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If the thought of visiting a special place like St Ives and simply sitting on the beach gives you FOMO, you’ve come to the right place!

Relaxing holidays are all well and good, but increasingly our guests are telling us they want unique experiences too. Creative courses which unleash hidden talents; active breaks for nourishing body and mind; food encounters which open up new culinary horizons… St Ives and the Cornish coast has a lot to offer the experience-hungry traveller.

Here’s some inspiration for the year ahead.

~ Get in touch with your creative side ~

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Fall for the colour palette of St Ives throughout the seasons

St Ives began to forge a reputation as a haven for artists during the 1800s, and it remains a thriving creative centre to this day. With Tate St Ives, Leach Pottery, St Ives School of Painting and the Barbara Hepworth Gallery, there are no shortage of amazing cultural institutions to visit and learn from.

For a proper hands-on experience, we recommend one of Leach Pottery’s courses. These range from one-off evening courses for young people, to 5-day specialist courses for experienced potters. During 2024/25 many of these courses will be taught at Newlyn School of Art as the Leach site is underdoing an exciting redevelopment. Newlyn itself has a fascinating place in the history of British art; Penlee House is the place to go to learn more.

The Count House Carbis Bay
Stay at The Count House, which was once owned by Bernard Leach and is full of creative touches.

If you prefer paint brushes to a potter’s wheel, there’s a wealth of courses to choose from at St Ives School of Painting. The inspiring programme encompasses oil, acrylic, and watercolour painting as well as drawing, printmaking and mixed media. Overlooking Porthmeor Beach, the historic studios are an incredible place to soak up the unique atmosphere and light of St Ives.

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Stay at historic Norway Cottage, just steps away from St Ives School of Painting in the old artists’ quarter.

~ Get to grips with Cornish food ~

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Foraging courses in Cornwall

While St Ives Cookery School is under construction, you can do a ‘at home’ course in one of our holiday properties with the School’s lead chef, Jeffrey Robinson. A bespoke three-course menu will be constructed for each group according to preferences and seasonality, and a combination of demonstration and practical hands-on learning will see you cook up a storm! Of course, you get to eat together afterwards too…

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Stay at Trendreath, where the stunning kitchen will set the scene for culinary magic.

To really get back to the roots of those seasonal ingredients, why not book a foraging course?  Fat Hen offer private, two-hour foraging walks for groups of up to 20. They also run ‘Forage and Feast’ days at the nearby Gurnard’s Head, a country pub a short drive from St Ives. Learn how to spot edible wild foodstuffs, and how to incorporate them into everyday cooking.

Corva Farmhouse
Stay at Corva Farmhouse, where countryside rambles are right on your doorstep.

~ Jump into an active break in Cornwall ~

Kayaking and SUP safaris are a great way of seeing the coast

St Ives Surf School is one of the best places to learn or perfect surf skills in the UK. But it’s not just surfing they offer from Porthmeor and Porthminster Beaches – you can try your hand at coasteering, kayaking, and SUP too. Book onto a Group Surf Lesson or opt for Private Tuition – either way you’ll be in safe hands.

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Stay at Gimme Shelter, a stylish après surf hangout with useful outdoor kit area.

Likewise on Carbis Bay Beach you’ll find the Ocean Sports Centre, where lessons can be booked and a range of equipment hired. Kayaks are great for exploring the beautiful coastline, while stand up paddleboards offer a brilliant workout for your core. Two Mega SUPs are also available; with room for eight of you, be prepared for some serious laughs!

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Stay at Sea and Sand, where views of the water will inspire daily adventures!