Sandy beaches, fresh seafood and a thriving art scene are all just a leisurely stroll from St Ives holiday cottages. This multi-award-winning, sub-tropical seaside town lies on the rugged coast of north Cornwall, not far from the western tip of the peninsula. From surfing and hiking to modern art exhibitions and stylish seafront bars, self-catering holidays in St Ives have something for everyone.

The town’s working harbour is overlooked by a maze of narrow, cobbled streets, lined with palm trees and fishermen’s cottages. As you explore the town centre, you’ll discover renowned seafood restaurants, historic pubs and a variety of independent shops and delis. The town’s four sandy beaches are all walkable from a holiday cottage in St Ives. Porthmeor is one of the area’s best surf spots, Porthgwidden is a small, sheltered cove, Harbour is right next to the bustling port and Porthminster is a mile-and-a-half sweep of golden sand. Whether you want to catch your first wave, build a sandcastle or watch a Cornish sunset, glass in hand with a cold refreshing drink, St Ives’ beaches are not to be missed.

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Heading east and west from St Ives, the Southwest Coast Path is spectacular, with towering cliffs, secluded, rocky coves and the chance to spot passing dolphins and basking sharks. If you’re not in the mood for walking, climb aboard the St Erth to St Ives train and watch the sparkling Celtic Sea float by from the comfort of your carriage.

For centuries, painters have been drawn to the enchanting light found on the coast around St Ives, and the town is now the Southwest’s art mecca. While most visitors head to the Tate, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Bernard Leach Pottery and Museum, the smaller, independent galleries tucked away behind the harbour, where you will also find many attractive holiday cottages, are also well worth a visit.