Pristine beaches, the Tate, great places to eat and a multitude of galleries, great shopping, all nestled within a charming and spectacular setting… It’s no surprise that St Ives is one of the country’s most popular resorts: winner of the Guardian’s ‘best seaside resort’, 4th top TripAdvisor beach destination 2012, winner of Coast magazine’s ‘Best Seaside Town’ in 2012 and British Travel Awards 2012 ‘Best UK Coastal Town’. ‘As well as golden beaches and the clear blue ocean, the town also boasts world-class cultural attractions such as Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth museum,’ (Guardian 04.04.11).
Beach The Queens is walking distance to all the Blue Flag status (ie clean) beaches in St Ives: Porthminster and Porthmeor in the town, and Carbis Bay reachable at low tide. Try surfing, fishing trips, boat trips or kite-flying.
Walks The Southwest coastal path passes through St Ives, heading West to spectaular scenery towards clifftops at Zennor and lunch at The Gurnard’s Head http://www.gurnardshead.co.uk/Eat.aspx or East to Carbis Bay and Hayle estuary, grabbing a pasty at local favourite Philps. Or catch a bus halfway to Penzance and walk back. Or join a walking tour to show you the way, or how to forage for wild food, see Rachel Lambert’s foraging walks at http://www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk/walks_in_cornwall
Children If it’s raining check the Tate http://www.tate.org.uk/stives/ or the St Ives School of Painting for children’s drop-in activities. Soft play centres are at Play Zone in Carbis Bay and Paradise Park. Or kid’s shows are put on at the theatre, or films at the cinema.
Art The Tate is holding a photography show until May 2015. Many other smaller galleries are open in St Ives and are a minute’s walk away. Guests at The Queens are invited to all private views at The Porthminster Gallery http://www.porthminstergallery.co.uk/ Penzance is home to the wonderful Penlee House, set in a pretty park with a brilliant kids’ playground, and home to a fine permanent collection of Newlyn School artists such as Stanhope Forbes http://www.penleehouse.org.uk/newlyn-school.html. New to Penwith is the Tremenhere Sculpture Gardens with its fabulous cafe.
Indoor swimming – the leisure centre at the top of the town boasts a 25m indoor pool
Spa Sail Lofts Ocean Spa http://www.stivesspa.co.uk/ and The Ren Room (in Primrose Valley Hotel) offer beauty treatments as does the revamped Harbour Hotel
Film + theatre The Royal Cinema http://www.merlincinemas.co.uk/cinema/5/st–ives-royal-cinema.html has three screens and the theatre is home of Kidz R Us theatre group http://www.kidzrus.net/
Shopping Fore Street is home to small independent shops such as the wonderful book shop St Ives Bookseller http://www.stives-bookseller.co.uk/ plus high street staples such as Joules, Fat Face, Cath Kidston and, local favourite, Seasalt
Art Courses The St Ives School of Painting hold a variety of courses from drop-in Life Classes to 3-day-long ones, see http://www.stivesartschool.co.uk/courseschoices.php
Further afield there is the popular Newlyn Art School http://www.newlynartschool.co.uk/ which had this write up in the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/9132921/Cornish-landscapes-art-holidays-in-Cornwall.html