Widely regarded as the jewel of Cornwall’s crown, a beautiful seaside town, set in breathtaking coastal scenery – whatever the time of year or day, St Ives gives something special to every visit that will make you want to return again and again.
St Ives is the art centre of West Cornwall. Artists were attracted to the area from the 19th Century onwards. In the 20th Century St Ives became a haven for giants of British Modernism, notably Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. St Ives and the surrounding area is alive with an artistic heritage and sensibility found nowhere else in south-western England. The Tate St Ives offers constantly changing exhibitions as well as its remarkable permanent collection of art. The Leach Pottery in St Ives was established by Bernard Leach in 1920. One of the great figures of 20th century art, Leach played a crucial pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters in Britain and around the world.
The town itself arcs around the harbour – the heart of the historic fishing community with the legacy of fishing boats bobbing in the harbour itself whilst families play on the beaches of golden sand, and explore winding cobbled streets, finding treasures such as the wide range of small independent shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs and bars, the St Ives Museum and the Tate St Ives. With the benefit of the warmth of the Gulf Stream, the area also enjoys a mild sub-tropical climate.
Year round, St Ives has the power to captivate and enthral. With a busy events calendar, the town is often buzzing with excitement from the Feast Day in February (with the traditional hurling of the silver ball), to home-grown theatre productions, the St Ives September Festival, and the year ending with Christmas celebrations and the renowned New Year’s Eve event where fancy dress is nearly obligatory!