Tidal pool, Greg Martin

How to get your Vitamin Sea boost – all year round!

Wave at Carbis Bay Beach

Mineral Rich Sea, Carbis Bay Beach

Get your Vitamin Sea boost – all year round!

Did you know that sea swimming is highly beneficial to both body and mind?

Mineral rich sea water can help your immune system and boosts the respiratory system.

Being in, on or under the water calms the mind, helps with anxiety and depression and releases endorphins that have significant therapeutic benefits. It is also great fun! 

There are some very special places to swim in Cornwall.  It is possible to swim all year round if you know the right spots.  Here’s our round up of the best beaches, and some very magical pools to take the plunge!


Porthcurno beach, Adam Gibbard

Porthcurno Beach, Adam Gibbard

Seek out the best beaches

Whether you jump in off the harbour wall or sprint in from the sands, there is nothing like a refreshing sea swim.  In and around St Ives we recommend Porthminster (5 minutes walk down the coast path from Chy an Carrack and the base for the St Ives Boxing Day Swim!), St Ives Harbour and Carbis Bay as the most sheltered beaches, and Porthmeor for waves and surfing fun.

Picture perfect swim spots with golden sands and stunning scenery that are making a big splash on Instagram these days include Porthcurno Beach (west of Penzance) and Kynance Cove (on the Lizard).

Whatever the time of year, most of us will prefer a wetsuit if going all in. More hardy types need nothing more than their swimsuit (or maybe birthday suit) and a sense of adventure.

Just make sure you heed the safety flags and sea condition warnings. Swim where the lifeguards can keep an eye on you!


Pullandase Pool - Greg Martin

Pullandase Pool, Greg Martin

Take a dip in a secret tidal pool

There are magical tidal rock pools tucked away in secret spots around the dramatic coastline of West Cornwall.  Pools such as Boat Cove at Pendeen in the far West, and Pullandase at Porth Ledden are really worth a visit.

Many were created by miners for their children to swim safely. When warmed by the sun they are great for a quick dip, besides being a safe space when the waves are crashing.  Learn more about these special pools in this fantastic article by Greg Martin.


Jubilee Pool Rhi-annes

Jubilee Pool, Rhi-annes

Swim in style!

For a more stylish sea water swimming experience, you can‘t beat the Art Deco Jubilee Pool on Penzance Promenade. A sheltered sun trap, recent investment has upgraded the pool and facilties. From Spring 2020 geothermal technology will help heat a hot spa pool to a balmy 35 degrees.

Cornwall, being a mining county, is also dotted with freshwater quarry pools and lakes.  Kernow Adventure at Kessel Quarry, Penryn is one of the best with open water swimming, wakeboarding and inflatable obstacle courses to challenge all the family.

Wherever you take the plunge you are certainly going to feel the benefit!

To stay at Chy an Carrack and get your Vitamin Sea – check out our availability and book online!


Exciting events for Easter!


Cornwall really bursts into life in spring, and there are loads of fantastic holiday activities in and around St Ives. Get the most out of Easter in St Ives with our favourite activities for families.

Looking for a scenic and exciting egg hunt?

The National Trust and Cadbury team up for their Easter trails (6/7 – 22 April), follow the clues to get your tasty Easter treat. Our favourites are Trelissick and Godolphin for gorgeous gardens, and Trengwainton and St Michael’s Mount for stunning scenery. Or just head to Marazion beach to look for special dragon’s eggs amongst all the pebbles.

St Michael's Mount

St Michael’s Mount

Why not get creative?

At Tate St Ives children can get hands on with Tate Create and explore the exhibition by Anna Boghiguian before making their own art figure.

Or get messy with clay at the Leach Pottery who run clay days for 6-12 year olds on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the school holidays.

If you want to get more hands on with chocolate – try a fun Easter themed Chocolate Workshop at Coco Kitchen with St Ives’s very own artisan chocolatier.

Try the coast path!

For fresh air and soul-lifting scenery get out on the coast path – with the gorse and daffodils bursting into colour and the warm spring sunshine its a great time to walk.

This spring there have been regular dolphin sightings, even a humpback whale being spotted in St Ives Bay, so make sure you have your binoculars and get out early to get the best chance.  Check our marine wildlife blog for more information.

Have a bit of drama in your holiday!

The Minack Theatre, with its spectacular clifftop setting has family friendly shows throughout the Easter holidays with the highly enjoyable Squashbox Theatre (Mon/Weds am – book in advance – for younger children), and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

The famous, award-winning Rogue Theatre’s Wild Spring Hare (12-22 April) takes you on a magical journey of immersive outdoor theatre through the wild wood to the Woodland King.


Rogue Theatre, Eden Project, Paradise ParkRogue Theatre, Eden Project, Paradise Park

Make a day of it at a family friendly attraction!

At the Eden Project (6-25 April), you can go Down on the Farm and enjoy lots of indoor and outdoor games and activities, story telling, the Great Eden Egg Hunt and trails for the whole family. In Hayle, at Paradise Park, you can get close to goats, rabbits, mini sheep and donkeys in their fun farm field, be a Wildlife Hero or enjoy the Easter Golden Egg Challenge (6-22 April), and race around the indoor soft play area – the Jungle Barn.

We have some great special offers for Easter school holiday family getaways – just £299/night for a fabulous 5-night break for up to 8 people – why not book online now?

On set at Botallack - Oct 18

Poldark – its a wrap!

Ross and Demelza - Poldark, BBC

Ross, Demelza & the Crowns, BBC

Botallack as Wheal Leisure - Oct 18

Botallack as Wheal Leisure – Oct 18

Filming has just finished in West Cornwall for the fifth and final Poldark series.

The top stars of the hit show – Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson – have been staying in St Ives Bay and have been spotted out and about in restaurants, shopping, down at the gym and visiting attractions.  Having been here for 5 consecutive years – the cast really do know this area well!

Once again late September/early October gave some fantastic weather for filming, showing Cornwall and its magnificent scenery at its magical best.  We took a behind the scenes look at one of the iconic locations that is the setting of Wheal Leisure – Poldark’s mining venture.

Perched high on the cliffs, with dramatic views over the Atlantic, the imposing engine houses that dot the landscape are monuments to Cornwall’s 19th century mining heyday.  The mineral rich rocks below created a hot bed of industry and expertise that spread across the world and Cornish miners and engineers and their families resettled in every corner of the globe.

At its peak, around 600 engine houses toiled pumping water from the deep and dangerous shafts below, supplying not just tin, but also two thirds of the world’s supply of copper. At Botallack, the Crowns engine houses that cling to the cliffs are part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

The behind the scenes support for this set was huge – a car park full of enormous trucks and trailers for wardrobe, makeup, editing and sound, as well as catering and security, not to mention horses and their entourage.  With period styled sheds and props, working doors and platforms to emerge from, and the stunning sea as the backdrop Botallack was transformed into the hub of Ross Poldark’s mining holdings.

Now owned by the National Trust, Botallack is a great spot for walking (please note high sheer cliffs), learning about the mining heritage of Cornwall, and has a cafe and visitor centre in what used to be the count house for the mine.

Poldark also features some of West Cornwall’s best and breathtakingly beautiful beaches and coves.

Porthcurno beach, Adam Gibbard

Porthcurno Beach, Adam Gibbard

Poldark filming Porthgwarra, Visit Cornwall

Poldark filming Porthgwarra, Visit Cornwall

On the south coast, Porthcurno stars as Nampara Cove and the memorable shots of Ross Poldark being watched swimming by Demelza were filmed at Porthgwarra.  Around the Roseland, Kynance Cove has also been used for beach scenes.

A beautiful sunny day at Carbis Bay gave great closeups of Ross Poldark in a rowing boat.  Porthcurno and Carbis Bay are particularly family friendly beaches with sheltered blue waters and great facilities. The Poldark stars have enjoyed all this stunning scenery and the odd dip in the beautiful blue waters.  Read their thoughts here.

You can see some suggested family friendly walks around Poldark country here.  If you want to get more info about Poldark in Cornwall – why not download the Experience Poldark app for iphone or Android!

To get a feel of life as a miner and go underground at a real tin mine – Poldark Mine, near Helston, runs tours of the 18th mine workings – some of the underground scenes in Poldark were filmed here.

West Cornwall has really been such a star of the series we will be really sad to see it end!

Awards flying in for St Ives


Awards are just flying in for St Ives this year!

Tate St Ives has won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 award, following its £20m extension to the iconic building that sits above Porthmeor Beach.  Its a fantastic re-imagining of the striking seaside gallery, providing much more space for both a permanent collection and contemporary exhibitions.  The current Patrick Heron retrospective is vibrant, colourful and full of the joys of summer.  Read more about the museum award here.  The building extension also received both a 2018 RIBA South West and National Award in recognition of the outstanding architecture.

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives and Carbis Bay, St Ives have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag again this year.  The Blue Flag is the international standard for the best beaches in the world only achieved with the highest water quality, safety, cleanliness and environmental standards.  Porthminster Beach, Porthmeor Beach and Carbis Bay also all received the Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award.