What to Do in St Ives, Cornwall

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Penwith Gallery

The Penwith Gallery is a vast multistorey gallery which presents work created by the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall. While there is plenty of two-dimensional work to ogle, you’ll be rapt by the iridescent ceramics and masterful clay-stuffs on show.

Address

Back Road West TR26 1NL

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St Ives Surf School

Fancy being the next Kelly Slater? Head to St Ives Surf School on Porthmeor Beach, tucked below Tate St Ives. From the get-go, its team of coaches (some national surf champions) make you feel as if belong on the sea, no matter your age or experience. If the surf is a little flat during your stay, or you’re not the surfing type but want to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean, it also offers paddleboard, kayak and coasteering lessons as well as equipment rental.

Address

Porthmeor Beach, TR26 1JZ

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Walk the South West Coast Path

If relaxing on a beach all day doesn’t float your boat, take 10k jaunt along the South West Coast Path from St Ives to the neighbouring village of Zennor – allow between two and three hours depending on your pace, and pack snacks. En route, you’ll witness some of the best of this vast coastal landscape; take your camera to capture the rugged cliffs. Once you reach Zennor, head to The Tinners Arms for a well-deserved pint and refuel.

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Beaches

St Ives has lots of them. Don’t just settle for the first one you stumble across, these stretches of sand have unique characters. If you’ve brought your dog along for the trip, be aware that most of the beaches don’t permit four-legged friends in the midst of summer – head to Bamaluz Beach or Porthkidney and you’ll be welcome.

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Tate St Ives

This pocket of Cornwall has a strong artistic current, playing home to some of Cornwall’s brightest creatives since the 30s, when the St Ives School of artists was founded. Today, aesthetes are spoiled with small galleries and studios to visit, though the spiral-shaped Tate St Ives is the go-to for modern European art. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is just down the road from here.

Address

Porthmeor Beach, TR26 1TG

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Belgrave St Ives

One of the great things about St Ives is its plethora of small, independent galleries. Showing exhibitions by modern British contemporary artists with strong links to the West Country, Belgrave St Ives is among our favourites. You’ll also find a who’s who of local talent in Penwith Gallery on Back Road West.

Address

22 Fore Street, TR26 1HE