St Ives is one of the most popular holiday spots in the UK, offering superb beaches, dramatic landscapes and dozens of affordable activities. Originally a fishing village, the small town has been transformed over the past century into an internationally-acclaimed retreat: whether you're here for water sports or keen to get to grips with art, it's a fantastic choice when looking for cheap holidays in the UK. Combine this with a distinct history, unique culture and superior climate, and you have a truly heavenly holiday destination. A large selection of holiday homes in St Ives, spanning quaint fishing cottages, colourful beach huts and luxury apartments overlooking the sea. Of course, whether you opt for accommodation along Carbis Bay or in St Ives itself, you'll be perfectly placed for enjoying everything the area has to offer. Simply read on for our list of must-see sites and beaches when holidaying in the St Ives area.
Stay near Tate St Ives
St Ives has long been a magnet for artists and art lovers alike, so it was always the perfect place for Cornwall's own branch of the Tate Gallery. The three-storey building overlooking Porthmeor Beach was opened in 1993, and today exhibits painters such as Patrick Heron, Sir Terry Frost and Peter Lanyon. Permanent and temporary exhibitions showcase international and contemporary art, and are often presented in a family-friendly style. So don't worry about little ones getting bored: there are plenty of attractions for children. What's more, the fact that it's inside makes it ideal when the weather doesn't deliver!
Stay near Carbis Bay
Carbis Bay is a beautiful village located just a few miles from St Ives, and a must-see spot when holidaying in the area. Overlooking a picturesque beach of the same name, you can reach it by walking or cycling the South West Coastal Path, admiring the outstanding views and magnificent sandy beach on offer. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy when you get there, including swimming, boating and - of course - surfing, but also rock climbing and tennis if you'd rather not get wet! Protected by the large tree-covered cliffs unique to this part of the coast, it's a great summer sunbathing spot.
Stay near Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are part of the Tate St Ives, and definitely worth a visit during your stay. Left by the late pioneering sculptor so as to keep her work on public display, museum exhibits showcase St Ives' local history, including its mining, fishing and agricultural heritage. The garden, meanwhile, is a beautiful spot, having been continuously and meticulously looked after since Hepworth bequeathed them in 1975. If you choose to visit this beautiful place as well as taking a trip to the Tate, remember to ask for a combined ticket: it's one of the best ways to make a saving!
Stay near Land's End
No trip to St Ives would be complete without seeing Land’s End, a magnificent point standing 200 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. The most westerly point in mainland Britain, its rugged granite cliffs are constantly lashed by waves, promising stunning views and spectacular photo opportunities! What many tourists don't know is that there's plenty to see and do in Land's End, aside from strolling along the dramatic paths above the cliffs. You can take a trip to Longships Lighthouse, first lit in 1873, or go in search of wildlife, including seabirds, seals and dolphins. From rock formations to farms, there's a lot to keep you entertained!
Stay near Seal Island
Seal Island may not be the best known attraction in St Ives, but it's certainly worth a visit - especially if travelling with children. Located less than four miles offshore from St Ives Bay, it's a wonderful place that can only be reached by boat. Grey Atlantic seals, sometimes 40 strong, gather here, and there’s even the odd chance of glimpsing a basking shark during your trip. Visitors have been coming here since the 1930’s, so the seals are used to the boats filled with tourists, and don't seem to mind the invasion: on the contrary, they're naturally friendly and inquisitive, and often known to swim up to the boat to say hello!