Welcome to St.Ives Cottages
This is St. Ives, one of the most famous holiday towns in Cornwall - a jewel situated at the south-western tip of this island kingdom yet readily accessible by road, rail and air. Crystal blue waters, the surf, the golden sands, year round sub-tropical temperatures and the warmth of the local welcome.
Today, as for centuries before, life centres around the harbour where fishing boats still moor alongside granite piers, their catch being sent around the world and earning an enviable reputation for its quality and variety in some of the finest restaurants.
The annual Harbour Day revives the hustle and bustle and creates a carnival atmosphere. Radiating from the harbour into the old town is a maze ofnarrow cobbled streets, lined by fishermen's cottages, many with the original steps to the first floor doorway. The ground floor would have been an open cellar housing fishing nets, boats and pilchard presses. Steep sloping passageways and secret corners conceal unexpected delights at almost every turn.
Take a leisurely walk along some of the miles of coastal footpath, perhaps to Lelant and soak up the sounds and images of the mythical and rugged land. Take the opportunity to return by branch line train along what has been described as one of the most spectacular railway journeys in Britain as the track hugs the edge of the cliff in a spectacular feat of Victorian engineering. Enjoy the view across to Godrevy Lighthouse, immortalised by the novelist Virginia Woolf, or take a short boat trip to watch seals basking on the rocks in the sunshine. St. Ives has something that will appeal to everyone, young or old.
St. Ives during the summer months is a blaze of colour. Radiating from the harbour, its maze of narrow cobbled streets are filled with flowers - not particularly surprising for a town which regularly wins the 'Britain in Bloom' competition. A mild climate, warmed by the gulf stream and almost frost-free winters makes it possible to grow plants and shrubs normally native to semi-tropical countries hundreds of miles further south.
As well as its tradition of fishing, St. Ives is world famous as an art centre and studios, shops and galleries are everywhere.The Tate St. Ives, part of the Tate Gallery in London, was opened in 1993 and is, perhaps, the flagship of Cornish art.
The Gallery's inspirational building stands high above the magnificent surfing beach of Porthmeor and features exhibitions which represent the modern 'St. Ives School' of painters such as Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Sir Terry Frost as well as a changing programme of other contemporary work. Also part of the Tate Gallery is the Barbara Hepworth Museum, a lasting memorial to the great sculptress who lived and worked in St. Ives at her Trewyn Studio. Her workshop has been carefully preserved and the gardens and house contain many examples of her work and some of her finest pieces.
As night falls at the end of another perfect day, St. Ives comes alive - with bars restaurants and cafés to suit every pocket and every taste in a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. And finally as the disappearing sun paints the sea and sky in glorious pink, it is time to plan what to do tomorrow. One thing though is for certain, whether it is time to relax or inspire, or for the mystery and romance, St. Ives has nothing but the finest holiday ingredients.