas trees and festive shop windows. Even if you don’t want to join in, it’s quite the sight to behold.

New Year’s Eve celebrations here aren’t something to be sniffed at in St Ives either. It is customary for thousands of party-goers dress up in all kinds of crazy fancy dress and have a huge street party – one of the best in the UK! So many people make a tremendous effort with their costumes, so if you’re going to do it make sure you do it properly.

Some even opt to make their own unique outfits. If you’re going to rent one, make sure you do it far enough in advance so you don’t miss out on the fun!

If nothing else, St Ives is the most incredible place to simply lock yourself away in a cosy cottage, cook food with fresh produce, and enjoy wine during the winter. People who visit St. Ives nearly always fall in love and come back for more again and again.

The weather definitely doesn’t need to be a deciding factor when it comes to visiting this unique and magical place!

For a proper Cornish experience, we strongly recommend you consider renting a holiday cottage in St Ives, most of them are dog friendly and a pebble throws away from the beach.

By: Tony Townsend On:23rd November 2017

Winter breaks in St Ives, the perfect Cornish escape for couples and family holidays.

As the days grow cooler, the evenings draw in and your summer holidays become a distant memory, you may well be considering the best place to spend a cosy break away and for a Winter escape, you should look no further than beautiful St Ives on the Cornish coast.

Winter is a lovely time to escape to the ‘jewel in Cornwall’s crown’ because without the hustle and bustle of the summer crowds you get the chance to see the town at it’s most real.

The attractions are less busy, the roads are certainly quieter and the pace is at it’s most leisurely. Let the relaxation start here.

Set your own timetable by staying at one of the beautiful holiday cottages in St Ives and surround areas. Turn off your alarm clock and forget the hectic schedule of every day life, as you plan how to spend your winter break, over coffee and breakfast at your own pace, in the comfort of your cosy bolthole.

The town of St Ives is renowned for its beautiful beaches all boasting white sand, fabulous views and beautiful sunsets. Take your pick from Carbis Bay, Porthminster, Porthkidney, Bamaluz Harbour or Porthgwidden to name just a few, pull on your coat and boots and enjoy a walk in the cool, crisp sunshine taking in the majesty of the sea and breathing the fresh salty air into your lungs.

Wrap the children up in their wellies and woollies and take them exploring in the numerous rockpools, or just sit with a coffee and watch the world go by.

A lovely bonus to an ‘out of season’ holiday is that dog lovers are able to take their four-legged companions onto the sand for a stroll or wear them out in preparation for a lazy evening with an energetic game of fetch near the waves.

Man and his dog playing at one of St Ives Dog Friendly beaches

Take advantage of the crisp winter weather by enjoying some of the many scenic walks St Ives has to offer. Why not enjoy a beautiful day outdoors walking the 12 mile St Michaels Way between St Ives Bay and St Michaels Mount. This gorgeous route takes you from Lelant to Marazion taking in wonderful views across the Cornish countryside and coast along the way.

Complete your day trip by following in the footsteps of a legendary giant and taking a stroll across the causeway. Take a boat trip to an island where you will discover a medieval castle with fairy tale turrets waiting to be explored.

Spend some time learning about the island’s history and enjoying the castle’s dazzling views. For a more leisurely afternoon walk why not explore the maze of cobbled streets in the heart of the town and see the fisherman’s cottages at the Downalong before taking in the sights and smells of the working Cornish harbour.

Spend a little of your break enjoying the wonderful wildlife St Ives is proudly home to. Head to the RSPB reserve at the Hayle Estuary to enjoy watching the area fill up with birds during it’s busiest time of the year. Enjoy spotting whimbrels and oystercatchers as you stroll around the many nature trails.

Look out for seals from the large colony at Mutton Cove, see if you can spot dolphins, porpoises and (if you are very lucky) basking sharks whilst wildlife watching at Godrevey Point.

Alternatively head to the award winning wildlife sanctuary Paradise Park in Hayle, where you will enjoy a full day out for all the family. Here you can look forward to meeting over 140 different types of birds and learning about the park’s important conservation work whilst enjoying letting the children blow off steam in the play areas whilst you enjoy a chilly picnic in the Winter sunshine or lunch in the park’s café.

If you prefer the pursuit of art appreciation, look no further than St Ives which has been described as the ‘epicentre of the British Modernist movement’. Why not spend a little of your winter break immersing yourself in the vibrant art scene this small town has to offer.

Whether taking a tour of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture garden, visiting the Tate St Ives which features a year round programme of contemporary exhibitions and permanent works, or wandering around the many independent galleries and studios dotted about the area, there are original pieces to be found and admired on every street corner of the art mecca of the South West.

St Ives is the perfect spot to indulge in a little retail therapy and thanks to the town’s year round tourism, you can shop until you drop here regardless of the season.

In stark contrast to a hectic shopping mall environment, high street names are replaced by beautiful boutiques, quirky art and craft stores and whimsical bookshops.

Enjoy a wander along the cobbles of Fore Street or down Wharf Road at the harbour to pick up unique pieces of art, jewellery or ceramics made by local craftsmen and explore the narrow alleyways around Back Road East or The Digey to enjoy a nose around the art galleries and studios, maybe treating yourself to the ultimate moment of your Winter holiday.

With the seemingly endless selection of restaurants, cafes, cosy pubs and inns, eating out in St Ives is a foodies dream.

As you will be visiting out of peak season you will find you will have your pick of venues without making reservations weeks in advance.

As you might expect seafood is at the forefront of many menus which usually boast British cuisine as traditional fare, though Italian and Spanish influences can also be found thanks to the sheer number of eateries to choose from.

Alternatively, after a busy day out, why not close the curtains, light some candles and take advantage of your cottage’s fantastic facilities, by rustling up some hearty winter fare and uncork a bottle of Shiraz to enjoy as you while away your cosy evening in, toasting yourselves on your decision to spend the perfect winter holiday enjoying everything that this gem at the very edge of England has to offer.

By: Tony Townsend On:21st November 2017
Categories:Blog,Seasonal Breaks

Seeing the New Year in at St Ives is a unique experience which you will never forget.

As the sun goes down on December 31st, the small cobbled streets of St Ives begin to fill.

Superman, Donald Trump, Chewbacca and Minions start appearing around every street corner. Some might think this is a plot for a new Hollywood movie, those in the know will recognise that it’s St Ives on New Year’s Eve.

The quaint Cornish seaside town comes alive to provide a party platform for families, couples and groups. It’s definitely one for your bucket list.

About the festivities in St Ives

One of the great things about St Ives on New Year’s Eve is it offers something for every generation.

The celebration starts early. Roads around the town centre and harbour front will close to traffic from 6 pm, allowing the early bird revellers to take to the streets.

Parents with young children or big families tend to take the first sitting, appearing early on in their costumes.
During the early evening, the local shops, pubs and bars are very welcoming towards families, offering a safe, fun filled experience for everyone.

As evening turns to night, families begin to move on, as the fun and excitement takes a tired toll on the children.

Is Dressing up obligatory to join St Ives New Year’s Eve Celebrations?

Whilst it’s not obligatory to get your fancy dress outfit on, it is the perfect opportunity to be a little outrageous.
Most people do, so you certainly won’t feel like the ‘odd one out’.

There are many charity shops in St Ives selling second hand clothes, an ideal way to help a charity and get your costume together.

If you want to be really original, then take a visit to the local charity shops, who are bound to have hidden treasures, combine that with your own imagination and voila!

You’re looking the part.

Where are the best places to be?

The celebrations are spread throughout the St Ives town, but the harbour front is where you’ll find the core of the activity.
Away from the harbour, you can meander through the winding streets where the bars and clubs will be enticing you in with a lively atmosphere.

Live music is popular in the bars, with music ranging from traditional folk to modern covers.

If weather permits, then even the beach becomes a gathering point. Lit up by the St Ives Christmas lights, you can group together with your fold up chairs. Just remember to bring a blanket, after all, we are talking mid-winter.

Where to eat in New Year’s Eve in St Ives?

For those who prefer to relax and be a voyeur, booking one of the seafront restaurants is a great choice.

There are several restaurants perched right on the seafront. Many are two stories, providing views across the entire St Ives beachfront and down onto the streets where you can judge and comment on your favourite fancy dress outfits. Book in advance though, as the best viewpoints get very busy.

For those who prefer a less formal meal, a wide choice of the best local fish and chips shops, takeaways and of course Cornish pasty bakeries are on hand and food stalls can be found dotted around.

St Ives will be busy on New Year’s Eve, so expect to wait longer than normal if eating out.

Those who don’t want to wait would be wise to eat first at their Cornish holiday home or apartment.

Where is the best place to see in the New Year?

At midnight, with the night in full flow, the majority head to the harbour front.

As the final seconds ticks by, everyone is in full voice, collectively counting down to the New Year. At midnight everyone averts their gaze towards the pier, where the fabulous firework display lights up the entire town, starting the New Year off in style.

New Year’s Day in St Ives

The day after the night before. New Year’s Day in St.Ives can only be described as ‘peaceful’.

Cafe’s and bars start to open mid-morning, allowing you to grab a much needed coffee.
The fresh sea breeze does, however, do its job. Clearing the foggiest of heads.

By: Tony Townsend On:13th November 2017
Categories:Blog,New Year Holidays,Seasons

With winter nights drawing in, many of us are in full present planning mode.

While some are happy to do all their Christmas shopping via the internet, or leave it until the last minute on Christmas Eve, others like to make an event of it, perhaps spending a weekend away, doing it all in one go.

And why not make a thing of it? It takes the pressure and strain out of the ‘big shop’.
St Ives, Cornwall is better known as a picturesque coastal town, but it is fast becoming a favourite with Christmas shoppers thanks to its interesting eclectic shops and independent boutiques. Not to mention the confectioners, jewellers, and wine sellers.
Ready to mix shopping with pleasure? Here are a few suggestions to get the balance just right this Christmas.

Beauty Salons and Spas.
There are several spas and salons in and around St Ives.
The biggest decision is whether you need pampering after a hard day’s shopping, choosing vouchers for your loved ones to enjoy a treatment at their leisure, or both!

Chain-led stores in St Ives:
Joules is renowned for selling brightly coloured clothes for the whole family, as well as homewares. Joules draws inspiration from British heritage designs.
Crew Clothing specialises in casual clothing for men and women with a timeless style.
Seasalt retails clothes and homewares with coastal-themed prints.
Cath Kidston has bright, vintage-style homewares, bags, clothing and more.

Independent Shops:

The Painted Bird a lovely gift shop with a unique and diverse choice of gifts and crafts.
The Glass Tree is a very pretty, eclectic style shop, with unique gifts, cards and home accessories.
Crowan Crafts shop here and find a selection of Cornish wares handmade in Cornwall.
Fabulous 28 sells a wide range of products including clothing, jewellery, homewares, and a lovely selection of toys, clothes and children’s shoes.

The Silver Wave a boutique haven for ladies, with fine jewellery, gold and silver designs, precious and semi-precious stones and costume jewellery.
Silver Origins is a family run company designing and selling unique silver jewellery and gifts.
Food and Drink
The Cornish Deli quality local meats, cheeses, seafood. Sit and enjoy a tasty snack, that way you’ll not only be relaxing, but tasting the wonderful food that you can buy as presents.
St Ives Brewery Gift Shop hand crafted beverages, beer or cider for that taste of Cornish brewing.
John’s Wine Store specialises in fine wine, spirits and Cornish produce.

St Ives Farmers Market

Open every Thursday in December, 9:30- 2:00 pm. A wide range of local produce including meat and vegetables, baked goods. There are refreshments to be had and live music!

I Should Coco offers artisan chocolate, handmade in St Ives.
St Ives Cornish Fudge Shop yummy fudge, a perfect gift for Cornwall lovers, a taste of holidays already experienced and of those to come.

Art and Galleries
There will be a host of Art Exhibitions in the run-up to Christmas, only fitting as St Ives is such a draw for artists who love the light and inspiration that St Ives emits. After all St Ives is the art mecca of the South West.

Tate St Ives
Tate has opened its new £20 million pound gallery “sunk into” a cliff in St Ives. Clad in handmade blue-green tiles, it’s designed “to reflect the changing colours of the sky and sea”.
Its new size means it will stay open all year round, when exhibitions change. Forthcoming events include a retrospective of Patrick Heron’s vibrant paintings and an exhibition of female artists inspired by Virginia Woolf.
Artists and the local landscape are the focus of the shop at Tate St Ives.

Visit Sloop Studios where a collective of talented people including printmakers, jewellers, artists, potters, illustrators and textile designers showcase their work and offer a range of locally made gifts.

So there you have it. St Ives steps up to the mark to make your Christmas shopping experience a real pleasure.
Just make sure you schedule twenty minutes to sit down in front of the harbour, take in the views, relish a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine and you’re guaranteed to make sure this year’s Christmas Shopping is an enjoyable part of the season’s festivities.

By: Tony Townsend On:3rd November 2017
Categories:Blog,Christmas Holidays,Holiday Ideas,Seasonal Breaks,Shopping

Today, if you’re taking a trip down to St Ives, there are a number of things which strike you, but none more so than the sheer natural beauty of the area.

Located near the south-west tip of the UK, St Ives is blessed with a stunning clarity of light, rugged coastal scenery, wild moorlands, remarkable historical structures and seemingly endless ocean. From an aesthetic perspective alone, St Ives is a delight – and that’s without factoring in the incredible dining, cultural and sporting highlights.

It’s those aesthetic qualities which have drawn artists down to St Ives for over 200 years to live, work and create iconic works of art, across every imaginable medium. But when did all this artistic activity begin? Join us as we take you on an abbreviated journey through St Ives history as an art colony.

The story begins in the early 1800s when a certain J M W Turner was amongst the first to arrive with artistic purposes in St Ives, making a panoramic sketch of the town, harbour and coast, having been captivated by it at an earlier visit. The year was 1811.

During the latter half of the century, open air painting was rapidly growing in popularity, sending scores of artists out into rural areas across Europe to form colonies of artists. It wouldn’t be long until St Ives’ reputation as an ideal marine painting location would grow.

Indeed, the location of St Ives at the very bottom and west of the country meant that the weather was often warm enough to sit out all day, with long periods of sunshine enabling great painting conditions.

By 1877, a railway line had opened in St Ives, enabling the area to be easily accessed and paintings easily shipped back to London for exhibition or further shipping around Europe. Around the same time, the pilchard trade which had once been so vital for the area began to collapse, with many fishermen simply moving to different areas.

This resulted in a great many buildings being left vacant, which artists soon took over and converted to studios; the first of which was recorded in 1885, when the Right Honourable Duff Tollemach moved into an old sailor’s loft in Carncows Street, Downalong.

The next 20 years would be a blur of notable (and soon-to-be-notable) artists arriving in the area to work, including Whistler and two students Walter Sickert and Mortimer Mempes. 1887 found Swedish artist Anders Zorn arrive, and his painting of St Ives harbour bathed in twilight still hangs in the Louvre.

The early 1900s brought with them the expansion of the renowned St Ives Art Club and the expansion of the types of art being produced. For example, Bernard Leach, a leader in world pottery, arrived with Japanese potter Shoji Hamada to build Europe’s first oriental climbing kiln and spearheading a modern revival of pottery.

After that? Well, that’s a topic for another article. Until then though, why not come down and enjoy a superb self-catered holiday in St Ives and see why so many artists have called it home.

By: Tony Townsend On:28th June 2017
Categories:Art & Culture,Blog

Everyone needs to eat, and though there are plenty of options out there for the hungry Cornish traveller, not all are created equal. From rustic fish restaurants which go from sea to plate in a matter of hours to intricate British fusion cuisine served in Michelin starred restaurants, Cornwall is nothing if not amenable to the hungry foodie.

Sometimes, however, you want the rustic comforts and relaxed atmosphere that only a grastropub can offer. Thankfully, Cornwall has you covered there too. Here’s a selection of our favourite food-serving pubs in St Ives, Carbis Bay and beyond:

The Lifeboat Inn, St Ives

Family friendly, affordable and utterly delicious, the Lifeboat Inn is a stellar option for any hungry holidaymakers.

Located on Wharf Road, this pub looks out over the startlingly blue ocean off the coast of Cornwall and boasts a variety of foods, from the traditional fish and chips to more exotic fair from around the world. Vegan and gluten free-options are available, alongside a variety of craft ales, lagers and delightful local and international wines.

The Kings Arms, Marazion

Directly to the south of St Ives is the stunning seaside town of Marazion, which is itself home to a great museum that’s well worth a visit. Our attention, however, turns towards The Kings Arms. This quintessentially Cornish building plays host to a comfortable number of tables, and though it offers a range of foods, there’s nothing quite like its fish offering.

Warm and friendly, we’ve been known to recommend the Kings Arms to those who want a dining experience on the south coast, without enduring a long drive there and back. Our personal recommendation? Well, it’s hard to avoid the fresh mackerel when it’s on the menu!

The Sloop Inn, St Ives

Located not far from the Lifeboat Inn, The Sloop can be found on The Wharf and offers a delectable range of classic British grub, like steaks, seafood, roasts and pies, along with local favourites.

Known locally for its sumptuous deserts, The Sloop Inn boasts a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and a ringing endorsement from the local community, who make regular use of the pub-turned-restaurant. It’s been described as ‘the perfect place to watch the world go by’, and we couldn’t agree more.

Cornish Arms, Hayle

Found a little further up the north coast than Carbis Bay, the Cornish Arms is about as Cornish as you can get. A charming historic exterior gives way to a relaxed and informal pub interior. Though primarily billed as a pub, it’s hard not to make a move to a table once you see the standard of food they serve up.

From British pub classics and Italian favourites to seaside delights, the Cornish Arms offers a little something for everyone. Best of all though? It’s a dog-friendly pub, so you don’t need to leave your little friend all alone.

By: Tony Townsend On:21st June 2017
Categories:Food and Drink

Britain is blessed with some of the finest golf courses in the world. From the historic splendour of St Andrews in Scotland to the rugged challenge of Royal St George’s in Kent, these isles play host to some spectacular courses.

Here in Cornwall, golf is a way of life. Combined with our world class food, beaches and history, it means we’ve an attractive proposition for any keen linksman. Indeed, golf in Cornwall has a rich and inclusive history.

The oldest functioning golf course in Cornwall is West Cornwall at Lelant, which traces its history back to 1889, before the Cornwall Golf Union was founded in 1901, and would be shortly followed by St Enodoc, Newquay and Bude and North Cornwall.

Less than a decade later, The Cornwall Ladies’ Golf Championship was founded, giving lady golfers the chance to compete against local and national rivals on a yearly basis. Today, the Ladies’ Cornwall Golf Union, who started the tournament, and the Cornwall Ladies’ County Golf Association merged to form the new Cornwall Ladies’ County Golf Association, which support female golfers in Cornwall to this day.

If you’re keen to hit the links whilst you’re staying in Cornwall, there’s some tremendous options available, here’s four of the finest:

  • St Enodoc Golf Club, Wadesbridge

Located on the north coast, St Enodoc Golf Club is a stunning highlight of the Cornish golf community. Extremely varied in its terrain and with a spectacular view over the ocean, it can prove difficult to focus on your game.

Notable for its hills and towering sand dunes, St Enodoc is currently listed as one of Golf Digest’s top 100 golf courses in the world, and was recently ranked as the 6th best course in England by Golf World.

  • West Cornwall Golf Club, Lelant

Located mere minutes away from our holiday homes in St. Ives and Carbis Bay, the West Cornwall Golf Club is a fantastic option for keen golfers.

With panoramic views over the remarkable St Ives Bay, West Cornwall Golf Club is a right and testing seaside course; one in which you’ll find wind plays a key role. With regular days and timeslots for golfers of all abilities to test their mettle and a fully stocked bar and restaurant available, it’s a lovely way to spend a day.

  • Trevose Golf Club, Padstow

Up the north coast once again, you’ll find Trevose Golf Club. A firmly tourist-oriented club that welcomes golfers of all abilities, Trevose nevertheless offers real challenge.

With dramatic views across the golden sandy shore of Booby’s Bay and over the rugged coastline of the north, Trevose offers stunning scenery – even if your game isn’t at the level it should be.

  • Perranporth Golf Club, Perranporth

We love Perranporth for its stunning beaches and charming seaside aesthetic, but did you know it’s also home to a wonderful golf course?

Perhaps the most underrated course in the south of England, Perranporth (much like the other courses on this list), combines remarkable views with an entertainingly challenging and well maintained championship golf course.

An affordable club house and friendly staff round off the experience, making Perranporth Golf Club a must-visit for any serious golf fan visiting Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:10th June 2017

One of the best things about going on holiday is, without a doubt, the opportunity to see flora and fauna that we simply can’t elsewhere in our lives. On holiday, we not only get the opportunity to chance across new wildlife, we have the time and mental space to really appreciate it.

It’s no different on our fantastic self-catered St Ives and Carbis Bay holidays. Our cottages, apartments and homes offer unparalleled access to some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife anywhere in the UK, though with so much to see, you might be wondering where to begin.

In this guide, we’re going to share with you some of our favourite wildlife and nature hotspots around St Ives.

Dolphins, Seals, Sharks and More!

St Ives has a host of incredible wildlife highlights, but there’s nothing quite like seeing a family of dolphins playing just off the coast of the rugged Cornish coastline or witnessing a family of grey seals lounging atop rocks, taking in the sunshine.

If that sounds like your kind of day out, then the good news is that the appearance of dolphins can happen at any time of the year, as they come to feed on the small fish shoals off the island. The most common species you’ll see are the common and bottlenose dolphins, though you may well spot a rissos dolphin, or even a harbour porpoise.

During summer months, you’ll sometimes see the floppy dorsal fin of an oceanic sunfish – the largest bony fish in the world, which grows to around 1.8m at adult size. If you’re lucky, you could even spot a basking shark or two during settled weather.

As for seals, small numbers of grey seals can be seen at any time of the year, weather permitting. These are often from a large colony, which live near Carbis Bay at Godrevy Point.

Brilliant Birds.

Consider yourself something of an amateur birdwatcher? Well, St Ives has a few treats in store for you. Alongside a huge array of land birds, you’ll enjoy a comprehensive complement of seabirds, attracted by the variety of fish and safe places to nest.

Seabirds can be seen at any time of the year, though the viewing opportunities are at their best when strong NE-NW winds force the birds closer to the shore, leading to some spectacular views and (if you’re so inclined) wonderful photography opportunities.

Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills and a few Balearic Shearwaters can be witnessed on favourable days, whilst the shoals of fish mean that razorbills and guillemots, along with the obligatory gulls.

During the months of April and September, you’ll often see some of the rarer species as sea birds move through the area, so keep an eye out and bring a notepad!

Glorious Gardens.

There’s also a huge variety of stunning gardens around St Ives, each of which offer rare plants, beautiful walks and unimaginable numbers of wildlife, covering everything from butterflies to songbirds. In particular, we love the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens, designed by the lady herself. We’re also big fans of Trengwainton Garden and, of course, the Eden Project.

By: Tony Townsend On:25th May 2017

Summer is fast approaching and with it, the promise of an incredible self-catered holiday in Carbis Bay. The thought of buckets and spades, paddling in warm waves, enjoying traditional seaside food and building incredible memories is enough to send anyone slipping into a pair of shorts and sprinting for the car, but there’s so much more to a Cornish holiday than that.

Yes, more than a mere coastal holiday, Carbis Bay and the wider Cornish area boasts an incredible schedule of events, designed to entertain, inform and delight all age groups throughout the summer.

So, what’s on near Carbis Bay this summer? Here’s our selected highlights.


June signals the start of summer and with it, the start of a raft of incredible events. It begins with Open Studios Cornwall, a free art event now in its 13th year.

During the first week of June, Open Studios Cornwall will give a record 260 local artists, designers and makers’ the opportunity to showcase their talents to the public. Peek behind the curtain and discover amazing art spaces, unique works and so much more. Studio tours are available all over Cornwall, including St Ives and Carbis Bay.

Just a 40-minute drive up the coast is the incredible Electric Beach Festival, running from the 16th to the 17th of June, and tickets from just £27.50 (excl. booking fees), you can enjoy a great blend of music, comedy and family events. Musicians include Badly Drawn Boy, The Cuban Brothers, Backbeat Sound System, Wolf Club and many more.

Of course, that’s not all. If you’ve got a taste for the rural, St Merryn Steam and Vintage Rally on the 24th and 25th is a wonderful trip, as is the Padstow Vintage Rally & Country Fair from the 30th of June until the 31st of July.


July sees summer truly take hold, basking Cornwall in beautiful warm sunshine and bringing out the best we have to offer, especially when it comes to music. There are no fewer than four tremendous festivals. They include Tunes in the Dunes, located close in Perranporth with acts like Clean Bandit, John Newman, KT Tunstall and Billy Ocean. It kicks off from the 30th of June and runs to the 2nd of July, and thanks to its close proximity to our holiday lets.

Elsewhere, you can enjoy incredible classical music at St Endellion Summer Music Festival (25th of July to the 4th of August) or take in a more indie/folk flavour at the Rock Oyster music and food festival, running from the 7th to the 8th of July.


With the sun at its highest, there’s no shortage of events to partake in and around St Ives and Carbis Bay. They include Bude Carnival (19th of August) and Holsworthy and Stratton Agricultural Show (24th of August).

If you’re in the mood for a little open air theatre, it’s hard to look past the hilarious show The Third Policeman by Miracle Theatre. Striking a balance somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Father Ted, it’s a great laugh for the whole family and is playing across Cornwall all summer.

Should you not be tired of music festivals (who could be?), August is home to plenty of north coast music festivals, including the free Christian music festival Creation Fest running from the 5th to the 11th of August in Wadebridge. You can also check out the classical stylings of Symphony By the Sea on the 4th of August on Lusty Glaze Beach in Newquay.

By: Tony Townsend On:15th May 2017

Holidaying in Cornwall is about taking in the best that Britain has to offer. Michelin starred restaurants, stunning scenery, incredible history and luxurious accommodation combine to create holiday memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Amongst its many virtues are, of course, it’s remarkable range of beaches. Running the gamut from rugged pebble beaches to soft golden sands, Cornwall boasts the finest beaches in the UK – and some of the best in the world.

It’s a fact that draws countless holidaymakers down to our coastline, but which beaches should you be visiting this summer? Here’s ten of our favourites:

  • Sennen (Whitsand Bay)

A short stroll from the iconic cliffs of Land’s End, Sennen is the very model of the quaint Cornish beach. This fishing cove features a beautiful, mile-long golden beach, which offers excellent swimming and a consistent surf, for those wishing to get to grips with the waves.

Though not linked to a big down, Sennen boasts a couple of delightful cafes and a charming pub, making it ideal for a relaxed day trip.

  • Gwithian Towans Beach, St Ives

It wouldn’t be right to draw up a list of the best Cornish beaches without Gwithian Towans Beach getting a look in. Why? Well, that would be because of its enormous expanse of gorgeous, soft golden sand.

The sheer scale of the beach ensures that, even though it’s extremely popular, there’s enough beach that everyone can find their own place to relax and enjoy the famous Cornish sun.

Additionally, the nearby town boasts excellent restaurants, top shopping and friendly pubs – not to mention excellent links to major Cornish towns.

  • Praa Sands, Penzance

Just a 25-minute drive from St Ives, Praa Sands is a superb beach.

Listed in the Good Beaches Guide 2015, Praa Sands plays host to some of the brightest sands in the world, thanks to a higher percentage of shell-derived sands. This ensures a light, soft sand that makes it perfect for kids.

Essentially a large cove, the water at the beach is exceptionally amenable to beginner surfers and inexperienced swimmers, thanks to a southerly swell and predictable waves

  • Godvery Beach, St Ives

Just up the coast from St Ives is Godvery Beach, the northernmost and most rugged section of the three-mile sandy beach that stretched from Hayle all the way up to Godvery Head.

As one of the most exposed beaches on the north coast, it endures big swells and enjoys a strong breeze, making it a less relaxing option than other beaches on the list. It is, however, quite beautiful.

The beach terminates with a low rocky headland, which gives a stunning view of Godvery lighthouse, which makes for a fantastic photo opportunity.

  • Penhale Sands, Perranporth.

The delightful Cornish seaside town of Perranporth is always worth a visit, thanks to its plethora of shops, cafes and pubs, which make for a thoroughly lovely day out.

However, it’s the beach we’re most interested in. At low tide, Perranporth Beach runs for two miles, with nice surf and a natural open air swimming pool, which is warmed by the sun during the day and replenished with seawater at high-tide. Moving down the beach leads you to Penhale Sands, a stunning and quiet little stretch where you can relax in relative quiet.

  • Carne Beach, Truro

Officially the second-best beach in the world, according to National Geographic magazine, Carne Beach is a must-visit for any holidaymakers in Cornwall.

Beating out some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Carne Beach has won fans around the globe. On the beach’s second-place finish, National Geographic said: “The rocky Cornish coast gives way to beaches, and one of the broadest and most beautiful is Carne on Gerrans Bay.

Residents of the nearby villages swim, walk their dogs, and play beach volleyball and cricket along its sandy surface, which at low tide extends to about a mile when neighbouring Pendower Beach adjoins.”

  • Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Another St Ives beach, Porthminster Beach is a popular spot with locals and tourists alike, thanks to luxuriant golden stands and a calm, blue ocean, making it ideal for swimmers not seeking the challenges of some other Cornish beaches.

With the St Ives Terminus located just above the beach, you’ll find that access to both the beach and the town is superb, and there’s a huge variety of world-class restaurants on offer nearby too.

  • Porthcurno Beach, Porthcurno

Located at almost the south-westerly tip of the UK, Porthcurno Beach is a truly stunning location.

Amid tall granite cliffs, the beach is part of a wider bay that opens at low tide reveal a huge curve of golden sand, that stretches all the way from the highly recommended outdoor Minack Theatre to Logan Rock, another superb destination.

Though it picks up more swell than beaches further up the south coast, the waves mean advanced surfers can always be spotted. However, if you’re merely interested in a trip to the beach, you can do significantly worse than the dramatic beauty of Porthcurno Beach.

  • Long Rock Beach, Penzance

Just to the south of St Ives and a mere 17-minute drive away, Long Rock Beach offers a fantastically child-friendly beach, with soft sand, a luscious blue ocean and good local amenities.

Best of all for kids and parents alike though, Long Rock Beach has an ocean which doesn’t get deep until a long way in. So, whilst you should always keep an eye on your kids in the sea, Long Rock Beach is a pleasantly friendly beach for families.

  • Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

If you like your beaches with a dash of art, you can’t go wrong with Porthmeor Beach in St Ives. Backed on to the stunning Tate gallery, this beach offers full protection from the south westerly winds which affect many beaches in the area and boasts comfortable golden sands, along with stunning local shopping and dining opportunities.


By: Tony Townsend On:8th May 2017

Cornwall is known for it’s surfing for a reason! If you are looking for a few tips on where to go surfing in St Ives look no further. St Ives has something for everyone…

St Ives Surf Spots

By: Tony Townsend On:28th April 2017
Categories:Blog,Things to Do

Taking a holiday in Cornwall is a fantastic idea for a number of reasons, from its reduced cost compared to overseas holidays to its world-class restaurants, beaches and culture. However, there’s another thing which Cornwall has world renown – its incredible history.

Hidden down every side street and etched into its hills are signs of the history and heritage in Cornwall, and a short trip can reveal some incredible locations.

Here is a guide to some of the incredible ancient and Neolithic ruins that can be found in and around  St Ives, and how long it’ll take you to get there from your luxury self catering home from home with Carbis Bay Holidays.

Ballowall Barrow, 14.7 miles from St. Ives (30-minute drive)

This pre-historic burial site was founded above a stunning clifftop location, and today is an incredible place to visit. Ballowall was utilised throughout the Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age period, and was covered by the spoilage from tin mining until 1878, when it was excavated.

That excavation revealed a round chambered cairn, with a covered gallery of around 11 feet, which can still be seen today. To find it, head to St Just.

Chysauster Ancient Village, 6.6 miles from St. Ives (15-minute drive)

Leaving the Neolithic period behind for a moment, we’d like to draw your attention to the Chysauster Ancient Village, located in New Mill. It’s one of the best-preserved Iron Age villages in England, and was inhabited from 100BC into the 3rd century. It’s currently believed that the village was created by the Cornish Dumnonii tribe, who resided in the area at the time.

To date, eight courtyards have been found laid out in two rows of four, alongside a stone house and several outlying buildings. It’s a terrific trip for anyone interested in Iron Age England, and in particular, Cornwall. You’ll find it in New Mill, Penzance – just a short drive from St. Ives.

Carn Brea Settlement, 15.3 miles from St. Ives (25-minute drive)

One of the most famous Neolithic settlements in the area, the Carn Brea Settlement dates from around 3900BC. The site was used for thousands of years, and subsequent digs have found everything from Neolithic remains to golden Celtic coins, Bronze Age axes, Roman coins and a great deal more.

Head up towards Redruth, where you’ll begin to see it signposted, for a great day out.

Tregiffian Burial Chamber, 13.6 miles from St. Ives (34-minute drive)

Located not far from the south coast, the Tregiffian Burial Chamber is another fascinating location for those interested in Neolithic activity in Cornwall. This burial chamber features a 15 meter wife mound, edged with kerb stones and a funereal chamber set into the west corner of the mound.

Found In Larmorna, the burial chamber is a fantastic excuse to get down to the area, where you’ll also find the stunning Lamorna cove – a location which has inspired artists for thousands of years.

Chûn Quoit and Castle, Pendeen, 11.4 miles from St Ives.  (30 minute drive)

By taking the coast road from St Ives B3306  not only will you be able to enjoy the vistas on a one of the most beautiful roads in the country but you  can also visit Chun Quoit and Men and Tol. These are some of the best-preserved examples  of a class of monuments called “Quoits, Dolmens or Cromlechs”. Dating back as far as the early Neolithic period (3500-2500 BC)  they are probably the earliest of any of the prehistoric monuments remaining.  Chun Quoit  can be seen clearly on the horizon from the B3318 road that runs from Portherras Cross at Pendeen to join the A3071 road to Penzance. Men an Tol is  a small formation of standing stones in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is about three miles northwest of Madron.

Merry Maidens Stone CirclesMerry Maidens, Stone Circle,  16.6 miles ( 35 minute drive)

Probably one of the best known stone circles of the Land’s End Peninsula, the 19 stone circle offers a quick introduction to ancient Cornwall and is only a short walk from the B3315 to Lamorna. Two small car parks offer easy access to the site – no stomping across moorland here!

So what are you waiting for? Book yourself onto one of our self-catered holidays and experience the amazing history and heritage that Cornwall has to offer.

By: Tony Townsend On:26th April 2017
Categories:Blog,Things to Do

If the beautiful weather has got you thinking about getting away, slipping on that bathing costume and enjoying some summer sun, you’re not alone. Tens of thousands of people across the UK have begun to make their summer plans with destinations as varied as you can imagine, but for those that want something a little different this year, book yourself onto a self-catering holiday in Cornwall.

Why? ….

Summer 2017 is going to be hot in the UK

Many of us get out of the UK for our summer holidays to enjoy the sunshine, but what if you could get that experience without the hassle of overseas travel? Well, that’s the promise of summer 2017, if you believe the forecasters.

Blistering conditions are apparently set to arrive in the UK this Summer, as heat surges from Europe push the temperature to a near record-breaking 38C. Even better for you sunbathers out there, the heat could last for three months!

Couple that with Cornwall’s traditionally higher average temperature than the rest of the country and you’ve got the basis for sun worshiper’s dream.

Porthminster Beach in the Sun

Cornwall is an amazing cultural destination…

If you go on holiday for the opportunity to take in some history and culture, you won’t be disappointed by Cornwall. From the myriad of fantastic art galleries on offer to the sweeping vistas, seismic history and truly incredible cultural locations like the Minack Theatre.

You’ll also find dozens of castles, country houses, gardens, ports, mines and other fascinating, historical locations within a short stroll of our Carbis Bay and St Ives properties, making our summer breaks extremely walking friendly.

And it’s got world class restaurants!

Having the license to eat out is one of the best things about going on holiday (at least for us), but the quality of the food on offer can vary wildly. That’s simply not the case with the food and drink in Cornwall, which boasts no less than nine 2017 Michelin Starred restaurants, alongside hundreds of stunning and underrecognized eateries.

In line with the UK’s eclectic food culture, you can expect stunning seafood, classic curries, sizzling steaks, bombastic barbeque, essential English and much, much more. Whoever you’re with or whatever your taste, Cornwall’s world class food culture has you cover. Or, if you’d prefer to stay in and dine, St Ives and Carbis Bay’s award winning butchers, fishmongers and bakers have the fresh produce you crave.

It’s extremely affordable

Exchange rates are far from favourable at the moment, making travelling abroad more expensive than it’s been in a decade for the English holidayer. Couple that with the unexpected costs of going abroad and you’ve got a significant outlay.

That’s where a summer break in Cornwall really comes into its own. You can bring your own car, leave the passports in the draw, skip the lines at the bureau de change, get the family in the car and be at your holiday destination within hours – saving money that you can then use on the little treats which make a holiday amazing.

Carbis Bay Holidays specialise in luxury self catering accommodation exclusively located in St Ives and Carbis Bay, Cornwall, come and experience the beauty of the area for yourself.

By: Tony Townsend On:20th April 2017
Categories:Blog,Holiday Ideas

As well as the incredible beaches, world class restaurants and culture, Carbis Bay, St Ives and the wider Cornwall area offer many other hidden gems and joys which are waiting to be discovered. For many people the best way to find these treasures is by simply taking a stroll along the Southwest Coast path or stomping across the moors, there’s nothing quite like turning a corner and standing in awe at the wonderful vista before you or finding a picnic spot on  deserted cliff and making it yours for the afternoon.

At Carbis Bay Holidays, we’ve helped countless guests go on walking adventures they’ll never forget, and in this guide we’re hope to share with you some of our very favourite low impact walking routes designed for all to enjoy.

St Ives to Carbis Bay circular – 4.2 miles

St Ives and Carbis Bay are where you’ll find the majority of our self-catered holiday homes, and there’s a good reason for that – they’re home to some of Cornwall’s very best attractions, destinations and walks. So, it makes sense that we’d start our rundown of brilliant walks with the one between St Ives and Carbis Bay.

Travelling from St Ives, the route begins at Trenwith car park before ascending through the Steeple Woods nature serve to the iconic “Steeple” monument overlooking the stunning St Ives Bay. The route then descends from Trelyon Downs and follows the Carbis Valley to the glorious sands of the beach, where you’ll be able to spot shipwrecks at low tide.

The walk then returns to St Ives along the coastal path from Carbis Bay to Porthminster Beach and further onwards towards St Ives. In total, it’s 4.2 miles and is graded by iWalk Cornwall as “Moderate”.

Carbis Bay to Porthkidney Sands circular – 3.1 miles

If you’re staying in Carbis Bay and you’ve got a taste for the beach, there are few more lovely short walks you can enjoy (especially if you’ve got a dog) than the Carbis Bay to Porthkidney circular.

Clocking in at just 3.1 miles. You enjoy a short walk either side of the railway line high above St Ives Bay, through an area noted for its rare flowers and migratory birds, with plenty of opportunities to get some stunning pictures.

The route returns along the historic pilgrim route, St Michael’s Way. Kids will love the beach and the burrows, along with the fascinating obelisk which still stands from the eighteenth century, when the mayor of St Ives set up his own eccentric traditions. It’s worth noting that Portkidney beach is dog friendly, too.

Lelant Saltings to Carbis Bay circular – 4.8 miles

A slightly longer walk, but one taking in the lovely coastal village of Lelant, the Lelant Salts to Carbis Bay circular walk follows St Michael’s Way from Lelant, past St Uny’s Church to the dunes. At low tide, you can walk across the Porthkidney sands to reach Carrack Gladden.

The route then continues along St Michael’s Way to Carbis Bay, before crossing the railway and following the footpath parallel to the tracks to the West Cornwall Golf Course, before a series of small lanes and footpaths complete your trip.

On a sunny day, you’ll love Lelant Church’s grounds with its beautiful wildflowers, along with the panoramic views of St Ives Bay.

Find out more about outdoor adventure holidays in Cornwall or perhaps read our latest blog that has some Cornish ideas for the Summer.


By: Tony Townsend On:10th April 2017
Categories:Blog,Things to Do

It should come as no surprise to dog owners, but bringing your furry little friend along on your holiday is one of the most fun and rewarding decisions you can make. From the exploration opportunities opened up to the comfort and familiarity of having your best friend alongside you on your adventure, there’s a lot to love about bringing your dog on holiday.

However, when it comes to packing for your pup, it can be easy to forget the essentials. After all, when we’re home, the everyday comforts and luxuries we offer our dogs fade into the background of daily life.

As such, we’ve decided to put together this short guide of what you should bring on your self-catering holiday in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay. Let’s dig in.

  • An updated ID tag:-The most important thing you can do for your dog when you go on holiday is to ensure that their name tag is updated with the location of your holiday address and your current contact telephone number. Dogs that get separated from their owners in unfamiliar surroundings can turn up all over the place, so ensuring that you can be quickly reunited is of the utmost importance.
  • Water for the road:-We’ve all got spare two-litre bottles going spare, so remember to fill one or two up with fresh water for the road down. That way your dog(s) can avoid dehydration and enjoy the trip just as much as you.
  • Familiar bedding:-It’s the little things that make a dog comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings – a favourite toy, a taste of a preferred treat or, indeed, their bedding from back home. If you’ve got the space to bring their bed along for the ride, do so. However, those with rigid beds might well struggle. In which, case, we’d recommend brining a blanket or duvet that they favour. If you’re running low on space, place the bed inside a vacuum-packed bag.
  • Doggy towels:-Dogs have a habit of getting dirty, so avoid the wash cycle by bringing your dog their own towels. You’ll thank us later – honestly.
  • Food, water and the relevant bowls:-Obvious? Maybe! However, we can’t stress enough just how many times we’ve directed guests to local pet shops in order to purchase food and water bowls, plus the food to go in them.
  • The little things:-Really though, it’s the little things which make your trip with your dog comfortable. We’re talking about things like tick-removing products, a dog brush, a travelling water bowl, poo bags and carpet cleaner in case of an unavoidable accident. Oh, and let’s not forget about toys either. Your pup might well have a whole new location to discover, but the fun and familiarity of their favourite toys will enhance any getaway.

Find out more about dog friendly holidays in Cornwall.  Carbis Bay Holidays have a selection of luxury dog friendly homes to enjoy with all the family.

By: Tony Townsend On:7th April 2017
Categories:Dog Friendly

If you are looking for inspiration this Easter, look no further. From Easter egg hunts to exploring rockpools, the many beaches of Cornwall and excitement of the South West coastal path. Pack up the car, children and maybe even your furry friend, take a trip to the seaside and enjoy the buzz of St Ives.

So what does Cornwall and St Ives have to offer this Easter?

  • Flambards Big Easter Egg hunt taking place on Sunday 16th April at 12.00pm, join Ferdi the Fox and explore the theme park to see how many Easter eggs you can find.
  • Minack storytelling taking place on Friday 14th April from 10.30 to 11.30am, enjoy storytelling with puppets and songs for families with young children. Adult: £5 / Ages 12-15: £2.50 / Ages 2-11: 50p
  • National Trust Trelissick Easter Trial, pick up a hunt map from the stable yard and help piece together the history of Trelissick. Taking place from 1st – 15th April from 10.30am to 4pm. £2.50 per child.
  • Easter at Eden – Bring the family for quests, hunts and egg-themed games. You can even have an attempt at our inflatable assault course and other awesome activities. Also, many popular prizes and treats to enjoy. All activities are included in your Eden admission ticket! Starting 1st to 17th April, from 9.30am.
  • The Tate Studio By The Sea – This Easter holiday come and play with clay in The Tate seaside studio. Add to the giant clay sculptures; create new creatures, textures and features. Build a beautiful barnacled home or invent new shoreline structures.  Starting 31 March – 17 April 2017. Free for 18s and under, accompanying adults pay standard admission.
  • Rock pool exploring in Marazion – Explore the fascinating rock pools around St Michael’s Mount, meet weird and wonderful creatures and learn about their lives. From 9th – 12th April.
  • Barnoon Workshop – why not spend a morning at the workshop creating a Morgawr Sea Monster, inspired by the Cornish legend of Morgawr. Taking place on Tuesday 11th April. Booking is suggested.
  • Why not an Easter Sunday roast at Trevaskis Farm, The Gurnards Head, Halsetown Inn, Falmouth Packet Inn or The Lightboat. Best to book a table prior to arrival!

So what are you waiting for? Book yourself onto a self-catering in Cornwall. At Carbis Bay we have a wide range of accommodation options perfect for a romantic getaway, a family friendly holiday and for large groups.

By: Tony Townsend On:28th March 2017
Categories:Blog,Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

Rosamunde Pilcher might well be one of Britain’s great under-recognised authors. Born Rosamunde Scott in Lelant, Cornwall in 1924, Rosamunde has spent her life building romantic worlds where readers can truly lose themselves.

Her most famous novel, The Shell Seekers, tells the story of Penelope Keeling as a woman in her 60s, flashing back over her life from young womanhood to the present, all viewed in fragments which illuminate the darkened corners of her life. A truly brilliant work, it was nominated by the British public as one of the top 100 novels in 2004 and sat at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for 30 consecutive weeks.

It’s in Germany though that Pilcher is perhaps best known, thanks to the big budget, beautiful TV movie adaptations of her stories – all set in the rugged beauty of Cornwall and its stately homes. Public broadcaster ZDF aired their first Pilcher movie, The Day of the Storm, in 1993 to more than 8 million viewers – an astonishing 25% of all viewers.

That set the stage for the over 111 TV movies which have followed, typically featuring German actors in the English roles, but each set within the beautiful confines of the Cornish countryside. Today, you’ll find that tourism from Germany makes up a huge proportion of visitors to Cornwall.

But where are the essential locations for any of Rosamunde Pilcher’s fans enjoying a self-catered holiday in Cornwall? Here’s our picks.

Lamorna, West Cornwall

No guide to Rosamunde Pilchers locations would be correct without a mention of the book and TV adaptations which helped propel her stardom – the Shell Seekers. Filmed first by ITV in 1989 and then by Frankfurter Films in 1994, The Shell Seekers was a gigantic hit.

One of its most iconic locations is that of Lamorna Cove, found on the coastal walk from Mousehold to Lamorna. It’s home to crystal clear waters, a small picturesque beach and even boasts a nearby carpark for easy access. For Pilcher fans, it’s a must.

Whilst you’re there, you should take the opportunity to take in a show at the jaw-dropping Minack open-air theatre, you won’t regret it.

Land’s End, Elstree

Land’s End is one of the most iconic locations in Cornwall, so it’s no surprise to find it turn up in a number of Pilcher’s novels, most notably in the Day of the Storm. However, it’s a location worth seeing regardless of its Pilcher connection.

World famous for its stunning beauty and incredible stone formations, Land’s End absolutely shouldn’t be missed.

Prideaux Place, Padstow

Prideaux Place might not ring a bell from name alone, but its extensive grounds, incredible interior architecture and stunning surroundings have played backdrop to an astonishing sixteen Rosamunde Pilcher films, including Coming Home, Winds Across the Sea, End of Summer, Shell Seekers and Four Seasons.

On screen, it’s a been a luxury hotel, a gin distillery and more, but it’s the experience of visiting that’ll stick in the memory. Daily tours are offered, taking in the Großmutter room and the grounds, and you can even enjoy a spot of cream tea in the beautiful dining room – highly recommended for Pilcher fanatics.

Get more St.Ives Holiday Ideas and information on Cornish Art Escapes.


By: Tony Townsend On:20th March 2017
Categories:Blog,Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

Cornwall and St Ives are known for a great many things, from it’s beautiful beaches and walks to its world class restaurants, but there’s something that might not spring to mind when you think of the beautiful south coast – the world class culture and art escapes on offer there.

Yes, whilst London might make the biggest noise when it comes to arts and culture, Cornwall has quietly developed an international reputation for incredible cultural highlights. Indeed, Cornwall has been a natural home and source of inspiration for artists since the early 19th century, and currently boasts more working artists than anywhere in the country, London aside.

So where are the things you should see and do whilst you’re on your Cornwall holiday? Here’s some of our favourites.

The Minack Theatre

A short drive from St Ives, the Minack theatre is perhaps the most stunning open-air theatre in the world. Carved into the cliffs above the wonderful Porthcurno beach, the theatre offers a compelling and varied programme of shows with a view that I rivalled only in quality by the acting present on stage.

The season typically runs from April until October, which is a shame for those visiting during the winter months, though I’m sure you’ll agree that an open air theatre built into a cliff in December is far from appealing.

If a show isn’t your thing, you’ll also find the Minack hosting fantastic music acts, and even circus groups. There’s something for everyone!

Lanhydrock House & Garden

From its imposing gate to the stunning grounds on which it sits, there’s few finer places to spend a day in Cornwall than Lanhydrock House. As a National Trust property, it’s been deemed of supreme value to the British public and thankfully, it’s custodians have kept it in absolutely remarkable conditions.

We won’t spoil what’s in store for you, but rest assured that you’ll enjoy the intersection between history, art and design.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

World renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth lives and worked in St Ives until her death in 1975, at which point her studio was turned into a museum of her work. Today, it stands as monument to her genius, complemented by the sub-tropical garden that Hepworth herself designed, which is dotted with examples of her work – many of which are in the same place she placed them.

From Spring 2017, the Tate gallery in St Ives will reopen after a major renovation and will once again stand as one of St Ives finest cultural locations. Until then, the Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a glorious alternative.

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

Located in Penzance, an easy drive from St Ives taking in beautiful panoramic views of St Michaels Mount and Mounts Bay, the Penlee House Gallery and Museum is ranked as one of the best things to do in Cornwall by users of TripAdvisor, and we can’t argue with that. Featuring incredible collections of archaeology, textiles, decorative arts, costume and for 2017 a large collection of paintings from the famed Newlyn School Artists, Penlee House is an undoubted smash.

You’ll love the building, exhibits and food available, and lovely surrounding of Penlee Gardens, with Penzance just out of the door, you can make a full day out of your trip to Penlee.

To experience these great attractions for yourself book yourself onto one of our amazing holidays in St Ives and Carbis Bay.

By: Tony Townsend On:17th March 2017
Categories:Blog,Things to Do

When you think of the best beaches in the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking England has little to offer. After all, where in the UK can you find the expansive golden sands, azure seas and clear clean shimmering surf, that the best beaches in the world boast? Cornwall, of course!

In fact, Cornwall’s beaches have been ranked amongst some of the very best in the world, highlighting just how vibrant a holiday destination Cornwall is. Paired with world class restaurants, incredible cultural highlights and spectacular walks and you’ve got a holiday that’ll stick in the memory for decades to come.

If you’re planning on taking a holiday in Cornwall though, which beaches should you visit? In this guide, we’re going to share with you five terrific beaches to visit this year.

  • Gwithian Towans Beach, St Ives

One of the best known and most loved beaches in Cornwall, it’s impossible to draw up any list of fabulous Cornwall beaches without mentioning Gwithian Towans Beach.

Its primary claim to fame is the enormous expanse of gorgeous, soft golden sand which makes up the vast majority of the beach, ensuring everyone can find their own patch, even at the height of summer. However, there’s more to do than just lounging thanks to great surf and easy access to the town, where you’ll enjoy fantastic restaurants, friendly pubs and fantastic shopping.

Put simply? It’s an extremely convenient location to enjoy the incredible sun that Cornwall enjoys without straying too far from the beaten path.

  • Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Porthminster beach has plenty of fans amongst the Cornwall holidaying contingent, and for good reason. Luxurious golden sands give way to calm, blue ocean – perfect for swimmers not looking for the surfing challenge of some other Cornish beaches.

Access is extremely easy with St Ives Terminus sitting just above the beach and the beach being just a short walk from the middle of town, but the real highlight is the award winning seafood restaurant which overlooks the beach – just make sure you book ahead if you want to snag a table.

  • Marazion Beach, Nr Penzance

Located to the south of St Ives, just 17 minutes in a car away, Marazion beach offers one of the most child-friendly beaches in Cornwall. Beautiful soft sandy beach gives way to luscious blue ocean that doesn’t get deep for a very long time. In fact, you’ll be wading for quite a white before you even get to waist height – making it ideal for those with you children still unsure about the sea. Alternatively at low tide you can walk across the causeway to St Michaels Mount and explore the castle.

  • Carne Beach, Truro

Named the second best beach in the world by National Geographic magazine, Carne Beach is an incredible treat for holiday makers.

Notable for its rich natural beauty, National Geographic said of the beach: “The rocky Cornish coast gives way to beaches, and one of the broadest and most beautiful is Carne on Gerrans Bay.

Residents of the nearby villages swim, walk their dogs, and play beach volleyball and cricket along its sandy surface, which at low tide extends to about a mile when neighbouring Pendower Beach adjoins.”

The beach came second behind Racuh a Payaman in the Philippines and trumped a variety of well-known beaches from around the globe. It’ll take you little over an hour to get there via car, but with such a spectacular beach on offer, it’s surely worth the trade-off.

  • Praa Sands, Penzance

Listed in the Good Beaches Guide 2015, Praa sands is just a 25-minute drive from St Ives and is home to some of the brightest sands in the world. This light, soft sand is made from seashells that have been crushed over and over by the ocean and deposited on this lovely beach. Located to the west of Long Rock Beach, it’s not quite as expansive as its neighbour, but what it lacks in scale it makes up for in quality.

There’s a car park close to the beach and it’s surrounded by sheltering sand dunes, meaning that the kids can enjoy building sandcastles and paddling in the shallows whilst the more adventurous types can head out further out for the surprisingly big waves on offer.

Find out more about the St Ives and Carbis Bay holidays to experience these beaches for yourself.

By: Tony Townsend On:10th March 2017
Categories:Blog,Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

Cornwall has, quite rightly, developed a fine reputation over the last few years as the home of modern British cuisine. From world class wines to charcuterie to match the very best of Italy, Cornwall has become the #1 destination for foodies of all kinds.

If you’re heading down there for one of our fantastic self-catered holidays then, what should you be on the lookout for? Well, we’re no strangers to the culinary and liquid delights down here, so we thought we’d share with you some of our favourites. Let’s get started.

Alba Restaurant

Specialising in local produce, line-caught fish and seasonal vegetables, Alba has been at the forefront of Cornwall’s luxury, 5 star restaurants since it opened in 2002.

With a menu designed by award winning chef Grant Nethercott, it champions all things local using ingredients from the area’s fishermen, farmers and. Top that all of with panoramic views across St Ives bay to Godrevy Lighthouse we can’t recommend Alba more highly.

St Ives BayPorthminster Kitchen

Located in the heart of St.Ives and also offering breath-taking panoramic views, Porthminster Kitchen has its own take on Cornish cuisine. They serve smaller plates and lighter options combining global flavours, local ingredients and creative cooking.

With huge windows to take in the 180° view, this is a dining experience we are sure you won’t forget in a hurry.

Beach side dining

If you love the beach, and let’s be honest who doesn’t, a trip to Cornwall means you can dine on the beach whilst breathing in the fresh sea air, St Ives is a hot spot for alfresco and dining with a view. We recommend checking out the award winning Porthmeor Café, which not only offers delicious food all day, it also is located on the beautiful Porthmeor Beach.  Or the Porthgwidden Beach Cafe and Porthminster Cafe both have beach side positions with  stunning views and delicious award winning menus.

Outstanding Fish restaurant

From Ben Tunnicliffe’s in Sennen Cove and Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn to Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac and Rick Stein in Padstow, Porthleven and St Merryn, Cornwall has some of the best fish restaurants in the world. The reason for this is clear with Newlyn Harbour landing the fish daily  the fish can be locally sourced and fresh, put this together with some of the best chefs in the business and you can understand why the taste is through the roof.

Outstanding Fish restaurantsTarquin’s Handcrafted Dry Gin

Gin is back in a big way, and Cornwall is right at the forefront of the new gin revolution with lots of small producers providing a wide variety of flavours including one thatusing Clotted Cream in the process delivering a smooth finish. Tarquin’s Handcrafted Dry Gin, a contemporary take on the classic London Dry formula, using locally sourced handpicked violets and fresh orange zest. It even picked up gold at the San Francisco World Spirits competition in 2016!

Duchy Charcuterie

Perhaps Cornwall’s best kept culinary secret, Duchy Charcuterie are making some of the world’s finest cured meats – right in Redruth. From salami to lomos, Duchy are making truly delicious dried meats right under your noses. Swing by a local stockist and grab some along with a strong Cornish cheese and you’re in for an absolutely incredible treat.

Polgoon Wines

Cornish wine is a fast growing sector of the wine market, and with producers like Polgoon out there, we have no doubts why. After giving up their jobs as fish merchants, Kim and John Coulson decided to start a vineyard and orchard. Their first Rose in 2006 scooped awards, and they’ve only grown in stature since. Give their award winning Bacchus wine a try and you won’t go back.

Get in touch to find out more about foodie holidays in Cornwall.


By: Tony Townsend On:6th March 2017
Categories:Blog,Food and Drink

If we’re being honest, in our lives, there’s little that gives us as much pleasure as when we come home and see the reaction of our beloved dog. The excitement and joy they feel in that moment is exactly why we love them, and so when we want to go on holiday, the thought of being without them can be a tough one – let alone how we’re going to manage it logistically.

It doesn’t have to be that way though, because with a Carbis Bay Dog Friendly Holiday you can bring your best friend along for the fun. But what are the advantages of bringing your pooch on holiday with you?

  • They encourage you to explore

One of the great joys of dog ownership is the way in which our dogs encourage us to explore. Our daily walks take us to places we might never go in our local area, and it’s the same on holiday. Discover the hidden nooks and stunning views of Cornwall with your dog by your side and you’ll see more than ever thought you would.

  • They help the kids to settle

If you’ve got kids, getting them to settle into a new environment whilst on holiday can be hard. By bringing your dog, you can inject another familiar face and rhythm into the holiday, helping your kids to relax and have fun.

  • It can save you serious money

Kennels are expensive, no matter which way you look at it. By bringing your dog on holiday, you’re cutting out the cost of giving your dog over to strangers for a week or two. Instead, you can put that money towards dining at one of Cornwall’s many Michelin starred restaurants or on a few bottles of award winning Cornish wine.

  • No guilt

The thought of our best pals stuck in an unfamiliar place is enough to make any pet owner worry, so why take on the guilt when you can share the fantastic experience of a Cornish holiday with your dog? After all, dogs make the best companions!

  • They make everywhere feel like home

Ever feel like you can’t really relax at home unless your dog is at your side? Us too, which is just another reason why bringing your dog along for the trip is a great idea. Your Carbis Bay cottage becomes a home away from home when you’ve got your dog sleeping at your feet.

Our Dog Friendly Holidays feature free stays for dogs and complimentary dog treats on arrival, with many cottages available with enclosed gardens for letting your dog relax outside in safety. There are also many dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall for you and your four-legged friend to explore. Some properties even welcome two dogs, twice the fun! So, whatever you’re planning to do on your Cornwall holiday, do it with your dog, you won’t regret making that choice.

By: Tony Townsend On:24th February 2017
Categories:Blog,Dog Friendly

St Ives Art

16th February 2017

West Cornwall’s rugged landscapes cradled by stunning coastlands create a stirring canvas. Providing a wealth of natural light reflected from the surrounding Atlantic unhindered by city skylines or streetlights means that the world presents itself in an altogether organic, uninhibited way.

Artists, musicians, writers and poets have long found haven amongst the sublime southwest, particularly the wild realms of the far west where the magnetism of nature is as awe-inspired as it is omnipresent.

A cultural hub for artists of all genres, St Ives is famed for its long and distinguished list of creatives, including Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Naum Gabo, Bernard Leach and Alfred Wallis, to name a few.

Exploring art in St Ives is easy. Housing galleries and museums aplenty, its rich and diverse art scene is presented in a myriad of forms at every cobbled turn.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens is an absolute must-see, giving a wonderful insight and striking showcase of one of Britain’s most prolific twentieth century sculptors.

No visit to St Ives is complete without absorbing the artworks contained within the sculpted master structure that is, Tate St Ives. Expect an eclectic mix of modern and classic exhibitions, while a schedule of talks, presentations, tours, workshops and activities accommodate everyone from budding and professional artists to families and children.

Hands in Art makes for an especially fun day out, giving under 5s the chance to get messy and creative under the Tate’s coveted roof. Meanwhile, adults can dabble or develop their skills with St Ives School of Painting’s drop in courses and art workshops that introduce everything from portraiture painting to printmaking and life drawing.

St Ives September Festival celebrates the town’s artistic heritage and contemporary scene with a packed itinerary of events encompassing music, literature and art. A host of workshops, classes, exhibitions and open studios presents a multitude of ways to engage with art in St Ives, with entertainment through film, theatre, comedy and live music completing the two-week cultural extravaganza.

Book your holiday in Barbara Hepworth’s former house and one of Carbis Bay Holiday’s most prized properties, Chy-an-Kerris or opt for former St Ives School of Artists haunt, Tremorna for the rare chance to experience your own artist’s residence.

By: Tony Townsend On:16th February 2017
Categories:Holiday Ideas,Local Area

For what should be the happiest and most relaxing time of the year, the process of going on holiday certainly is a stressful one. From a sheer organisational standpoint, taking yourself on a break if hard enough, let alone when you’ve got a mountain of kids and in-laws to plan for too. So, before you head out the door and make your way to the airport, what do you need to do? Here’s our essential checklist for those large family holidays.

  • Passports

Obvious, you might think, but passports can sneak up on you and cause lots of trouble. If you’ve got kids of varying ages, there’s a strong chance that their passports were issued at different points. As such, it’s vital that you check well in advance that their passports are all in date.

We’ve all made the mistake of not renewing passports in the past, so don’t let it happen again. If you’ve found a passport to be out of date close to your departure, your only option may be to go to the passport office in London, Newport, Durham, Peterborough, Liverpool Glasgow or Belfast.

  • Vaccinations

It depends on where you’re going, but it might be that vaccinations are required for you and your family. Go to your GP and let them know where you’re going and they’ll ensure that each of you is up to date with what you need.

  • Visas

Again, travel dependent, but utterly crucial to get sorted out before you leave – especially for a large family. Take the time to seriously study the documents forwarded to you and fill them out properly, one left behind means a whole trip cancelled.

  • Travel

Getting to the airport is simple enough for a large family, but travel once you’re on holiday is a different matter entirely. If you’re renting a car, think how many you’ll need to fit everyone in and their luggage.

More people doesn’t just mean more seats required, it means more boot space needed too. Factor this in to your thinking before you get there and pick some designated drivers.

  • Insurance

Who knows what could go wrong on a holiday? As such, you’ll want to take out insurance as fast as possible. That way, you won’t get caught out if your trip is cancelled or postponed, or if you have an accident whilst abroad. The last thing you want is to spend your holiday managing the kids and dealing with whatever mishap has befallen the part.

  • Hotels

As you’re travelling with kids, you’re going to want to make sure that the hotel you’re planning on staying in is kid-friendly. A great many accept smaller families, but if you’re bringing a large brood with you, it might be worth checking ahead of time that they’re comfortable and equipped for that.

  • EHIC card

If you’re travelling within the European Union, a EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is an absolute must. It means you’ll get emergency health care for free or at a steeply reduced rate, perfect for those walking accidents that we call kids!

Now if this is all a bit much and it’s understandable why it would be. Why not consider a self-catering holiday in Cornwall? A family holiday to Cornwall does away with a lot of the stresses listed above, not to mention the amazing beaches, nature and wildlife that St.Ives and the surrounding areas have to offer. On top of all that it is a lot more affordable than going abroad!



By: Tony Townsend On:15th February 2017
Categories:Blog,Family Friendly

Looking for family friendly holidays ideas for the February half term? If you are searching for inspiration and aren’t sure what to do, then why not consider packing the family up and making the trip to St Ives.

Located in Cornwall, this stunning seaside town is a hidden gem, with incredible beaches, award winning restaurants, boutique shops, galleries and a multitude of outdoor and indoor activities for all ages to enjoy.

So what does Cornwall and St Ives have to offer this February half term?

World class beaches – picture deserted golden sands, azure waters, rocky headlands and foamy wavesand your family running along them! St Ives boasts Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Bamaluz, Harbour Beach, Carbis Bay Beach, Porthkidney Sands and multitude of coves to explore. For the more adventurous perhaps enjoy a day surfing or coasteering with St Ives Surf School, based on Porthmeor or Porthminster beaches.

Beach in Cornwall

Water water everywhere – you can’t go far in Cornwall without being by the sea, whether it is rock pooling, or crabbing off a pier or more adventurous water sports and activities then there is somewhere in Cornwall that will cater to all your needs.

Castles and Dragons – Cornwall is an ancient community which has had prominence through history and it boasts castles and dwellings that have remained throughout the ages from the Bronze Age through to the present day. Explore these fascinating places such as Chysauster Bronze Age village, Pendennis Castle, St Mawes Castle, Llanhydrock House and Gardens, Tintagel with its Arthurian legends and St Micheals Mount with a stunning monastery and home on top of it’s own tidal island.

13th – 17th February 2017 (10.30am – 3.30pm)

Step back in time over 400 years and imagine life in the Tudor fort of Pendennis this half term.  Warm up by the roaring fire in the castle keep as you help the Tudor cooks to prepare a feast for the banquet before you step outside to try your hand at sword drills and jousting.

English Heritage members: free/ Adult: £7.90 Child: 5 – 15 years: £4.70 Concession: £7/ Family: £20.50

Expand your horizons – Do you fancy planning your first mission to space this February half -term and getting up close to our solar systems amazing stars and planets?  There’s now an actual space portal in Falmouth!  Or perhaps visit the futuristic biomes at the Eden Project, enjoy the rainforest or perhaps a trip down the largest zip wire in the UK, or maybe ice skate on their purpose built winter rink or maybe let you imagination run wild with Story Fest over the half term.

Visit the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and voyage through space with Space Odyssey Plane.

1 Feb 2017 to 19 Feb 2017: Tickets: Adults: £12 Children (under 18s): £5 Under 5s: Free

Eden Project near St Austell: Family tickets – £69 save 10% if you buy in advance online.

Eden Project

Get Creative – St Ives is renowned for its quality of light and centre for the boho art scene, enjoy a day exploring the galleries and shops in and around St Ives cobbled streets or the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is an unmissable spot and makes for an unforgettable afternoon. The Barnoon Workshop offers activities which are inspired by the beautiful surroundings from felt making, to beach mosaics and fine art workshops.

Alternatively, the town of St Ives itself holds myriad charms, with quaint shopping, great bars and friendly nightlife that make it an ideal place to share a romantic holiday.

At Carbis Bay Holidays, we’re proud to offer memorable St Ives holidays to thousands of families every year in over 150 luxury self-catering coastal properties. Why not consider a self-catering holiday in Cornwall? A family holiday to Cornwall does away with the stresses of going abroad, is often easier on the pocket and for many becomes a yearly pilgrimage and something to remember for generations.

By: Tony Townsend On:8th February 2017
Categories:Blog,Family Friendly

When it comes to romantic holiday destinations, there are a few old classics which spring to mind, like Rome and Paris, Prague and Amsterdam. However, there’s one destination that’s often missing from the list, despite its position as perhaps the perfect place for a romantic getaway. We speak, of course, of St Ives.

Located in Cornwall at the almost the very tip of the south westerly extrusion of the UK, this gorgeous seaside down as grown to become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, boasting world class beaches, restaurants and walks, boasting multiple Best UK Seaside Town awards.

It’s the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown, but as a romantic destination, what does St Ives offer?

Incredible beaches

When you think of English holiday destinations, subtropical paradises might not be the first image that springs to mind – but that’s exactly what St Ives offers. A string of golden sand beaches draw swimmers, sun-worshipers and lovebirds alike to the town.

Those aforementioned beaches make St Ives the perfect destination for romantic strolls, watching the sun set and picnics on the shore. Whether you’re just looking to unwind or want to take part in activities like surfing, coasteering or strolling the cliffs on the South West Coastpath, the beaches of Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Porthkidney and Carbis Bay are world class and could make you question whether you are on a beach in Britain at all!

Dazzling restaurants

What separates the truly elite European romantic getaway destinations from the rest is their choice of restaurants. Here, St Ives stands up with the very best, with no fewer than 4 Michelin starred restaurants within 33 meters, the town is a hotbed for culinary invention. 2017 Michelin guide entrants from the town include Black Rock, Alba, Porthminster Kitchen, Porthminster Cafe and Porthmeor Beach Café Bar, each offering a unique take on British fusion cuisine. Of course, if those don’t take your fancy, you could dine on incredible seafood at The Rum and Crab Shack, have a light bite at the Porthgwidden Beach Cafe or enjoy a superb, intimate night at The Cornish Deli. Put plainly, there are few places in the UK which boast such a variety and quality of restaurants, making it a foodie heaven for couples.

The Black Rock
Fantastic culture and walks

Of course, if beaches and restaurants aren’t for you, there’s more to do in St Ives. For those with an artistic bent, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is an unmissable spot and makes for an unforgettable afternoon. Alternatively there is the Leach Pottery museum with an insight into Bernard Leach and his innovative techniques or the St Ives Museum for a little local history.
If being cooped up inside doesn’t appeal, the south coast and St Ives have some of the best coastal walks available anywhere in the world. The Zennor circular walk and south west coastal path offer moderate challenge and beautiful scenery.

Alternatively, the town of St Ives itself holds myriad charms, with quaint cobbled streets, shopping in boutique shops and galleries, great bars and friendly nightlife that make it an ideal place to share a romantic holiday.

At Carbis Bay Holidays, we’re proud to offer luxury St Ives holidays to thousands of couples every year, so what are you waiting for?

By: Tony Townsend On:3rd February 2017

Cornwall has some of the best beaches around and there are plenty that welcome our four legged friends. Check out our map of the top dog friendly beaches in Cornwall:

Top dog friendly beachs

If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Cornwall with your pooch, check out our Dog Friendly Holidays in Cornwall and St Ives page and find out about the best eateries, days out, and how we can make your stay with us unforgettable.

By: Tony Townsend On:27th January 2017
Categories:Blog,Dog Friendly,Holiday Ideas

With Christmas and the New Year finally behind us, we can begin to look forward to all that the next twelve months might bring. New joys, new experiences and, hopefully, a fantastic holiday or two.

From the exotic shores of some far-away land to a long cruise around the pacific, there’s no shortage of destinations for the eager traveller – but in 2017, maybe you should look a little closer to home. Recent decades have seen cheap air travel drive British punters away from the delights of this fair island, but that’s all beginning to change.

A deeper appreciation for the stunning history, architecture, culture and scenery of British holiday destinations has begun to appear, coupled with a more robust acknowledgement of the damage that air travel does to the environment. Together, they’ve meant that 2017 is poised to become the year of the great British holiday, and when it comes to incredible British holiday destinations, there are few better than Cornwall.

At Carbis Bay, we’re proud to provide 4 and 5 star self-catering holidays in the heart of Cornwall and just a stone’s throw away from the award winning destination of St Ives. We’ve had the privilege of giving countless families holiday memories they won’t ever forget, and in this guide, we’re going to share with you eight amazing reasons why self-catered holidays in Cornwall are ideal for you and your family.

  • Cornwall offers an amazing beach experience…

Whoever said that England doesn’t have world class beaches clearly never took a trip down to Cornwall, because the sands on offer in England’s south coast are amongst the loveliest around. From the impressive surfing beaches on the north coast (complete with very helpful teachers) to the unspoilt and tourist free coves of the Lands End Peninsula, Cornwall is a brilliant option for the beach lover in your life.

  • … And a tremendous coastal walk

If you prefer to take in your beaches from above, then the South West Coastal Path is the walk for you.  Regarded as one of the world’s best long distance walks, you can take as long as you like and enjoy spectacular views across the ocean. Along the way, you’ll find hidden sandy coves and surprise architectural treats. It’s the perfect option for an active holiday, and a tremendous opportunity for a picnic spot!

  • Pound for pound, it’s supreme value

The benefits of a self-catering holiday should be obvious for your budget (as well as your taste buds), but there are countless invisible benefits that staying within the UK on your holiday bring to your bank balance. From avoiding painful exchange rates to insurance, driving your own car and countless other little details, taking a British break can help you save a bundle. Whilst good value for money doesn’t mean you have to forgo the luxury.

  • You can enjoy Cornwall’s world class restaurants

You might not know it, but Cornwall is home to some of the best restaurants in the UK, boasting an incredibly 9 Michelin starred restaurants, all within easy access via car or public transport. Beyond the Michelin stars are even more amazing restaurants across a bewildering range of cuisines, guaranteeing that there’s something for everybody. With self-catered holidays in Cornwall, you’re never tied down into one mediocre resort restaurant, so you’re free to explore the culinary delights that the south west has to offer.

  • It’s home to incredible culture

If you’re not too busy taking in the coast or dining in those world class restaurants, why not take the time to enjoy a little culture in some of Cornwall’s most remarkable spots? We’d recommend taking in a show at the Minack Theatre for a once in a lifetime experience. Constructed with a view over the ocean, this open-air theatre is one you can’t afford to miss.

  • It’s a heritage dream

Everywhere you look in Cornwall, history surrounds you. It’s a land which recalls the glory of the past and fuses it with the luxury and comfort of a world class holiday destination. Take in the world heritage Mining Site stretching from St Ives towards Lands End, Lanhydrock House and its gardens, or take a stroll around the cobbled streets and galleries of St Ives before heading to the breath-taking St. Michael’s Mount. Or, if those don’t appeal, simply walk in any direction – you’re bound to find something.

  • Outdoor pursuits thrive there

If taking a stroll around one of Cornwall’s beautiful, quant seaside towns doesn’t sound quite your speed, you’ll be delighted to know that it’s hard to imagine a better location for outdoor pursuits than Cornwall. This rich, natural playground supports surfing, sailing, horse riding, football, rugby, Frisbee golf and, well, just about anything else you can imagine.

  • Cornwall is a treat for the eyes

From the dramatic, exotic plants of the Eden Project to Trebah Gardens, Hurler’s Stone Circles, Tintagel Castle and many, many more Cornwall is a complete visual treat. If you’ve found yourself getting tired of the same grey boxes and predictable architecture of home, Cornwall is the ideal palate cleanser to revitalise your love affair with England.

By: Tony Townsend On:24th January 2017
Categories:Blog,Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

Holidays should be crammed with unique and memorable experiences. Whether you’re on honeymoon, celebrating a landmark birthday or on a family adventure, splash out on a little extra luxury experiences to make your break in Cornwall extra special. From hot air ballooning and Champagne cream teas to hiring a classic car or a private chef, here’s a few ideas we can help organise at Carbis Bays Holidays:

Private boat charter

Charter your own skippered boat and explore the St Ives coastline, spotting seabirds and marine life on a bespoke itinerary to the likes of Godrevy Lighthouse (immortalised in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse) and Seal Island. The Dolly P can carry up to 12 passengers, making it the perfect vessel for any sea-bound adventure, whether you fancy a private celebration picnic in St Ives Bay or a full-blown trip to the Isles of Scilly.

Take a boat ride on the Dolly P with St Ives Boats during your stay with

Take a private charter on the Dolly P

Hire a private chef

Fancy all the freedom of a stylish self-catering property with delectable food that you don’t have to cook yourself? Then why not hire a private chef to throw the ultimate dinner party at your holiday cottage? Whether you choose fresh fish flipped straight from rod to pan, or Cornish reared meats cooked to perfection, Benedict Quinn will whip up a culinary storm in the privacy of your luxurious accommodation. And, if you want to delve deeper into the Cornish foodie scene, top chef Benedict can also take you out to catch your own dinner with local fishermen, or teach you how to create a fine family feast out of local ingredients.

Benedict Quinn offers a luxury in-house dining experience, parties with nibbles and cook alongside experiences in Cornwall.

Luxury in-house dining by Benedict Quinn


Private tours of St Ives

Wander around St Ives to your heart’s content, or take a tour of this fascinating town with a private tour guide. Whether you choose to take in the arty hotspots, delve into the fishing history or focus on the foodie haunts, your personal guide will regale you with stories, facts and legends that will unveil the most interesting and extraordinary aspects of your surroundings.

Tate, St Ives in Cornwall.

Enjoy a private tour about Art in St Ives or The Story of St Ives

Champagne Cream Tea

Enjoy a Champagne cream tea on the decking overlooking one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches. At the Porthminster Beach Café you can order a bottle of your favourite fizz, served alongside the traditional Cornish treat of jam and scones. How better to combine swish seaside style with a dash of old-fashioned local fare?

A Cornish cream tea is an experience not to be missed during a holiday in Cornwall. Just add a glass of champagne for some added pizzazz!

A Cornish Cream Tea…just add champagne!

Complete your luxury experiences in St Ives by staying at one of Carbis Bays Holidays’ uber-stylish self-catering cottages. Opt for stunning sea views, a plush family pad or a cosy cottage for couples, and we’ll be on hand to help you organise special and luxurious days out on the doorstep.


By: Tony Townsend On:13th March 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

Best Sunsets in Cornwall

2nd February 2016

Celebrated for its unique near-island status, Cornwall is surrounded by the ocean on all coasts but one, meaning that a spectacular beach sunset is a holiday guarantee.  A waterside wonderland, West Cornwall’s land to sea ratio presents a bevy of beautiful beaches and seascapes that showcasing the natural light and acting as an awe-inspiring canvas.   Check out our recommendations for the best beach sunsets in Cornwall:

Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay makes an especially captivating sunset destination, providing the perfectly sheltered spot to admire the sun as it sinks beneath the ocean.  Imagine your day on the beach morphing into night as you bask in the sun’s final rays and wallow in the sea’s warm shallows for an incredibly fitting finale.

The sunset in Carbis Bay is, in our opinion, one of the best beach sunsets in Cornwall. We are of course biased but the magical colour displayed wows us time after time. This image was taken from one of our properties at Carbis Beach apartments.

Sunset over Carbis Bay from Carbis Beach apartments

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

Venture into St Ives in the evening, where the Island and Porthmeor Beach take advantage of their north Atlantic reach and are renowned for treating visitors to some truly spellbinding scenes. Whether you wish to dine in a café or restaurant or enjoy an al fresco glass of wine, your day will end with dazzling, show-stopping effect.

St Ives Bay

The northern stretch of coastline along St Ives Bay from Hayle Towans to Godrevy offers miles of unspoiled beaches from which to experience nightfall, providing picture-postcard views and rainbow coloured skies that smack of pure romance.

Sunset over Hayle Towans and St Ives Bay. One of the most beautiful sunsets in West Cornwall.

Sunset over Hayle Towans in St Ives Bay

Land’s End

For one of the most memorable and best beach sunsets in Cornwall, the Land’s End area delivers a heady dose of high drama. Being at the far western point of the country makes it one of the best vantage points for viewing jaw-dropping sunsets scattered over uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean.  You may also be lucky to see the sub-tropical Isles of Scilly dotted in the distance.

Cape Cornwall, Sennen and Gwenver Beaches

Cape Cornwall, Sennen and Gwenver beaches are particular sunset hot spots, providing a plethora of eye-catching features and gazing opportunities such as the twin-peaks of the Brisons rocks to the pulsating Longships Lighthouse.

Marazion Beach

The southern coast proffers more subtle skies, as the sun escapes westward over the land, with the early-disappearing soft light pouring peach and rose tones over Mounts Bay.  Marazion Beach grants eye-catching views of the bay stretching from the south-jutting Lizard to the striking silhouette of St Michael’s Mount and outlying fishing village of Mousehole.

St Michaels Mounts sunset. One of the best sunsets in Cornwall.

Sunset at Marazion Beach

Sunset from the Ocean

For something decidedly different and utterly unforgettable, consider taking a boat tour or twilight sail from Carbis Bay in order to literally transport yourself into the sunset. Whether you sit alongside or immerse yourself into the ocean with a swim, surf, stand up paddleboard or sail; relish the raw magic of dusk before the arrival of yet another promising dawn.

Sunset from the Ocean at the Cornish Coast. Whether you surf, sail or stand up paddle board, relish the silence and contemplate what the next day ahead holds.

Sunset from the Ocean

Carbis Bay Holidays offers a wide range of self catering holiday homes in the St Ives area that make the ideal base for experiencing the dramatic sunsets of West Cornwall. If you’re considering a couple’s break or honeymoon, our wide portfolio of properties will help ensure the perfectly romantic stay.

By: Tony Townsend On:2nd February 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas

Visitors to Carbis Bay and St Ives follow a fascinating tradition of travel in and around Cornwall.

It may be tricky to imagine the area untouched by tourism, but it wasn’t until the inception of the St Ives rail link when Carbis Bay became a bone fide beach resort. It completely transformed access to the area, allowing the masses to migrate to the famous seaside town that today sees visitors flock in their droves to sample its sun-baked shores.

Other historical changes occurred courtesy of the railway. Originally named Carbis Valley, it was the Great Western Railway that coined its current name of Carbis Bay when the St Erth to St Ives branch line was opened in 1877.

The same year saw the first lodging house built by Mr and Mrs Hendra, whose original accommodation, Maria Villa became Hendra’s Hotel and has subsequently been developed into the five starred fabulousness that is, The Sands Apartments.

To satisfy the rapid expansion of the tourism industry, an increase in the number of hotels and guesthouses culminated in a higher calibre of accommodation, with the area becoming synonymous with quality and luxury. In short, Carbis Bay became one of the most desirable holiday destinations in Cornwall and beyond.

However you arrive into Carbis Bay today, it’s still well worth taking a ride along the train line through the valley, which offers some of the most spectacular, aerial-like views over St Ives Bay and gives an inspired taste of what the first tourists to Carbis Bay experienced over a century ago.

If you’re keen to learn more about the history of Carbis Bay and St Ives, a network of guided tours showcase the towns’ must-see sights. In addition, the Archive Centre and St Ives Museum contain various information and artefacts, including the museum’s Model Boats, Boat Building, Pilchard Curing Cellar, Mining and Hain Steamship Company collections.

Carbis Bay Holidays have a range of properties throughout the area, each with its own unique feel, look and history. From Barbara Hepworth’s old house, Chy an Kerris to former St Ives School of Artists residency, Tremorna and Victorian villa, Barn-a-Woon – pick a property to suit your whim and to enjoy your own enviable slice of history.

By: Tony Townsend On:2nd February 2016
Categories:Local Area

Romantic Breaks in Cornwall

15th January 2016

Fall under the spell of Cornwall and enjoy one of these romantic breaks. Wine and dine by the sea, walk hand-in-hand across pearly beaches and rolling moors, and watch storms scud across the ocean as you hunker down by a roaring log fire. The perfect destination for honeymoons, anniversary breaks and weekend flings, Cornwall seduces lovers with romantic outings from its cliff-tops to its cultural hubs:

Champagne Sundowner

Nothing spells out romance like the clinking of champagne glasses as you watch the sun plonk into the ocean. There are plenty of seafront bars in St Ives, but our favourite for bubbles at sunset is the Porthmeor Beach Café. Toast summer evenings with Cornish, Italian or French fizz, snuggle up under a blanket on the beachside terrace and graze your way through a tantalising tapas menu.

Drink in a breathtaking sunset on Porthmeor beach, St Ives. A great idea to experience during a romantic break in Cornwall.

Drink in the sunset at Porthmeor Beach Cafe.

Hand in Hand Beach Walk

Park up at the beautiful St Uny Church in Lelant and mosey down to the golden sands of Porthkidney Beach. Tucked into the nook of St Ives Bay, here you can scour the shoreline for beach treasure, dip your toes in the ocean and climb up to Hawkes Point for eye-popping views. Either follow the coast path on to arty St Ives, or loop back through the dunes to your starting point.

Walk hand in hand on the beach during a romantic break in Cornwall.

Walk hand in hand on Porthkidney beach.

Beach Picnic

Pack a hamper with artisan Cornish goodies from The Allotment Deli in St Ives, and head to Mexico’s Beach for a picnic. Sandwiched between Hayle Rivermouth and Gwithian, this much quieter stretch of sand deters crowds because access is via towering sand dunes. If you’re prepared to carry a little extra on the calf-busting climb back to the car park, why not bring a barbecue for a sizzling beach date?

Love in Action

Just because you’re on a romantic holiday it doesn’t mean you want to sit around holding hands all day long. Castaway together on a kayaking trip around St Ives Bay, try the latest craze of stand-up paddle boarding, or spot marine life on board a Hawaiian canoe tour. The Ocean Sport Centre at Carbis Bay will help you fulfil all your water-bound passions.

Wild Walks and Cosy Inns

Strike out on a two-pub loop from Zennor’s cosy Tinners Arms (much-loved by DH Lawrence), stomping along two miles of staggering coastline lapped by crystal waters into which a legendary mermaid is said to have lured a local chorister. Turn inland at the rugged promontory of The Gurnard’s Head, stopping for a slap-up lunch in the stylish hostelry of the same name, before taking a shortcut back across the fields to your starting point.

Take a wild walk along the coastal path to breathtaking Gurnard's Head. Enjoy a slap up meal at the local Inn there.

Take a romantic wild walk to Gurnard’s Head.

Love Art

Stroll through subtropical gardens littered with monumental bronze, stone and wood sculptures inspired by the coastal environment around St Ives. Barbara Hepworth is one of Cornwall’s most eminent artists, and a spin around her studio and sculpture gardens invites you to experience her passion for this stunning landscape. Get joint entry into the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Tate St Ives, and complete your art tour with a tipple at the sea-view café on the top floor of the Tate.

Stroll through the subtropical gardens littered with sculptures and dedicated to eminent St Ives artist, Barbara Hepworth.

Explore Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture garden and studio.

View to Dine For

Looking for an intimate, romantic spot dinner venue and a table for two? Bag a window table at the Porthgwidden Beach Café, nestled beside a white-sand cove on St Ives’ ‘Island’. The lesser-known little sister of the famous Porthminster Café, here you’ll be seduced by sumptuous Med-inspired dishes (using the best Cornish produce, of course), mesmerising sea views and the soundtrack of the ocean.


Take a romantic break in Cornwall, staying in one of Carbis Bays Holidays’ cottages for couples in the St Ives area. We’ve got boutique boltholes, honeymoon hideaways and little love nests to choose from.  

By: Tony Townsend On:15th January 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas

Art Holidays in Cornwall

12th January 2016

Carbis Bay Holidays

We all know Cornwall is a bright and vibrant place to visit but where is the best place to visit for Art Holidays in Cornwall. But if you want to add even more colour to your holiday in Cornwall, you might want to consider hitting the art trail to experience the fabulous art for which this location is renowned. With its rich artistic heritage and inspirational scenery, there are few holiday destinations better suited to art fans. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced artist, aspiring painter or simply wish to soak up the artistic atmosphere, Cornwall presents a culture infused with great art.

Explore Fine Art in St Ives

You can’t wander far in any town in Cornwall without stumbling across an art gallery or souvenir shop selling paintings, prints, photographs and crafts celebrating the Cornish landscape and lifestyle. In some locations the creative work of local artists literally spills out on to the streets. This is especially true in St Ives which has inspired artists and visitors for generations.

In fact some of the earliest tourists visiting Cornwall were artists, drawn by the fantastic sea vistas and superb natural light in St Ives. Famous painters Turner, Sickert and Whistler were all known to have visited the area in the 19th Century and in 1920 the internationally renowned potter Bernard Leach set up studio in St Ives. It is possible to see works of this great potter, plus artists who have followed in his footsteps, at the Leach Pottery museum (

Other artists followed and mingled with locally born painters such as Alfred Wallis to form a community of artists, who made St Ives famous worldwide. The British painter Ben Nicholson joined the St Ives collective when he moved here with his wife Barbara Hepworth at the outbreak of the second world war in 1939. Nicholson later left but Hepworth lived and worked as a sculptor in the town at Trewyn Studios until her death in 1975. It is possible to see many of her great works and visit the studio where she worked at the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden (

Many art schools were established in St Ives at the time and in the decades that followed. Today you can join painting, drawing and sculpting classes while on holiday in the area. St Ives is so important to the British art scene that in the early 1990s the Tate organisation built and opened Tate St Ives ( ) to showcase noteworthy local and international exhibitions. It remains a must-see attraction if you’re staying in this part of Cornwall.

Experience Spectacular Art in Newlyn

Nearby Newlyn has had an equally rich artistic history. Like St Ives, it became the location for a important artists’ colony known as the Newlyn School. Much smaller than St Ives, Newlyn was, and still is, a thriving fishing village providing much inspiration to visiting and resident artists. Big names in the movement included Lamorna Birth and Stanhope Forbes.

Today you can see some of the fine art produced during that period and the work of contemporary artists in galleries, including the Newlyn Art Gallery ( If you fancy participating in some art classes, you can learn from local artists at the gallery itself or at the Newlyn School of Art (

Find Up-And-Coming Art in Falmouth

Falmouth is another town which has attracted artists over the centuries, thanks to its wonderful seascapes and narrow bustling streets. Soaked in maritime history, Falmouth is a huge natural port littered with sailing boats of all sizes and colours. It’s little wonder that painters and artists used these wonderful scenes as inspiration for their artwork.

The best place to visit for art lovers is the Falmouth Art Museum (, which has fine collection of 19th and 20th century art plus contemporary exhibitions by Cornish artists. It is also possible to catch the works of up-and-coming artists in the boutique galleries around the town or at end-of-year shows at the Falmouth School of Art (, which attracts talented students from all over the UK and overseas.

Witness a Wealth of Art in Fowey

Heading further east on the Cornwall art trail leads you to the small artists enclave of Fowey, which seems to be bursting at the seams with galleries and craft shops. Located on the Fowey estuary, amid yet more stunning Cornish scenery, the town is also bathed in a glorious natural light which is a constant source of inspiration and fascination for local artists.

One of the best places to head for great art is the Fowey River Gallery (, which hosts an ever-changing display of exhibitions and new works by prominent local artists. There are dozens of other great art galleries and crafts shops to explore in the town, including outlets for Cornish glassware artist Jo Downs. Also worth a visit is the Toe in the Water Gallery which showcases and sells art and crafts inspired by the sea and coastline.

More Great Art in Padstow

This outpost of Cornish art on the rugged North Coast is a picturesque fishing town located on the colourful Camel estuary. Padstow and the surrounding area is home to many notable artists who draw inspiration from the rocky coastline, sandy shores and deep blue sea. Among these is the superb contemporary artist David Pearce who regularly exhibits his modern sea scenes at shows worldwide and locally at Padstow Fine Art (

Like all the other locations on the Cornish art trail, the streets of Padstow are lined with galleries, art shops and craft stores selling paintings and art objects of all standards, for all budgets. One of the newest galleries in Padstow, the Drang Gallery (, caters to the upper end with its display of exciting works by established British artists, previously including Damien Hirst and Sir Terry Frost.

Get Set for Your Art Holiday in Cornwall

If you’re into art, you will not be disappointed by the treasure trove of historic and contemporary art in Cornwall. Whether you want to admire great works, pick up a memento or immerse yourself in the creative process, the Cornish art trail will lead you through some of the most beautiful, culturally rich locations Cornwall has to offer. If you want to soak up the art scene in St Ives and explore Cornwall’s arty side, visit Carbis Bay Holidays ( for self catering holiday accommodation in the town and the surrounding area.

By: Tony Townsend On:12th January 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas,Things to Do

St Ives at Christmas

22nd November 2015

When it comes down to the festive season, St Ives is most famous for its carnival-style New Year street party. However, this is just the culmination of a calendar packed with magical events throughout December. These are some of our favourite things to do if you’re on a Christmas break in and around St Ives:

See Santa Arrive by Lifeboat

Father Christmas makes his arrival in St Ives in a unique fashion: ditching his old-fashioned sleigh for an RNLI lifeboat, he zooms into the harbour to switch on the Christmas lights and kick off the festive season. Swarms of children follow Santa in a musical parade through the town, ending up at his snowy grotto for gifts and goodies.

Carols in Carbis Bay

Nothing conjures up that Christmas feeling better then an evening of carols, mince pies and mulled wine. Which is why, each December, the Carbis Bay Hotel invites everyone to join a gathering of local choirs for a festive sing-a-long in their beachside conservatory.

Party Train into St Ives

As if taking the train into St Ives wasn’t already an enchanting experience for a winter’s day out, on Saturdays in December the St Ives branch line puts on a special Christmas party train for this magnificent journey. Hop on-board the decorated carriages for music, a children’s entertainer and festive goody bags.

Christmas Panto

Hailed as one of the best pantomimes in the county, the Kidz R Us Christmas show rounds up another year of award-winning performances from this St Ives-based youth theatre company. Last year it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that brought modern hits, dance, drama and comedy to the St Ives Theatre stage – we can’t wait to hear what’s in store for Christmas 2016.

Christmas Food Trail

If the previous year’s festive food trail is anything to go by, this will become a staple event in the St Ives Christmas calendar. A unique and flavoursome way to undergo your Christmas shopping, it encourages you to taste your way around some of the town’s favourite foodie hotspots. Gathering gifts and clues on route, at the end of the trail you are entered into a prize draw.

New Year’s Eve Party

The culmination of the Christmas season, this is the biggest, most dazzling party in the St Ives annual calendar. The entire town takes on a carnival ambience and folk come from far and wide to join the fancy dress celebrations. Streets are packed with revellers sporting crazy costumes, live music spills out of harbour-side venues and the skies over the ocean light up with fireworks at midnight.

To find out about all the events happening in St Ives over Christmas, see and

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a range of self-catering holiday cottages perfect for a Christmas holiday in St Ives. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cottage with a wood burner, or a family pile footsteps from the sea, checkout our luxury holiday accommodation in and around St Ives.

NOTE: this article will be reviewed and updated closer to Christmas to ensure that all dates and events are running.

By: Tony Townsend On:22nd November 2015
Categories:Local Area,Seasonal Breaks,Things to Do

Dog Friendly Eateries

1st November 2015

With miles of dog-friendly coast path, vast moorland and nearly a hundred beaches that welcome dogs year round, Cornwall is a wonderful place to take a holiday with your hound. And plenty of restaurants and attractions are throwing their doors open to sandy paws, too. These are some of our favourite dog-friendly eateries in St Ives including pubs, cafés and restaurants.

The Queens Hotel, St Ives

A down-to-earth pub serving restaurant quality food, The Queens Hotel welcomes families and dogs. Sip cask ales by the fire, or pick something from a daily-changing menu tailored to what comes in from local fishermen and farmers., 01736 796468

The Queens Hotel, a lovely restaurant in central St Ives.

The Queens Hotel, St Ives

The Sloop, St Ives

Nudging St Ives harbour, The Sloop is the perfect place to pause for a pint after a walk along the South West Coast Path, a day on the beach or a mooch around town. One of Cornwall’s oldest inns, inside it boasts the atmosphere of a traditional old boozer, while outside benches spill towards the water’s edge., 01736 796584

The Sloop Inn in an enviable position on the Harbour Front, St Ives.

The Sloop Inn, St Ives

Hub, St Ives

When the Hub says it does ‘burgers, dogs and BBQ’ it means more than just its signature New York-style hot dogs made with 100% free-range pork. Here, while sipping craft beers, watching the boats go by and tucking into hot dogs and homemade burgers in artisan ‘Baker Tom’ buns, you can also enjoy the company of your own (not so hot) dog., 01736 799099

Halsetown Inn, St Ives

Just when you think you’re leaving St Ives behind and heading into wilds of West Penwith to Zennor and beyond, you stumble across the Halsetown Inn. Here dog walkers and foodies mingle a traditional pub atmosphere, enjoying ethically sourced, freshly cooked and immaculately presented meals alongside a decent selection of ales., 01736 795583

Scarlet Wines, Lelant

Not only one of Cornwall’s leading independent wine merchants, Scarlet Wines has also accrued quite a reputation for its food. What was once a pit-stop for tapas or coffee before hitting the South West Coast Path or hopping on the train to St Ives (it’s conveniently situated a couple of minutes’ walk from Lelant Saltings station), has turned into a successful little restaurant serving seasonal, local food from breakfast through to dinner., 01736 753696

Scarlet Wines boasts a superb restaurant and deli as well as selling specialised local wines and spirits.

Scarlet Wines, Lelant

Red River Inn, Gwithian

Dogs are given a hearty welcome and treats from behind the bar at this traditional village pub hunkered behind the sand dunes. After a walk along St Ives Bay’s three miles of golden sand, there’s plenty of space for your four-legged friend to curl up by the fire while you sip a few Cornish ales., 01736 753223

The Watermill, Lelant

Once a corn mill dating back to the 18th Century, The Watermill is still home to a working waterwheel fed by the garden stream. As well as sprawling gardens beckoning dogs and families, a log fire warms the traditional interior and excellent, affordable pub grub is served too., 01736 757912

Salt Bar, Hayle

Salt Bar is a cracking little café-cum-bar, just under Hayle viaduct and within easy reach of the train station. Modern but laid back, it’s the sort of place you can enjoy coffee with the hound in tow, or stop for cocktails, steaks and evening entertainment., 01736 755862

Tinners Arms, Zennor

Famed for its connections to DH Lawrence, this is a cosy country pub nestled amongst the granite cottages of Zennor, near St Ives. A great base for some stunning coastal walks, it serves real Cornish ales and fresh local fare by the log fire., 01736 796927

Gurnard’s Head

Minutes’ walk inland from one of the wildest stretches of Cornwall’s coastline, this is the sort of place where you can kick off your walking boots and chill out with the dog at your feet. Enjoy Cornish ales, unusual wines and a menu packed with produce plucked from the surrounding coast and countryside., 01736 796928


Carbis Bay Holidays’ offer a huge selection of pet-friendly accommodation, so there’s no need to leave your dog at home when you take a holiday in Cornwall.  Why not also check out our guide to dog friendly days out for some more great ideas for a fun-packed holiday.




By: Tony Townsend On:1st November 2015
Categories:Dog Friendly,Food and Drink,Local Area

When it’s cold outside, where better to hunker down than by the roaring fire in a traditional inn? These are some of our favourite cosy pubs in Cornwall with a log fire, where you can enjoy a glass of champers or pint of real ale together with fine Cornish cuisine:

The Queen’s Hotel, St Ives

Warm your cockles in a bar decked out in Cornish art, vintage furniture and comfy sofas. At The Queen’s Hotel you can sink cask ales or fine wines, and order dishes from a blackboard chalked daily with flavours sourced from Cornwall’s farms and fishermen. Kids and dogs are welcome too.

The Queens Hotel, is a one of the best cosy pubs in Cornwall with a log fire. It boasts a lovely restaurant and is in central St Ives.

The Queen’s Hotel, St Ives.

The Halsetown Inn, St Ives

On the western flanks of town, The Halsetown Inn is helmed by the crew behind St Ives’ award-winning Blas Burgerworks. In a relaxed and sophisticated setting – with squeaky-green eco-credentials, no less – enjoy a good selection of ales and wines served alongside an original, ethically sourced menu (seafood curry to pulled pork). It’s little wonder that this gem has already swept up Gold in the Taste of the West Awards.

The Watermill, Lelant Downs, nr St Ives

Once a corn mill – and still with a working waterwheel – The Watermill boasts sprawling gardens outside while log fires warm its traditional interior. Dogs and children are welcome in the bar, where you can slouch into a sofa with the newspaper or sit up and dine on decent pub grub. Upstairs, under the beams of the old mill loft, you can dine in the ambience of a more formal restaurant.

Cosy Fire at The Watermill.

Roaring fire at The Windmill.

Gurnard’s Head, Treen

Stomp straight off the coast path, bring the family and the dog, or dress-up for an occasion dinner at this friendly inn on the cliffs of West Cornwall. Whether you pull up a pew by the fire or take a seat in the eccentric dining room of the Gurnard’s Head, expect Cornish ales, unusual wines and an upmarket menu packed with Cornish fish, game and produce plucked from the surrounding coast and countryside.

The Old Success Inn, Sennen

Nudging the pearly sands of Sennen Cove, with its roaring log fire and low rafters The Old Success exudes all the charm you’d expect of a traditional inn. Sepia prints and nautical memorabilia adorn the walls, harking back to the 17th century when the pub was a thatched cottage where fishermen shared their profits. These days it’s coast path hikers, beach goers, dog walkers and surfers that huddle around the bar, fuelling up on hearty pub food and St Austell Brewery beers.

Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn

With Cornish foodie superstar Ben Tunnicliffe now running the Tolcarne Inn, the quality of the seafood (landed footsteps away by Newlyn’s fisherman) needs no introduction. But as well as serving a concise menu of delectable fish, Tunnicliffe has managed to retain the ambience of a traditional village boozer, with live jazz on Sundays, real ales and Cornish ciders on tap, and a log fire.

The Tolcarne Inn in Cornwall is one of the best restaurants in Cornwall.

The Tolcarne Inn run by chef Ben Tunnicliffe.

Come home to your own cosy lodgings with a log fire when you stay in one of our luxury holiday cottages in St Ives or Carbis Bay. Checkout our range of self-catering properties where you can snuggle up by the log-burner, minutes from the coast and award-winning beaches.

By: Tony Townsend On:29th October 2015
Categories:Food and Drink

Dog Friendly Days Out

1st October 2015

There’s no need to leave your dog at home when you visit Cornwall – almost a third of visitors to the county are dog owners, and many of them bring their hounds on holiday. Not only are there bountiful beaches, coastal trails and moorland to explore, but many pubs, cafés and attractions also welcome four-legged friends. Ziggy, our faithful kelpie, comes on all sorts of outings with us, so here are some of his favourite dog-friendly days out around West Cornwall:


From May to September most of the central St Ives beaches enforce dog bans, Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk are two low-tide town beaches that welcome dogs year-round. On the outskirts of town there are some stunning, wide-mouthed bays were dogs frolic year-round. The best of these is Porthkidney Sands, dubbed ‘Happy Dog Beach’ by locals for good reason. While bucket-and-spade brigades descend upon neighbouring Carbis Bay and Hayle Towans, Porthkidney remains untouched by the masses, reserving its dune-backed beauty for a handful of dog walkers and their energetic companions.

Our other favourite is Mexico Towans, a mile or so of wave-lashed sands with plenty of space to chase Frisbees and do some doggy-paddle in the shore-break. Part of the three-mile St Ives bay, this stretch lies between Black Cliff (by Hayle Estuary) and Peter’s Point (where the sand dunes turn into cliffs as you reach Gwithian).

A dog enjoying the view at Mexicos beach, Cornwall. Book your dog friendly holiday with

Ziggy enjoying the view at Mexico Towans

For a map of dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall see


Even the Eden Project has recently opened its doors to dogs, proving that Cornwall’s gardens aren’t just for green-fingered visitors and families. Home to extensive woodland and park trails nudging the River Fal, Trelissick Garden, near Truro, tops Ziggy’s list of garden dog friendly days out. However, closer to home we like to visit Trengwainton, near Penzance – another National Trust property with picnic meadows, a stream garden and paths wending through exotic plants.

Also close to Penzance is Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, with its wonderful mix of wide-open spaces, woodland, sub-tropical plants and art installations inspired by nature. Explore beneath towering canopies, climb grassy knolls to witness stunning views over Mounts Bay, and tuck into homemade cake and Cornish produce at the Lime Tree Café.

Dog friendly days out at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. A great place to visit when staying with

Dog friendly days out at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Walks with dog friendly pit stops

Nothing beats an invigorating stroll in the woods or on the coast, stopping to refuel during a dog-friendly day out in a pub or café. Our favourite coast path walk – if you’re up for a serious workout – is the six miles from St Ives to Zennor. Once you reach the 13th-century Tinner’s Arms, tucked behind the wild, azure seascape that inspired the legend of the mermaid of Zennor, you’ll have earned a rest by the fire or outside overlooking wild, shaggy moors.

For a more sheltered, shorter walk, we love Tehidy Country Park, the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Its 9 miles of well-marked trails are the perfect place to walk waggy-tailed dogs in every season, and there’s a lakeside café serving cakes and snacks. Note that dogs are not permitted in the designated wildlife area. (Tehidy is well signposted from the A30 at Tolvaddon.)

Dog walking in Cornwall.

A dog friendly walk in Cornwall

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a wide-range of dog-friendly accommodation in St Ives and Carbis Bay. Check out our luxury, pet-friendly cottages and find the perfect holiday home for you and your pet.  See also our post about dog friendly eateries for more inspiration for dog friendly days out.

By: Tony Townsend On:1st October 2015
Categories:Dog Friendly,Things to Do

Buggy Walks in Cornwall

13th September 2015

From trails hugging the coastline to paths wending through woodland, many of Cornwall’s walking routes are accessible to a push-chairs; so there’s no need to miss out on any of the eye-popping landscapes when you’ve got tots in tow. Explore Cornwall with your little ones on these six accessible buggy walks in Cornwall that soak up some of the county’s stunning scenery.

Buggy Walks from Penzance to Marazion

This easy-peasy two-mile stretch flanking the glory of Mounts Bay proves that the South West Coast Path isn’t just for serious hikers. With sailing boats and the sea-bound St Michael’s Mount on one side, and trains chugging past on the other, there’s plenty of eye candy for buggy-bound toddlers. The trail is level and wide with plenty of places to stop for a picnic, skim pebbles or build a sandcastle on the beach.
Start Point: Penzance train station
More Information:

Buggy Walks in Tehidy Woods Country Park

Fancy a stroll through enchanting woodland where little ones can feed ducks, spot squirrels and play Tarzan on rope swings? With over 9 miles of walking trails ranging from an easy 1/2-mile loop around the lakes to longer routes in the North Cliffs woodland, Tehidy Country Park offers the perfect terrain for buggies and bikes. There’s an excellent family-friendly café too.
Start point: Tehidy South Drive entrance (SW650432)
More information:

Spot a Squirrel in Tehidy Woods.

Spot a Squirrel in Tehidy Woods

Buggy Walks from Sennen Cove to Land’s End

Cornwall’s western tip boasts some of the region’s wildest, wave-hewn scenery. And if you follow National Cycle Route 3 from Sennen Cove to Lands End (which runs parallel to the coast path) you can still appreciate much of the jaw-dropping panorama from a wide, level path. It’s about a mile to Lands End visitor centre, from where you can reach the south-westerly tip of Britain and look out to Longships Lighthouse.
Start Point: Mayon Green Car Park, Sennen
More information:

The Southern most tip of Britain at Land's End, Cornwall.

The Southern Most tip of Britain at Land’s End

Buggy Walks along Bude Canal

Start your stroll along Bude Canal from the Weir café and wildlife centre, where little ones can enjoy interactive wildlife exhibits, a playground and lakeside farmland. From here follow the canal towpath seaward, spotting herons, egrets and otters in the nature reserve, before emerging beside the wharf, beaches and sea lock at Bude.
Start point: The Weir Bistro & Wildlife Centre

 Buggy Walks from Daymer Bay to Polzeath

Set off from the pearly crescent of Daymer Bay (backed by Brea Hill and the wonky steeple of St Enodoc Church), and walk along verdant cliff tops at the mouth of the Camel Estuary. A mile and half of wide, well maintained path takes you all the way to the surfy village of Polzeath, and you can pause on route for a spot of rock-pooling at the rugged Greenaway Beach.
Start Point: Daymer Bay car park
More information:

Picnic between Daymer and Polzeath. One of the best buggy walks in Cornwall.

A picnic with a view between Daymer and Polzeath

Buggy Walks from Swanpool to Gylyyngvase

For a snapshot of Cornwall’s south coast scenery try this short, easy stroll between two of Falmouth’s beaches. Start in the sub-tropical foliage of Queen Mary Gardens, beside Gyllyngvase beach, and follow the tarmacked coastal path over the cliffs, taking in spectacular views of Pendennis Castle and Falmouth Bay. The next crescent of sand, Swanpool beach, is perfect for a paddle, skimming stones or a wedge of homemade cake from the beach café.
Start Point: Gyllyngvase Beach (SW809316)
More Information:

Enjoy a cake as a treat after a long walk a long walk.

Homemade cakes. A well deserved treat!

All of these walks are ideal to explore from one of Carbis Bay Holidays’ superb range of family friendly cottages. We make holidays with young children easy, by providing toddler-friendly accommodation equipped with travel cots, toys and highchairs.

By: Tony Townsend On:13th September 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Local Area,Things to Do

Family Day Out in St Ives

24th August 2015

Whether you’re an active family, culture vultures or wannabe beach bums, St Ives is the perfect destination for a family day out. Once a fishing village and artists’ colony that’s now become one of the UK’s favourite family beach resorts, here you can hit the surf, fuel up on fish and chips or gourmet cuisine, checkout world-class galleries and scoff ice cream on pearly beaches.

The best way to arrive is on the St Ives Bay train. Hugging the coast and sporting gob-smacking views to the wave-lashed sands curling to Godrevy lighthouse, it’s little wonder that my kids glue their noses to the window for the journey. On rainy days we’ve been known to ride the train back and forth, soaking up the views and eating sandwiches. The only better way to experience the route is on foot along the South West Coast Path (about 4 miles from the Park & Ride at Lelant Saltings).

St Ives flaunts its charm in every season; in mid-summer we often arrive with buckets, spades and bodyboards, and flop straight onto the golden beauty of Porthminster Beach. But our favourite way to soak up the ambience is with a walk along the seafront, pausing for ice cream (try Moomaid, made in nearby Zennor) or a pasty with our toes in the sand at Harbour Beach.

Moomaid of Zennor Ice Cream. A must to try when holidaying in St Ives.

Moomaid of Zennor Ice Cream

If you’re feeling adventurous and the weather’s clement, there’s no need to settle for gawping at the seascape from dry land: Hop on-board a boat trip to Seal Island or helm a self-drive motorboat around the bay and beaches. Take a swim in a sheltered cove, or don a wetsuit and plunge into the surf that pounds Porthmeor Beach (lessons and equipment from St Ives Surf School).

St Ives Harbour Self Hire Boats are a great way to explore the Harbour area on a family day out in St Ives.

St Ives Harbour Self Hire Boats

If the sun’s not shining or you’re simply more of landlubber, you don’t even have to kick off your shoes to capture the essence of St Ives. Nudge the ocean on a stroll around the edge of town, past the museum (worth a peek for history buffs, not so suitable for young children) to ‘The Island’. Jutting into the Atlantic this is a prime spot for spotting dolphins, and hunkered at its foot is the crescent of Porthgwidden Beach. It’s here we find ourselves in every weather; the kids building sandcastles while we take in the sea views from Porthgwidden Beach Café.

Emerging on the western side of town, Porthmeor is the wildest of St Ives’ beaches, where the surfers flock to ride to Atlantic swells. Backing the white sands is the eminent Tate St Ives – a beacon of the town’s international art status. As well as the exhibitions there are family trails and Toddler Tate sessions, plus you can eyeball the stunning coastline from the top-floor café.

Tate interior – see flickr favourites  or toddle tate from tate st ives

No longer renowned only for its art, St Ives is fast becoming famous for its foodie reputation – from fish and chips to Michelin-starred dining, there are restaurants for all tastes and budgets. So, wending along the cobbled streets back into the hub of town, it’s time to browse the boutiques and bag a table for tea. We love the fun, nautical ambience of the harbour-front Rum & Crab Shack, where local seafood is reasonably priced, views are to dine for and the kids can raid treasure chests for toys and games.

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family friendly properties in St Ives and Carbis Bay, so you don’t have to travel far to get back to luxury accommodation equipped with the likes of travel cots, toys and highchairs. Checkout our family friendly cottages and choose the perfect pad for your holiday.

By: Tony Townsend On:24th August 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Local Area,Things to Do

With its cracking beaches, scrub-topped headlands and rugged hills, there are plenty of spectacular places for the perfect picnic in St Ives. Fill your basket with delicious local foodstuffs in St Ives, and spread out your picnic blanket in one of our favourite local picnic spots.

Where to fill your picnic basket

With its fast-growing reputation on the culinary scene, it comes as no surprise that St Ives has plenty of shops selling the county’s finest local produce.

Pop into The Allotment Deli and get your hands on home-baked treats and Cornish produce, from fresh artisan bread to goats’ cheese tarts. Fill your hamper with Scotch eggs, olives, cheese and chutneys, not forgetting a hunk of carrot cake, caramel slice or a rock bun for afterwards.

The Allotment Deli, St Ives is the perfect place to stock up on fresh local produce for all your self catering needs.

The Allotment Deli

Another of St Ives’ finest delis is The Digey Food Room, where you can stuff a hessian bag full of local and international goodies to graze on. Think savoury tarts, crumbly cheeses and Cornish cider, as well as Spanish and Italian delicacies such as chorizo, Serrano ham and antipasto ingredients.


If you’re planning a romantic picnic, pop the cork on an unusual vintage from Scarlet Wines. Friendly staff will help you choose the finest wine for your alfresco feast, plus there’s a selection of foodie delights from the legendary Baker Tom’s bread to local preserves.

Scarlet Wines offers a wealth of local and sparkling wines for any special occasion during your stay in St Ives.

Scarlet Wines

For an easy-peasy picnic, grab a warm pasty from one of St Ives’ bakeries and whisk it straight to the beach to eat it. We love the award-winning pasties from the Cornish Bakehouse, or – if you’re a real connoisseur – head to Hayle for a famous Philp’s Cornish pasty.

Where to lay your picnic blanket

From headlands to hilltops, these are a few of our favourite picnic spots:

With a string of pearly beaches to choose from in St Ives, you don’t have to carry your hamper far from a local deli to be sat on the sand, stuffing fine food with a jaw-dropping sea view. However, for a more exclusive patch of sand, hop on the train to Lelant Saltings (or cover the 4 miles on foot) and descend onto Porthkidney Sands. Tucked into the nook of St Ives Bay, here you can hunker in the dunes or sprawl out on the beach, savouring your picnic along with views to Godrevy Lighthouse and the bay’s golden beaches.


Striking out west along the South West Coast Path from St Ives, Clodgy Point is a prime picnic spot lashed by the wild Atlantic and topped by wildflowers. From here you can spot seabirds (and even passing pods of dolphins), while peering back towards Porthmeor or west along the craggy coastline stretching to Lands End. Nudging the lighthouse in the distance, at the other end of St Ives Bay is Godrevy Head, where the grassy National Trust car park – perched above a sandy swimming cove and a short walk from a seal colony – is a popular, more accessible picnic location.


The highest hill in West Cornwall, Trencrom is just a couple of miles south of St Ives. It’s a fairly easy climb up to this ancient hill fort steeped in history and legend, yet from up here you can enjoy your picnic with views of Godrevy and Hayle Estuary to the east, and Mounts Bay to the south.


Hidden Cove
There are few places for which folk pack a picnic with such gusto as the Minack Theatre. Hampers stuffed with Champagne and chocolate strawberries are a common sight before performances start at this amphitheatre overlooking Porthcurno. However, we prefer to take a pre-show excursion over the cliff-tops, to picnic on the Caribbean-white sands of the more private Porthchapel Beach.

Wherever you choose to picnic, Carbis Bay Holidays offers the perfect self-catering accommodation to come back to – from romantic retreats to family villas.

By: Tony Townsend On:15th July 2015
Categories:Food and Drink,Local Area

Being one of the UK’s favourite holiday resorts, it’s little surprise that there’s plenty for energetic families to do in St Ives. Immerse yourself in nature and get your heart racing on all levels of these active family adventures:

Explore the Bay by Hawaiian Canoe or SUP

Born from a passion for watersports, the Ocean Sports Centre encourages all ages and abilities to cast off from Carbis Bay and explore beyond the beach. Families can join in the latest global craze of stand-up paddle boarding on the (usually) calm waters, hire sit-on-top kayaks, or learn the ropes on a fleet of Topper dinghies. However, the most unique vessel for a coastal explorer tour is a four – or six-seater Hawaiian canoe, with underwater viewers that bring you face-to-face with marine life.

A colourful line up of kayaks offered for hire on Carbis Bay beach by Ocean Sports.

Try kayaking with Ocean Sports, Carbis Bay

Surf Porthmeor Beach

Is it possible to come to Cornwall and not dabble in the county’s most popular watersport? Sandy-bottomed and safe for beginners, St Ives’ Porthmeor is the ideal location to try surfing. Catering for family groups and all levels of wave riders, the St Ives Surf Centre will get you on your feet and gliding towards the shore in no time. Or, if you can’t bear the thought of squeezing into a wetsuit and battling the Atlantic swell, simply rent a deckchair and watch the rest of the family have a go.

At St Ives Surf Centre, you can hire boards, wet suits, deck chairs and wind breaks for your day out on Porthmeor Beach. Perfect for your active family adventures in St Ives. when staying with

St Ives Surf Centre

Walk and Ride from St Ives to Carbis Bay

In the days when I didn’t have two young children in tow, my favourite walk from St Ives was the 6 miles to Zennor – along gorse-topped cliffs and boulder-strewn moorland flanked by the Atlantic. However, while that’s out of our league, I prefer the much easier mile-long walk to Carbis Bay. Not only is there is very little ascent and descent to tackle, but as well as the spectacular scenery you’ve got sandy beaches at each end of the walk, both equipped with family-friendly facilities such as lifeguards, cafés and toilets. And once you reach Carbis Bay, you can hop on the train back to St Ives.

Scenic Train Link from Carbis Bay to St Ives, a must for guests of

The scenic train line between Carbis Bay and St Ives

Brace Yourself for a Multi-Activity Day

Experience a range of activities on land and sea, on a great value, multi-activity, family day out with JB Adventures. Your instructor will scoop you up from St Ives and take you on a whirlwind of activities from kite buggying and fishing, to coasteering and horse riding. Tailor-make your itinerary from an assortment of activities – participants as young as 6 years old can try giant bubble making, kite making and tandem kite-buggying.

Experience an active family adventure by horse riding on the beach in St Ives, Cornwall. A magical memory of your stay with

Horse riding on the beach

Catch Your Own Mackerel for Tea

Hop aboard for a family-friendly fishing trip and learn how to catch mackerel using traditional hand-lines. Or, if you prefer your seafood plated up at one of St Ives’ harbour-side restaurants, ditch the fishing trip for an exciting boat ride out with St Ives Boats to Seal Island, Godrevy Lighthouse or Hell’s Mouth. You never know what you might encounter out to sea – from pods of dolphins to seals, basking sharks and sunfish.

Take a boat ride on the Dolly P with St Ives Boats during your stay with

Take a trip out on the Dolly P to Seal Island

Whatever level of adventure you’re after, Carbis Bay Holidays offers a wide selection of luxury family accommodation in and around St Ives. Whether you want to fling open the doors to a world-class surfing beach or retreat with countryside views, we’ve got the perfect self-catering cottage from where to enjoy your active family adventures.

Take a look at our family friendly eateries and our article on a family day out in St Ives for more inspiration for your holiday.

By: Tony Townsend On:28th June 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Local Area,Things to Do

When you’re on holiday in St Ives, eating out with kids doesn’t mean you’re limited to takeaway pasties or fish and chips on the beach. Thanks to the town’s burgeoning foodie scene beckoning even the youngest diners to tuck into fresh, local ingredients, there are plenty of restaurants where you can mix Sauvignon and seafood with family fun and fish fingers. Here are some of our favourites:

The Rum & Crab Shack

A meal at this nautical-themed eatery peering out to sea feels much like dining aboard a boat. And it’s not just a quirky joint to test your sea legs after a few rums, while pint-sized pirates raid treasure chests of toys. An extensive menu (with an emphasis on crab, of course) shows off sumptuous seafood landed by local fisherman, and includes ready-cracked crab claws and fish finger sarnies to entice kids to try fishy delights too.

The Rum & Crab Shack is one of St Ives best family friendly restaurants.

The Rum & Crab Shack

Seafood Cafe

Although it’s not one of St Ives’ eateries that spills out onto the beach, time and time again the Seafood Café has proved to be one of the best family friendly restaurants in town. Here young diners can scoff lashings of Fisherman’s Pie and local Moomaid ice cream, while grown ups sip Prosecco and select locally-caught fish from the line-up on ice at the seafood counter.

The Seafood Cafe is a seafood lovers dream! Select your fish and your sauce and off you go!

The Seafood Cafe

Porthgwidden Cafe

Hidden in a white-sand cove at the foot of St Ives’ Island, this is the lesser-known little sister of the eminent Porthminster Café. A smaller, more relaxed version of its famous relative, here the best local ingredients are wrapped into dishes such as paella and moules marinière. As well as a kids’ menu and delicious cakes, its family-friendly credentials are boosted by nearby parking and outdoor seating overlooking the beautiful Blue Flag beach.

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe is a superb spot to dine out with the children. Enjoy the freshest of ingredients and then blast away the energy on the beach.

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe

Blas Burgerworks

Passionate about good food and the environment, Blas serves mouth-watering burgers made from fresh Cornish ingredients. As well as the classic beef in a bun, there are innovative veggie options from blackbean burgers to halloumi stacks. Eat inside at reclaimed timber benches, or take your feast to the nearby beaches.

Blas Burgerworks offers a wide selection of burgers, all sustainably sourced. A favourite with children and adults alike.

Blas Burgerworks

The Queens Hotel

If you’re looking for a cosy pub where dogs and kids are welcome, head to the Queens Hotel, where the blackboard is chalked daily with the best of what comes in from local fishermen and farmers. Good value, locally sourced pub grub is served up in a rustic, relaxed environment, where there’s room for dogs to flop by the fire and a simple menu served for those fussy little eaters too.

The Queens Hotel, a lovely restaurant for family friendly dining in central St Ives.

The Queens Hotel

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family friendly cottages in St Ives and Carbis Bay – so you can choose the perfect holiday pad close to St Ives’ family friendly restaurants.  Consider also taking a look at our inspiration for a great Family Day Out in St Ives.

By: Tony Townsend On:25th May 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Food and Drink,Local Area

Big ones, small ones, sandy ones and shingle ones… for a small town St Ives is well endowed with beautiful beaches that lure bathers, bucket and spade brigades and surfers. What with lifeguards on duty throughout the holidays, pods of dolphins passing through and seals popping their whiskered noses above azure waters, it’s no wonder that St Ives beaches are rated as some of the best in the UK. Choose your patch of golden sand from sheltered coves to surf-lashed shores:


Take the train into St Ives and disembark right beside the perfect crescent of white sand that is Porthminster beach. Build sandcastles, make footprints along the shoreline and dip your toes in calm, clear waters. Ideal for families, Porthminster boasts excellent facilities including beach huts for hire, a beach kiosk and café, toilets and a putting green. There is also the eminent Porthminster Café serving world-class food bang-on-the-beach, and it’s a short stroll across the pearly sands to reach the hub of town.

No dogs between Easter and October.

Porthminster beach in Summer. Lots of visitors to St Ives are enjoying the sun.

Porthminster beach in Summer


Backed by chic boutiques, art galleries, beach bars, arcades and gourmet eateries, the tidal, sandy-bottomed harbour beach is a stunning sun trap in the heart of town. Tuck into pasties, fish and chips and ice cream with your toes in the sand, and watch local fishing boats landing fresh seafood ready to be flipped into the frying pans of local restaurants. Just watch out for sea gulls swooping down to share your picnic!

Dogs permitted only between 7pm and 8am during summer months.

Harbour beach, St Ives, Cornwall.

Harbour beach


Our favourite of St Ives’ enviable necklace of beaches, Porthgwidden is tucked into the nook of The Island, gazing across the bay towards Godrevy Lighthouse. This idyllic sandy cove is the perfect place for swimming, launching a kayak, basking in the morning sunshine and lounging around in one of the beach huts for hire. Another spot that beckons families, not only is there loos and a snack kiosk, you can also keep an eye on the kids building sandcastles from the terrace of the Porthgwidden Café – one of St Ives’ foodie hotspots.

No dogs between Easter and October

Looking down on Porthgwidden beach


More exposed to the Atlantic swell, Porthmeor is where the surfers flock to ride peeling waves. Learn from the experts at St Ives Surf School and hire any equipment you need, or simply rent a deck chair and watch friends and family hit the waves from your front row pew. As well as luring surfers and sunbathers, Porthmeor draws the arty crowds from the beachside Tate St Ives; after all, with blood-red sunsets, rich coastal hues and such mesmerising scenery, it’s no surprise that world-class artists have been coming here for many years. Soak up the scenery and watch the sunset over tapas and delectable local cuisine at the Porthmeor Beach Café.

Facilities include toilets and beach huts. No dogs between Easter and October.

Surf board on Porthmeor beach with The Island as a back drop.

Porthmeor beach

Carbis Bay

The next stop along the branch line from St Ives, or a short stroll along the South West Coast Path, Carbis Bay’s sweeping sands beckon families seeking safe bathing, Blue Flag water quality, and bucket and spade territory. Beachside facilities include parking, toilets and a café, making this an ideal place to visit with young children. If you’re looking for a dash of ocean adventure, you can castaway on a kayak, SUP or Hawaiian canoe and explore the stunning coastline or, if you fancy swanky seaside dining or a sunset cocktail simply retreat to The Beach Club or chill out on the heated deck at The Shack. Alternatively, take a stroll over Hawke’s Point to neighbouring Porthkidney Sands, or follow the coast path back into the hub of St Ives.

Dogs permitted from 5am–8am during the summer months.

A deserted Carbis Bay beach with it's glorious golden sands and azure waters.

Carbis Bay beach

Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk

These two small, tidal coves are the only beaches in St Ives that allow unrestricted access to dogs year-round. Bamaluz is located between the Harbour and Porthgwidden (in front of the St Ives Museum), and Lambeth Walk is located behind the Lifeboat station. At low tide Lambeth Walk extends all the way to the lighthouse at the end of Smeaton’s Pier, except for the main harbour area during the restricted daytime hours.

Lambeth Walk, one of St Ives beaches.

Lambeth Walk beach

St Ives’ stunning beaches are just footsteps Carbis Bays Holidays’ luxury holiday cottages. Bag a boutique bolthole beside the pearly sands of Porthminster Beach or perhaps a chic self-catering cottage overlooking Carbis Bay.

If you wish to explore the coast further afield, check out our recommendations for secret beaches and coves, or discover even more dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:5th May 2015
Categories:Local Area,Things to Do

Cornwall is the perfect destination for holidays with toddlers. Bring buckets, spades, wellies and waterproofs, and you can hit the beaches, woodland and wide open spaces for all sorts of family fun. From crabbing to kite flying, here are 10 of our top toddler friendly experiences and activities:

1: Go Rockpooling

Take your fishing nets down to the rocky shoreline to search for starfish, sea anemones, crabs and crustaceans, and see if you can identify different types of seaweed from bladderwrack to sea oak. Our favourite rockpooling beaches are Godrevy (by the lighthouse), Trebarwith Strand and Bedruthan Steps.

Enjoy rockpooling at Gwithian, Cornwall.

Rockpooling at Gwithian

2: Go bodyboarding

There are few better thrills than whooshing along on a wave, and even toddlers can paddle out catch the white water on a foam bodyboard. Never go out of your depth and always bodyboard between the flags on a lifeguarded beach. Try Porthmeor, Gwithian or Porthtowan.

Toddlers will love experiences of body boarding in Cornwall.

Toddlers love body boarding!

3: Go crabbing

Dangle a crab line over the harbour wall at Hayle and see if you can haul in a crab. You can buy a crab line complete with hooks and a net for bait, or make one using string and a wire hook weighted down with a pebble. Beware of toddlers by steep drops and slippery steps at the edge of the water.

4: Build a sandcastle

A bucket and spade will keep a toddler amused for hours on the beach. Whether you make a fortress, a boat or a sand sculpture, digging in the sand is simply what tots love to do most. As well as castles with moats, we like to build sand boats and wait for the tide to come in and cast us out to sea.

5: Take the train to St Ives

Enjoy one of the most scenic train rides in the UK on the coastal railway between St Erth and St Ives. Toddlers will love spotting boats, the lighthouse and surfers against the gob-smacking backdrop of St Ives Bay, and an all-day ranger ticket means you can travel up and down the line as many times as you like (great for a rainy day activity).

Scenic train link from Carbis Bay to St Ives, a must for guests of

Scenic train to St Ives

6: Hunt for beach treasure

Scour the shore for shells, driftwood, feathers and treasure washed in by the waves.  Turn your collection into a game for toddlers by laying out 10 different items on the sand, from limpet shells to mermaids’ purses, then take one item away at a time, and see if the children can identify which one is missing.

Hunt for treasures on the beach with the children during your stay in Cornwall. This Seashore guide is perfect for little people. One of our top ten toddler friendly experiences in Cornwall.

Hunt for beach treasure

7: Fly a kite

There is nothing as simple and exhilarating as flying a kite on a blustery day. Pick up a one-string stunt kite, or try harnessing the elements with a dual-stringed power kite. Our favourite kite-flying beaches are St Ives Bay, Kennack Sands (on the Lizard) and Mawgan Porth.

Kite flying on the beach in Cornwall.

Kite flying on the beach

8: Pick mussels

Turn a rockpool ramble into a family foraging excursion, when you pluck mussels off the rocks at the lowest point of the tide. Kids love filling buckets with their finds, scrubbing off the barnacles and beards, then putting them into a pot for tea. (Always pick mussels in a month with an ‘r’ in it, as there is less bacteria in the water and the mussels aren’t breeding.)

Mussels clinging to a rock in Carbis Bay. Only pick mussels during a month with an "R" in it.

Mussels cling to a rock on Carbis Bay beach.

9: Follow the woodland trail

Crunch through leaves, picnic by the river, play in the park and tuck into cake in the family friendly café – Cardinham Woods is the perfect place to take wild toddlers at any time of year.

10: Walk in the footsteps of giants

Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to the sea-wrapped castle of St Michael’s Mount. Hunt for the giant’s stone heart etched in a cobbled pathway, climb to the castle turrets and return by boat once the tide has come in.

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family accommodation in and around St Ives, Cornwall. Our toddler-friendly cottages come equipped with the likes of travel cots, toys, stair gates and highchairs.

You may also wish to read our recommendations for great family days out and buggy friendly walks in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:8th April 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Things to Do

Discover Hawke’s Point

11th March 2015

Just half a mile to the east of Carbis Bay, tucked away from the arty hub of St Ives, awaits the quiet, rugged beauty of Hawkes Point. Here you can pad barefoot along Porthkidney Sands, catch perfect little waves and climb the miners’ steps etched into the cliffs.

When you’re staying in and around Carbis Bay, it’s only natural to be lured towards the tourist hotspot of St Ives. However, head in the opposite direction – towards the headland at the eastern end of Carbis Bay – and within 10 minutes you’ll be greeted by the wilder, more tranquil beauty of Hawke’s Point and Porthkidney Sands.

From the South West Coast Path the view over Porthkidney Sands and a necklace of beaches stretching towards Godrevy Lighthouse, is one that many artists have captured on canvas. One of the most popular artists of the area is John Miller, whose paintings of this scenery have become famous worldwide.

Porthkidney Sands taken from Hawke's Point, Carbis Bay.

Porthkidney Sands from Hawke’s Point

It’s thought that Hawke’s Point may have got its name from a Mr Hawke, a smallholder who lived here and used to collect flotsam and jetsam from the beach. You can still climb down the old miners’ steps he used at the southern end of the beach, that were carved in the 19th century when a small copper and tin mine was in operation here.

The steep cliff stairway isn’t the only way to access the mile-long beach: slide down marram-topped dunes from the coast path, follow a short track from St Uny Church in Lelant, or – on very low tides – simply pad around the foot of the cliffs from Carbis Bay. Dubbed ‘Happy Dog Beach’ by the locals, the crowd-free Porthkidney Sands is indeed where hounds can frolic year-round – unlike on many of St Ives’ busier beaches where dogs are banned during peak season.

Happy retriever on the beach in Cornwall.

Happy retriever on Porthkidney Sands

It’s not just walkers and their four-legged friends that enjoy the lack of crowds; surfers come here as well, to catch perfect little peelers that form in the shelter of the cliffs. If you don’t fancy hitting the waves, you’ll no doubt be tempted to dip your toes in the emerald sea, look for unusual for shells or even collect driftwood after a winter storm. Originally called ‘Porth Kinnis’, meaning ‘firewood beach’, its name suggests that Porthkidney was historically a haunt of wreckers long before Mr Hawke’s days, and it’s still a good spot for combing the shoreline to this day.

Checking out the surf on one of Cornwall's beautiful beaches.

Checking out the surf at Porthkidney Sands

Once you reach the banks of Hayle estuary the beach peters out and the calmer waters attract an abundance of birdlife. Follow the footpath up to St Uny Church (past the oldest links course in the UK), and you can carry on along the coast path that skirts the estuary, or pick up the St Michael’s Way – an ancient Pilgrimage route to Mount’s Bay. However, if you’d prefer to get back to the art, food and culture of St Ives, it’s only a 3.5-mile walk back along the South West Coast Path. Or you can take the easy route on the coastal railway from Lelant Saltings, soaking up the views that inspired John Miller’s artwork from your window seat.

Carbis Bay Holidays’ Sea Urchin Apartments boast immense views of Porthkidney Sands and are footsteps from the South West Coast Path at Hawkes Point.  There are also wide selection of beautiful dog friendly holiday cottages  located nearby.     

By: Tony Townsend On:11th March 2015
Categories:Local Area
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