As Valentine’s day approaches, we’re feeling romantic here at The Garrack! With winding streets and windswept beaches, we think that St Ives is the most romantic place in Cornwall. Here are our favourite St Valentine’s spots in and around St Ives.
We’ve mentioned The Island previously as a good place to propose. You don’t have to go that far! It’s simply a lovely spot to pause on a walk, or to sit and watch the sunset or waves together. Climb up to tiny St Nicholas’ Chapel at the top for the best views.
We could have chosen any of the beautiful beaches in St Ives; however Porthmeor, flanked by headlands and with rockpools to explore, has real rugged West Cornish charm. The long sweep of yellow sand is perfect for a windswept winter walk.
Stroll along Smeaton’s Pier in the harbour, gazing out to sea or looking across the tethered boats towards The Wharf. Grab yourself a pasty each on your way to the harbour, and eat them perched on the handy ledge on the pier’s wall. Romance, Cornish style.
St Ives’ very own secret garden, Trewyn Garden is hidden up a hill behind Barclay’s. This miniature park has a lush green lawn surrounded by welcoming benches and some stunning subtropical planting. It’s a lovely sheltered spot on a chilly February day.
Ringed by trees, and with the characteristic blue seas of St Ives bay, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Carbis Bay for a beach on the Med. You can walk to Carbis Bay easily from St Ives: pick up the South West Coast Path at the east end of Porthminster Beach, and enjoy the pretty pathway that takes you between the beaches.
A short drive away from St Ives in Lelant Downs is Trencrom Hill. There’s a small National Trust car park, and from this a moderately easy path takes you around part of the base of the hill before leading you up to the top. The views from this Neolithic settlement are incredible. You can see both sides of the Penwith Peninsula and St Michael’s Mount, as well as up towards St Austell. A wonderful spot to catch the sunset – or the sunrise, if you’re early birds.
The beaches at Hayle
Again, if you don’t mind a short drive, the quiet beaches around Hayle are spectacular. The town’s sign boasts “Three Miles of Golden Sands”, and this is exactly what you get – a sweep of pale beach that seems to stretch on forever. There are wonderful views across to St Ives, and there’s very little visible development on most stretches. Head east towards Godrevy Lighthouse, and look out for the seals.
A man who gave up his earthly world to join his mermaid lover beneath the waves? What tale could possibly be more romantic? Visit Zennor where the story is set, and which is a lovely little village about five miles west of St Ives. Drive along the coast road or take the clifftop footpath (which may be a bit of a challenging walk at this time of year!). Visit the medieval church of St Senara with its famous mermaid carving before cosying up in front of the open log fires in The Tinners.
Head a bit further west if you’re looking for a really remote spot. Cape Cornwall is a beautiful, rugged headland, reached through the mining town of St Just. Park in the National Trust car park and walk up to the top of the Cape – one of the most romantic places in West Cornwall to watch the sun set into the sea.
A cosy pub
As Valentine’s Day falls in February, it can be a pretty wet and chilly celebration in this hemisphere! Snuggle up together in one of the town’s inviting pubs. Try the medieval Sloop Inn by the harbour, the perfect place to warm up after your romantic, windswept walk.
St Ives really is one of Cornwall’s most romantic spots. Follow your Poldark-style clifftop walk with an elegant Valentine’s dinner at The Garrack; or with so many places to explore, escape here for a few nights. With our sweeping ocean views and cosy corners (and a bottle of fizz on ice…) we have everything you need for a romantic Valentine’s in St Ives.