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Updated for 2022
A firm favourite with locals and visitors St Ives is a beautiful beach and harbour where tourists flock to enjoy the fabulous views and the harbour. The town sits directly above the harbour and is famous for not just the harbour but the gallery and museum too. St Ives is also well positioned on the north coast and is not too far from many other attractions such as Land’s End and the Minack Theatre. St Ives is also known for its Art culture and its branch of the Tate Gallery. In 2010, a BBC Four film, The Art of Cornwall, presented by James Fox said that the St Ives artists “went on to produce some of the most exhilarating art of the twentieth century…for a few dazzling years this place was as famous as Paris, as exciting as New York and infinitely more progressive than London.”
In more recent years St Ives has been awarded Best Seaside Town by the Guardian in 2007 and Best Seaside Town by The British Travel Awards both in 2010 and 2011. This absolute gem of a town is a must see when in Cornwall. The population of St Ives is around 11,000 but this rises dramatically in the summer months.
Historically St Ives was a fishing port and this was the main trade in the town. In 1877 the Great Western Railway reached St Ives making it a tourist destination for the Victorians. Over the years the fishing has declined and the main trade for the town is tourism. The harbour is still in use today albeit for more commercial reasons like tourist fishing.
In 1999 the town was the first landfall of the total solar eclipse on August 11th. There was a display by the Tate Gallery all around the Eclipse.
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If you’re travelling by car, the easiest way to get to St Ives is to take the A30. The town is located within the Penwith peninsula, and is easily accessible from other parts of Cornwall.
There are also a number of buses that run to St Ives from other towns and cities in Cornwall.
If you’re looking to take a train to St Ives, there is a station which is located in the heart of the town. There are also stations in nearby Carbis Bay and Lelant Saltings, which offer great connections to other parts of the country.
For more details about St Ives train station, click here.