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 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

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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

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