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Rainy days in St Ives

September 12th, 2016

OK… we must admit that very occasionally it does rain in St Ives but that doesn’t need to stop you. Sometimes it’s good to have an excuse not to do that challenging coastal walk you’d planned to do, and you are on holiday after all so don’t really need a reason to eat pasties and cream teas.

Here’s some suggestions for those rainy times – we reckon you could fill at least 2 days without worrying about the sun coming out.

Enjoy a leisurely coffee

If it’s raining you might take the morning a bit slower than you would have done had the sun been shining; you might get up a bit later, hang around a bit in the lounge, catch up with Facebook or Instagram, read a bit of your book. At some point you’ll wander into town and St Ives is nothing if not a coffee lovers haven.

There are plenty of places to enjoy the view (spectacular even in the rain) and a hot drink. We can recommend the Vintage Store & Coffee Shop, Mount Zion coffee, the Cornish Deli and any of the beach cafes (Porthminster, Porthmeor and Porthgwidden).

The great thing about Cohort is that it’s in the centre of town so you won’t get too wet walking to any of these places.

Go to the cinema

Alright we know you’re on holiday and can go to the cinema anytime but really, if you’re a movie lover, there’s nothing more fantastically indulgent than shooting into a movie theatre on a rainy day. There’s a great little cinema right opposite Cohort Hostel and it’s cheap as chips, we’re talking £5/ticket (£4 if you’re over 60).

They show a great selection of current blockbusters and more independent movies along with some of the live screenings from the Royal Opera House and National Theatre. You can book online or just turn up.

Check out what’s showing on their website.

Visit the St Ives Museum

A lot of people don’t even know that St Ives has a museum but it’s a great collection of eclectic memorabilia dating back to when St Ives was just a tiny fishing village and known for little more than that. St Ives Museum is located in the heart of the old St Ives fishing community of Downalong in a building which formerly housed a pilchard curing cellar – don’t worry, it no longer smells!

The museum is run almost exclusively by hugely knowledgeable volunteers and for just £3 it’s a lovely way to spend a rainy couple of hours.

Go to the Tate

As of 31 March 2017 the Tate will once again be the focal point of the St Ives art scene. Bigger and better than ever before after its 18 month expansion the Tate will house contemporary exhibitions along with a permanent collection of the St Ives artists which include Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo, Alfred Wallis and Margaret Mellis.

While you may want to put off visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum to a drier day (to fully appreciate the sculpture garden) the Tate really is a superb way to spend time in St Ives when it’s raining. They have a fabulous cafe too so time your visit to take in lunch or tea.

Indulge in a cream tea

“A cream tea (also known as a Devonshire tea, Devon cream tea or Cornish cream tea) is a form of afternoon tea light meal, consisting of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam. Traditionally a speciality of Devon and Cornwall, cream teas are offered for sale in tea rooms in those two counties, as well as in other parts of England, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth”.

The traditional Cornish way of eating a cream tea is to spread the jam on the scone and top with a spoonful of clotted cream; if you plan on doing it the other way round (cream first) make sure the locals don’t see you ;-).

Most restaurants and cafes in St Ives do a great cream tea, we love Madelaine’s Tea Rooms, The Tea Room (who also do a gluten free version) and Pengenna Bakery do a great value take away tea if you fancy bringing it back to the hostel to enjoy in front of Netflix.

Soak in a St Ives spa

We have a host of spa options in St Ives and they are not expensive unless you start booking lots of treatments. On a rainy day it is very easy to book into one of the spas for the morning or afternoon; around £15 will buy you a relaxing swim, steam and sauna at St Ives Harbour Hotel or Carbis Bay Hotel, both of which also offer a huge range of treatments from sports massages (great if you’ve participated in a surf lesson recently) to facials.

St Ives Harbour Hotel is just a short walk away from Cohort (manageable even in the rain) and while you can walk to Carbis Bay Hotel in half an hour, a cab (taxi rank just outside the hostel) will only cost you £5.

Book a surf lesson

Believe it or not it really doesn’t matter if you’re doing a surf lesson in the rain. You’re going to be wet anyway so you might as well be in the water! Wet suits and waves are great for making you forget that it’s even raining.

Guests of Cohort receive a 10% discount from St Ives Surf School so even if you don’t fancy shelling out for a lesson you can just hire a wet suit and body board and splash about in the waves.

Warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate from Porthmeor Beach Cafe or West Beach Bakery.

Social hour at Cohort

Whatever you spend your day doing come back and tell us and other guests about it over a social drink at Cohort’s bar; between 5 – 7pm you can get a Carlsberg for £1, 2 x San Miguel for £3 or spirit & a mixer for just £1.50. It’s warm, dry and infinitely easier to brave the rain for dinner with an aperitif or two inside you.

Stay at Cohort

At least if you’re in the centre of town you don’t have to worry about getting too wet on your way to do any of our suggested things. With beds from just £22 p.p.p.n you’ll have more money to spend on things like spa days and cream teas. Don’t worry about the weather – St Ives is fabulous in all seasons. Check availability for September & October now…

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