Monday 16 August 2021

The Seaside Town with the Most Beautiful Light in Britain.

 So it's no surprise St Ives gets as busy as it does. We had deliberately chosen to go when the kids were still meant to be in school in the hope it would be quiet so it was disappointing to find it was busier than we had hoped it would be. Mind you by sheer fluke I did manage to miss the G7 summit by a week which was a huge bonus I had no idea that was due to be a skip and a hop down the road when I was looking at St Ives as a holiday destination! 

As it happens that did have a knock on effect for a lot of people because there had been a couple of positive covid cases. Meaning they had had to trace who they had been in touch with, and then where all of those people had been eating. This basically resulted in about two thirds of all the restaurants in St Ives being closed due to staff shortages as they all had to isolate! As it was pre-restrictions being lifted you had to book places to eat in advance so suddenly there were a LOT of people frantically trying to find somewhere else to eat. Ironically we were fine because Himself hates fish, so we had gone for Italian and pub food meaning none of our reservations were cancelled!

We do want to visit more of Cornwall but as it was still lockdown we decided we would go somewhere we knew, as we had both fallen head over heels for St Ives it was a no brainer. We even went back to the same B&B because despite the downside of being up an insane hill, it was lovely. This time though I booked the room with the sea view, we were not disappointed. 

No Pimms with the landlady this time and no cooked breakfast either, but there was a bigger kettle as well as a toaster in the room, then cereals, milk, bread, butter, fresh fruit, snack bars and biscuits downstairs. You just helped yourself each day. We bought eggs at the Co-op in town as we had brought our electric egg boiler with us so we could have a more substantial breakfast prior to the walks we had planned each day.  

We arrived at about 4.30pm did a hasty unpack and went straight out to reacquaint ourselves with this gorgeous place. Seeing what had changed, which shops had closed and which ones were new and just generally unwinding after a 5 hour train journey. 

Crazily we had left in a torrential downpour but this was the weather when we arrived. Bliss.

We had a late dinner reservation so we mooched about the harbour and two of the beaches before going back to sit in the bay window of our room and drink in the view, I swear I felt myself getting lighter by the second as I forgot about work and all that shit. We changed and heading out for dinner which was the first of our two Italian dinners and delicious. We walked back via the beach so

night time beach selfie! 

I took my denim jacket with me which became a bit of a nightmare as I haven't worn it since I broke my shoulder. Denim jackets have no give in them and even with help I had to wrestle myself into it each time we went out, lesson learnt there.

Now there is a view I would happily wake up to each morning, minus the iron obvously! 

Our plan for the day was to walk most of the Pilgrim's, or St Michael's Way. We had a leisurely breakfast before walking down into town and out the other side to catch a bus towards Marazion, our idea being to walk the route backwards. It's too long to walk in one day, but our plan was to miss out the bit we had already done between Lelant and St Ives which made it a more manageable 12 mile walk. There is a hill you can climb in the middle which give stunning views in both directions so that was also part of the plan.

Look at this gorgeous view, it helped make the fact the bus was cancelled and we had to wait 45 minutes for the next one a bit easier to take. As it turns out we should have taken that as a sign for the rest of our day...

We got off the bus about two miles from Marazion and walked from there down to the beach to start our route from the beginning of the causeway to St Michael's Mount, sadly the sea was in so we couldn't start from the island itself.

From there we headed to Marazion Marsh, the walk cuts across the marshes but we had a mooch around there first so I could look at the bird and plant life. Weirdly there was a sign on the post next to these steps saying the pathway was closed for construction work, yet there was no other indication anything amiss so we carried on. We tried to find the road where you could join the walk but got lost so we went back to the marsh and followed the path there. 

A little way in there was another sign, one of those big yellow ones you see next to road works, again saying the pathway ahead was closed but as it was just a grass footpath through marshes and woodland we couldn't figure out what they were for. Well we finally found out, two miles into the walk we reached where you have to cross the train tracks and here was where the construction work was clearly taking place! 

There was no one there and you could see from the way one of the barriers had been pulled back and bent someone else had clearly ignored the construction and carried on. We decided it wasn't worth the risk and turned back as in theory there was another place to join the walk in the direction of Penzance so we headed that way. Would you believe it not one, not two but in three places the coastal path that links Penzance and Marazion was closed for some sort of construction work. I couldn't help feeling that they had had the whole of the spring and early summer when everything was in full lockdown to do the work but instead they wait until the holidays are just beginning. By the time we had made it round these closures it was way too late to continue with the walk as we had to get back in time for a dinner reservation and we would complete the 12 miles in time. So we decided to walk into Penzance and have a mooch about but by the time we got to the outskirts by the train and bus stations it was raining. As we passed through the bus station we spotted a bus to St Ives just about to leave so we took it as a sign and dived on it.

We ended up walking over 6 miles just trying to get started! but as I said to Himself we still had a lovely day out until the weather changed and it's a reason, as if we need one, to come back again and actually complete the walk.

We got in, got changed and went straight out for dinner as we had a fairly early reservation, our second Italian which was not as nice as the previous night but very entertaining courtesy of the people from the Peak District at the table next to us waxing lyrical about "Not only Mr Tom Cruise but also Mr Harrison Ford" being in town for filming. 

From there we went to the Co-op and bought a bottle of wine which we took back with us to drink sitting in the bay window watching the night fall. Bliss.

The next day was warm and started bright but slowly became more and more grey and overcast.

We walked the coastal path towards Zennor, going further this time than before but we still couldn't go all the way. It's a very challenging part of the South West Coastal path, involving scrambling over rocks which I knew I couldn't do with my shoulder.

I don't know if it was due to the lovely warm early spring weather, followed by all the rain this year but the abundance of flowers on the cliffs was breathtaking. 

There were so many orchids too.

When it started to get challenging we headed back. First port of call when we got into town were for some chips after which we just mooched round doing some shopping, visiting a craft fair and whatever else took our fancy. 

I bought a new rum to try and a gorgeous handmade elephant necklace, as well as gifts for Mum and Dad. I was also going to buy a dress for myself but Himself whisked it off me and bought for my birthday in July instead.

 We bought an ice cream and took the scenic route through the graveyard by the sea back to our b&b. It was so peaceful and again the flowers here were lovely.

There were even orchids growing all over here too, so beautiful.

Dinner was at a pub that came with great reviews. I had the most delicious piece of fish with homemade tartar sauce because unlike Himself I adore fish. 

The weather was starting to turn but not enough to stop us walking round to Porthminster beach and back barefoot along the beach and through the harbour as the sea was right out.

Over night it started to rain and by morning was pouring so we ended up having to kill time in a couple of cafes before picking some sandwiches and drinks for our train journey home. Not that it dampened our love for the town one tiny bit. It was a blissful break and did us both the world of good.


  1. First, a belated Happy Birthday.
    So glad you had a pleasant break. It really does look beautiful with the sea, and the wildflowers.
    Until you mentioned bringing your egg boiler I have to admit, I'd never heard of such a thing. A quick Google search and...well I need one! Boiling an egg ought to be simple, but I'm terrible at it. I'm looking forward to that now, which is both exciting and sad that boiled eggs is what excites me. Oh well.
    Hope you have a great rest of summer.

    1. To be honest egg boilers are not a big thing in the UK either, but they are a big thing in Europe and my Mum (being German) has always had one so I grew up using them and got my own when I left home. They are fab, you can do soft or hard boiled eggs with no fuss or mess, providing you remember to pierce the egg, if you don't you will have mess a plenty!

  2. That sounds like a lovely break - closed footpaths notwithstanding! I would have loved to walk footpaths when we were in Cornwall in April but OH is not that keen a walker; although we did walk down to the beach each day. Fab views from your room.

    It was our first time in St Ives and the light is truly amazing. I loved your photos and am envious we missed all the lovely wildflowers. We found the eating out thing a pain - too late in the evening plus it was outside; it was both chilly and very windy at times so this wasn't suitable - we discovered Morrisons instead!

    Hope you get to walk the SW Coastal Path unhindered next time...

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful and relaxing break. The view from your B&B bay window is absolutely stunning, I could have sat staring at it for hours, which I'm sure you did too. Those orchids are gorgeous! Sorry to hear about your failed walk, but I'm sure the coastal path towards Zennor more than made up for it. It is a truly magical area! xxx

  4. What absolutely stunning photos, I love the panorama with you and the yellow bag, that ought to be your new blog header!
    Liz was holding her first exhibition in St Ives during the summit and the following week wasn't able to eat out or do much more than test and keep her distance just in case. You chose a much better time to visit!

  5. What absolutely stunning photos, I love the panorama with you and the yellow bag, that ought to be your new blog header!
    Liz was holding her first exhibition in St Ives during the summit and the following week wasn't able to eat out or do much more than test and keep her distance just in case. You chose a much better time to visit!