I adored St Ives.
I’ve never been before, I KNOW, it’s almost as though everything south of Bristol really isn’t within walking distance of eachother. Weird.
Everyone I spoke to beforehand evangelised the pants off the place and I did have doubts that it would live up to expectations. No need to worry, the first thing I noticed about the insta-perfect cobbled streets of St Ives was how jam packed they were with dogs. More dogs than people, it might be my own personal heaven.
Fur faces aside, St Ives is surrounded by spectacular beaches, Poldark-worthy countryside and more picture perfect pubs than you can shake a stick at.
I imagine that in the summer months, you wouldn’t be able to move without bumping uglies with a lot of other people. Out of season though? Parfait.
Where to Stay
Heading down for just one night out of season, a hotel was the best bet for us. St Ives was made for AirBnB though so for anything longer we would have looked at this, this or this quirky little loft space.
For our one night we chose The Garrack Hotel: dog friendly, people friendly and high on a hill overlooking St Ives town and bay. Breakfast was fab although they could have chucked a bowl of stale cornflakes at me, as long as it had that view. The communal areas were lovely, the room clean and the bed unfathomably huge.
The Garrack is just a five minute wander down the hill into town (at least ten on the way up – that hill is a BEAST). There’s a campsite attached to the hotel too if that’s your bag, with direct access to the South West Coast Path.
What to Do
Walk. With such a short time there, we really wanted to explore so after the Remembrance Sunday service in the town square we moseyed along the coast checking out Porthmeor Beach, Porthminster Beach and Carbis Bay along the way.
St Ives is also famous for its arts scene with an outpost of the Tate leading the way. Sorry, Tate St Ives is closed until next year for a refurb but the Barbara Hepworth museum is still open and wonderful. There are gazillions of other galleries to mooch around and whilst there we saw fliers for guided arts walks which sounds like a pretty spot on mode of transport to get the most out of your time there. Oooh and ghost tours, I saw fliers for ghost tours.
The town is stuffed with beautifully quirky little shops too, alongside the bigger brands if you really want to go all the way to the end of the country to buy a pair of Joules wellies that WILL split after a month (Not over it yet!)
We ate dinner at The Firehouse. The ground floor is dog friendly but book a table, it gets busy. They do incredible steaks, stonebaked pizzas and fresh local fish, all six of our groups meals were divine. And guys, there’s a gin bar downstairs. GIN BAR. Fist pump.
St Ives has no shortage of quirky little pubs and restaurants to duck into, we chose the Rum and Crab Shack for pre-dinner drinks. p on the first floor and overlooking the harbour, the food menu looked pretty decent too.
On Sunday we moseyed up through the town, across fields and past cows to the teeny tiny village of Hallestown where the Hallestown Inn, also dog friendly, dished up the best roast dinner I’ve had in yonks.
So there, 24 hours in St Ives and we really didn’t even scratch the surface (the sun shone so we ended up in the great outdoors).
Go visit, find other awesome stuff, come back and tell me about it. Or let me know your favourite bits for the next time I visit.