Sea swims, sunshine, and eating in the open air – St Ives has all the ingredients of a classic summer holiday.
A great summer holiday is a wonderful and timeless thing. Forget about screens – it’s all about blue skies, a sea breeze, and the feeling of sand between your toes. Here, you can enjoy those endless summer days and make memories that will last a lifetime. A digital detox never felt so good.
Una is just a short walk from the centre of St Ives and its beaches, shops, cafes, and culture, meaning that during a holiday here, you don’t even need to venture further afield (unless you really want to). And when it comes to fresh air, good food and breathtaking views… Well, St Ives has them in spades.
If you’re keen to recreate the classic summer holiday – with a contemporary twist – here are our top recommendations.
Scenic train rides
There’s an old-fashioned glamour to holiday railway journeys, especially in Cornwall. Here, you can enjoy a fresh perspective as you chug through some of the most scenic routes in the county, from field-lined valleys to marshland and sand dunes.
A particular favourite is the short but sweet trip between St Erth and St Ives, known as the St Ives Bay Line. If you’ve got a car, St Erth station offers a park and ride, meaning you can begin there and arrive at St Ives station, right next to Porthminster beach.
When the sun shines, it only takes a towel, a paperback, and a great picnic to make the perfect day. With so many food outlets in St Ives, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to packing your lunch.
Visit the Cornish Deli for local meats, cheeses, sandwiches, and salad boxes, and I Should Coco for handmade artisan chocolate. Or, on a Thursday morning, you can head down to the St Ives Farmers Market, which runs from 9.30am to 2pm. Then, with lunch sorted, all you have to do is take your pick from St Ives’ beaches, including Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Bamaluz and Porthminster. Swimming costumes, buckets and spades are all optional (but why wouldn’t you?).
Often, it’s only by exploring on foot that you can really appreciate the beauty of an area. Passing at a slower pace, you take in the coast path views, hidden footpaths, sweeping farmland, and lush hedgerows full of wildflowers.
Although St Ives itself feels busy, it doesn’t take long to strike out into the countryside, and there are plenty of walks of varying lengths to enjoy. If you’re looking for a longer outing, the ancient pilgrimage route St Michael’s Way takes around a day and passes from coast to coast. Or, for shorter options, look at iWalk Cornwall, which details guided walks, rated from easy to strenuous.
With the wide Atlantic washing in and out of St Ives’ beaches, its rock pools support a vibrant ecosystem of their own. Whether you’re visiting with children or flying solo, there’s a simple joy that comes from paddling about in the shallows, clambering over rocks, and seeing what you can find.
Some of the best beaches for rock-pooling are Porthmeor and Porthminster. Look out for crabs, starfish and shrimps in the water or within small nooks and crannies, and sea anemones, limpets and snails on the rocks.
Time offline means more opportunities to play games as a family. Beaches form the ideal setting for classics like rounders, volleyball and boules, or a spot of competitive stone-skimming.
Or you could take part in a real-life adventure with an escape room experience at Escape Time, or a mystery walking trail from Treasure Trails. Work together and problem solve, as you get moving around St Ives.
And of course, no summer holiday is complete without at least one ice cream. A real favourite is Moomaid of Zennor, found at Street-an-Pol. Choose from a range of flavours, such as almond and cherry, espresso martini, and the evocatively named Shipwreck (sea salt, dulce de leche caramel and honeycomb).
And there’s so much more at Una
As well as forming a brilliant base for holidays, Una has a wealth of facilities for summer fun. New this year, Una Lido is our heated outdoor pool, where you can swim, soak and while away a warm day. Alongside this is the Lido Bar & Grill, an outdoor barbecue kitchen serving a street food-inspired menu and laid-back drinks. You’ll also find an indoor pool, gym, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi, making it all-too easy to get into the relaxed holiday vibe.
We’d love to welcome you to Una this summer. To browse available lodges and villas, just visit our Stay page.