Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

St Ives

A former artists’ colony and fishing village, St Ives is nowadays a chic holiday destination synonymous with all the things Cornwall is famous for – pearly beaches, pumping surf, beachfront dining and a thriving arts scene. You can bag a boutique room with sea views, tuck into Michelin-starred cuisine, visit the Tate or don a wetsuit and ride the waves. Or just flop on one of its marvellous sandy bays. Plus, as one of the UK’s favourite family destinations, it hasn’t entirely shrugged off its trad British seaside feel, so you can still fight the seagulls for your fish and chips and squander holiday change on the amusements.

History

Cradled by prehistoric landscapes, St Ives was the centre of a thriving fishing industry before the pilchard reserves dried up and creative folk moved into its net lofts, drawn by the famous quality of the light and the bohemian culture that once characterised the town. Since the 19th century a wave of internationally recognised artists have laid their roots in St Ives – including sculptor Barbara Hepworth, potter Bernard Leach and painter Ben Nicholson, among many others.

Godrevy Lighthouse, a striking landmark to the east of St Ives Bay, was immortalised in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, while the hamlet of Zennor, to the west, inspired the writer DH Lawrence. Since then, its whitewashed houses, sandy beaches and almost Caribbean-blue waters make it one of Britain’s most popular seaside resorts. But for all that, St Ives has retained a persona that’s like no other place in the country: picturesque, fun and undeniably touristy, but underpinned by the art and fishing culture on which it was built.

St ives gallery 2810 original large

St Ives

Pearly bays, beachfront dining and chic British seaside tradition.
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