St Ives, one of the most famous resort towns in Cornwall, combines the great Cornish tradition of a fishing harbour enclosed by a circle of magnificent beaches and backed by a glorious maze of narrow streets and alleyways. Artists have always been attracted to the town because of its 'light' and now it boasts the arrival of the 'Tate Gallery of St Ives' which reinforces its claim of being one of the world's leading art centres.
Arriving by road or by rail along the delightful scenic branch line, the first sight of St. Ives with the sun on the water is breathtaking. The panoramic vista of this resort is quite magnificent revealing a town ringed by glorious beaches and surrounded by a turquoise sea. The beauty is enhanced by displays of flowers that have brought international honours.
Life revolves around the harbour and the fishing trade that helped it grow to prosperity. Fishing boats still operate from St. Ives and you can watch them unloading their catches of fish and crabs. The annual Harbour Day celebrates the focal point of the town and creates a carnival atmosphere.
Carbis Bay also sits in the crescent of St Ives Bay, acting as a kind of overture to the town and delighting in a fabulous coastline and beach. A journey on the scenic railway from Lelant to St Ives shows off this coast at its best.
The artistic genius that gave St Ives a new international reputation from the 1930's is captured in the Tate Gallery, opened in 1993. It stands like a lighthouse overlooking Porthmeor Beach. Close by is the Dame Barbara Hepworth Museum, a unique open-air garden with many of her sculptures. Artists and craftspeople continue to be drawn to St. Ives and there are many studios and galleries to browse around where you can watch them at work.
The sands, the sea, the artists, the little streets and gorgeous harbour scene, all combine to delight the holidaymakers in this magnificent Mediterranean- style resort.
With cobbled streets, steep slopes and steps, the secret corners, the unexpected delight at almost every turn, St. Ives is a sparkling treasure.