Being an international student in Exeter means that everything is novel and interesting. It’s a great opportunity to explore lots of new places and there happens to be an abundance of those around Exeter. Cornwall has some of the prettiest places in the UK and one of these is the picturesque little town of St. Ives. It takes around 2 and a half hours on the coach from Exeter to St. Ives, past some very nice countryside views. This little town has lots to offer – from beaches to hiking trails to shopping. Here is my adventure at St. Ives.
The first thing I did on arriving there was grab a little tourism booklet from the tourist information point at the Guildhall, complete with places to visit and a handy map. Then, I wandered along, trying to make sense of the map, and stumbled upon the market place and on walking for a few minutes, I came to the Harbour beach. It’s a port so there was lots of boats going around and it was a busy atmosphere. The tide was low, so there was a lot of sandy areas, with people frolicking in the waves.
After a few minutes of relaxed strolling along the waves, I stopped for a Cornish special cream tea at the Porthminster Kitchen, a restaurant along the wharf road running along the beach. I absolutely loved the clotted cream that came along with the scone and jam, the ‘cream’ in cream tea. It was scrumptious and very fulfilling!
After my snack, I wandered along the Wharf road and looking at the colourful restaurants and bakeries, I came upon the next beach, Bamaluz, which is really a tiny cove with a great view of the clear blue sea. It’s a little hidden and easy to miss, but absolutely a treat to the eyes, especially from the viewpoint near the road at the top.
Continuing on the road, I went past the St. Ives Museum to my next port of call, the Porthgwidden beach. Its a small crescent shaped beach with amazing views. Rather than go down to the beach, I walked to the viewpoint
and enjoyed the fresh sea air for a while.
Continuing to walk along the road, I entered the Island area, a peninsula area. Walking through the meadows got me to a coastguard lookout with a truly beautiful view. I followed the path, clambering over the rocks and stairs hewn into the cliffs rocky faces to get to the Chapel of St. Nicholas. The Chapel itself was very historic and calming.
The areas around it offered a stunning wide view of the bay, all the way to the to the long Porthmeor beach and cliffs on one side to the city on the other. A little path ran between the Porthmeor beach and the Chapel on the cliffs, where I sat for a while, enjoying the sight of the waves crashing on the rocks and the sea in varying shades of blue, sharing the place with birdwatchers and strolling tourists.
It was then time for lunch, so I cut into town, enjoying the quaint, narrow streets lines with shops. Going along Fore street, I came upon many shops selling classic Cornish goodies. I settled for a spicy veggie Cornish pastry, eating in the refreshing bowers of the Trewyn gardens, near the Cathedral. My Indian palate didn’t find it very spicy but I enjoyed the meal.
After browsing through some more shops, I wandered along back to the Porthmeor Beach, past the world famous Tate Gallery on to the Beach road to go to Mans Head rock formation, a little lookout point on the cliffs on the coast. It had nice big rocks to rest on and enjoy the beautiful views.
Still not having had enough of the gorgeous coastline, I walked along the coastal footpath to Zennor, a rough path over the cliffs. It involved some climbing over rocks and clambering over rough ground. I stopped after half hour of hiking, ending up a little past the Treveal cliffs. The view from there was breathtakingly gorgeous! I was able to see miles and miles of the cliffs stretching along the coast and the beautiful breakers sending spray over the coastal rocks, not to mention the sparkling blue ocean as far as the eye can reach! It was truly amazing and I loved every minute of the walk.
Walking back via the Harbor beach, I was very surprised to see the the beach had vanished! The tide had come in and the massive waves were crashing against the walls, sending spray high into the air and drenching everyone walking past.
So, I managed to go over the entire town in a day, which made me feel really satisfied. I haven’t been to the museums or art galleries so that’s a trip for another day. I think St. Ives is marvelous and I especially loved the scenic beauty of the place and the quaint loveliness of the town itself. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen! Its no wonder really that this place has been inspiring artists through the ages.
Walking along the cliffs, smelling the salty air and hearing the birds call out to each other – it really made me feel more connected to nature and to myself. I came back from the trip, full of positive spirits and feeling really refreshed!