St Ives, with cobbled streets, craft shops, galleries and fishermen's cottages, is rich in maritime history and benefits from clean beaches, rugged coastal scenery perfect for walking, and a temperate summer climate.
A 10 minute downhill walk from the house takes you to the harbour and old town, a maze of narrow streets and shops. The harbour front is always bustling with activity, and there are numerous artists’ galleries to enjoy. There are excellent sandy beaches in and near the town.
The exceptional quality of the light in St Ives had drawn artists to the town since the 19th century. The arrival of artists such as Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood heralded the heyday of the St Ives School.
Nicholson went on to marry another of St Ives most distinguished artists, the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. Her studio and gardens are open to visitors and feature many examples of her work.
In 1993 the St Ives Tate Gallery was opened. Dramatically situated overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the gallery is set over three floors featuring five separate galleries. If contemporary art doesn't appeal, it's still worth visiting the rooftop café.
The St Ives Town Trail is a 2 mile walk starting from the front gate of Chy Morvah and includes many places of interest. The walk takes about an hour includes 165ft of ascent.
In 1797 St Ives resident John Knill set up a trust to fund a celebration to take place every five years on St James Day (25 July). To this day a small procession leaves the Guildhall for the summit of Worvas Hill, led by a fiddler, the mayor, vicar and customs officer, accompanied by ten little girls dressed in white and two elderly widows. The granite obelisk, which is Knill’s memorial, was built as a mausoleum but was never used as the ground had not been consecrated.
Every Boxing Day guests at Chy Morvah can walk up to the Knill's Monument for mince pies and mulled wine.
Another monument in St Ives is Anson's monument, erected to commemorate the loss the frigate HMS Anson wrecked in a storm in 1807 with the loss of a hundred men.
About an hours’ drive from St Ives, the futuristic “biomes” of the Eden Project house a fascinating collection of plants from around the world.
There are two gigantic geodesic conservatories – one a rainforest, the other Temperate Dome is host to the fruits and flowers of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. Outside the extensive grounds are landscaped and produce tea, lavender, sunflowers and hemp. The Eden Project is just over an hour's drive from St Ives. Visitors staying at Chy Morvah between May and September can book a coach excursion to the Eden Project on Wednesdays.
Reached via a causeway from at low tide, magical St Michael’s Mount rises majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Marazion. The ancient harbour and church nestle in the shadow of the medieval castle with its exotic garden.
Marazion is about 20 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can also be reached by regular local buses.
An evening theatre visit to the spectacular open-air Minack Theatre, cut into the cliffs at Porthcurno, is offered to guests staying at Chy Morvah on most weeks during the summer.
About 50 minutes’ drive from St Ives the port of Falmouth is home to the National Maritime Museum which takes you back to the world of small boats and Cornwall rich maritime history. A day trip to Falmouth can include visits to Pendennis Castle, or a boat trip up the River Fal to Truro.
Discover the history of Cornish tin mining at the Geevor Tin Mine. Guided underground trips as well as surface tours are available. The museum is about 30 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can be reached using the 300 open-top bus.
Created in the mid 18th century, the “Lost Gardens” gardens of Heligan are famed for displays of rhododendrons and camellias. Lost under a tangle of weeds it was only the chance discovery of a door some 25 years ago that led to the discovery and restoration of this once great estate.
The gardens, located near Mevagissey are just over an hour's drive from St Ives.
Situated at Gweek beside the Helford estuary, about 40 minutes' drive from St Ives, the Seal Sanctuary cares for injured Seals as well as looking after them.