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As hotter days approach us and the excitement of summer holidays give us itchy feet, there has never been a better time to plan your holiday. St Ives has a surprising amount to offer you sun-loving summer holidaymakers. Yet, with all that has been going on in the last year, planning your summer holiday has ceased to be reserved for those who love to make lists but are now a crucial part of anyone holiday plans. 

The early bird gets the worm, as they say, and putting together a holiday, be it family, couple or individual, the need to know what you are doing and when has never been more important. A lot of activities are still having to limit their numbers. With the additional issues of travelling abroad, we are expecting Cornwall to be busy. 

To help you out, we have collected a list of activities to help you plan and give you an idea of what you can expect to find in our beautiful county. 

Why is St Ives so popular?

All you have to do is a Google image search, and that should tell you why St Ives is such a popular holiday destination. However, if you haven’t already done that, we can give you a bit more information. 

Apart from its almost tropical vibes, St Ives is oozing with culture, especially if you are an art lover. It has an incredible amount of art galleries for you to visit and covid allowing so much live music that you will be stopping at a different pub every night, lured in by a guitar solo or beautiful singing voice. 

The beaches here are stunning. Palm trees, white sands and hues of blue and green you would only expect in the Mediterranean. Ensure you get there early though, the beaches are always in popular demand and fill up quickly. 

Of course, if our local Porthmeor beach is packed to the brim, there are plenty of alternative shorelines that you can explore or place a towel on. 

Things to do on those sunny days

A sunny day doesn’t have to be a beach day. There is a vast range of activities out there should you be beached out a few days into your stay. 

Walks and hikes

Walking and hiking are some of the best ways to explore the coastline. Walks vary in difficulty and distance and can range from two miles to six hundred miles if you wish. The two most popular are probably St Ives to Carbis Bay, an easy few miles. Or St Ives to Zennor, which is only six miles but is not for the faint of heart due to the terrain. We have listed fifteen of our favourites right here if you want to explore even more.

Drive-in cinema

Back for the summer, Wavelength magazine is bringing back the drive-in cinema. If you are looking for some inspiration before you hire a board, wetsuit and take to the waves, you can sit out on the cliffs of Watergate bay and enjoy some of the best cult classic surf movies you can find. Just follow Wavelength Magazine on Facebook for constant updates, showtimes and which movies they will be showing. Not only will you be watching some truly great movies, but you will get to do it while watching the sunset at one of the most beautiful beaches that Cornwall has to offer.

Dining alfresco 

When the sun is shining, there is no better place than St Ives to be out and about. Dining alfresco has become a standard option for a lot of restaurants wanting to reopen during the pandemic. As the rules relax and the restaurants reopen, why not take an evening or few to take in the vibrance and atmosphere of our beautiful town by dining in one of the incredible establishments we have on offer. You can never go hungry in St Ives. 

Shop till you drop

St Ives has a massive amount of stunning and unique shops in the town, ranging from home goods to homemade chocolate. You can spend hours strolling the town, popping in and out of all the one of a kind stores run by the locals. We have compiled a list of our favourites here and have tried to fit in something for everyone. 

Boat trips

It wouldn’t be a trip to Cornwall if you didn’t spend time on some seafaring adventures. Those who would rather remain atop the sea instead of in it are in for a treat. Although Cornwall is known for its beaches and surfing, there are many other ways to experience the incredible sea life we have surrounding us. Boat trips and sea safaris are a great way to explore the coastline from a different perspective. With options for both a calming sea experience and a more adrenaline-fueled one, there is something for everyone.

Things to do on those rainy days

Although Cornwall does resemble a tropical paradise on those sunny days, we must remember that it is still in the U.K. This means there is always a chance of rain. However, this does not mean you have to stay in your Carbis Bay accommodation. There are still plenty of activities you can do on those greyer days.

Indoor cinema

The St Ives (regular, not outdoor) cinema feels much like travelling back through time. Its quirky set up gives a unique and personal feel. The screens aren’t big, and the seating is quite different, with one of the screens offering a two-person love seat for you love birds among us to cuddle up. Despite its retro feel, it still provides all of the latest movies, so you don’t have to miss out. Grab yourself a large popcorn and lose yourself for a couple of hours. 

Art galleries and exhibitions

There is an incredible amount of art available in St Ives and the surrounding area. Both local and visiting artists often have exhibitions running in specific galleries. There are also other galleries situated all over town that offer a plethora of fantastic pieces and collectables, ranging from oils, acrylics and watercolours to pottery and abstract design. 

Unwind with a spa day

Nothing will help you forget the summer rain like a relaxing spa day. It has been a stressful time for so many of us, and allowing yourself to unwind properly is a must. If your day at the beach has been spoiled but grey rain clouds, we recommend you check yourself into one of the fantastic spas that Cornwall has to offer. 

The mines of Cornwall

Cornwall is saturated in a tonne of mining history. In the past, Cornwall was alive with the energy of the mining industry. There are so many to visit that you could spend your entire holiday driving from mine to mine, taking in their history and learning about the incredible times when the Cornish coastline was full of miners. Although we have placed the mines as a suggestion for a rainy day, they are not limited to that alone. For example, Geevor mine has a great gift shop and cafe for you to enjoy the splendid views from indoors. Yet, if the sun is out, you can relive the past by taking in the coastland ruins and remaining mining buildings, experiencing a moment or two of history and giving yourself a moment in their boots and mining hats. 

If none of these activities is taking your fancy, why not check out our rainy day article for more inspiration.

We are incredibly excited to have you all with us and want to help you have an incredible time on your holiday to our Cornish shores. With all the restrictions in place, we want to help give you the best possible chance to have your dream holiday by providing you with the best guides to showcase what St Ives and Cornwall has to offer. If you plan to participate in any of the activities we have shown you, please try and book early to avoid disappointment. 

Here’s to a summer holiday that you will never forget.