The county of Cornwall is on England's most southwestern tip. It enjoys the mildest climate in mainland UK and the longest daylight hours, encompassing rugged coastlines with hundreds of beaches, pretty towns and villages and miles of beautiful open countryside.
Things To Do
St Ives has long been a Mecca for artists and art lovers alike. After WW11 this once little known fishing village became home to an influential art colony, the epicentre of the British Modernist movement. Artists were drawn here by the incredible light and beautiful scenery.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum, the Bernard Leach Pottery and Museum and Tate Gallery are the legacy this small town has made on the art world and well worth a visit.
Why not sign up to an art class at the world renowned 'St Ives School of Painting'?
Take a boat trip and see St Ives from the water. Watch the seals & if you are lucky enough you will sometimes catch sight of dolphins. The sea is so crystal clear and the colour so turquoise that on a warm day you could feel like you're in the Caribbean.
Walk the coast paths to Zennor or Lelant and discover the flora and fauna unique to this glorious microclimate.
Learn to surf or hire an e-bike.
St Ives has many organised events and festivals including The September Music & Arts Festival, Literature Festival and The Food & Drink Festivals in May; the Swellboard Shootout surf event, the St Ives Biathlon in July, the intriguing annual ceramic pit firing on Porthmeor beach, as well as the weekly summer open air cinema events on Porthminster.
Visit the stunningly beautiful Pedn Vounder beach and the extraordinary outdoor Minack Theatre at Porthcurno where you may even spot an Orca.
Nearby in Penzance, you can find the wonderful Jubilee Pool, the UK's largest Art Deco seawater lido and geothermal heated pool. Or really treat yourselves and take a trip over on the Scillonian Ferry to the breathtaking Isles of Scilly.
Eat & Drink
St Ives is one of Cornwall’s increasingly diverse foodie hotspots, where slick seafood restaurants vie for attention with quirky bars, gastropubs and cosy cafés. There are so many great places to choose from that you can eat somewhere different for every meal.
Whether you prefer a simple pasty on the beach or an extravagant dining experience in one of the many superb restaurants, St Ives will not fail to please.
For cider enthusiasts there's Healey's Festival; a great cocktail menu at The Rum & Crab Shack; hunt down The Pilchard Press or watch the sun go down at Porthminster Gin Bar.
For the ultimate indulgence,come and stay for the Food and Drink Festival held on Porthminster beach, a stone's throw from Waves End.
St Ives has some of the best rated beaches in the world. With a choice of six, from sandy coves to vast expanses of soft white sand, whether you want to surf, paddle board or just paddle, swim or simply sit and relax, you can easily find the perfect spot.
Porthminster Beach is absolutely stunning. A crescent of wonderfully soft white sand with waving palms and glittering clear water, there is a definite tropical feel to the place. With the tide out, the sea is shallow and clear, making it a firm family favourite and being so protected from any wind, a great place to learn to stand up paddle board and swim to your heart's content. From here, you can hire kayaks and paddle boards, grab a snack or a drink or feast at the amazing Porthminster Beach Café. (Beach is 2 minutes walk from the house.)
Porthmeor Beach is just a stone's throw from the centre of St Ives. Right in front of The Tate Gallery, and watched over by lifeguards from Easter to October, Porthmeor is a safe, sandy beach popular with both swimmers and surfers. It holds the prestigious Blue Flag Award in recognition of its water quality, safety and environmental management. It is home to the St Ives Surf School and has a fantastic beach café.
Porthgwidden - A lovely family beach in a sheltered cove where you will often spot seals and comorants. There are beach huts and a super café and quite a sun trap. A great choice for a brave winter swim.
Bamaluz -A delightful little beach which reveals itself on a low tide. Accessed by steps or from Harbour beach at low tide.
Harbour Beach is like no other!- A real sun trap and beautiful clear calm waters and soft sand. Down in the centre of the oldest part of town, it's a wonderfully sheltered spot, perfectly placed to soak up the atmosphere. You can hire boats from here or walk along the pier, from which you'll often spot the resident seals.
Lambeth Walk Beach - A sea glass hunter's paradise which joins Porthminster and Harbour and right around to Bamaluz on a low tide. Plenty of space for running around and watching Life Boat launch from.
All this within a short walk from Waves End's front door.
Things to do
Learn to, or hone your skills surfing or body boarding in one of North Cornwalls finest surf spots. Hire boards or book lessons from the local surf schools on Polzeath Beach or hire a kayak or for a real adventure, go coasteering.
The village has everything you could need from a well stocked grocery shop, deli, gallery, pubs and eateries to fabulous independent clothes shops, beach wear and surf gear to bucket, spades and super gifts.
Port Isaac or 'Port Wenn' for the Doc Martin fans is just 6 miles away and is a pretty little harbourside village worth a wander around.
King Arthur's castle (ruins) at Tintagel is quite amazing and a must see.
Walk the coast path to Daymer Bay or Rock where you can find the ancient chapel of St Enodoc and Sir John Betjeman's resting place.
You can catch a water taxi over the estuary from Rock to Padstow for a brilliant day out exploring. Take a speedboat ride in Jaws2 and don't forget your Rick Steins famous fish n chips for supper.
Hire an e-bike and cycle the glorious Camel Trail.
Play golf at St Enodoc or take sailing or waterski lesson with Camel Sail or Ski Schools.
Trevibban Mill Farm vineyard and winery is a good afternoon out.. you may need a taxi home.
Eat & Drink
North Cornwall is renowned for its production of organic and sustainable foods, reflected in the superb selection of this foodie hotspot.
Most are pretty laid back but you can take it up a few notches and book one of the Michelin Star restaurants.
A few ideas:
£- BBQ on the beach.
£- and a bit- Paradise Pizza, Flo's Deli, The Tubestation, or the Galleon café on the beach.
££- Surfside and Rumbar on the beach, The Oyster Catcher pub, TJ's Surf Cafe, The Water front,The Cracking crab,Atlantic Bar & Kitchen, The Tap Room and The Pityme inn.
£££ - The Mowhay, Paul Ainsworth@ The Mariners, Nathan Outlaws @ Port Isaac, Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant @Padstow.
Of course, there are many more to choose from but these are some of our favourites.
Beautiful Beaches and Spectacular Scenery
Polzeath has golden sand and level access. You can park right by the beach which is so handy if you have lots of surf or family gear.
Great for both families and experienced surfers. Lifeguards on duty Easter to October, with separate areas for surfing and bodyboarding.
There are lovely little puddling spots with rock pools and sheltered nooks. The stream runs down the middle of the beach which is a favourite for children to paddle and play in. With all conveniences just off the beach, it really is the perfect place.
Greenway beach - Stunning slightly rugged and just out the way enough to be fairly quiet.
Daymer Bay is a great paddling beach for little ones but also popular with kitesurfers and kayakers.
Camel Estuary, Rock & Padstow - a watersports enthusiast's playground.
The Rumps and Pentire Point- Walk the South West Coast Path and see the site of an Iron Age Fort on this basaltic 'pillow lava' rock formation caused by undersea volcanic activity over 300 million years ago! Look out for grey seals or peregrine falcons on this spectacular clifftop walk.