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Things to do in St Ives

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Discover the best things to do in St Ives using our guide

If you are wondering what to do in St Ives, then our compact guide to all the best things to do has you covered!

Enjoying a prime position on the Cornish coastline is the ever-beautiful St Ives. Complete with an idyllic harbour, a maze of cobbled streets and alleyways and an extensive collection of galleries, there is certainly a plethora of great things to do in St Ives.

Beaches in St Ives

One of the best things to do in St Ives is catching some waves at one of the many beaches this narrow peninsula plays host to! Despite being a relatively small coastal town, St Ives offers an inordinate amount of beaches that are considered some of the best beaches in Cornwall. Positioned in the shadow of the iconic Tate St Ives gallery is the bustling Porthmeor Beach, which is a popular destination for surfing and swimming, whilst Porthminster Beach offers exceptional views of Godrevy Lighthouse. Other beaches near St Ives include; Gwithian Towans Beach and Carbis Bay Beach, both offering more peaceful moments, away from the usual hustle and bustle of a coastal resort.

Attractions in St Ives

Choose to spend each morning exploring the pretty harbour, littered with eateries and cafés before treating yourself to a spot of retail therapy with a visit to Fore Street. Another great thing to do in St Ives is to visit the Tate St Ives gallery. The recently remodelled and extended gallery offers visitors the chance to explore numerous interesting and innovative exhibitions of modern art and is one of the top things to do in St Ives. Those with children can look forward to a day out at Paradise Park, whilst those seeking more culture can pay a visit to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden.

Activities in St Ives

In addition to great surfing and watersport opportunities on the local beaches, you will find a number of great things to do in St Ives that the entire family can get involved with. Boat trips to Seal Island is a popular activity for many when visiting this part of Cornwall, offering a great opportunity to get up close to a colony of grey seals. On this excursion, you can also look forward to views of the rugged coastline and Porthmeor Beach, as well as a whole host of other fascinating wildlife!

Continue reading to discover more great things to do in St Ives…

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  • Bamaluz Beach

    Bamaluz Beach

    Wheal Dream
    St Ives
    TR26 1PR

    Nestled between St Ives harbour and Porthgwidden beach, this hidden gem offers visitors a peaceful haven for dog walking, paddling and boat watching.

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  • Barbara Hepworth
    Image Credits: Rowena Ford(CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

    Barnoon Hill
    St Ives
    TR26 1AD


    Visit the home and studio of renowned artist Barbara Hepworth and get up close to the works she crafted, exactly where she left them.

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  • Harbour at St Ives

    Barnoon Workshop St Ives

    Saint Ives
    TR26 1JF

    07900 095203

    Make the most of the legendary light in St Ives by putting pencil to paper and recreating your favourite scenery.

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  • Beach Cafe Bar

    Wharf Road
    St Ives
    TR26 1LF

    01736 793737

    A laidback, harbourside eatery with indoor and outdoor seating. Serving coffee, brunch, daily specials and a range of drinks.

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  • Cadson Bury
    Image Credits: Tony Atkin(CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Cadson Bury Hill Fort National Trust

    Cadson Bury Hill Fort National Trust
    St Ives
    PL17 7HL

    Complete this hill walk to the Iron Age univallate hillfort at its peak and panoramic woodland views.  

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  • Caffe Pasta, St Ives

    Caffe Pasta

    Caffe Pasta
    The Wharf
    St Ives
    TR26 1PG

    01736 798899

    Stone-baked pizzas, pasta and daily specials make this modern Italian restaurant nestled on the harbourside a popular choice in St Ives.

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  • Carbis Bay Beach

    Carbis Bay Beach

    Dog Friendly

    A pretty seaside resort set among a wooded cliff, with large stretches of golden sand, making it the ideal location for a tranquil rest.

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  • Godrevy Lighthouse

    Godrevy Lighthouse
    TR27 5ED

    Visitors will marvel at the construction of this 19th-century build and its position at the edge of the Atlantic.

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  • Gurnard’s Head

    St Ives
    TR26 3DE

    Uncover historic remains and take in breathtaking coastal views at this prominent Cornish headland.

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  • Gwithian Towans Beach

    Gwithian Towans Beach

    Dog Friendly

    Parking Available

    The beach, backed by an appealing row of sand dunes, is a popular destination for surfers with a great Atlantic swell providing exceptional all year round conditions.

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