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Top Things to Do in St Ives

St Ives may be small but it’s spectacularly beautiful and you’ll be amazed by how much there is to do. Whilst surrounded by four stunning sandy beaches, St Ives also boasts a great food scene and is the perfect base to explore the rest of Cornwall. Read on for the top things to do in the area.

St Ives by Coastal Path

There is no better way to travel to St Ives from The Gannet than to walk along the stunning South West Coast Path. This very gentle stroll travels above the railway line, with spectacular views over St Ives Bay. You'll forget that you're still in the UK as you marvel at the turquoise waters below. Did you know that the South West Coast Path ranks alongside New Zealand’s Milford Track, Chile’s Torres del Paine trek and Alaska’s Chilkoot Trail as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring hikes, according to Lonely Planet?

St Ives by Train

Just a short walk from the The Gannet is one of the most scenic rail routes in Cornwall. If you don't fancy the two-mile walk along the South West Coast Path, the St Ives Branch line takes you directly into the heart of the town without the hassle of trying to find a parking space. Top Tip: If you can, sit on the right-hand side of the train when you get on at Carbis Bay. The views out across the sea are simply stunning!

Tate St Ives

Inspiring art and breath-taking scenery meet at Tate St Ives. The iconic gallery overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and showcases some of the best-loved British artworks of the twentieth century alongside an ever-changing programme of exhibitions embracing the best of British and International modern and contemporary art.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important twentieth-century artists. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display in the museum and garden, along with paintings, drawings and archive material.

Seal Island

Located approximately 3.5 miles west of St Ives, Seal Island is home to a colony of grey seals. Boat trips are run on a daily basis from the harbour. On arriving at seal island visitors can get fairly close to the seals and generally soak up the scenery. The boat trips operate throughout the day during the season (in good weather), departing from whichever point in the harbour the tide allows. And it's not just seals; on the right day, there is a whole host of other wildlife to be spotted on this sea safari.

St Ives Harbour

St Ives is still very much a working port and from the beach you can watch local fishermen landing their daily catches of fresh seafood like mackerel and bass and the town’s Lifeboat Station, situated on the harbour for over 100 years, is open to the visitors during the summer season. Top Tip: Seagulls love ice cream and pasties. Shield your food when walking along the quays or sitting on the harbour beach.

Shopping in St Ives

There is a wonderful mix of independent art galleries, bookstores, craft shops, bespoke gift shops and Cornish produce outlets. Discover hidden gem galleries and artist studios where you can find paintings, jewellery and ceramics.