St Ives

Tidal pool, Greg Martin

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

11Oct
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!

Easter

Exciting events for Easter!

25Mar

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?

Porthminster Gallery Nick Pumphrey

Art in St Ives

01Feb

A quick look at the art movement that made St Ives famous throughout the world, and a round up of upcoming exhibitions to catch in the town.

Alfred Wallis at Chy an Carrack

Alfred Wallis at Chy an Carrack

During and after the second world war, and for a quarter of a century, St Ives became a hub for an internationally successful collective of modern artists, initially including Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Winifred and Ben Nicholson, Wilhemina Barns-Graham, Margaret Mellis and John Wells, amongst others.

Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood were particularly inspired by the primitive paintings of retired St Ives seaman Alfred Wallis.

This movement, boosted by talented and forward thinking Cornish artists such as Peter Lanyon, and young abstract artists such as Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter, congregated in and around the small harbour town and created an inspirational body of work that influenced other great modern artists including Rothko (who visited Cornwall in the 50s) and reached all corners of the globe.

Tate St Ives Award Winning Extension (Pic - Hufton+Crow)

Tate St Ives Award Winning Extension – Hufton+Crow

In 1980, Tate took over the running of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gallery, and by the mid 80s plans were afoot to bring a Tate gallery to St Ives, to show works from the Tate collection of artists who had lived or worked in St Ives.

Opened in 1993, Tate St Ives, with a large, award winning extension completed in 2018, houses a permanent collection showing the St Ives School, and a feature gallery with changing exhibitions.

This year, with an exciting internationally flavoured programme, Tate St Ives hosts a first UK retrospective of Egyptian-Canadian artist Anna Boghiguan (8/2-6/5/19); Lebanese artist Huguette Caland has her first UK museum solo exhibition (18/5-1/9/19) and Nigerian-born contemporary artist Otobong Nkanga will install new and existing works (20/9/19-5/1/20).

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gallery – her St Ives home, workshop and garden, from 1949 til her death there in 1975 – has a permanent exhibition of her sculptures in her living room and garden, and the preserved sculpture workshop.  This can be visited on a joint ticket with Tate St Ives and is highly recommended as a must-see.  See if you can also spot her sculptures around the town.

Chy an Carrack perched above the beach - viewed through a Hepworth sculpture

Chy an Carrack perched above the beach – viewed through a Hepworth sculpture

The fantastic value Art Pass (£18/£14 concessions, available from all participating venues) will give you a week’s access to Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum, as well as:
the Leach Pottery, St Ives, founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, among the most respected and influential potteries in the world.
Penlee House Gallery and Museum – which shows Luminaires: Victorian Photographers in West Cornwall until 16/3/19, followed by Artists, by themselves – portraits of the Newlyn School and Lamorna Group including works by Stanhope Forbes, Fred Hall, Dame Laura Knight, Dod Procter and Richard Weatherby,
Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange – shows a lively programme through 2019 of contemporary work in all media, from national and international artists.

It’s worth dipping into members’ exhibitions at the Penwith Gallery, home of the Penwith Society of Arts, and the St Ives Society of Artists, which was founded in 1927.

Simon Williams Shape Shifters Porthminster Gallery

Simon Williams – Shape Shifters, Porthminster Gallery – New Beginnings

This rich artistic heritage also gives a great selection of commercial galleries and our top picks to appreciate and browse include:
Porthminster Gallery (feature image – Nick Pumphrey/Visit St Ives) – in an old pilchard-press building, this fascinating gallery features original works by established St Ives School artists, as well as up and coming and St Ives based contemporary artists, sculptors and ceramicists.  They open 2019 with their annual New Beginnings exhibition (until 23/3/19) of artworks by artists new to the gallery including Porthmeor Studios based Simon Williams.
Anima Mundi – at the cutting edge of contemporary art and this year featuring provocative Cornish artist Samuel Bassett (13/4-18/5/19).
– the Belgrave – hosts regular exhibitions of work by major artists associated with the St Ives Modern Period and kicks off 2019 with St Ives artist Bryan Pearce (4-25/3/19).
– the New Craftsman – focuses on craft makers, ceramicists and reputable artists including Rose Hilton, Matthew Lanyon, John Miller, this year’s highlights include Emma Jeffryes and Michael Praed.

Further afield, our top recommendation would be a visit to Kurt Jackson’s Foundation Gallery, in St Just.  This year’s exhibitions start with a retrospective of the late Peter Jackson, who was taught by William Scott, Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost (13/4-18/5/19).

Immerse yourself in art with a special short break Art Lovers package at Chy an Carrack, with a luxury welcome gift bag including free Art in Cornwall book, suggested weekend itinerary and helpful hints for the best art venues to visit in and around St Ives – see Special Offers for more details.