Autumn breaks in Cornwall

If you prefer to have your St Ives holidays out of season, we won’t need to woo you with how fantastic it is to visit St Ives and Cornwall in the autumn months. If you’re new to visiting outside of the peak weeks, have a look below and see just how wonderful visiting Cornwall in the autumn can be.

Explore Cornwall

It may be a little cooler and get dark slightly earlier, but no matter the weather or time of year, taking your holidays in St Ives and exploring Cornwall will take your breath away (and not just because of the wind!).

Something that locals and visitors alike love to do when it is a little quieter is head out to the areas that you may have avoided in the busier months. What’s our reason for doing this? Well, as we all know, travelling around when it is very busy, on the small Cornish roads can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task, but in autumn there is a noticeable difference, so it makes for the perfect time to head out and explore further afield.

Secondly, parking! A lot of the amazing places we’d encourage you to visit and explore mean a bit of a drive, finding a parking space and finally taking the next steps on foot. It is really worth getting your walking shoes on and experiencing it for yourself and, when there is more convenient parking, it makes the slightly more laborious part of the adventure that little more exciting. Parking in St Ives and Cornwall can be quite tricky in the summer, but come autumn, it quietens down and makes exploring easier and a lot less stressful.

Finally, autumn is the best time of year to visit Cornwall if you have a dog. If you usually visit in summer and stay in a dog friendly holiday cottage in St Ives, perhaps by one of St Ives’ beaches, sadly you can’t take your dog out to enjoy it because of the seasonal beach bans, that is all negated out of season; your dog is able to frolic on the beaches, unrestricted, and they really do love it!

Below are some of our favourite places to visit out of season:

Porthcurno Beach
Porthcurno beach is an iconic landmark in Cornwall. It is known for it is tropical looking sand and sea, picturesque cliff face and being home to the Minack Theatre.

St Michaels Mount
You may have seen this spectacular ‘castle in the sea’ in many photos but nothing compares to seeing it for yourself. We certainly recommend checking out the tide times and take the ancient walk across the causeway to St Michaels Mount.

Land’s End
A visit to Land’s End in autumn is sure to put some air in your lungs. The breathtaking views will leave you speechless and there is something really special about standing on the the most westerly point of mainland England and taking it what feels like the purest of air.

The Eden Project
The distinguished Biomes that make up the Eden Project have been a huge part of the Cornish landscape for many years and we feel very proud to have an establishment like this on Cornish soil! Explore the Mediterranean and tropic biomes whilst learning about and supporting a great environmental cause.

Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a sister establishment to the Eden Project and it exudes beauty! There are ample activities at these gardens over the autumn including plant sales, pumpkin carving and Halloween trick or treats.

Kynance Cove
This is certainly a beach for the adventurous. Reaching the sand on this beach  is tide dependent, so if you’re looking to venture to the water’s edge, check the tide times first. However, the views from the top of the cove with its turquoise blue waters and impressive rock stacks can be enjoyed as and when you please.

Mousehole is a picturesque fishing village, just a short drive from Penzance, and it is truly something out of a painting (most likely because it has been the subject of many!). With an old Cornish harbour surrounded by delicious restaurants and cafes, it makes for a great day out.


Explore beaches in St Ives

We’re never short of things to do in St Ives when we have these beaches on our doorstep. Each of them offers something beautifully unique to our seaside town, all year round!

St Ives Harbour Beach
Probably one of the most painted beaches in Cornwall, the St Ives harbour beach is a must visit in autumn! As this is an operating harbour, in wind, rain and shine, there is always something to see. From the fishing boats bobbing around to the iconic arches filling as the tide rises. It is the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by.

Toilets – No
Cafe/Takeaway – No
Parking – No
Dog friendly? – Yes, from 1 July to 31 August, dog access is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm

This beach is in the centre of St Ives so toilets, food and parking is easily accessible, just short walk away.

Bamaluz Beach
Perhaps one of the lesser known beaches, Bamaluz sits in a small cove just behind the harbour arches, before you reach Porthgwidden. The beach itself is very much impacted by the tide but it is a great dog friendly beach in a central location, so grab a coffee and head on down!

Toilets – No
Cafe/Takeaway – No
Parking – No
Dog friendly? – Yes, all year round

You are just a short walk into the centre of St Ives so toilets, food and parking is easily accessible, just a short walk away.

Porthgwidden Beach
Porthgwidden is one of the smaller beaches in St Ives, but in no way less impressive! This beach sits just below The Island and is east-facing, meaning you’re usually very sheltered and in a sun trap, perfect for a cooler autumn’s day.

Toilets – Yes
Cafe/Takeaway – Yes
Parking – Yes
Dog friendly – Yes, from 1 July to 31 August, dog access is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm

Porthmeor Beach
We could stop and speak a thousand words (or more!) about Porthmeor Beach, but we’ll keep it short! You’ll find many a happy face strolling along the sand on Porthmeor during autumn, whether you’re prowling the shore for sea glass or sipping a hot chocolate whilst watching the waves.

Toilets – Yes
Cafe/Takeaway – Yes
Parking – Yes
Dog friendly? – Yes, from 15 May to 30 September, dog access is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm

Porthminster Beach
Porthminster is a wonderfully romantic beach all year round. In the summer and spring you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of someone’s wedding or a newly-wed happy couple enjoying a stroll along the white sand. This magic doesn’t disappear in autumn, whether it’s a friend,  your family, a partner or your dog, take your loved ones for a stroll on this special beach!

Toilets – Yes
Cafe/Takeaway – Yes
Parking – Yes
Dog friendly? – Yes, from 15 May to 30 September, dog access is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm


If you’re feeling especially brave, an autumn dip in the sea is an absolute must! Whether you’re going to head in for a swim in a wetsuit or face the elements and have a quick dunk in your trunks or costume! Be sure to have a read of our beach safety guide so this can be done safely.


We can’t carry on talking about the amazing things Cornwall has to offer without mentioning all the fantastic food we have!

In the summer months, some may find it a little too busy when eating out, but come the autumn, it is the perfect time to go out and find all the best places to eat in Cornwall!

Another fantastically foodie element to eating out in Cornwall in the autumn is the use of seasonal ingredients. We are fortunate to have an abundance of local farms, fisherman, bakers, all providing us with the freshest, local and seasonal ingredients which restaurants adapt their menu to suit. You can truly taste autumn in the dishes!

Follow the links below to all of our top recommended restaurants:

Food & Views
Autumnal weather in Cornwall can be wild and wonderful, but not always the best for eating alfresco! Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the glorious Cornish landscape and good food at the same time. Checkout our article ‘Restaurants with a view’ to see our favourite spots that can offer equally as impressive food and views this autumn!

Tasty Street Food
When it is a little colder, we find ourselves on the move a lot more than when we are bathing in the August sun (if it makes an appearance that is!). When exploring, knowing the best street food spots will certainly help you plan your day and it will make the walks worth it knowing you have some seriously delicious food on the way! Have a look at our top recommendations – Street Food lunches 

Burger Joints
It is a known fact that in the cold, you’re burning more calories, which means it is no time for salad! We’re really lucky to have some astounding burger joints here in St Ives and having visited them all ourselves, we know that they’ll warm you to the bone! Have a look and try them for yourself this autumn – Burger Joints

Child friendly eateries
Because the family certainly needs to be fed all year round, not just the summer holidays! It is so important to make sure your dining out experience is fun and relaxing for all, especially when picnics on the beach might not be an option. With a number of little ones in our own families, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite places to check out which cook delicious food for both adults and the little ones 
Child friendly eateries guide.

Best Breakfasts

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and we couldn’t agree more! Especially with the fantastic options we have in and around St Ives. If you’re preparing for a day of outdoor adventures or you simply fancy a long and leisurely start to your morning after catching a glimpse of an autumn sunrise, we’ve got you! Here are our favourite breakfast locations for you to enjoy – Best breakfasts


Waldorf Salad starter

Autumn Activities

A few of our favourite things to do in St Ives and Cornwall

There are so many ways to enjoy an autumnal day in Cornwall but we will share with you a few of our favourites!

Beach Walks & Hot Chocolates 

You may hear this a lot from us but we simply can’t help it! Walking along the shores in Cornwall with the sea mesmerising you by its energy and beauty plus hopefully its a cool day with some glorious sunshine, there is truly nothing that makes it better than a hot chocolate in hand. Luckily for you, we’ve already made a list of our top 5 hot chocolate spots in Cornwall.

Pumpkin picking!

Yes, you heard us right, we love pumpkin picking in autumn. Trevaskis Farm or Splattenridden Farm are the best places to head for this and whether you’re picking them for some serious artistic carving or a delicious recipe, there’ll be the perfect one for you. Crunching through the straw fields racing to get the best pumpkin is always an autumn day well spent for us.

Watch the best sunrise

Finally, in autumn, we can get up early enough to see the sunrise. Sunrises over Cornish beaches are something very special and the fact they happen that little bit later in autumn means that we can be awake and by the sea ready to watch them! If you’re staying with us in St Ives, make sure you set you alarm and go for a stroll over to Porthminster, our favourite beach to watch the sun rise.

Special Events

St Ives Christmas Lights 
Ok so, we know that it is quite early to be mentioning the ‘C’ word, but it has become a little bit of a trend here in St Ives to launch the Christmas lights at the end of October and everyone loves it! Turning the lights on at the end of October, just before the half-term ends, and all the school kids head back until the Christmas break, has proven a huge hit and really does get you in the spirit (albeit a month early!).

This year the lights will be having a ‘soft launch’ on 29/10/21. This means they will be turning on but without all of the Christmas frills, that is for a little later in the year.

St Ives always feels like a pretty magical town but when the Christmas lights turn on, it feels like something out of a fairytale. If you’re in St Ives on 29/10/21 or if you can make it over, wait until it is dark and then come and experience all the wonderfully twinkly lights for yourself.

Bonfire Night 2021

At the moment, it sadly seems that there are no scheduled fireworks for Bonfire Night this year in St Ives. We are keeping our eyes and ears peeled for anything that may happen on 05/11/21, but fear not, you won’t go without!

The Badger Inn, in St Erth, is hosting a ‘Halloween and Bonfire night’ extravaganza, to ensure that we won’t be missing out on the firework fun. Music will begin at 6pm, for the children there is a fancy dress competition that will have the winner announced at 6.30pm and then the bonfire will be lit at 7pm and for the grand finely, the fireworks will commence at 7.30pm.

All the ‘bonfire night’ favourites will be being served including hotdogs, burgers and our personal favourite, mulled cider! The Badger Inn will be donating all of the proceeds to The Children’s Hospice Southwest. It is great fun for a good cause!

What’s next?

Once you have filled your boots with all of the autumn fun you can have, it is time to start thinking about all things Christmas in St Ives and we can’t wait! There’ll be a lot of fun things coming up this winter, especially over the festive season so keep your eye out for some fun updates!

If you’re getting too excited and want to start getting in the festive spirit now take a look at some of our Christmas guides to get you in the mood:

Christmas shopping in St Ives

Supporting local businesses at Christmas

Christmas lunch in St Ives

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