What to do in St Ives in the Winter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.