Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Cornish Holiday - St Ives

Ahoy there! It's the summer holidays, and P and I have been off on our travels for a few days - would you like to come along? Now that the children are grown up, we decided that it was high time we had an adventure on our own, so at the end of term last week after work we packed our bags and headed off to Cornwall. The girls house and cat-sat for us, so Clover was happy. It was exciting for us to go as a couple, and Cornwall is a place which is very dear to our hearts, as we've spent many happy family holidays there over the years We stayed in a cosy little converted thatched barn, just perfect for two,

and enjoyed lazy breakfasts together. We did miss our youngsters, but it really was incredibly relaxing to only have to think for two people, and just decide what we wanted to do as we went along.

We didn't linger too long over breakfast, however, as we were keen to get out and explore and soon set off down little winding Cornish lanes.

As you know, I love hedgerows, and was very taken by the tall twisty stems of foxgloves as they wave from the top of plant-covered stone walls as we drove past them.

I love stone walls too, and have noticed how much they vary depending on where you are. I do think I love Cornish ones best of all. They are usually made of granite and often have a couple of diagonal rows of stones along the top like this one,

or start with boulders at the bottom and get narrower as they get taller, like this. And they are always full of plants and flowers.

As you can imagine, I am in my element in Cornwall where there is such a huge variety of flora. There are flowers at every turn, like this wonderful sea carrot. 

and these umbellifers.

Bees love the tiny convolvulus flowers that grow everywhere,

and the wild honeysuckle which twists through the hedgerows.

The first place we decided to head for was a favourite of ours, St Ives. 

Carrying minimal beach things, we headed through the pretty streets of this old and very popular fishing town. 

Past pretty pastel-painted, coast-themed cottages.

Through narrow cobbled alleyways.

Along the little lane with what I always call 'the ice-cream cottages', The Digey.

And around the corner, treading in our old footsteps from many summers past, and gasping as always at the wonderful view which opened up before us, Porthmeor Beach.

The light in St Ives is truly amazing, and it's easy to see why so many artists have come here to live. This north-facing Atlantic beach is always bathed in bright, cool light and I'm fascinated by the soft blue and aqua shades, as well as the pale sand.

Soon we had set up our little beach tent, along with towels, swimsuits,

 books, crochet, seaside notebook and of course, two veggie Cornish pasties for lunch. Mind the seagulls!

It was warm, but not the brightest day, and after P's habitual swim (too chilly for me) we lazed and drank coffee, and I wrote in my seaside journal, as I've done for years. I did a bit of painting too, inspired by the Tate St Ives gallery which was behind us on the seafront.

Just playing around with colours, trying to match what I could see around me, rather than making a painting.

The bold, primary colours of the lifeguards really stand out here against the more natural shades.

As usual, I engaged in my favourite coastal activity of beach-combing and found a worn piece of sea-glass to add to my collection.

Before long it rained, so we headed to the shops for a little wander, passing the harbour as we went.

In the evening we ate a delicious meal in one of our favourite restaurants The Porthgwidden Beach Cafe. It combines coastal chic with a very relaxed feel, and we sat by the window and watched the sea become dark.

As we wandered back through the town, we stood and watched the harbour lights as they were reflected in the water and agreed that it had been a very happy day indeed.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about what we did next on our Cornish adventure.
See you then x


  1. How lovely to enjoy a few days away, just the two of you together. Lovely photos of beautiful St.Ives; I'd like to spend a week there and see if I could improve my painting with that amazing light. I look forward to tomorrow's post and more photos from the holiday.

  2. Thankyou for sharing we have had many a holiday in Cornwall a lovely place xx

  3. What a wonderful break, exactly the sort of thing I love to do. Cornwall is gorgeous isn't it, and I really like St Ives as well. And pasties as it happens. I shall look forward to seeing where else you went. CJ xx

  4. It looks totally wonderful and relaxing. Glad you had such good weather too. x

  5. Hi Cathy sooner or later I'll go there!
    My doughter Is already back from England for a school trip to Portsmouth
    Have a nice day!


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