The Perfect Picnic in St Ives
15th July 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.