After submitting two 3000-word Art History essays on Monday and Thursday last week, as well as having our Fine Art assessment on the Tuesday, we decided to have a day out somewhere to celebrate our week off before our next modules start! Being right next to Cornwall, we were thinking about where we could go, and I remembered the really cute town of St Ives where my family and I used to go on holidays when my aunt lived there. So, we booked our train tickets which actually ended up being cheaper than we expected (£11 return, from Plymouth to St Erth, St Erth to St Ives and back). We went on Tuesday, and we had so much fun! Here’s what I would recommend doing in St Ives – it’s not huge, so one day just looking around is plenty:
1. Tate St Ives.
Obviously, being art students, we couldn’t go for a day out without visiting an art gallery! The Tate was beautiful. I’ve been to the Tate Britain and Modern in London, and didn’t know what to expect from this one as I knew it would be much smaller, but it was so nicely done!
Most of the art was modern, abstract and expressive pieces, with sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, in particular, being a must-see. Paintings by Matisse, Picasso and Mondrian were amazing and proved quite the surprise! Overall, I would recommend a visit, and for a £6 student ticket, it was definitely worth it.
2. Harbour fish and chips.
Good food was a priority (obviously), and we went to a restaurant called ‘Harbour’ right on the harbour. It was so good! It wasn’t too expensive for the amount of food we had and how nice it was, and the restaurant was in a lovely location looking directly out onto the sea.
Something really nice about St Ives is all the small lanes of shops to explore. From charity shops, to small independent book shops, to high street shops, there’s quite a few for such a small town. There are also lots of nice independent home/living shops selling one off items, as well as lots of smaller art galleries and pottery shops.
4. Porthminster Beach.
There’s quite a few nice beaches in just a small stretch, but as soon as you get off the train you see this sandy beach. We ended up visiting at a really good time, because we got off the train at 11:30am, and the beach was completely deserted. After only ever coming in the summer before, when the beach is crammed full of families, it was so nice and peaceful. The rain cleared away by the afternoon, and the clear sea was a perfect colour. I’ve never lived by the sea before, so it always feels so special. I believe that the sea has healing qualities and actually de-stresses people. After the stressful deadlines last week, it was just what we needed!
After such a lovely day, we were so sad to head home and say goodbye to St Ives. It made us realise how easy it is while we are in Plymouth to just pop on a train and go to Cornwall for the day. I want to make the most of it, because second year is already flying by and I’ll miss Plymouth so much when I have to leave! So, in the summer, when we’re finished with University for the year, we’ll definitely be coming back on a hot day to spend the day on the beach.
Until then, bye St Ives!