A weekend break in St Ives, Cornwall

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A weekend break in St Ives, Cornwall.

When Christmas is out of the way and it’s a long time to the summer holidays, a weekend break is always a lovely way to escape from the busy work routine and a must to get penciled into the diary.

Visiting Cornwall and the beautiful, bustling town of St Ives in late February has become an annual pilgrimage which we look forward too.  It’s our favourite quiet time of year to visit this traditional Cornish seaside town, when the visitor numbers are not too bad.

After the closure of our favourite bed & breakfast last year, we stumbled by chance across Sam Shepherd and her website www.orangeroofs.com . Sam runs an excellent bespoke property rental service.  After a first class service last year we decided to book for 3 days a lovely loft apartment called 3a Seaview Place.  Located just around the corner from the harbour and the town centre, this little one bedroom, shabby chic apartment met all our expectations and more.  We just couldn’t believe our luck when we opened the door.  This beautifully decorated, stylish apartment is in the most idyllic location and looks out to sea. Waking up in the morning to see seals, surfers and fishing boats in the bay for us was just indescribable – pure bliss!

On Saturday, after visiting the St Ives Bakery to collect our freshly made hot Cornish pasties for our picnic lunch, we set off on the St Ives to Zennor coastal path walk.  If you have not walked this route and are fairly fit, it is a must for your agenda.  However, don’t be fooled by the short distance which is around 6 miles to Zennor.  The path undulates and is very tricky, rugged and steep in places.  You will find that you have to scramble over rocks in a few sections and you will benefit from wearing good walking boots and a walking pole is useful too. Having said all this, the views and tranquillity are spectacular so do give it a try.

In the winter time, you hardly see a soul, perhaps the odd serious walker or fell runner may pass you by. En-route we passed through the Tregerthen National Trust reserve, which was a nice place to take a break to indulge in our well earned pasty whilst talking in the views. The sea air and breeze was so relaxing.

When we reached Zennor, the Tinners Arms pub and is a welcome sight.  The pub is located in the centre of the tiny village and is over 700 years old. Modern life slips away as you step inside and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting by the roaring fire with a cider. They have a good selection of ales and a nice menu serving a wide selection of food including local mackerel, crab & sardines if you are feeling peckish.

We recommend that you pop into the little church of St Senara whilst you are in Zennor and read about the legend of the Mermaid which is an interesting folk tale. For our 5 mile walk back to St Ives we always take the flat route across the fields. It is very well sign posted and a welcome relief after the strenuous coastal trek out to Zennor. This is the only place that we have seen stone stiles like cattle grids set into the ground and by the time you have finished you will be well acquainted to tackling them.  The heavens opened on our trip back on this occasion and by the time we reached St Ives after 11 miles of walking we were soaked through but we enjoyed every minute of our day out.

For dinner on Saturday evening we ate at the St Andrew’s Street Bistro.  They mention on their website that once you have visited once you will no doubt return and how true that is.  The fine dining menu has a blend of local produce and French bistro style cuisine in a casual setting. After our long walk out during the day our feast of homemade bread, crab pancakes and chicken caserolet, and linguine washed down with a bottle of wine went down very well. Top marks for this restaurant which delivers quality food, good portions at an affordable price.

You may also enjoy a gastro/pub style meal at the Lifeboat Inn on the harbour side or a drink and meal at the Sloop Inn which is very popular.  The Sunday lunches looked yummy!

A walked around the town’s shops and a  trip to the Jo Downs shop is always a must when we are in St Ives. Jo Downs is one of the world’s most respected fused glass designers. Working from her Cornwall studio, Jo’s work draws inspiration from the beautiful coastal landscape.   Every year we add to our collection, her work is truly irresistible.

We had a lovely break. If you are looking for a nice place to visit definitely give St Ives a try, you will not be disappointed.

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