Know your sunset

Know your sunset

Events Places to go Things to do

Why is the sunset red? A question you will hear every time you get lucky enough to be able to sit down and just watch one of nature’s most spectacular shows.

It’s one of those things you feel you ought to know about, you learned about light at school, you saw the light refracting through the prism and saw how it split into a rainbow of colours but just missed the bit which explained why. Now, every time you see a rainbow you just can’t remember why it’s red and orange and pink and blue, purple and violet and… well I can’t actually even remember the song now!

Why is the sunset red?


So how does a sunset work?

As light travels towards us it hits our atmosphere and starts slowing down, as it slows colours get filtered out. Blues go first which is why we mostly see the sky as blue. In the evening as we roll away from the sun, the light rays have to travel further to reach us meaning more colours get filtered out leaving just the oranges and reds… making the sun look red! Similarly, in the morning when the sun rises.

Sun rise over Godreavy

So now we’ve given you all the information you’ll need to dazzle your kids and the other half, you will need somewhere good to watch it. Luckily for you, one of the finest places in the whole world to watch the sunset is West Cornwall. All you need to do is book up with us at and there are any number of places you can walk or drive to, which will give you a spectacular view of the horizon as the sun sets over the Atlantic.

You can head out to the coast for the uninterrupted view, or head inland and up to viewing places like Trencrom. Each view has its own beauty and both are worth the trip. For a really special experience Lands End is well worth the journey, every Tuesday and Thursday Evening from 23rd of July to the 27th of August the sunset is followed by a free firework display.

Check out Instagram for Sunset pictures

Be sure to hashtag your sunset pictures and share them with your less fortunate friends back at home, not living the dream!




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Hasthtags are – it’s in the name – tags, which you can attach to pictures, tweets, posts; pretty much anything you are going to put on the internet, which will allow search engines to group items. For instance if you were to type #st_ives into a search engine you would get lots of images and tweets about St Ives – and some about facial scrubs!

How is this relevant to you booking a holiday or just reading a blog, or just reading a blog while you should be booking a holiday? Social media is by no means a new way to communicate but it is now becoming the only way to communicate. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are currently leading the pack – and to give you some idea of the amount of this stuff that is generated – Twitter currently receives over 2000 tweets every second! Needless to say you need to tweet very loud to get heard over that lot.

St Ives Carbis Bay Holiday Instagram

So this is where your hashtags can come in very handy. If you want people to know what and see what you are up to on your holidays make up some unique hashtags and send them out to your friends. #kjsi2015 for instance – (Kelly + John St Ives 2015) – it would hopefully be unique enough so that when you or your friends search on Instagram for #kjsi2015 all your holiday pictures will come up simple… and the same for Twitter and the same for Facebook.

What about the “at?” I hear you ask? We are all getting a little older and keeping up with the kids is getting harder… so brace yourself for a little more useful learning. The “at” or should I say @ is a tag used by most of the social media platforms which enables you to tag a person. Preferably someone you know, but the beauty of the @ is that it is an informal tag and the person you have @’ed – tagged – will be informed that you have tagged them and be given a link to your tag! Simples.

So if for instance you are on holiday and take a picture of something you have found funny or want someone else to see, in the comment you post with your picture or in your Tweet you just put @theirname (no spaces commas or full stops) and that’s it!

As we finally manage to draw this little lesson to a close please use #stivescarbisbay when you are posting pictures of your holiday with us and @stivescarbisbay to give us a little shout out.

Want to be Surfing in 10 minutes?

Want to be Surfing in 10 minutes?

Places to go Things to do

Firstly I am going to apologise for a slightly misleading title… I am not going to be able to tell you how to actually surf in 10 minutes. I’ve been trying for 30 years and that skill still manages to elude me, despite spending a disproportionate amount of those 30 years in the sea!

What I can tell you is that to be surfing you need to be near the coast, conveniently all the holiday houses are located no more than 10mins from one of the UK’s best surfing locations – there’s your 10mins!

Now the surfing, which I will just say now, is the hardest, yet most rewarding sport you will ever do. There are so many elements that need to come together in the right spot –not least of all you actually being there – to give you that adrenalin filled ride to the beach. A ride so thrilling you will turn round and fight your way back out through walls of white water and incoming thrill seekers, just to do it again…

Paddle out view

The joy of surfing is something which has confounded non-surfing land lubbers for years, and the thing is, you don’t just surf a bit, you live it. It is an all-consuming pastime which will take over your life. Your internet browser quick links will be set to your local webcam and surf forecast.. your weekends will be spent waiting for the tide to turn and the wind to drop. Your evenings will be spent on Youtube watching videos frame by frame learning how to pull the perfect roundhouse cut back. Which you are planning to do next weekend, on your new board, brought on Ebay, which surfdude-five0 described the best board he’s ever owned, amazing for big sweeping roundhouses. He’s reluctantly selling it because he’s having a baby and as we all know that’s the end of his surfing life for the next 5 years!

And how can you do it? Well, make sure your kids are over 5 and you have a very understanding hot-chocolate-in-the-back-of-the-van loving partner, be single or get your partner fired up enough to have a go too!  Then get yourself a lesson and learn the basic’s from a pro. Porthmeor has a resident Surf School who run lessons from March to October – the imaginatively names St Ives Surf School will supply all the kit you could need to get started and will do family lessons, one on ones or you can join a larger group session. The group sessions are usually geared towards beginners and are a really fun way to get started and meet new people.

St Ives Surf School

Local Surf Schools:

St Ives Surf School

Surf forecast:




How to make a Cornish Pasty

How to make a Cornish Pasty

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Making a Cornish Pasty (well 4!)

Making a Cornish Pasty is something which you will need to practice – you can’t just throw one together and if you asked a true Cornishman he would say the first thing you need is a good woman – although that’s how every recipe starts when you get down west

I would also suggest looking on YouTube for crimping skills, it’s a dark art and one which can’t be explained with words. I’ve tried it several times and always up with a very higgledy piggledy crust, but then I’ve not tried it with a good woman so maybe next time?

Also, a word of warning – don’t crimp your pasty over the top – it is easier but shows and level of laziness more associated with them folk from over the boarder – I can’t mention any names and it would probably be unfair to point a finger but if they hadn’t been so lazy and walked a little further in the early days they would now be Cornish! I’m just saying…

Making the Pastry – Pasty pastry, for four eight-inch pasties.

  • 450g 1lb strong white flour
  • large pinch salt optional
  • 100g 4oz margarine
  • 110g 4oz lard
  • 175ml 1/3pt water


Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut off a quarter of the lard and rub into flour. Grate or slice the rest of the fats into the mixture and stir with a knife. Pour all the water in and stir until absorbed. Knead a little and leave at least 30 minutes in the fridge before using.

Pasty filling, quantity for 4 pasties.

200g Chopped onion and leek

300g cubed turnip(Swede)

400g beef skirt or chuck steak

600g roughly chopped potatoes

black pepper, salt (season to taste – don’t be scared!)

Making the pasties

Keep the sliced potatoes in a basin of cold water till needed. Trim and gristle off the meat and cut it (with some fat) into 6 mm (1/4 in) pieces and separate into 4 piles. Separate the vegs into 4 equal parts too.

Generously flour the board or area you are using. This allows the pastry to relax as you roll, especially if you flip the pastry up from the surface every now and then. Cut off a quarter of the prepared pastry. Roll it out, keeping the shape, into a circle 21-23 cm (8-9 in) across. The pastry should now be the right thickness. Place an upturned dinner plate over the pastry and trim round to get a nice round shape.



Layer up the pasty contents starting with onions, leek and swede, then add all the meat, then layer the potato’s and finally the remainder of the veg. Season well between each layer but do not season the top layer – salt in contact with pastry can give it a bitter taste.

Dampen one side of the pastry with a little water. If you dampen the pastry all round or use too much water you will find the edges slide instead of sealing, so don’t slosh it on.

Fold the damp side of the pastry to the other and press firmly but gently together, so that you have a seam down across the pastry, or by the side, whichever you find easier. From the right side if you are right-handed (or the left if you are left-handed) fold over the corner and crimp by folding the pastry seam over and over to the end. Tuck in the end well to seal. Alternatively, if you find this difficult, just curl the edge like a wave.

Make a small slit in the top with a knife and patch any other breaks or holes with a little dampened rolled-out pastry.

Brush the pasties with milk or egg wash or even just water and place them on buttered paper or a greased and floured tray, leaving a good gap between them.



Bake in a hot oven 220C (425F, gas 7) for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the pasties. If brown, turn them down to 160C (325F, gas 3). Bake for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for another 15 minutes with the door shut.

Remove from the oven and with a slice lift the pasty onto a plate. Cut in half, allowing some of the steam to escape.

If you are eating them picnic style, place the pasties onto a cooling tray and wait 15 minutes before eating. If you want to eat them an hour or so later, or are taking them on a journey, wrap them straight from the oven in paper and then a clean cloth. Pasties keep extremely hot for a long time and if well wrapped a pasty made in St Ives would still be ‘eating hot’ when you reach Exeter Services.


This recipe is thanks to Anns Pasties (a very good pasty indeed) –

Season Sensation.

Season Sensation.

News Things to do Walks

Off Season Sensation.

If you ask anyone who lives in St Ives when is their favourite time of the year you will get 2 answers… one half will say Spring, the other half will say Autumn.

I guess an odd pair of answers considering that holiday season and weather wise the best time of year is July and August. It is, but the trouble with the summer season is, it’s the busiest time of the year and anyone who lives and works in town is head down and making hay while the sun shines.

It’s in the off season when us locals get to really appreciate the place we live in. Walking the dog on the beach; whenever we fancy. Letting the westerly storm blow you up Trencrom Hill before warming up beside the pub fire then heading out, without needing to book a table and choose from some of the finest restaurants in the South West.

Where is all this going? I hear you ask… well as a someone looking for a holiday, you can enjoy the quiet out of season, no traffic, strolls on the beach, lazy afternoons, Gin at 4 o clock, beard growing way of life for a fraction of what it would cost in the height of the season.

Everyone loves a bargain and one of the best bargains around is the not so elegantly named BOGOF, buy one get one free, I said, you buy one, you get one free!!! Whoop whoop, get the banners out Peter’s gone to Iceland! Or if he was really looking for a bargain he could shimmy on down and scoop up a whole month of winter self-catering for the price of one week in August!

I say, you get four winter weeks for the price of a summer one! Now that’s a sensation!

Need I say more?

St Ives Carbis Bay Sprin Time Pictures

St Ives Carbis Bay Autumn Pictures

Harbour Views

Harbour Views

Places to go Things to do Walks

Having been voted as one of the best views in the country and being right here on our door step I thought it would be a nice idea to take a little time and have a look a one of the things that makes St Ives special.

St Ives Bay, viewed across the Harbour and looking towards Gwithian is truly a stunning view. Instagram is awash with photo’s taken by holiday makers and locals alike. Just take a  look at #harbourstives #stivesharbour #stives – I’ve lived here for most of my life and still on my way to work I like to stop and Instagram the view… it’s different everyday whatever the weather.

Today, looking across the Harbour it is hard to imagine it as the bustling fishing port it once was. These days there is only a handful of working boats left, moored up alongside the fleet of pleasure craft earning their living taking holiday makers on fine weather fishing trips or out to visit our local seal colony at the cunningly named Seal Island!

Needless to say no trip to St Ives is complete without a walk around the Harbour, a coffee at any one of the numerous barristers dotted around and, if it is after 12, a beer outside The Sloop as the kids play on the harbour beach.

[rev_slider HarbourView]


Useful Links:,_Cornwall

The Dog’s Beaches

The Dog’s Beaches

Places to go Things to do Walks

The Dogs Beaches… Holidaying with your furry friend is not always the easiest thing to do. You need to find accommodation suited to a dog, you need to travel with said canine companion and while you might be on holiday looking forward to relaxing days in the sun, the dog, most definitely is not… They have some business to get on with, the most obvious being the business.

Now assuming you’ve found the accommodation, and at all our properties are dog friendly and you have the means of travel sorted, what are you going to do with the little chap once you get here? The beach, it is after all what you have come for, in or out of season it is the main attraction and dogs love the beach. The space, the water, the digging, the smells, the other dogs it’s like a super charged injection to their senses and they go wild for it!

The beach is as described, a great place to take your dog and out of season, from 31st September to the Sunday before Easter, there are no restrictions. However, during the summer season dogs are banned during the day on most beaches around St Ives Bay. In fact only 2 of the dozen or so beaches don’t have some form of dog restriction in force.

There are 2 types of ban, and while one is a total, no time at all ban, the other is a very good compromise, and dogs are allowed on the beach before 8am and after 7pm. A first glimpse this might sound a little harsh, but for most of the summer months it gets light at 5am and doesn’t get dark till gone 9pm, the beaches are quiet during those hours and which really means that for dogs it is genuinely the best time to go.

I have compiled a list of the beaches around the bay area and indicated the level of ban for each beach.

Dog friendly Beaches in The St Ives Bay Area

Porthmeor – Seasonal ban
Porthgwidden – Seasonal ban
St Ives Harbour – Daytime ban
Porthminster – Seasonal ban
Carbis Bay – Daytime ban
Hawkes Point – Dog Friendly
Porthkidney – Dog Friendly
Hayle Harbour – Dog Friendly
Hayle Towans – Daytime ban
Mexicon Towans – Dog Friendly
Upton Towans – Dog Friendly
Gwithian – Daytime ban
Godrevy – Daytime ban
Peters Point – Daytime ban


There are of course other places and in Carbis Bay, a couple little garden parks, where as long as you clean up after you, dogs are welcome. The coast path is open to dogs, although for their own safety they should be kept on a lead, and the sand dunes which skirt all along Porthkidney beach and the Hayle beaches are all great open spaces for dog walking and all are dog friendly all year round.

The inland attractions such as Trencrom and Chysauster Ancient Village allow dogs, although once again the latter requires a lead. Please remember that all the areas described above are public areas and while dogs are welcomed it is asked that you respect the area and clean up any little presents your pet might leave!

If you would like any more information these are a couple of really useful links:

Things to do… Ocean Sports

Things to do… Ocean Sports

Things to do

Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Wise words indeed from one of America’s most famous First Ladies, and a little known fact about these famous words is that he followed them up with – “even when you’re on vacation!” – well, maybe she didn’t but she should have….

Living in Carbis Bay you see lots of people come and go, particularly during the holidays. A surprising amount of these people come down; spend a week on the beach – through rain and shine, and never venture deeper in the sea than getting their knees wet. Now admittedly it can be pretty chilly but you don’t have to be in the sea to discover the fascinating array of marine life and stunning coastline around the St. Ives Bay area.

There are several companies based on the St. Ives and Carbis Bay beaches who will get you and your kin into and onto the sea on a selection of craft and get exploring the coastline. The most unique of these is Ocean Sport’s Hawaiian Out-rigger Canoes. Based on Carbis Bay Beach, the only Blue Flag Beach in Cornwall, Ocean Sports is a sea adventure centre, and among the sea kayaks, Stand-up-paddleboards and sailing boats you will see a couple of astonishingly long, eye catching out-rigger canoes.

Sealife Tour at the Ocean Sports Centre

A family run business, Ocean Sports organise a range of activates on these boats. Piloted by Glenn Eldridge, one of a very few people licenced to take guided tours in these boats, you, your, family and friends can all join in on a Sea Life Explorer tour, designed to safely get you up close and personal with the seals, dolphins and sea birds that inhabit the coastline. And if a little speed is more your thing, then a surfing adventure could be right up your street, a short paddle from Carbis Bay is Hayle Estuary mouth, where you can find some great rolling waves, not steep enough for surfing but perfect for the long sleek lines of an outrigger canoe.

Canoe's and SUP's, Just what the doctor ordered!

The centre’s other activities include hire and lesson’s for Kayak’s, SUP’s (stand-up-paddleboards) and sailing dinghies. They even have a Hobie Cat, a twin hulled racing machine. Hobie Cats are the fastest small sailing boat in the world and The Ocean Sports Centre is one of very few in the South West who can offer a Hobie Cat sailing experience instructed by Jonny Stevenson a former member of the British Junior Sailing Team.

For more information on The Ocean Sports Centre and to book your adventure, visit their website, call Glenn on 07533695031 or just rock up on the beach – Jill or Glenn will be more than happy to help.

The Royal Cornwall Show

The Royal Cornwall Show

Events Places to go Things to do

During the first week of June every year The Royal Cornwall Show is, for three days, the busiest place in Cornwall. One of the longest running Agricultural Shows in the UK, boasting the Prince of Wales as it’s Patron, the show has run since the late 1700’s and in its present location, just outside Wadebridge, since 1960.

Cornwall isn’t a very densely populated county, so as you can imagine The Royal Cornwall Show provides the perfect opportunity to get the Cornish from both ends of the county together… you might even spot some Devon folk there! Not easy to do, but if you wait till lunch you can tell them because they eat their pasties on the side and have the cream under the jam on their scones!

Running from Thursday through to Saturday, it is the longest show of its kind. And it has to be, there are horse trials and livestock showing’s that attract entries from all over the UK, taking the judges days to go through and you will see some truly enormous farm animals being pampered and paraded around in a somewhat odd juxtaposition of farmyard muck and mud contrasted against the immaculately shampooed, brushed and powdered coats of the animals. The exhibitors who spend days preparing their animals for show are similarly brushed up in dazzling white lab coats as they lead their animals around in front of a panel of judges… the Rosettes are then handed out, a lap of honour given by the winner and they are off, making room for the next lot.

Flags and tent tops

While the livestock and horses were the main reason for the show, a sprawling metropolis of marquees, show homes, fairground rides, cars, trucks and flags springs up in the Show ground. You can buy, arrange, breed and sell almost anything at the show, it is reckoned that more business is conducted during these 3 days than throughout the rest of the year and everyone who is anyone is there, networking, handing out business cards and working on those all-important order-books for the rest of the year.

Cornwall isn’t a very densely populated county, so as you can imagine The Royal Cornwall Show provides the perfect opportunity to get the Cornish together… and you might even spot some Devon folk there! Not easy to do, but if you wait till lunch you can tell them because they eat their pasties on the side and have the cream under the jam on their scones.

Throughout the three days the main show ring plays host, not only to Livestock parades, the show jumping event and horse trials,  but also to demonstrations from the Army and Navy, of old farming practices and for those looking for bigger thrills and spills there is always a stunt show. This years offering was the BoldDogs MotoX Team fresh from their success on Britain’s Got Talent. They gave a breath taking display of MotoX jumps using their portable launch and landing ramps.

Bold Dogs MotoX Show

The schedule of events is always released early in the year and you can find out which dignitary – often members of the Royal Family – will be visiting and touring the show by going to the Royal Cornwall website You will also find all the results from past years, a list of exhibitors, show ground layouts and forms to pre-book and pay for show tickets – talking of tickets the prices are on there too.

The Royal Cornwall Showground is the largest events dedicated outdoor area in Cornwall. Covering approximately 10 acres the Show ground is used for lots of events throughout the year, particularly in the summer months, you can find a list of events on the website:

An hour’s drive from St Ives and Carbis Bay the show ground is located on the A39 otherwise known as The North Cornwall Highway just between Wadebridge and Padstow.