Leo's Cottage has arguably the best sea views in town, and is in the heart of Downalong, the old fishing quarter - a maze of narrow, cobbled streets, artists studios and cafes.
A quiet No Through Road and sea wall are all that separate the house from Bamaluz beach - a small cove with year round, unrestricted access for dog walkers and a golden, sandy beach at low tide.
Parking is within easy reach at the Island and Smeaton's Pier long stay car parks. These get very busy in peak season (July and August).
Built around 1840, the house is a traditional fisherman's cottage, but with superfast broadband/WiFi, comfy mattresses, vintage furniture, Egyptian cotton bed linen and other home comforts. Walls are painted in shades of chalky white and grey to reflect St Ives wonderful light, which bounces around the house from the east-facing front in the morning to the west-facing rear in the afternoon.
The kitchen cupboards are made from the original wooden doors of the cottage and there are tiny pawprints in kitchen tiles made before the clay was fired. Ripping out those bits out seemed too heavy handed, so while there are all mod cons including dishwasher and washing machine, the history of the house is still intact.
Designed for living by the sea, it's extremely practical for families with children and pets.
- The South West Coastal path goes right past the door.
- A few seconds to the right is the harbour with its cafes, shops, pubs and pale gold sandy beach
- Five minutes to the left: Porthgwidden beach, with a wonderful cafe and views to Godrevy lighthouse.
- Well-equipped kitchen, cosy breakfast room, seats eight
- Porch with stable doors facing the quiet street outside and the sea
Living room: Views across St Ives Bay to make the most jaded heart sing. Facing east-west, this room gets wonderful light, morning and afternoon. Furnished with art from local galleries, the room runs the length of the second floor. You might spot dolphins and seals, along with cormorants, kittiwakes, turnstones and other seabirds.
Two sofas, two armchairs, window seat and space for children to play, plus:
- Books, DVDs, Plasma screen TV/DVD player with Freeview channels and iPod dock, board games, cards.
- Double sofa bed, proper sprung mattress
- Small sofa
- Small bureau
- Throws for afternoon snoozes
Sea-facing area with dark blue sofa bed can be curtained off for privacy.
West-facing rear window overlooks a small patio, a quiet lane and other cottages.
- Multicoloured slate floors, white suite, limestone walls- Bath with over bath power shower
- Shaver sockets
- Mirrored cabinets
- Heated towel rail
- Master bedroom - wonderful sea views, window seat; ensuite (shower, basin, loo, shaver socket); double wardrobe; blackout blind - Smaller double, and small single room - both with views of the slate roofs and quaint streets of Downalong
- All have pretty mirrors, hanging space and chests of drawers.
- Landing cupboard with space to hang clothes
At the front of the house:
- A hose to wash down boards and sandy feet
- A porch to store wellies, coats, beach gear
- Stable doors open on to the quiet road outside.
To the rear
A small courtyard with a clothes line.
The steps up to what was once the front door catch the afternoon sun. The small window was once where pilchards were poured into the kitchen, which like most other cottages in Downalong, is slightly lower than ground level as it was once a pilchard cellar.
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 3 bedrooms|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom and 1 en suite|
|Nearest beach||Bamaluz, the Harbour, Porthgwidden|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest Amenities||800 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Newquay 44 km, Nearest railway: St Ives 500 m|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player, Sea view|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Sofa Beds (1), Single Beds (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Access||Not suitable for wheelchair users|
|Further details outdoors|
- Drop off luggage outside the front door- Long and short stay parking around the corner at the Island or Smeaton's Pier public car parks - Other parking near the Tate and near Tesco's.
Up to two well behaved pets are welcome.Tell us your experience of staying in the cottage. Discounts for repeat bookings.
Cornwall is a magical place, steeped in ancient folklore and traditions. Its coastline has a rugged beauty and a bloody history, the scene of gruesome shipwrecks and the most successful smuggling scene in Europe a few hundred years ago.
The smugglers pubs and hideouts remain, but the clientele is more likely to feature people enjoying some of the best restaurants, cafes and surf beaches in Britain. Food in Cornwall is an absolute delight - you'll still find cream teas, cake shops and pubs serving real ale, along with world class seafood, wonderful local cheeses, award-winning wine from the Camel Valley, homemade breads and responsibly farmed meat, which can make self-catering as much as a pleasure as eating out.
Vegetarians and those looking for gluten-free versions of the same are well catered for. The tea shop nearest the cottage does home-made, gluten-free scones and pastries.
There's lots to do in Cornwall - festivals, kids theatre, Lost Gardens of Heligon, the Eden Project, art events, gardens open to the public, birdwatching, golf, guided art and history walks, and more.
St Ives fame as an artists' colony is well documented. The reason painters and sculptors have flocked to this little town is partly the light: being surrounded on three sides by sea, the light is like nowhere else on mainland Britain.
The other element is the scale and nature of the town, which as sculptor Barbara Hepworth put it, means it is possible to live a simple life. You can walk everywhere, buy everything you need, and entertain yourself within a ten-minute radius. It's bliss. There are some pretty good clothes and jewellery shops.
- Voted BEST SEASIDE RESORT in the UK by US British Heritage Magazine
- Member of the exclusive BEAUTIFUL BAYS IN THE WORLD Club.
Downlong, the old fishing quarter, is a maze of slate-roofed granite cottages and artists' studios surrounded on three sides by beaches, each of which is different. It's pretty, and has a lot of character - superficially and especially when you dig deeper.
After many other places, it also feels clean. Very clean. Porthminster beach has again been awarded Marine Conservation Society stamp of approval (higher than the European designated standard) for its sparkling sand and clear water. You breathe champagne air.
Beaches are pinky-white and golden sand with a few shells. The Harbour and Porthgwidden beaches are perfect for families with children, and safe for swimmers. On Porthmeor beach (the long one, by the Tate), there are more likely to be waves. St Ives has had a surf school there since the 1950. Rent a wetsuit, take a lesson, or a seat on the deck of Porthmeor cafe to watch the action.
Nor do you you have to leave the beach to get something (very) nice to eat or drink. Try the Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Porthminster (voted best restaurant in the UK by the Times and the Telegraph in recent years) beach cafes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice creams, fish and chips, juices... gluten free cream teas at The Tea Room - or pick up a pastie in town or maybe some fresh crab and make your own sandwiches.