7am: Rise and shine
I know early starts aren’t for everyone, but even on holiday, especially when the sun is shining, I can’t help but get up and out of bed for a bit of quiet time before the day truly starts. My first port of call? A coffee! You’ll find coffee facilities in our self-catering cottages in the form of either a coffee machine or cafetière, for a fresh pot of morning coffee. When on holiday in St Ives, my aim is to be as leisurely and relaxed as possible so I will always opt to take the time to make a cafetière of coffee and plan for the day ahead (that will most definitely start with a dunk in the sea!).
7.30am: Morning dip
It doesn’t take much for me to be tempted into the sea for a swim, but when you are staying in St Ives, central or not, you are walking distance from three of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall. These include Porthmeor, Porthminster and Porthgwidden Beach. Porthminster always gets the sun in the morning, so that’s where I choose to go, towel in hand and ready to embrace the Cornish sea! The water is always a bit cold but nothing short of amazing. Nothing compares to how fresh sea makes you feel. I’m never the only one either, dotted along the beach there are a few happy faces of early morning sea swimmers taking a quick dip in the water before it gets a little busier. Once feeling content with a dunk in the beautiful (but still cold) sea, it’s time to head into St Ives.
8.15am: Coffee and snack
Holidays in St Ives aren’t complete without paying a visit to The Yellow Canary on Fore Street! This lovely coffee shop and bakery opens at 8am each morning and they do the most delicious treats. A personal favourite is their almond croissant. So, after a swim on Porthminster, it is an approximate 5-minute walk to Fore Street for some breakfast and then I am just a few moments from the harbour front. The St Ives harbour is one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by. However, I dare not eat my croissant as I don’t want a seagull to steal my favourite treat. Checkout out our Travel Hacks to St Ives blog to see why…
9.15am: Shower time
All of our luxury self-catering properties in St Ives have a shower or shower and bath option, some even have an outdoor shower which is perfect for those especially sandy days! There are also sumptuously soft towels left for each guest, so I only need to worry about bringing my own beach towel with me when staying, saving room in an already full-to-the-brim suitcase.
9.45am: Planning the day
After showering and getting ready, it is time to plan the day. The great thing about holidays in St Ives is there is always so much to do! We had two surfers in our party who wished to find the swell of the day and two of us who were looking to make the most of the town. Having a good WiFi connection in the property (that’s free too!) makes searching for these things quick and easy. All of our properties come with WiFi for our guests to use. You can even find the WiFi speed at the property you are staying at by checking out the welcome guide on the Orange Roofs app ahead of your stay! After some searching online for the best surf, Porthmeor’s the spot. For the two ‘non-surfers’ we managed to book some online tickets at the Tate, which was our first port of call, before exploring the rest of St Ives.
10.45am: Trip to the Tate
Tate St Ives is an iconic spot to visit and we would certainly recommend it whilst in the town. The exhibitions are often changing, bringing new and exciting pieces of art to the town. After some culture in the gallery, it is time to head to the top floor where they have a great cafe with some of the best views over Porthmeor. The menu is great but like us, you’ll probably find it hard not to order a deliciously fresh cream tea and there is no way better to enjoy it, than being sat outside on their terrace overlooking the beach drenched in sunshine. Just another wonderful perk to holidays to St Ives!
12.30pm: Booking a boat trip
From the Tate St Ives, it takes just a quick 5-minute walk to reach the Sloop Inn on the harbour front and very nearby are all the stands where you can book and purchase tickets for boat trips. This is of course on our list of fun things to do in St Ives! The Blue Thunder Rib Ride is one that has always caught our eye, so booking tickets here is a must. Our favourite option is their 40-minute sea safari. There’s something so exhilarating about being out amongst the Cornish coast, taking in the breath taking views and seeing some Cornish wildlife.
12.45pm: Cocktails in the sun
St Ives Sea Rooms are renowned for their own brand ‘St Ives Liquor Company Gin’ and cocktails, so when seeing a spare outside table on a sunny day, there was now doubt we simply had to go and try one. We always like to get an outside table as you have the beautiful harbour and sea in sight, just steps from where you are. This makes the amazing cocktail menu that even more special. It is a tradition amongst us to always try something and something new is the ‘Marmalade Martini’. What is in this amazing concoction you may ask? Blood Orange Gin, SILCo Seville Orange Marmalade, SILCo Limoncello and Red Vermouth – delicious!
1.45pm: Retail Therapy
After a lovely cocktail in the sun, a walk along the harbour front is really quite appealing. Especially as it is an excellent opportunity to explore the new additions to the Wharf. One stop that has to be made is to The St Ives Co. They have opened a second store on the harbour front and we were quickly enticed in by the impressive skin care range they have. Also, what is a holiday in St Ives without a wonderful local gift for a loved one (or…yourself).
It is hard not to be drawn to your favourite smelling items, one was a ‘Bergamot, Cedarwood and Sandalwood Beard Oil’ and the next was ‘Citrus Lemon, Lime & Petitgrain Bath Salts with Rose Petals’. This wonderful bath salt is made in Cornwall using Cornish sea salt too. It always feels great to support local businesses and use high-quality local produce.
2:30pm: Hit the Beach
As much as we love Porthmeor Beach, we also love to SUP (stand up paddle board) and Porthminster is the best spot for this! An added bonus is that it looks breathtakingly tropical in the summer months, the beach itself is lined with palm trees and that water is the most magnificent blue. There is a watersport centre based on Porthminster beach, so it is really quite effortless to hire a SUP board for an hour or two and head to the water for some serious fun. This is probably one of the best ways to work up an appetite too. Luckily, there is a delicious takeaway on Porthminster and you can get some truly scrumptious fish and chips from here, which no holiday to St Ives is complete without!
After a blissful day of exploring and beaching, it is the perfect time to relax. All of our Orange Roofs self-catering holiday cottages have entertainment for families. Whether it is a TV, Smart TV, or you may even find an Xbox! If you have a preference for what you’d like, get in touch with a member of the Orange Roofs team and we’ll be able to share with you some great property suggestions to suit your needs. After a full day of sunshine, we personally love having a bit of wind-down time inside and enjoying a nice cool drink to rehydrate!
6:00pm: Dinner Prep
When you’re the allocated chef for the night, one of the biggest worries is to make sure that you have a fully equipped kitchen so you can be sure to cook up a storm! At your holiday cottage, you’ll find a fully equipped kitchen ready and waiting for you. One of our favourite things to prepare is a grilled mackerel with a caesar potato salad and slices of crusty sourdough. It has to be fresh fish when in St Ives. One of the best ways to source this is from Matthew Stevens who supplies the most delicious St Ives Bay Mackerel. Having such delicious local produce on your doorstep really is one of the best parts of holidays in St Ives.
Even after dinner, the sun will still be warming Porthmeor Beach, getting ready for a pretty spectacular sunset so this needs to be the final port of call for the day! The central Porthmeor Beach takeaway often has Pimms on offer in the summer, so that is the go-to choice for us. If there is one thing you make sure you do when in St Ives, it is to watch a beautiful Cornish sunset! There really is nothing quite like it.