Sitting on a graceful curved bay on Cornwall's northern coast,
the charming town of St Ives regularly features high on lists of
the UK's best seaside towns. From medieval times the town was a
fishing community; in fact it was the most important fishing centre
on the northern coast. By the 18th century it enjoyed a reputation
as one of England's busiest pilchard-fishing harbours, and many
fine buildings were constructed on the back of this wealth. In
later years the fishing industry declined, but by this time the
railway had arrived, bringing droves of enthusiastic holidaymakers
who ensured St Ives continued to prosper.
Now St Ives is also known as Cornwall's main art centre, as
there are a number of galleries and artists' studios amongst the
cobbled alleyways and switchback lanes fanning out from the
harbour. Of course, the town also enjoys its glorious golden
beaches, on the shores of the Celtic Sea.