Monday, August 14, 2017

Walking the South West Coastal Path - Day 1 - St. Ives, Cornwall, UK

Day one of the trip was not supposed to include much walking. It was a day for getting to St Ives, the starting point of our walk, and saving our energy for the days ahead.  But St. Ives is a popular tourist destination and I'd had problems finding accommodation so we'd booked into the Green Apple Bed & Breakfast in Carbis Bay, two miles from the center of St Ives.

We arrived early evening on a mild summer's evening. Given sunset was not until after nine-thirty and we knew we wouldn't have too much time the following morning to look around we decided to make the most of the light and stroll into town. It turned out to be a good decision, as along the way we got a good view of the layout of the town and the picturesque harbor.

The harbor has a small beach which is sheltered by the town on one side and Smeatons Pier on the other. There has been a lighthouse on the pier since 1831 but the current lighthouse was built in 1890 after the pier was lengthened. There is also a tiny medieval chapel, St. Leonards, where fishermen used to pray before going out to sea.

On a hill behind the harbor is the St. Ives Coastwatch Station. It was operated by the Coastguard until the early 1990's when their services were withdrawn from stations around the country. Following the drowning of two fishermen within sight of a then unattended local station, a charity organization, the National Coastwatch Institution was formed in 1994 to restore the coastal watch.

Running alongside the harbor is a street of shops, galleries, cafes and pubs, including The Lifeboat Inn where we dined on delicious scampi and chips. 

After dinner, we took a walk along the harbor beach where we had a great view back to the other side of town. And a reminder of how far back we had to walk to our B&B which was well off to the left of the green hill in the picture below!

My first impressions of St. Ives was that it was a charming seaside resort and I was a little sorry that we wouldn't be able to explore all it had to offer. Definitely worth a visit.


  1. Looks great. Wish I were there right now. :)

  2. It almost has a mediterranean feel to it, but without the intense heat, so it is both relaxing and invigorating - a perfect place to start the walk.