Abbie’s Trip To St Ives

Shutterstock / ian woolcock © St Ives

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about St Ives. I’ve been thinking about other places, too. They all have a few things in common – white sandy beaches, sunny skies and brilliant, sparkling seas.

Yes, I may be overdue for a holiday!

The thing is, we have two weeks booked off in September, but we still don’t know where we’re going to go! After two years of lockdown it feels as though the world has suddenly opened up so many options to us.

While we’re hoping to go abroad this year, I can’t help but reminisce on our last summer holiday. Last September, we drove down to St Ives for a week.

Yes – from Scotland!

A family tradition

St Ives is a place that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s the place we went to almost every year on our family holiday for as long as I can remember.

In fact, my grandparents would take my dad there when he was young, too. So it almost feels like a second home whenever I stay there now.

Some family research made me wonder whether there is something in our DNA that calls us back to the area. I’ve traced my dad’s side of the family back to the Scilly Isles. So, if my findings are right, then perhaps it’s a tradition that goes back longer than we know!

Fun in the sun

I have so many memories of building sandcastles and shielding Cornish pasties from giant gulls.

After a day of fun at the beach, we’d explore the cobbled streets. There were so many interesting shops. I remember baskets of shells and dried starfish.

The narrow alleys that ran between some of the houses threw my over imaginative mind into overdrive. Surely, pirates and smugglers walked these same paths under the cover of darkness?

Last year was no exception. I may be in my 20s now, but I still find walking around the town so intriguing. They feel full of stories!

Exploring the surrounding areas

One place that we could not miss was St. Michael’s Mount. It’s a short drive away from St. Ives and well worth it.

St Michael's Mount


Styled on Mont Saint-Michel in France, it’s a castle and a small village built on a tiny island off the coast. You can get to it by boat, but the magical way is to wait for the tides to reveal the causeway and walk across.

Last year, we also drove over to Land’s End. We didn’t choose a good day. It was so foggy we could hardly see a few steps in front of us, never mind further out to sea.

But, we did have a very pleasant walk along the coast and the sun eventually came out.

Daphne du Maurier

On the way back, I planned for us to stop off at Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. The same Jamaica Inn of Daphne du Maurier fame.

It wasn’t quite what I expected – it was more of a Disney attraction than the dark, mysterious house described in the book. But then, I don’t think it would get so many customers if it still played host to the same shady characters from the book!

But before we left St Ives, we accidentally stumbled on a cottage Daphne du Maurier had stayed at in the 40s, with the blue plaque to remember her.

It’s not hard to see why she was so inspired by Cornwall. My imagination is wandering just thinking about it.

Now, maybe it’s time to plan our next visit . . .

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.