This week I’ll tell you about St Ives in Cornwall, which we visited in 2013. We travelled from Devon on a crazy, rainy day. After getting a bit lost and a stop-off for hot chocolate in an St. Austell pub, we set off again and arrived in St Ives about 4pm. We stayed at The Garrack Hotel which was at the top of a hill. The roads in St Ives are narrow and winding, but luckily I drive a Mini 🙂
I parked up in their car park and we checked in. The atmosphere in there was lovely. A real luxury country house feel. This was the view from the hotel, being at the top of a hill has its advantages!
Our room was huge, with a four-poster bed, and the bathroom looked so luxurious. We set up the travel cot at the foot of the bed, and then went to check out their pool and spa. We got there through the hotel and out into another building that housed the pool. It was lovely and warm in there, and Tyler really enjoyed splashing about. It was just what we needed to relax after that long rainy car journey.
As it was quite late, we decided to eat in the hotel restaurant and explore the town the next day. The restaurant was quite posh. Tyler was given an high chair to sit it, but he was tired and playing up, chucking peas everywhere! Meanwhile other couples were having their grown-up dinner conversations. We felt a bit self-conscious, so asked if we could finish our meal in our room. The staff were so cool with that. We took our plates and ate in our room, and then the staff brought our desserts to the room. All good.
The next day we woke early, and set off into town. Here we are in front of the hotel. Look at the entrance, it’s so cute, like a cottage! The man at reception gave us a map, he said it was a 10-minute walk into town, but to get a taxi on the way back as you don’t want to walk up the hill!
On the way down the hill, we saw the famous Tate Gallery. It was looked pretty busy at the entrance. Then we walked past Porthmeor Beach, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, intending to come back after we’d explored.
We walked through all the little shopping streets, a mix of quirky craft shops and high street brands. We stopped for lunch in a cafe called The Cornish Deli Cafe on Chapel Street. It had a sort of English Tea House feel with it’s pastel colour decor and cake displays. We had cheese sandwiches. I really liked it in there, it was really relaxed.
After lunch we walked around Harbour Beach, which is the family one by the Wharf and nearest to the shops. It is just sooooo pretty there, with the view of the houses in the distance, and the boats, it was like looking at a real life painting. I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
Tyler fell asleep for his lunchtime nap, and although we had planned to go back to Porthmeor Beach, it was so hot and I couldn’t be bothered to walk back. We maximised our ‘me time’ and stayed on Harbour Beach. It was really busy, I guess as it’s the one nearest to the town centre, but we found a spot to lie down on. My husband had bought us Cornish ice creams – I put one down for a second and the seagulls came straight away for it! They really are vultures there – beware!
After Tyler woke, we tried to find a taxi to head back to the hotel. Our walking around took us to the train station and so we called one from there. The station itself was so cute. St Ives is the end of the line, so you can see the platform and the trains coming in. Who knows, perhaps Tyler’s love of trains started from this point!
Back at the Garrack Hotel, we had a wander around the grounds. It’s set in private gardens, so we had a lovely walk, away from the crowds, with the view of the sea in the distance.
Now there is much more to do in St Ives that we just didn’t have time to do. There are many more beaches than the two I mentioned. The other two main ones are Porthminster Beach by the station, and Porthgwidden Beach around the corner. As well as the Tate St Ives, there are lots more museums, including the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden which is worth a visit. You can also take a boat trip to Seal Island, and go on a 20-minute train ride on the St Ives Railway.
Next week Toddler Trips will take you to the place where all the trains from London end up … Penzance!