St. Ives Tourist Information and Tourism

(St. Ives, Cornwall, England, UK)

Photo of the coastlineWith a beautiful harbour and endless photo opportunities, the seaside town of St. Ives is one of the true treasures in Cornwall. Sited directly north of Penzance and lying on Cornwall's northern coastline, St. Ives has a thriving arts scene and artists have been coming here to paint the beautiful landscape for more than 200 years, including none other than Turner himself.

St. Ives harbour has become particularly tourist friendly and features many top waterfront attractions and eateries, while Carbis Bay tends to be a quieter and less developed area. During the summer months, St. Ives becomes especially busy as tourists arrive to soak up the sunshine. Tourism is a vital part of the town's economy today, so do make time to visit the St. Ives Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall, where staff offer advice to make sure that you enjoy your stay to the full.

Picture of the harbourfront

St. Ives Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

When it comes to summer holidays in Cornwall, St. Ives is an especially popular destination, thanks in no small part to its beautiful coastline and sumptuous sandy beaches. July and August is always a busy time for local hotels and guest houses, with demand only beginning to drop off in the early part of September. Many families favour St. Ives holiday cottages, which can provide surprisingly good value. If you are struggling to find decent self-catering accommodation, look further afield, in nearby Cornish towns and villages such as Camborne, Helston, Hayle, La Morna Cove, Marazion, Penzance, St. Buryan and St. Just. More information about St. Ives Hotels and Accommodation.

The coastline around the St. Ives area is stunning and a number of sandy beaches await, whatever the time of year. These beaches include Porthmeor Beach - a favourite of local surfers, Porthgwidden Beach - on the eastern side of town, Porthminster Beach - suiting families and featuring a nearby car park, and also Carbis Bay - a favourite with young children.

View showing the beachfrontThe chief tourist attractions in St. Ives include organised tours - a range of guided walking tours lead people around the most interesting sights in the St. Ives area, with experienced guides imparting a wealth of information and local knowledge; Paradise Park - with over 400 species of birds, including parrots, penguins, eagles and many endangered birds; Kidz R Us Theatre - a local youth-based theatre company with regular performances in a converted chapel; St. Ia's Church - a particularly historic landmark in the town of St. Ives, dating back to the early 1600s and dominating the area; and the 18th-century Knill Monument - built at the request of a rather eccentric mayor. More information about St. Ives Tourist Attractions and St. Ives Landmarks.

Photo showing the Tate GallerySeveral impressive museums and truly world-class art galleries are based around St. Ives and include the Wayside Folk Museum - celebrating the heritage of nearby Zennor village, with mining exhibits and a recreation of a miller's cottage; St. Ives Museum - brimming with information about the town's past, including many local relics; Tate Gallery St. Ives - boasting stunning beach views and offering an excellent collection of truly world-class paintings; and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden - famous for its rather organic and contemporary pieces, and also its subtropical plants. More information about St. Ives Museums and St. Ives Art Galleries.

Aerial image of the harbour areaTourist attractions around the town of St. Ives include many appealing towns and villages, such as Penzance - with sandy beaches alongside traditional Georgian architecture, close to St. Michael's Mount; Camborne - a large town of the eastern side of St. Ives, with a rich mining history; Marazion - offering a superb beachfront and marshy district often frequented by bird watchers; Land's End - a famous area close to St. Ives and now home to the Legendary Land's End theme park; and also Sennen - a charming cliff-top village with an exceptional beach with strong waves suitable for surfing. More information about St. Ives Attractions Nearby.

More St. Ives Information / Fast Facts and Orientation