Sixty nominations, one winner…..St Ives has been crowned Britain and Ireland’s best seaside town.

Voted for by a star-studded panel of judges, St Ives was judged Best Seaside Town 2007, by the Guardian Newspaper. A result not unexpected by the locals and the hordes of visitors that arrive each year.

Fast forward to 2010 and Coast Magazine has named St Ives, as The Best Family Holiday Destination, praising the resort for its adult and child-friendly attractions. The magazine also crowned Porthminster Beach Cafe as the best coastal eatery and the Tate St Ives was named as runner-up in the best-loved coastal building category.

2011, and St Ives has been voted the Top Beach Destination in the UK and 6th in Europe, by TripAdvisor, the internet’s favourite travellers review site. The winners of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Beach awards are based on the views of visitors who post reviews on TripAdvisor’s website.

The beaches, all five of them, have golden sands, perfect for building castles, exploring, or simply lazing in the sun. The waters are of the clearest blue or green, safe and clean for bathing or surfing and the sun shines for far more days than the national average. The two largest beaches, Porthminster and Porthmeor, are Blue Flag award winning beaches and are patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards. The sunsets to the West of Porthmeor Beach are exceptionally beautiful and a must-see destination for romantics and lovers of nature.

The streets are best described as narrow and quaint, often cobbled, with alleyways all leading to the picturesque harbour, where cafes, bars and restaurants all vie for your attention offering enticing menus.

St Ives Harbour is a natural refuge from the constant battering of the Atlantic Ocean and is further protected by giant granite piers, where a small brightly coloured fishing fleet lands its catch (mainly mackerel and shellfish) daily.

Gorgeous sunset across Porthmeor Beach and Man's Head St Ives Cornwall

The shops huddle together in a few narrow streets, interspersed with art galleries, public houses and eateries including the ubiquitous pasty shops, for food on the hoof.

St Ives is also home to the famous Tate Gallery. with its regularly changing displays of contemporary art by West Cornwall artists. The Tate Gallery is affiliated to The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, a short stroll away and once home to Barbara Hepworth, one of the UK’s most important 20th century artists. A little further afield is the renowned Leach Pottery, established by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada in 1920.

Also for culture buffs, a visit to St Ives Museum is a must do. Stuffed full with memorabilia of the town, many hours can be whiled away, enjoying the exhibits and quirky items within the collection.

For the adventurous, the coastal path stretches along rocky cliffs, to the East or West and can be as strenuous or as gentle as your body sees fit.

Some say the best approach to St Ives is from the railway, which winds its way along the coast before its passengers disembark right in the heart of the town, in perhaps the best situated railway station in the whole of the UK. Visitors have been making this journey since 1877 when the town was linked to the national rail network.

The Victorians began the fashion for visiting seaside resorts and St Ives has embraced the challenge of ever changing demands of its visitors. Many of today’s visitors return year after year, a testament to the endearing charm of the town.

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