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

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

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

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