Visit St Ives and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
St Ives, Cornwall, is a magnet for artists and for tourists. Its shape and situation are marvellous and, thanks partly to the artists, its old part remains mostly unspoilt.
In the 19th century it was among the most prosperous of Cornwall's many pilchard ports — 75 million fish, it is said, being taken in one day in 1864 — and copper and tin were shipped from it. Then, in the 1880s, just as these industries were declining, painters came and delighted in its clear light; others followed.
St Ives seems always to have been fairly anti-establishment. When, in 1497, the pretender Perkin Warbeck landed nearby, it proclaimed him King. In the Civil War it was for Parliament amid mainly Royalist neighbours. John Wesley found it a good source of converts, his effect reflected in street names like Teetotal and Salubrious Place.
The best part of the town is on the neck of land between the harbour and the grand surfing beach of Porthmeor. The streets here are narrow and steep, but there are good big car parks all round. Among the prettiest streets are Fore Street, the main street, which has excellent shops, Digey and Bethesda Hill, which are steep alleys, and Back Street East.
The church, mainly 15th-century, is of unusual brown Zennor granite. It is fine, if not outstanding, with excellent waggon roof and, in the Lady Chapel, a Madonna and Child by Barbara Hepworth, the sculptress, who lived in the town and was in 1968 awarded its freedom. Another of its distinguished artist residents was Bernard Leach.
A nice walk, particularly in the evening, is to the headland called Island topped by the little fishermen's Chapel of St Nicholas. There are grand, lonely views. The harbour beach has good sand.
The obtrusive monument on a hill behind the town was raised in 1782 at the expense of one John Knill, Mayor of St Ives, smuggler, and later a Gray's Inn bencher. He made it a condition of a bequest that once every five years on 25 July, ten little girls and two widows should dance round his monument to the music of the fiddle. This still happens.
Near Lelant, which is a pretty village, there is a good golf course.
From Trencrom Hill, 3 miles South, are splendid views over the Hayle estuary, South to St Michael's Mount and Newlyn, West to the high haunts of prehistoric man and tinners. On a good day it is said that 20 church towers are visible. An early Iron Age rampart surrounds the hill and is visible in places.
Nearby towns: Camborne, Hayle, Marazion, Newlyn, Penzance
Nearby villages: Botallack, Breage, Carbis Bay, Carleen, Crowan, Germoe, Gulval, Gwinear, Gwithian, Helston, Illogan, Lands End, Leedstown, Lelant, Lower Boscaswell, Ludgvan, Madron, Morvah, Mousehole, Newlyn, Paul, Pendeen, Perranuthnoe, Phillack, Pool, Porthleven, Portreath, Praze an Beeble, Sancreed, Sennen, Sennen Cove, St. Erth, St. Hilary, Towednack, Treen, Troon, Tuckingmill, Zennor
Have you decided to visit St Ives or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a St Ives bed and breakfast (a St Ives B&B or St Ives b and b)
- a St Ives guesthouse
- a St Ives hotel (or motel)
- a St Ives self-catering establishment, or
- other St Ives accommodation