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What to pack for a Cornish summer holiday

June 28th, 2021

With a lot of international travel off the agenda you might find yourself holidaying in the UK for the first time this summer. We’re not talking about a long weekend in the country but a real, proper, take-more-than-one-day-off-work, holiday.

To that end we thought it would be helpful to have a packing list for a Cornish summer because we all know that British weather is not wholly predictable but forewarned is forearmed and as a wise person once said “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”.

Essential packing for Cornwall

  • A lightweight waterproof jacket – because it does sometimes rain but it never gets cold, the last thing you want to be is wet and sweaty
  • Strong sun cream. The weather down here is deceptive. It can look overcast and there can be a breeze but that sun is super strong and due to our lack of pollution (and therefore lack of added protection from the sun’s rays) in the air it is very easy to burn.
  • A sun hat if you’re particularly sensitive to the sun.
  • Ear plugs as the seagulls are noisy, especially in the morning. If you’re a light sleeper then they’re a good investment.
  • Flip flops, are great for all weathers and terrain (unless you’re hiking the coast path). Even with the odd rain shower your feet won’t get cold and flip flops are easily flung off and hooked on a backpack for when you get down to the beach.   
  • Layers. It’s not uncommon to experience 4 seasons in one day down here and the only way we’ve found to handle it is to wear layers. Be prepared to strip off down to a T-Shirt or vest, equally have a sweatshirt to hand for the odd brisk wind.
  • Swimwear for the beach (obviously).
  • Towels (x 2). One for the beach and one for the shower. We do hire (non-beach) towels if you forget yours; it’s just £1.50/towel for the duration of your stay. A towelling beach robe is also useful if you’re planning on getting changed down at the beach – there aren’t any changing rooms and very few rocks to hide behind.
  • Sturdy shoes if you’re planning on doing some hiking on the coast path. In the summer running / trail shoes would work fine if they have a decent grip; hiking boots are ideal.
  • Reusable Coffee Cup / Water Bottle. Most places in St Ives will offer a discount if you have your own cup for hot drinks and all will fill up a water bottle for you. There’s even a town water-refill point just by the lifeboat station and one in the lounge at Cohort. See and Plastic Free St Ives for details.
  • Dressing gown / Cover up for walking from the bedrooms to the shower blocks – always handy.
  • Sunglasses as it’s always really bright in St Ives. There’s a reason the light in St Ives is so famous and it does mean that on a dull day you’ll find yourself squinting if you don’t have sunglasses.

Essential things to REMOVE from your suitcase

  • Any form of high heeled shoe unless you are supremely confident at walking on cobbles in heels. Even wedged shoes are no match for the streets of St Ives. On top of which St Ives is supremely informal, even its “swankiest” restaurants.
  • An umbrella. An obvious choice surely?! After all, this is the UK. However this is Cornwall and Cornwall is busy and full of narrow streets, if you’re holding an umbrella you’ll spend more keeping it out the way of other pedestrians rather than keeping yourself dry. Make life easier and just ensure your waterproof jacket has a hood.
  • A foam body board as these are hugely damaging to the environment with a tendency to ‘moult’ little bits of plastic everywhere. Instead hire a wooden body board from Little Goat Gruff in St Ives.

Above all bring a SMILE, a bit of patience (St Ives is busy in the summer) and a willingness to try new things.

Cohort is THE place to stay in the centre of St Ives

St Ives is a fantastic holiday destination and Cohort is a fantastic place to base yourself – right in the centre of town and with fabulous facilities. At the time of writing this blog Cohort is ranked #4 out of 38 hotels in St Ives on Trip Advisor.

Book direct for the best price.

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