St Ives is a town in Cornwall, England, known for its surf beaches, like Porthmeor, and its art scene. The seafront Tate St Ives gallery has rotating modern art exhibitions, focusing on British artists. Nearby, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, in the modernist artist’s former studio, displays her bronzes and other works. Boat trips go to Seal Island, just west of town, to see the seal colony.
St Erth Train station connecting with London Paddington
Truro, the UK’s most Southerly city is a vibrant centre of shopping, culture and impressive architecture right in the heart of Cornwall.
Centre stage is Truro Cathedral with its impressive gothic towers dominating the skyline. In its shadow, a warren of compact streets are home to an impressive array of independent traders. From boutiques to bookshops and designer interiors to delicatessens, this great little city offers a unique shopping experience. The café culture is pretty impressive too, with hip coffee houses, artisan ice creameries and cocktail bars dotted across the centre.
There is a yearlong festival programme, weekly food markets and several art galleries, cultural events and historical attractions:
Central Truro train station with links to Paddington
Based around a thriving harbour Falmouth is gateway to the beautiful Fal River which runs through an Area Of Natural Beauty. The town is famous for its creative buzz with many art galleries displaying contemporary works and venues showcasing independent films and live bands. The many reasons to visit include, the fascinating maritime heritage; the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the Helford and Fal Rivers – perfect for walking and family days out; watersports; boat trips running from the pier and quay; and plenty of family friendly attractions. Falmouth is surrounded by several fantastic family friendly beaches and is known for its year round events calendar.
Falmouth’s maritime legacy and coastal culture is a huge part of its charm boasting world class watersports on its sheltered waters including gig rowing, kayaking, diving and regularly hosting sailing events such as Falmouth Regatta, and the Pendennis Cup.
Helston is situated at the northern end of the Lizard Peninsula approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of Penzance and 9 miles (14 km) south-west of Falmouth. The former Stannary and cattle market town is best known for the annual Furry Dance (known locally as the Flora Dance), said to originate from the medieval period.
Helston’s timeline stretches back a long way. The Saxons were here in the 6th century, King John granted a charter in 1201, making the town the second oldest in Cornwall, and through the centuries Helston, as so many major towns in the country, prospered on the back on tin mining and later with the coming of the railway and the boom in early tourism.
The curve of St Austell Bay with its many sandy beaches is a haven for watersports and family holidays. The area is also fantastic for walking and cycling with many woodlands and trails. The white peaks of the China Clay industry overlook the market town of St Austell, Cornwall's largest town dating back to the 13th century. St Austell town is situated about a mile from the coast. Walk along Fore Street and you reach the historic core of the town to discover the fine Holy Trinity Parish Church and opposite, the Italianate facade of the Market House. The shopping centre in the town centre has a cinema, restaurants, cafes and shops. Nearby is the beautiful Georgian village of Charlestown and the popular fishing village of Mevagissey. Local attractions include the world-famous Eden Project and Heligan Gardens.
Newquay, surf capital of the UK. Newquay exudes the laid back atmosphere you would expect from a town perched on Cornwall's Atlantic cliffs and bordered by 7 miles of glorious golden sandy beaches. It's a place where all the family gets to relax and enjoy a proper holiday - toes in the sand, ice-cream in hand. There's a different beach for every day of the week and glorious open spaces looking out to sea. The town manages to be both trendy and yet remains a great family resort - all wrapped up in the most fantastic coastal scenery.
Padstow is a charming working fishing port surrounded by glorious sandy beaches, at the head of the Camel River. Watching the everyday ebb and flow of harbour life is a perfect way to spend a day. This foodie destination with popular eateries such as Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, is the start and end point for the Camel Cycle Trail and a good base for water sports.
Head south on to the Lizard and the scenery changes. The rare geology of the area creates a haven for exceptional plants and flowers. Around the coastline you’ll find little fishing ports with huge granite sea walls to protect from the Atlantic gales, restaurants specialising in freshly caught seafood, and gorgeous sandy bays with jagged black rocks jutting out in to the sea. Stand right on the tip of the Lizard and look out to sea. At 49°57' N, the most southerly point on the UK’s mainland, watch the waves as they hurtle to the shore and imagine the thousands of ships that have passed by this treacherous part of the coast on their way across the Atlantic.
The villages are picture book perfect with tiny thatched cottages clinging together at the ends of the valley in coves where a small fleet of fishing boats catch fresh crab and lobster. In pubs by the shore there’s folk music and traditional Cornish singing.