Switch off in St Ives: our guide to a relaxing retreat by the sea
The perfect excuse for a Cornish getaway
Local art, incredible food and beautiful golden beaches – it’s easy to see why so many people choose to holiday in St Ives. But aside from the town’s iconic harbour and postcard-perfect streets, the salty sea air can work wonders for our well-being.
Perfect for a relaxing seaside getaway, we’ve pulled together our top five ways to truly switch off in St Ives. From early morning yoga to lunch with a view, our hand-picked recommendations include plenty of ideas on how to slow down and embrace a slower pace of life in Cornwall.
Refresh and unwind at the C Bay Spa
Whether it’s part of a special couples’ retreat or you’re just taking some time for yourself, a day at the spa is a wonderful way to recharge. Set amongst 125 acres of sprawling coastline, C Bay Spa is one of our West Cornwall favourites. From the fire-heated relaxation lounge to the beachside hot tubs and outdoor barrel sauna, there are plenty of tempting facilities and treatments to relax and refresh.
Slip into a fluffy robe and take to the decked balcony with a glass of champagne, or enjoy a dip in the hydro pool. For those hoping to stretch their legs, a shoreline walk along the spa’s very own Blue Flag beach will blow away the cobwebs, before sitting down to lunch by the water.
Find your inner zen with yoga by the beach
Looking out across the golden sands of Porthmeor, booking in for a yoga session with Jo Riley could be just what you need to relax. From her beautiful wood-clad studios, Jo offers both private and small group lessons, which lend themselves to dedicated yogis and first-timers alike.
Starting up again in the spring, the Wednesday morning hatha yoga classes focus on breath, alignment and relaxation, with reflexology treatments also available. As the dappled St Ives light creeps in through the windows, you’ll feel in tune with your body and the season in no time.
Dine in the town’s most loved restaurants
A visit to St Ives isn’t complete without sampling the best local wares from land and sea. Home of refreshing Cornish cuisine, Porthminster Kitchen brings the flavour of the beach into St Ives.
Panoramic views across the harbour melt into a sun-drenched terrace and a menu of incredible local food. With dishes including fresh shucked oysters, half shell scallops and St Ives Bay lobster, the mostly seafood restaurant has a great range of small plates, each one bearing fresh and exciting flavours. Inside, rustic interiors, a flickering wood fire and a team of friendly staff create a wholesome Cornish atmosphere to make you feel instantly at home.
Connect with the town’s arty vibe
With so many nods to its artistic past dotted throughout the town, it’s impossible to ignore the cultural influences that give St Ives its reputation. For art lovers holidaying in West Cornwall, a visit to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden will be top of the list. Part of Tate St Ives, the museum looks out across endless ocean and is complete with a book shop and sea-view café if you’re hoping to make an afternoon of it.
Famous for her works of bronze, stone and wood, many of Hepworth’s pieces sit just as she left them, with a number of her paintings and drawings archived in the museum too. Take a walk through the gardens, stop by for a film in the studio or find out how St Ives inspired its resident artists – you’ll find inspiration no end.
Take a well-earned break at Salubrious House
Taking its name from the principles of health and well-being, there’s no better place to switch off in St Ives than at Salubrious House. Looking out across the harbour and with heart-melting views spanning the beaches of Porthminster and Porthmeor, this beautiful west coast retreat is light, bright and immediately welcoming. Cosy up fireside on chilly winter nights, watch the sunset from the window seat and when summer rolls around, dine al fresco on the sun-trap terrace.
Steeped in art history, the studio at the bottom of the garden was frequented by prestigious local artists including Douglas Portway – making it a fitting setting for an artist’s retreat. A private oasis with dedicated parking in the heart of St Ives, watch the tides from the window and find yourself on the buzzing Fore Street within minutes.
Brand new to our portfolio, steal some time to yourself and indulge in a well-earned break at Salubrious House. Sleeping up to nine guests, it’s an idyllic setting for yoga breaks, spa weekends and sociable getaways soaking up the magical culture of St Ives.