Plan your Christmas in St Ives

St Ives is a magical all year around, but there is truly something special about Christmas here!

Where to stay?

Where to start?

Have you booked to stay for Christmas yet? Are you unsure whether it will feel as festive here in St Ives as it does at home? What can you expect? Don’t worry! When staying with us,  the Orange Roofs Christmas elves are here to help and answer all of your questions about our St Ives holiday cottages.

The first step is finding the right place for you in St Ives. Deciding whether you’d like it to be dog friendly, have a wood burner, parking, sea views, outside space is always a great place to start. Our St Ives holiday cottages come with a whole range of these amenities so we are sure we can help you find something to tick on your ‘Christmas in St Ives’ checklist.

If you’re looking for somewhere out of the centre of St Ives, take a look at our other properties below!

Will the cottage be decorated?
One of our favourite things about our St Ives holiday cottages at Christmas is how festive they are!  Each of our properties is decorated for the month of December and it even makes the least festive of us get in the Christmas spirit. The level of decoration varies from property to property, so if you are looking for something specific, get in touch and we can gladly help you with any questions. But, rest assured, they all come with their own Christmas sparkle.

Can I make a Christmas dinner in our cottage?
If you’re staying in one of our St Ives holiday cottages, you can expect to find a fully equipped kitchen ready to cook up a Christmas storm! When we cook a Christmas dinner, we do find ourselves using every single pot, pan, dish and tray we can find. Even the ones that have only been used just the once; last Christmas! So, if you are looking for a specific item or number of dishes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will gladly let you know exactly what is in the property and help you plan your Christmas cooking day!

How can we help?
Christmas is such a special time of year for many and we appreciate how important it is to get it right for everyone. We know each of our holiday cottages in St Ives very well and are just a short walk away from them if there are any questions you want to know the answer to before booking. No question is too small for us and in the lead up to your festive stay we are more than happy to help. If you have anything you’d like to discuss or know about any of our holiday cottages in St Ives, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the following:

Email –
Phone Number – 01736 806100
Website –

Festive Activities

Explore St Ives Christmas Lights
The St Ives Christmas Lights are now on and they make a truly magical affair! The official launch is on 07/12/22 so expect more sparkles to come, but we went for a festive walk around and below is a little virtual tour!

Fore Street
We simply had to start at Fore Street our favourite of them all! The Fore Street lights have us making continuous detours on our walks home, we simply can’t keep away. They’re wonderfully mesmerising and add so much sparkle to the dark winter nights. Think of it as the St Ives Christmas version of the ‘yellow brick road’!

Market Place
The Market Place is impossible to miss. The building has a flood of golden lights engulfing the top half of it and looks like a Christmas ornament in itself. If you’re like us, you’ll most likely find yourself walking around the building about 10 times before you’re satisfied you’ve seen every light!

Royal Square
Finally, before heading back home, we stopped off at Royal Square. There is a fan of golden lights that spreads from the bus station all the way over to the cinema. What was the busiest spot for buses in the summer has now become a wonderfully peaceful and festive place to sit and enjoy the lights.



Go out to eat with the best views of the Christmas lights

If you’re on holiday at one of our St Ives holiday cottages that has a sea view over the harbour front, you may not even need to leave the comfort of your own living room to enjoy some of the Christmas lights, but if you can’t, not to worry, here are some of the best places to see them!

Talay Thai
Talay Thai is an absolute favourite in St Ives. They have exceptional food, cocktails, and views! Their large floor to ceiling windows give you exclusive and uninterrupted views of the Harbour, being able to see from pier to pier and having an amazing view of the Christmas lights.

Hub St Ives
A long term establishment on the St Ives harbour. Hub St Ives will most likely be boasting its own display of Christmas decorations but with great views of the harbour itself, it is an excellent spot to see the St Ives Christmas lights for yourself.

Rum & Crab Shack
The Rum and Crab Shack transports you into feeling like you’re in an ancient pirate ship with cosy low lights and great views across the harbour front. To enjoy the festive lights from pier to pier, this is another fantastic spot.

Porthminster Kitchen
Porthminster Kitchen is a sister restaurant to Porthminster Beach Cafe in St Ives and it’s an excellent addition to St Ives’ harbour front. You can expect both amazing views and food, what’s not to love!? On a cool but dry evening, sitting outside on their balcony whilst looking at the Christmas lights, it’s an evening very well spent!

Balcony Bar & Kitchen
The Balcony is a long standing establishment on the St Ives harbour and it will have you feeling especially festive both on the inside and out. They have floor to ceiling windows almost the entire way around the building so you’ll find it easy to pick the best spot for enjoying a mulled wine and the festive harbour lights.





Enjoy the Father Christmas Experience

Now, it isn’t the most conventional form of transport for Father Christmas, but on 07/12/22 he will be arriving at St Ives with the help of the RNLI at 6.30pm! He’ll then parade around St Ives in his sleigh, meeting the St Ives ‘Local Hero’ in Royal Square for the official launch of the Christmas lights.

On 10/12/22 in St Ives, it will be ‘Super Saturday’ meaning Santa will be heading back to St Ives for the day. You will find him at the St Ives Library in his grotto and there will be a whole array of events taking place throughout St Ives, such as street entertainers, the Christmas window competition and then the lantern parade that begins from 5.30 pm.

Christmas lights on Fore Street St Ives

What to do on Christmas Day?

Whether you’re coming to stay in a St Ives holiday cottage over Christmas as a tradition or to break tradition, you won’t be short of things to do on Christmas Day. Of course, there is the wonderful option of staying in your pyjamas all day, watching Christmas TV and eating until your heart is content, we fully endorse that too!

For those looking for something a little different, have a read below:

Christmas and Boxing Day Sea Swim

Before Covid, sea swims were an annual tradition across the festive period, often for a great charitable cause. Of course, Christmas of 2020 was incredibly different and difficult for many. However, this year it seems like things are on track to be a little more ‘normal’ so Christmas Sea Swims may well be back on the cards! St Ives usually hosts a Boxing Day swim at Porthminster Beach so we will be certainly keeping our ears out for any updates with this.

If there is not an announcement of an organised Sea Swim, why not do your own!? Whether you’re in St Ives with family or friends, clear the Christmas cobwebs and take a plunge into the sea! Of course, the beaches are not life guarded over Christmas so make sure you check-out our Beach Safety in St Ives guide . 

Christmas Day at the Sloop Inn

The Sloop Inn is one of the oldest pubs in St Ives, standing on the harbour since 1312 and is one of favourite places to visit on Christmas Day. There is no better sense of community than when you are walking along the wharf to see this age old pub full to the brim with happy festive faces. The Sloop Inn opens its door to visitors in the morning and come midday you’ll see friends and families all coming together for a mulled wine, enjoying each others company and the wonderful views the St Ives harbour has to offer. Make sure you’re sporting your best Christmas jumper for some extra fun!

Christmas Day walks in St Ives

If this is your first Christmas in St Ives, we would definitely recommend heading out for a leisurely stroll, even if it is just to your favourite beach (especially if you’re with your dog!). We think you may be surprised by how many happy faces you’ll see out and about on Christmas Day. On what many would assume to be a very quiet day, the towns sense of community and Christmas Spirit shines through! On Christmas Day for us, we aren’t out for hours but we love to have a stroll along the beaches and the harbour front to get some fresh sea air and see the buzz of the town.

Where to shop in St Ives at Christmas?

Supporting a small independent store this Christmas will make a truly wonderful impact on someones day, week or even year! Below are a few of our favourite places to shop over the festive period, but trust us, you’ll be sure to find some of your own festive favourites too!

The St Ives Company

The St Ives Company is a brilliant independent store on Fore Street. It has been set up and run by three sisters and, this Christmas, they have a whole array of delights for you. All of their produce is locally sourced, designed and made, meaning they too are supporting other great little businesses. You can even purchase their own design of wrapping paper and Christmas decorations, we simply love them!

They also appreciate that picking out presents can be a very difficult task, especially after a good few hours of shopping. To help overcome this, they have beautiful bespoke Christmas hampers that they know will put a smile on someones face!


Academy is a clothes and lifestyle store here in St Ives and if you manage to visit them without purchasing something for yourself instead of a gift for someone else, you have more will power than we do!

These two shops were set up and are still run by a local family and team offering a great range of hand chosen items in their shops. From Seven Stones beanies to Carharrt coats, Vans, New Balances, Raybans and so much more, it isn’t hard to find a really special gift here for some one. The team are also super-friendly and will always be happy to help with anything you need in store.

The Allotment Deli

Food is always one of the best ways to someones heart, especially Cornish food! We have used the Allotment Deli for numerous Christmas hampers over the years and they offer something beautifully Cornish and unique in each of them. You’ll find the hampers filled to the brim with Cornish cheeses, jams, chutneys, cakes, bread, mince pies, almost anything you can think of!

If you’re stuck for ideas, we’d recommend taking a stroll along Fore Street and going in and having a chat with one of the team. They’ll be more than happy to help you compile the perfect Christmas hamper.

CoCo Kitchen St Ives

Because who doesn’t love chocolate!? CoCo Kitchen is the perfect place to pick up some delicious festive treats. With 10 years of experience they are masters of their chocolatier craft here in St Ives. They make fantastic personalised chocolate so you can add your own personalised message for that special someone, or just pick up some festive themed goodies for you friends!

Little Goat Gruff

Little Goat Gruff is a family store that is committed to sourcing sustainable products for you to enjoy. If you’re looking for a great present for a little person, this shop is the place for you, but they don’t stop there, they also have a lovely range of home and lifestyle goodies too. When looking for toys, it can sometimes feel a little wasteful purchasing endless amounts of plastic, however at Little Goat Gruff, their range of high quality wooden toys means you’re not wading through endless mounds of plastic but purchasing a sustainable and much loved gift instead.

Brocante, St Ives

Brocante has been a part of Fore Street since 2018 and you’ll find it difficult to draw yourself away from its shop floor, especially at Christmas. It is a fantastic home and life style store that sells carefully chosen products and gifts, perfect for a Christmas stocking. Our personal favourites are the scented candles, we could buy hundreds!

Where to park?

If you are on holiday in Cornwall and are planning to do some Christmas shopping in St Ives, we recommend using the following car parks:

  • Island
  • Park Avenue
  • Porthmeor
  • Smeatons Pier
  • St Ives Train station
  • The Sloop Inn
  • St Ives leisure centre (Trenwith)



Time to get booking!

So there we have it! Hopefully that has helped you plan your Christmas in St Ives and get you excited for all things festive. If you haven’t booked yet, be sure to check out St Ives holiday cottages following this link!

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