Travel writer Tom Leaman writes about some of Exeter's lesser-known treasures.Written by Tom Leaman on 6th April 2018
Best of Britain | St. Ives
News editor Grace Duncan reports from St. Ives and suggests visiting for a relaxing seaside break.
After a long weekend in the small coastal town of St Ives, I was fully converted to it as the perfect place for a quiet UK break.
Getting there you can take a normal train which takes about 5 hours from London or if you are feeling fancy, as my mum was and as she was paying, so was I, you can take the sleeper train from London Paddington which I loved, having never been on a sleeper train before. On a student budget this probably wouldn’t have been possible but with a parent/proper adult paying, you’d be a fool to say no.
The galleries in St Ives are often the biggest attraction. If you are interested in art then St Ives is the perfect place for you with everything from the Tate to the Barbara Hepworth to independent gallery owners in the back lanes. My personal favourite was the Barbara Hepworth which is located in Hepworth’s St Ives home and studio where she spent much of her life and created many of her works. The gallery takes you through from an informative museum into her studio and then into the garden which is the real highlight. From it, you can see the coast and how the sculptures that Hepworth created fit perfectly into the landscape.
Other than Jack Wills and Joules, which are apparently obligatory in British coastal towns, it boasts a selection of small shops including an excellent liquor store, a couple of bookshops and more fudge shops than you know what to do with. And also, bizarrely, a knock-off Build -A – Bear Workshop. While you might not go for the shopping the art and jewellery available and made by independent artists are items you can find nowhere else.
Although I am a London girl, and I could never live outside a city, there is something about a walk along the coast that is calming and therapeutic, everything a walk along Oxford Street is not. The paths go for miles and the views are lovely. Dotted along the coastline are small and secluded beaches which make a welcome alternative to the larger beaches in Cornwall which are mobbed in the height of summer.
On the coast, obviously, the seafood is the real winner in terms of food with the crab sandwiches being the thing that was most recommended. There are also lovely bars along the marina to have a cocktail and watch the sunset.
If you are looking for a relaxed weekend in the UK this Summer, St Ives is a place to check out.