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

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