Exeter to St Ives in Two Hours

Helena Clark-Davies

From the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter you can reach the sandy shores of St Ives in less than two hours. Put aside the old rivalry between the two counties in favour of a stunning weekend break on the beautiful Cornish coast. A short break in St Ives gives you three days to explore the beautiful art, delicious food and stunning setting that make this seaside town so famous.


Set off early or have a lie in! With a two-hour journey time you can set off late morning and still be in St Ives in time for lunch. Sail Lofts – St Ives will look after your luggage until it is time for you to check in, allowing you to go off and begin exploring the town. The Digey Food Room offers a fab lunch menu with takeaway options if you would prefer to sit on the harbour beach while you eat. Take the afternoon to wander around the town checking out the wide range of independent shops and galleries, before returning to your luxury apartment in St Ives.


Wake up to the sounds of the seaside and head down to The Searoom for a delicious breakfast in a warm and relaxed setting with a picturesque harbour view. The banana pancakes and French toast are personal favourites! Wander back through town to The Tate to explore St Ives’ rich artistic tradition. The current exhibition of Patrick Heron’s work is fascinating and well worth a visit. In the evening head back to The Searoom for original cocktails made with St Ives Gin or eat at Cellar Bistro on Fore Street – it’s a favourite with locals.


On Sunday you have time to soak up St Ives’ breath-taking vistas. Go for a leisurely stroll across Porthmeor Beach or attempt a more challenging walk along the coastal path to Clodgy. Reward yourself with lunch at Porthmeor Café, which offers tasty tapas as well as bigger plates if you’ve worked up a real appetite. Finish off your stay with one of the best dining experiences St Ives has to offer. Alba is situated on the Harbour and boasts a cocktail bar as well as a five star dining experience.

It couldn’t be an easier journey to St Ives! Join the A30 at Exeter and follow it all the way until Hayle, then the A3074 into St Ives.

St Ives is also accessible by train, and though the journey time is a little longer, the branch line into St Ives is one of the most beautiful train rides in the UK!