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17 issues to do in St Ives with youngsters

As I used to be going to St Ives, I recited the traditional rhyme for my daughter – and waited for her to fall into the lure. And as I used to be leaving St Ives, after her too quick first go to, I used to be decided to return once more quickly to take advantage of all there’s to do in St Ives with youngsters.

View of fishing boats on the beach and the buildings of St Ives in Cornwall beyond the sea - my top things to do in St Ives with kids
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Recognized for its surf seashores and its artwork – the sunshine on this a part of Cornwall impressed a complete college of portray – St Ives has loads of the traditional Cornish temptations that make the county good for a household vacation, from seaside walks to enjoyable on the sand (and pasties).

However with some much less well-known points of interest to find, together with concepts for wet days in St Ives, right here’s why it is best to plan a vacation in St Ives with youngsters.

Take a look at my full information to Cornwall with youngsters, in addition to my downloadable e-book model of the information

Hit the seashore

Like a lot of Cornwall, you’ve received a string of attractive seashores to select from however if you happen to’re on the lookout for the most effective seashores in St Ives with youngsters, my very own three favourites are helpfully three of the best to get to.

Porthgwidden Seaside is among the smaller ones, lined with brightly colored seashore huts (and a café), plus rocks to clamber over between sandcastles.

Or head to Porthmeor Seaside, not removed from Tate St Ives. Probably the greatest locations to study to surf (extra on that under), it’s an extended stretch of golden sand with rockpools and a implausible café above the sands with exercise books to entertain youngsters and a wonderful chocolate tart on the menu.

In summer time, there are typically cinema screenings on the seashore too.

Porthminster Seaside is one other favorite for households, particularly with youthful youngsters. At low tide, the shallow water is good for paddling, there are many locations to get food and drinks, and loads of sand to play and construct sand fortresses on.

There are a couple of dog-friendly seashores in St Ives year-round, however most have restrictions through the summer time months.

View to the sand and bright beach huts of Porthgwidden beach in St Ives - checking out the beaches is one of my top things to do in St Ives for kids

Seek for sea glass

The city’s central seashore, Harbour seashore, has its personal temptations because it’s a fantastic place to seek for sea glass at low tide.

Choosing the smoothed off fragments of long-shattered bottles, bleached to pale blues, greens and whites at all times makes me surprise what story lies behind the discover.

Should you’re very fortunate, you would possibly even spot some Lego misplaced at sea, the remnants of 5 million items in a container washed off the cargo vessel Tokio Categorical in 1997 by a freak wave.

The present tends to take most finds – together with pirates and the occasional Lego octopus – to different factors on the Cornish shore, however you by no means know… (plus something you do discover removes one other piece of plastic from the ocean).

Go for a stroll

There are some implausible walks alongside the coast round St Ives, they usually’re doable even with youthful kids.

Blue Flag seashore Carbis Bay is only a mile east of St Ives, a part of the South West Coast path – you may take the prepare again if little legs get too drained.

I at all times love getting suggestions from native lodging corporations too for issues to do: St Ives Holidays have been based mostly in St Ives for 50 years, in order that they’ve had time to hunt out the most effective, in addition to amassing some attractive vacation cottages good for households.

Their concepts for simple round routes embrace a three-mile wander west in the direction of Zennor, one other nice choice to get outdoor in St Ives with youngsters.

Or you can even discover longer choices alongside the gorgeous coast right down to Pendeen if you would like a problem.

Take a look at the Southwest coast path web site too which helps you to select walks geared toward households. You may put a most size and select the problem ranking, in addition to get recommendations on whether or not it’s appropriate if you happen to’re pushing a buggy.

For a stroll with a distinction, try the strolling excursions from Shanty Baba together with a ghost stroll, pirate stroll and one themed round Cornish folklore.

South west coast path at Zennor Head in Cornwall - one of the walks you can try from St Ives with kids

Go online

Cornwall is among the finest locations within the UK to go online and one of many county’s prime surf colleges relies right here if you happen to fancy making an attempt browsing in St Ives with youngsters.

The St Ives surf college, based mostly on Porthmeor and Porthminster seashores run classes in addition to providing coasteering, kayak excursions and stand-up paddle boarding, so there are many choices if you happen to’re visiting St Ives with teenagers.

Absolute novices are welcome and children aged below 10 may also be part of surf periods so long as they’re supervised by a dad or mum or guardian, though there could also be age restrictions for a few of the different watersports relying which exercise you select.

Take a ship tour

There are a string of boat excursions from St Ives which is able to take you across the coast or out to identify wildlife on the waves.

St Ives boat journeys has a number of choices that are appropriate for teenagers, together with a one-hour sea safari to seal island, in addition to a 90-minute tour in a restored lifeboat to study extra of the realm’s historical past and spy the lighthouse from the ocean.

Or board the 4 Sisters from St Ives Boat Companies for one more alternative of sea safaris and seal recognizing journeys, with youngsters go free if you happen to e-book an off-peak journey (max two).

For one thing extra adrenaline-fuelled, Blue Thunder RIB excursions features a 25-minute blast across the harbour in addition to longer journeys.

Go to Tate St Ives

The Cornish department of the Tate, one in all just a few within the UK outdoors London, specialises in fashionable British artwork – with lots for teenagers to do as effectively.

There’s an entry cost for adults of £9.50 (and £1 for any actions) but it surely’s free for under-18s.

The gallery’s web site has recommendations on video games you may play as you’re exploring, in addition to particulars of the amenities if you happen to’re visiting Tate St Ives with a child.

There are additionally typically particular household actions and occasions on at Tate St Ives, particularly through the college holidays.

White lighthouse with red rust streaks against a blue sky - walking along Smeaton's Pier to the lighthouse is one of my top things to do in St Ives with kids

Stroll alongside the pier

Head to Smeatons Pier and you will get some implausible views again to St Ives itself – but it surely’s additionally a fantastic place for a stroll.

A working pier somewhat than a pleasure pier, you may nonetheless watch fishing boats crusing again in the direction of the harbour, sometimes trailed by seals hoping for a few of the catch to be thrown overboard – try extra concepts for the place to spy seals under.

Constructed within the 18th century from a design by civil engineer John Smeaton, it was initially 120m lengthy with Smeaton’s lighthouse on the finish, earlier than being prolonged to nearly double its size within the Nineties with a brand new lighthouse added.

Discover St Ives Museum

Should you’re on the lookout for concepts for wet days in St Ives, Cornwall historical past is on show on the St Ives Museum, notably reveals on native fishing, farming and mining.

There are exercise sheets for kids too, which value 20p, in addition to tiny fashions of cats and kittens scattered among the many show instances for youthful youngsters to search out – a nod to the well-known rhyme, ‘As I used to be going to St Ives’.

After all you don’t want a wet day to go to – it’s simply £5 for adults and free for teenagers, so it’s nice for a brief go to or if you happen to’re on the lookout for low cost issues to do in St Ives. Open from April to October.

For extra concepts on issues to do in Cornwall within the rain with youngsters, try my prime picks right here

Crafting at Barnoon Workshop

My daughter would fortunately spend all day drawing, crafting, portray and customarily getting inventive – and the place higher to do that than round St Ives.

On the Barnoon Workshop within the coronary heart of St Ives, there are numerous arts and crafts actions that you could attempt with youngsters, some particularly geared toward households and others which might attraction to inventive teenagers.

I first got here throughout the workshop on the beautiful weblog Otis and Us, the place Katy and her women made shell mobiles, in addition to portray shells and threading beads. Additionally a fantastic choice once you want issues to do in St Ives within the rain.

View of the town of St Ives with the beach and boats on the sea - wandering the streets for souvenirs is always fun in St Ives for kids

Choose up souvenirs

Should you’re not making your individual souvenirs to take dwelling, you could find some beautiful impartial retailers all through the cobbled streets of the city – don’t miss the Drill Corridor on Chapel Road too.

As soon as a Methodist chapel, it’s now been transformed to accommodate Café Artwork with exhibitions and occasions (and good espresso!), in addition to retailers similar to Raar Emporium promoting attractive toys.

Spot seals

In summer time, you’ll discover seal recognizing boats galore – together with journeys out to Seal Island, one of many little rocky isles simply off St Ives, the place (unsurprisingly) there are many Atlantic gray seals to be seen.

At some instances of yr you may spot basking sharks, sunfish and dolphins within the waves too.

In any other case, probably the greatest locations to see seals is Godrevy Head – and if you happen to’re visiting St Ives in winter, you’ve really received probably the greatest probabilities as there are greater numbers within the colder months (though you may see them year-round).

Head to Mutton Cove at Godrevy Level and look down from the cliffs to the seashore to see them mendacity on the sand.

View from the cliffs down to seal on the beach of Mutton Cove at Godrevy Point near St Ives, Cornwall

Uncover subtropical gardens

Everybody wants a bit inexperienced oasis to retreat to at instances, and Trewyn Subtropical Gardens are sufficient of a neighborhood secret that you could find a peaceable spot among the many subtropical crops.

Simply between Richmond Place and Bedford Street, it’s a beautiful place to sit down with a picnic in spring with the blossom flowering (and escape a few of the seagulls) in addition to to benefit from the view out throughout the close by church. It’s additionally dwelling to a memorial to sculptor Barbara Hepworth.

Not far-off from Trewyn gardens are the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens, the place she sculpted and the place her bronze creations nonetheless stand among the many crops.

Go for a stroll within the woods

There’s extra to find than simply the coast close to St Ives with youngsters – enterprise a bit outdoors the city and also you’ll discover historical woodland too.

The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is a 10-minute stroll from the bus route between St Ives and Carbis Bay – take the quantity 14 or 17 bus – with 40 acres to discover, together with woods and heathland. It’s additionally an excellent place for recognizing butterflies on the proper time of yr. Should you’re feeling energetic, there are footpaths to guide you from city to the reserve as effectively.

Should you’re comfortable to enterprise a bit additional, Tehidy Nation Park is simply north of St Ives with 250 acres of woods and lakes, plus 9 miles of paths – you may go for a stroll across the water or wander deeper into the woodland.

There’s additionally a motorcycle path and a few cheeky squirrels to identify alongside the way in which.

Bluebells in Cornish woodland with a path running through - there are several great places around St Ives for kids to run off their energy

Discover the fabulous wildlife

The wildlife sanctuary of Paradise Park and JungleBarn at Hayle is a chicken lover’s paradise, with over 130 species starting from native Cornish choughs to flamingos and toucans, in addition to purple pandas and livestock – don’t miss the penguin feeding too.

In addition to wandering round to take a look at the animals, you can even hop onto the Jungle Categorical Prepare, which takes you on a small route across the grounds and a few of the backyard.

There’s additionally an indoor play space, together with a toddler zone mushy play and jungle theme – tickets embrace an choice simply to take a look at the Junglebarn play, or for a ticket which covers this and the animals.

Head to the Farm

Trevaskis Farm close to Hayle is one other beautiful choice if you happen to’re on the lookout for issues to do round St Ives – and ideal if you happen to’re visiting St Ives with a toddler.

You may wander across the farm and orchards recognizing the animals, from chickens to pigs and ponies, and better of all there’s no entry cost or cost for parking, so one of many free issues to do in St Ives with youngsters.

There’s a pick-your-own part (pay for what you choose) with varied completely different vegatables and fruits all year long, together with summer time berries but additionally good for autumn in St Ives as someplace to select your individual pumpkins in Cornwall.

Step again in time

Only a few miles from St Ives lies Chysauster historical village, an English Heritage website with the stays of homes lining a village road.

The Romano-British settlement was initially occupied nearly 2,000 years in the past, and the stone-walled courtyard homes are solely discovered round right here on the Land’s Finish peninsula and on the Isles of Scilly.

For extra Roman locations to go to throughout the UK, try this put up

You may nonetheless stroll across the settlement and ponder what the mysterious underground passage generally known as a ‘fogou’ was, in addition to recognizing bluebells in spring.

In case your youngsters love historical past, make a cease on the close by Iron Age fort of Citadel An Dinas close to Nancledra, with its defensive circles (there’s one other Citadel An Dinas in north Cornwall, nearer to Bodmin, so don’t get the 2 confused!).

Uncover mining historical past

For an opportunity to find a few of Cornwall’s mining historical past – and one other free time out close to St Ives for teenagers – head to Heartlands in Pool.

Set on the positioning of a former tin mine, there’s additionally a fantastic journey playground plus sculptures you may climb on, gardens to roam and exhibitions on mining.

With indoor choices for wet days in Cornwall, there are 19 acres to find in complete so no matter your youngsters love, you received’t be in need of kids’s actions throughout a vacation in St Ives.

For extra issues to do with youngsters in Cornwall, try my choose of the most effective from throughout the county in addition to free issues to do in Cornwall with youngsters, or learn my full information to Cornwall with youngsters

*First printed 2019, up to date 2022*


Visiting St Ives with kids - the top things to do in St Ives for kids if you're visiting Cornwall, UK on a family holiday. From beaches, surfing and seaside walks to Cornish history, farms and more family attractions. #cornwallwithkids #stives #mummytravels

Disclosure: Compiled in affiliation with St Ives Holidays. This put up comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions and selections to recite rhyming puzzles to my daughter are my very own.

Pictures courtesy Depositphotos


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