I know I have mentioned this many times before..but I absolutely love Cornwall. I love the rugged coastline. I love the beautiful turquoise waters. I love the independent shops and restaurants. It has a laid back, chilled vibe and time seems to slow down to allow you to take in every moment. Cornwall seems to have a different pace of life….that wonderful coastal life that makes you feel relaxed, calm and happy. With all this in mind, February half term seemed the perfect opportunity for a St Ives getaway.
Otis and Us: A St Ives getaway
During February half term we enjoyed a fabulous mid-week break in St Ives. We stayed at Una St Ives, a development of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties situated on the edge of St Ives. Our luxury self catering lodge was just a mile away from the stunning Carbis Bay Coastline, and the white sands and cobbled streets of St Ives were just a short drive away.
Visiting in February we experienced St Ives through different eyes…and it was a little bit special. Quiet and tranquil, yet there was still the wonderful vibrant atmosphere of a busy seaside coastal town. The sun was shining and we had a lovely few days, so much so that we have already made plans to return this Summer to explore the area more.
There is so much to do in St Ives we were spoilt for choice, but here is a snapshot of what we got up to during our midweek St Ives getaway.
Visit Carbis Bay Beach
Carbis Bay was a short drive from our lodge at Una St Ives, so it was lovely to explore this beautiful beach. It was a particular favourite of ours, and it’s not hard to see why. Just one mile east of St Ives, it is one of Cornwall’s eight award-winning Blue Flag beaches. A lovely expanse of sand, it is beautifully clean and ideal for families. It has also been awarded a Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
A picnic on Harbour Bay Beach, St Ives
Harbour Bay Beach is sheltered and safe for paddling. At low tide the harbour beach joins up with Porthminster Beach to form a mile of beautiful sandy beach. This is the town’s nearest beach with cafes, restaurants and shops overlooking the beach. St Ives is a working port and you can watch the local fishermen landing with their daily catches. We grabbed a takeaway from The Cornish Bakery and headed to the beach for a coffee and a picnic….those pasties are good!!!
Crafting at Barnoon Workshop
One of the highlights of our few days in St Ives was to have the opportunity to spend a little quality time with my two girls. We headed off to Barmoon Workshop to spend a morning crafting. If you know my girls, they absolutely adore their arts and crafts and spend many an hour, drawing, colouring, gluing, painting and beading, so needless to say they absolutely loved their morning here. The Barnoon Workshop is a dedicated space for arts and crafts activities in the heart of St Ives. The workshop is overlooking Porthmeor beach. We got to make beautiful shell mobiles and the girls spent some time painting shells and threading beads – it was a lovely morning spending quality time with my babies. There are a great selection of events and creative workshops available – find out more online
Shopping in St Ives
There are some great shops in St Ives. I love to come across fab independent and quirky shops. We stumbled upon The Drill Hall which has a few independent shops to meander and we stopped by Café Art for a cake and a cuppa. Mr Otis and Us purchased a pair of sunglasses, and the kids came back with unicorn bears (anyone else have to collect a cuddly toy from everywhere they visit …. or is that just us?). I can highly recommend visiting the Digey Tea Rooms for a bite to eat. We also couldn’t pass the Cornish Bakery without a takeaway of Cornish Pasties before heading to the beach.
Seal spotting at Godrevy
Godrevy beach is considered one of the most dramatic and exposed beaches off the Cornwall’s North Coast, set at the far end of St Ives Bay. It is popular with surfers, families, walkers and nature lovers. It is connected to Gwithian beach at lower tides and terminates with rocky headland. Godrevy beach is overlooked by the stunning Godrevy lighthouse situated on an island just off the coast. We loved it here, the kids enjoyed climbing the rocks and exploring the rock pools, the views were spectacular, and we even got to spot a couple of cheeky seals whilst looking out from the beach. We got chatting to a lovely local lady who pointed us in the direction of Mutton Cove a short walk away and much to our delight there were seals a plenty – a lovely sight!
Visit Tate Art St Ives
You cannot visit St Ives without a visit to the iconic Tate St Ives. The Tate gallery over looks Porthmeor beach. I did have reservations taking three young children to Tate, however I found it extremely family friendly. Tate St Ives has a number of free family friendly events and activities all year round. We all loved exploring the gallery, although it was a little difficult to keep the toddler from touching the displays (think he loved the art a little too much!). After our visit we headed over to the beach to let off a little of that energy!
It is safe to say we had a wonderful few days exploring St Ives. There is so much to do here, from seal spotting and rock climbing, shopping and surfing to enjoying a coffee and cake whilst admiring those beautiful sea views. St Ives is a truly special place and we can’t wait to return.
For more information head over to St Ives, Cornwall Tourism Association online
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