I’ve been writing a lot about my former home, Cornwall recently and I’m so happy that there’s been such a positive response and that I’ve convinced a few of you to visit. Today I have another sandy Cornish destination to share with you; the quaint harbour town of St Ives, one of Cornwall’s more popular tourist towns.
St Ives benefits from the Gulf Stream and experiences milder climates, so it’s one of the UK’s main surfing and bodyboarding hotspots. Everywhere you look there are wetsuit-clad people clutching boards or people fishing or crabbing from the harbour wall. Leisure in St Ives really revolves around the sea.
St Ives is a real hub for Cornish art – it’s home to the Tate Gallery and the Barbra Hepworth gardens and the town is scatted with small independent art galleries selling pieces produced by local artists.
During my visit, my day was made when these fellas swam over to say hello after they followed a fishing boat into the harbour. St Ives is known for its local colony of seals; just a few miles from the harbour is Seal Island which is home to 40 of them. The seals swam about playfully and seemed to relish the attention from the small crowd of people that had congregate on the harbour wall to watch them.
It wasn’t just the seals that were making the most of the water; there were a group of brave kids who were tombstoning. If you are not familiar with what ‘tombstoning’ is, it’s to jump off a cliff or from a great height into the sea. I used to do it a bit when I was younger and I can assure you that it’s not for the faint hearted! I’m sure that I don’t have to mention that it can be extremely dangerous because water can sometimes be shallower than it seems or there can be rocks below. No one I knew ever took the risk of jumping into water they were not 100% sure of, it’s not worth it.
St Ives is a place that revolves around the water, like many places in Cornwall. It’s about as quaint as it gets and there is plenty to keep you occupied; quality restaurants, a stunning seafront a plethora of art galleries and let’s not forget those cute seals.