It’s nearly that time of year again, Spring has officially now sprung at the beginning of March and that can only mean that we are steaming towards the first major school holidays of the year with the Easter holidays fast approaching !
Early signs of spring are upon us with daffodils and other spring flowers already making an appearance but with the recent cold artic weather that’s been around over the last few weeks we are of course hoping for some warmer sunnier weather ahead combined with longer days and lighter evenings to fully enjoy the Easter holidays.
Whatever the weather, we’re certain the ‘die-hard‘ holiday making Brits will be packing their bags accordingly! With the children & four legged friends well prepared to head off to this beautiful part of Cornwall.
Despite what the weather may bring, fear not , there are plenty of places to visit locally this Easter rain or shine !
Simply stay and explore the simple pleasures of St Ives
St Ives roaming & Beaches
We are totally spoiled for choice with several golden sandy beaches all within close walking distance of each other in St Ives.
The HARBOUR BEACH is the most central beach in St Ives and has become an iconic scenic backdrop to St Ives itself as it wraps itself around the pretty fishermen’s cottages, SMEATONS Pier where the ST IVES LIGHT HOUSE sits at the end and dominates the entrance to the pretty harbour. With the tide in, you have the picture postcard scenes of fishing boats bobbing around with local fishermen readying their boats for the days fishing ahead and the perfect place to see this is from the pier and if you time it well you can see them landing their catch too at the end of their trip. This is also a really good place to go crabbing when the tide is in and of course for the really energetic there’s always the allure of pier jumping … just check the depths and most definitely wear a wetsuit at this time of year !
When the tide is out then it’s the perfect opportunity to don your wellies , grab the children and dogs and go off to explore. Have a nosy really close up to the fishing boats which stand stranded until the next tide comes. Let your dogs off their leads and they too can tire themselves haring around with the kids in tow. When the tide goes right out it’s the perfect opportunity to walk across to the stunning PORTHMINSTER BEACH , sheltered and still bathing in all its glory days from a bygone era , you have one of the prettiest beaches to explore which extends right out to the far headland where you can always continue on the SOUTH WEST COAST path for a bracing half an hours walk to Carbis Bay beach where you will follow the railway track along the cliffs which is reputedly one of the most scenic short railway routes in the UK.
No visit to this area is complete without a pitstop to the iconic Porthminster Beach cafe , situated right on the beach where you can breakfast, lunch or dinner with the most incredible views or even grab a takeaway and enjoy your snack or drink on the beach if the weather allows .
DOG BAN – When exploring any of the beautiful beaches in St Ives please note there is a dog ban on all beaches except before 10am has after 6pm when your dogs can still roam free ! There is a very small tidal dog beach BAMALUZ, which has no restrictions , tucked away just below ST IVES MUSEUM – it’s a hidden gem & perfect for the dogs all year when the tide is out !
Just a few minutes walk the other side of the harbour you will find the world renowned beautiful surfing beach , PORTHMEOR BEACH, which faces directly out to the Atlantic Ocean . If you and your family or friends love water sports then look no further ! Fabulous surf with amazing rolling waves to be had and if you are keen on giving surfing a go then pop to ST IVES SURF SCHOOL right on the beach. Surf lessons daily and you can even book paddleboards , kayaks and for the very adventurous why not give Coasteering a go ! You are spoiled for choice here.
After you watery adventure you simply must stop in at the PORTHMEOR BEACH CAFE , which has the most amazing location overlooking the beach. Definitely book an outdoor heated pod and whatever the weather you can dine alfresco , undercover and with the added bonus of a cosy booth with your very own heated lamps ! Of course there is inside dining too with a super selection of food from breakfast right through to dinner. We can definitely recommend the tapas menu for lunch or dinner !
Finally just a short hop around the other side of the island you will find the small & very family oriented PORTHGWIDDEN BEACH- surrounded by pretty colourfully painted beach huts and very sheltered with lovely views out toward GODREVY LIGHT HOUSE . In the height of summer this small beach is ideal for the toddlers and once again has its very own PORTHGWIDDEN beach cafe ideal for breakfast , lunch & dinner with a takeaway hatch too!
St Ives culture
Keeping local still to St Ives and if you are feeling cultural why not visit the world famous TATE ART GALLERY which sits proudly overlooking Porthmeor beach.
There’s a great exhibition on at the moment of BARBARA HEPWORTH : ART & LIFE , which runs through to May 1st. Celebrate one of the most influential sculptors of the twentieth century .. booking ahead is recommended . After the exhibition if you are peckish or fancy a drink then popping up to the TATES top floor cafe is a must where there are stunning panoramic views to take in looking out across the beach to sea.
If you want a further fix of BARBARA HEPWORTH then take the 5 minute walk to the BARBARA HEPWORTH museum & sculpture garden.
Barbara Hepworth lived and worked in Trewyn Studios which has now become the museum . Well worth a visit to see the pretty gardens where her bronze sculptures are all on display, it really is a hidden gem and a tranquil escape from the hustle & bustle of St Ives .
If it’s a rainy day then carrying on with the cultural theme go and visit St Ives museum!
The museum has a wonderful location over looking the sea, set in the heart of the old St Ives fishing community of Downalong , housed in a building that was formerly a Pilchard curing cellar, which has also been a former chapel, laundry and even a cinema !
Learn much of St Ives former history such as being a major fishing port when catching & processing Pilchards was a huge business back in the day, a foundering place for Edward Hain had his steamship company , boat building and of course the local rich and former heritage mining industry – it’s an easy place to walk past and miss but a place that you should visit to learn and appreciate the foundations on which St Ives and it’s industry was built.
If museums aren’t for you … or maybe the kids want something exciting and interactive to do, then visiting the Leach Pottery is a must.
The famous pottery is a good ten minutes walk up the Stennack hill …. Or hop on a bus or grab a taxi from outside the cinema if you are feeling lazy ! Either way it’s a must visit destination this Easter. As well as the museum , the best part is booking onto a family class at the pottery . Over Easter have fun working with clay whether being inspired from the leach pottery standard ware egg cups or Michael leach’s salt & pepper pots or have a go at throwing pots on a potters wheel , fun for all the family. There’s even a ‘ spring trail ‘ over Easter where you can hunt for Easter eggs ! Come get messy this Easter , booking advisable.
Taking a break from sightseeing this Easter, cultural visits or beach combing , there’s also many lovely small independent shops to explore tucked away in the pretty cobbled Fore Street just one row behind the harbour front, with an incredible variety of shops , restaurants, cafes , restaurants and pubs and takeaways on offer which also continue out onto the harbour , so you can be assured you can shop until you drop and then refuel at one of the many eateries in and around St Ives … if you are wanting to eat alfresco just keep an eye out for the pesky local seagulls … and please do not feed them at any time … you might just regret that decision
If you need to take some ‘time out’ then St Ives has its very own Cinema where you & your family can see all of the new offerings in the film world on several screens , it’s situated next to the taxi rank just off Tregenna hill.
If you’ve really enjoyed what’s available in St Ives and wanted to explore a little further than St Ives then we would definitely recommend jumping into the car and heading out to mining country !
Venture out close to St Ives
Just a 25 minute car journey along the most beautiful scenic coast road towards LANDS END visiting GEEVOR is a must!
A very family friendly multi award winning heritage attraction and museum. GEEVOR MINE is set among wild and rugged landscape on the North Atlantic coast and was the last mine to work the famous St Just mining district , the site of the largest group of undersea mines in the world!
Open daily from 10am Families and children are able to explore the Wheal Mexico underground mine and walk through the tunnels that were made by men & boys two hundred years ago. The mine dates back to the 18th century and was a part of the tin and copper mining industry that dominated Cornwall for centuries.
GEEVOR runs events over Easter aimed at children and have plenty of things to do such as exploring the hole mining area , interactive museum , having a go at ‘ gold ‘ and gem panning in the mill and joining in the Hunting for tin trail – all the staff are very hands on and eager to help make your visit memorable. Please note well behaved dogs are welcome, and why not have lunch in their amazing cafe.
Once back above ground why not head off to another lovely local family attraction over at Hayle , just a ten minute drive from St Ives.
The perfect place for younger children especially as well as all the family. Paradise park is wildlife mad and has a fabulous indoor soft play area too
Having spent many early years taking my son here and his friends for a day out of exploring or merely to celebrate birthdays , I can’t recommend this place enough.
The whole park is set over several acres of farmland where you can see so many types of farm animals combined with a mini ‘ zoo like ‘ open plan feel to explore a huge variety ( over 1200 birds ) of birds and animals, from penguins to macaws , toucans and eagles to beautiful red pandas , minute donkeys, Pygmy goats , sheep and rabbits and a lovely enclosure of flamingos too.
One of the highlights was the daily bird shows where eagles , birds of prey and other birds are set free for demonstrations / shows and no matter what .. they always came back !
This Easter there’s an Easter Golden Egg Challenge between 1 -16 April ! Even more special this year sees the parks 50th anniversary. Enjoy the Egg challenge around the park and after completing the quizz you can claim your yummy reward !
If you haven’t tired the children out then head to the very impressive indoor JUNGLE BARN soft play area, especially if it’s raining, it’s ideal. With giant slides , challenging soft play and toddlers zone , it’s great fun for all the family and with a cafe too, you afternoon is sorted.
Finally on fair weather days hop on board Zebedee, the jungle express train that goes out for a spin . Just board the train near the picnic lawn and set off through the gardens of Glamour house on a short route of two circuits around the house grounds , a great way to finish off this fabulous attraction close to St Ives.
You really don’t have to leave St Ives this Easter as there’s so much on offer locally but if you do want to go a little further afield , you’ll enjoy wherever you go this Spring & Easter.
If you are looking to visit St Ives this spring and Easter then why not check out our family friendly portfolio of gorgeous properties to stay in for your holiday ? We have large family houses, cosy fisherman’s cottages and fabulous sea view apartments all ready and waiting, many with parking and over 20 are pet friendly!
Check out our website we have a property to suit all at
Happy Easter from all at Cherished
Author – Tim Petersen – March 2023