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17 issues to do in St Ives with children

As I used to be going to St Ives, I recited the basic 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 profit from all there’s to do in St Ives with children.

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 faculty of portray – St Ives has loads of the basic 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 sights 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 children.

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

Hit the seaside

Like a lot of Cornwall, you’ve bought a string of beautiful seashores to select from however if you happen to’re in search of the very best seashores in St Ives with children, my very own three favourites are helpfully three of the simplest to get to.

Porthgwidden Seashore is without doubt one of the smaller ones, lined with brightly colored seaside huts (and a café), plus rocks to clamber over between sandcastles.

Or head to Porthmeor Seashore, not removed from Tate St Ives. Top-of-the-line locations to be taught 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 children and a wonderful chocolate tart on the menu.

In summer time, there are generally cinema screenings on the seaside too.

Porthminster Seashore is one other favorite for households, particularly with youthful children. At low tide, the shallow water is excellent 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 number of dog-friendly seashores in St Ives year-round, however most have restrictions throughout 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 seaside, Harbour seaside, has its personal temptations because it’s an awesome place to seek for sea glass at low tide.

Choosing the smoothed off fragments of long-shattered bottles, bleached to light blues, greens and whites all the time makes me marvel what story lies behind the discover.

For those who’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 seaside Carbis Bay is only a mile east of St Ives, a part of the South West Coast path – you possibly can take the prepare again if little legs get too drained.

I all the time love getting suggestions from native lodging firms too for issues to do: St Ives Holidays have been based mostly in St Ives for 50 years, so that they’ve had time to hunt out the very best, in addition to amassing some beautiful vacation cottages good for households.

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

Or it’s also possible to discover longer choices alongside the attractive coast all the way down to Pendeen in order for you a problem.

Take a look at the Southwest coast path web site too which helps you to select walks geared toward households. You’ll be able to put a most size and select the issue score, in addition to get tips about whether or not it’s appropriate if you happen to’re pushing a buggy.

For a stroll with a distinction, take a look at 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 without doubt one of the greatest locations within the UK to go online and one of many county’s high surf faculties relies right here if you happen to fancy making an attempt browsing in St Ives with children.

The St Ives surf faculty, 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 freshmen are welcome and children aged below 10 may be part of surf classes so long as they’re supervised by a mother or father or guardian, though there could also be age restrictions for among 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 be taught 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 selection of sea safaris and seal recognizing journeys, with children go free if you happen to ebook 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, certainly one of only some within the UK outdoors London, specialises in trendy British artwork – with a lot for teenagers to do as nicely.

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

The gallery’s web site has tips about video games you possibly can 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 usually particular household actions and occasions on at Tate St Ives, particularly throughout the faculty 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 – however it’s additionally an awesome place for a stroll.

A working pier quite than a pleasure pier, you possibly can nonetheless watch fishing boats crusing again in the direction of the harbour, often trailed by seals hoping for among the catch to be thrown overboard – take a look at 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 virtually double its size within the Eighteen Nineties with a brand new lighthouse added.

Discover St Ives Museum

For those who’re in search of concepts for wet days in St Ives, Cornwall historical past is on show on the St Ives Museum, significantly displays 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 children 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 in search of 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 children, take a look at my high picks right here

Crafting at Barnoon Workshop

My daughter would fortunately spend all day drawing, crafting, portray and usually 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 you could strive with children, 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 an awesome possibility if 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

For those who’re not making your personal souvenirs to take dwelling, you could find some pretty unbiased 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 deal with Café Artwork with exhibitions and occasions (and good espresso!), in addition to retailers similar to Raar Emporium promoting beautiful 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 occasions of 12 months you possibly can spot basking sharks, sunfish and dolphins within the waves too.

In any other case, the most effective locations to see seals is Godrevy Head – and if you happen to’re visiting St Ives in winter, you’ve really bought the most effective probabilities as there are larger numbers within the colder months (though you possibly can see them year-round).

Head to Mutton Cove at Godrevy Level and look down from the cliffs to the seaside 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 occasions, 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 take a seat with a picnic in spring with the blossom flowering (and escape among 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 distant 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 children – 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 place for recognizing butterflies on the proper time of 12 months. For those who’re feeling energetic, there are footpaths to steer you from city to the reserve as nicely.

For those who’re completely happy 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 possibly can go for a stroll across the water or wander deeper into the woodland.

There’s additionally a motorbike path and a few cheeky squirrels to identify alongside the best way.

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 hen lover’s paradise, with over 130 species starting from native Cornish choughs to flamingos and toucans, in addition to crimson pandas and livestock – don’t miss the penguin feeding too.

In addition to wandering round to take a look at the animals, it’s also possible to hop onto the Jungle Categorical Prepare, which takes you on a small route across the grounds and among the backyard.

There’s additionally an indoor play space, together with a toddler zone mushy play and jungle theme – tickets embrace an possibility 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 pretty possibility if you happen to’re in search of issues to do round St Ives – and excellent if you happen to’re visiting St Ives with a toddler.

You’ll be able to 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 children.

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

The Romano-British settlement was initially occupied virtually 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, take a look at this submit

You’ll be able to nonetheless stroll across the settlement and ponder what the mysterious underground passage often called a ‘fogou’ was, in addition to recognizing bluebells in spring.

In case your children 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 day trip close to St Ives for teenagers – head to Heartlands in Pool.

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

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

For extra issues to do with children in Cornwall, take a look at my choose of the very best from throughout the county in addition to free issues to do in Cornwall with children, or learn my full information to Cornwall with children

*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 submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee. All opinions and choices to recite rhyming puzzles to my daughter are my very own.

Photographs courtesy Depositphotos


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