Self-catering holidays in St Ives

Holidays in the UK, otherwise known as staycations, can offer couples, friends and families so much compared to flying abroad to not-so-guaranteed-warmer climates! We wanted to share with you some benefits of self-catering holidays to St Ives so you can see just why so many people come back year after year.

St Ives beaches

There are 5 beaches to enjoy when on holiday to St Ives. Each of the beaches have fine grains of white sand that gently roll into the most blue/ turquoise sea, much like the Maldives and we even have palm trees! The beaches are called

  • Porthmeor
  • Porthgwidden
  • Bamaluz
  • Porthminster
  • St Ives Harbour

Whatever the wind direction, there is always a sheltered spot for safe bathing. If it’s waves you want, head straight to Porthmeor beach. The beaches are all family-friendly with Porthmeor and Porthminster being the centres for surf lessons, kayak hire, SUP board hire or lessons. Being tidal, the beaches get smaller when the tide is in but Porthmeor and Porthminster beaches still provide plenty of sand to sit on or walk the dog even at high tide. Bamaluz beach disappears entirely at high tide and there are smaller areas to sit and watch the world go by on Porthgwidden and the Harbour beaches. The RNLI Lifeguards are on Porthmeor and Porthminster beaches from Easter to October offering a sense of safety to families coming on holiday for some beach fun during the school holidays. The beaches all allow dogs to be walked on them with some summer restrictions before 10 am in the morning and after 6 pm in the evening.

We have a gorgeous selection of holiday cottages in St Ives very close to all these beaches where some are within 20 metres of the front door! We try to provide as many dog-friendly holiday cottages in St Ives as those that don’t accept them because we know how important it is to have your dog on a staycation with you!


Food and drink

Fresh seafood, craft gin, beer and cider, raw sea salt and caramel chocolate, organic vegetables grown on coastal allotments, cows and pigs grazed on lush fields close to the sea and salty air providing the tastiest of steaks and pork dishes, artisan bakeries and ice-cream parlours and so much more is on offer in St Ives. You could stay in St Ives for 3 weeks and not visit the same eatery! The choice of places to eat in St Ives is incredible with them all offering locally produced food or boat-to-shore catch-of-the-day dishes unrivalled by any other coastal town in Cornwall. Whether it’s vegan burgers, mussels in white wine sauce, kippers for breakfast, the freshest of steaks or fish and chips using the freshest of fish caught that day, you could easily go home a few stone heavier. That’s where St Ives can help, it is built on a hill that rolls down to the sea. If you stay in cottages in St Ives, you may they are half-way up a hill which means calories consumed versus calories burned is evened out!

Where to eat in St Ives can be a dilemma for many as there is only a limited number of nights on holiday and so choosing the best places to eat in St Ives to suit the whole family can be difficult.

We have made it easier for you by including a section in our St Ives Guide dedicated to Food and Drink. We recommend booking many weeks ahead of your holiday if visiting between Easter and October half term. By not booking, you may face disappointment. St Ives doesn’t become a ghost town after the last of the school holidays in October, in fact November, December, January, February and March can be a real delight for those wishing to have a less-crowded experience. You will find many of the eateries remain open for business all year round. Having said that, there a small minority of places that close in January so it’s best to call ahead to your favourite restaurant choice to make sure they will be open.

Things to do

The obvious thing to do when on holidays to St Ives is get in or on the water.

  • Take lessons from seasoned surf instructors and perfect standing up and riding a wave
  • When the sea is flat and mirror-like, try the more sedate (but no less physically rewarding) activity of stand-up paddle boarding
  • If you don’t fancy getting wet but want to be close to the sea, kayaking is the best way to explore the coastline with its sheltered coves from the off-shore perspective
  • Take an organised boat trip from St Ives harbour and visit Seal Island, Godrevy Lighthouse and old shipwreck sites along the west and north coast of St Ives
  • The town has galleries galore to mooch around showcasing incredible pieces of art on canvas but also pottery, jewellery, sculptures, ceramics and textiles. Each space offers calm and serenity, we love to pass an hour or two seeing what is new in galleries along Fore Street, The Tate St Ives and in Downalong. It’s definitely worth taking a something special home with you as a reminder of your holidays in St Ives.
  • St Ives School of Painting
  • Tarquin’s Gin School
  • CoCo Kitchen
  • and St Ives Pottery all run classes for those holiday-makers that want to get their hands dirty and make something delicious or to be proud of as a memento of time spent in St Ives. It is fun for all the family (but perhaps don’t take the kids to the gin school!).
  • Kidz R Us theatre is thoroughly entertaining for all members of the family
  • follow the piskie fairy tale-telling Shanty Barber around St Ives and learn the (possibly) credible folklore tales that will have you seeing St Ives in an entirely different light. Mermaids, giants, fairies, piskies, smugglers, pirates, you name it, St Ives has seen it!

There is so much to do and see in St Ives that to write about all of it in this article would take a very long time. We have already written a thorough Guide to St Ives with an entire section of Things to Do in St Ives so put the kettle on and make a plan of all the things you and your family would love to try while on holiday.

Places to Visit In St Ives

Holidays to St Ives in Cornwall will inevitably draw you to the beaches and the sea but there are some places we recommend you add to your holiday inventory so as not to get fear of missing out blues!
  • The Tate St Ives
  • The Leach Pottery
  • Barbara Hepworth Museum
  • St Nicholas’ Chapel
  • The Malakoff
  • The Little Green Door…

These are just a few places we think you should find time to see when staying in St Ives. Most cottages in St Ives are in the Downalong area, which is the lower part of the town closest to the sea and all these places we suggest. Walking around St Ives is most often on the flat and there is always a bench along the way to rest and simply take in the views. At The Malakoff and St Nicholas’ Chapel, we recommend taking a coffee and lunch as the views are spectacular. For more tips on Places To Visit in St Ives, have a browse of Orange Roofs’ St Ives Guide where suggestions are pin pointed on the map and also web addresses and telephone numbers are easily accessed.

Climate in Cornwall

Being in the far southwest of Cornwall, St Ives has a very special climate. When the rest of the UK is having harsh minus-temperature frosts, St Ives is usually 14 degrees! That much is seen with the rich variety of exotic plants that grow and thrive along our coast and inland. The light in St Ives draws artists and those that need a very important pick-me-up. There is a magical glow to our days here where you leave after your holiday feeling regenerated and relaxed.

Cottages in St Ives

Whether it's the traditional fisherman's cottage or the modern apartment with extraordinary sea views, self-catering in St Ives is vast and varied and so there is plenty of choice for families, loved-up couples on honeymoon, groups of friends or weekenders wanting a shot of sunshine and a taste of the sea.

When booking a holiday cottage in St Ives these are the things you need to consider:

  • Do you want to be in Downalong or along the harbour front so you are closest to the beaches?
  • Where is the nearest public car park if the property doesn’t come with parking?
  • Will you prefer to be in a quieter area of the town to avoid nightlife noises?
  • Want to bring your dog? Check out the beach restrictions
  • If travelling by electric car, you will need to know where the nearest EV charger is
  • Where are the nearest supermarkets and do they deliver?
  • Where is the best place to be for sea views?
  • Which roads are one-way and which ones aren’t suitable for large cars?
  • Travelling by train? Where can you leave your luggage if the property is not ready for you?

We live here and so can help with all of those questions and so many more, so please give a member of Orange Roofs team a call on 01736 806100 and we will happily spend the time to help you.

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