Our country houses - Chy Morvah

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For those longing for a little slice of the Med on the north coast of Cornwall, the seaside town of St. Ives delivers with sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and world-class cultural attractions. So it’s easy to see the appeal of Chy Morvah, our characterful property just a stone’s throw from the landmarks and landscapes that inspired an entire art movement. Here’s what makes staying here so special.

An arty history

Meaning ‘house by the sea,’ records show that Chy Morvah had already opened as a private hotel by 1949. The St. Ives Town Guide of that year describes it as ‘delightfully situated in its own grounds overlooking St. Ives Bay’ and having ‘hot and cold running water to all bedrooms’. The adjoining building, Lanyons, was once the home and studio of Peter Lanyon – the acclaimed St. Ives-born painter renowned for landscapes that leaned heavily towards abstraction. This building later became a school known as St. Christopher’s and there are still signs of the classrooms in the car park (keep your eyes peeled for the ridge in the tarmac). It has been part of our HF Holidays line-up since 1986.

Fabulous facilities

Open from March to October and during the festive season, there’s 39 well-appointed guest rooms in three categories (Classic, Premium, and Superior) spread across the Chy Morvah building and Lanyons House – many with sea views. It also has a main lounge overlooking St. Ives Bay, a ballroom for evening activities, a licensed bar, and a sea-facing dining room for a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Elsewhere, you’ll find a handy boot and drying room, a small terrace, manicured gardens, and books and games to borrow during your stay. The heated outdoor pool opens from May to September.

Stunning location

Given that Cornwall has 300 miles of some of the loveliest coastline in Britain, it’s no surprise that the beaches in St. Ives steal much of the limelight. Harbour Beach is on your doorstep, but the sandy gems of Porthminster, Porthmeor, and Porthgwidden are an easy walk away. You’ll also be within driving distance of St. Michael’s Mount – the tidal island crowned by a medieval church and castle. The National Trust has owned most of the island since 1954 and while they ensure its preservation and conservation, it’s been the cherished home of the St. Aubyn family since the 17th century.

Superb walking

We’ve rounded up the very best walking routes for epic views of rugged granite headlands, hidden coves, sleepy fishing villages, lush woodlands, and gloriously sandy beaches. Cornwall has 422 miles of coastal paths – many of which can be explored before stopping for a well-deserved cream tea. On the legendary South West Coast Path, you can trek around Mount’s Bay from the granite ridges of Land’s End to Lizard Point – mainland Britain’s most southerly peninsula. Equally visit-worthy is the rugged St. Agnes Heritage Coast for its grassy hilltops littered with the ghostly ruins of ancient tin mines and the pint-sized village of Mousehole for its waterfront pubs with names that pay homage to famous smugglers.

Linger for longer

Whether you’re enjoying one of our guided or self-guided walking holidays, there’s plenty to see and do within easy travelling distance of Chy Morvah. Here’s some of our favourites:

Minack theatre: Carved into the granite cliff overlooking the Porthcurno Bay, this open-air theatre first premiered Shakespeare’s The Tempest in 1932. Visiting hours vary depending on the performance schedule and advance bookings are highly recommended.

Barbara Hepworth gallery & sculpture garden: Just a short walk away, this Tate-run museum and garden sets the scene for a fascinating insight into one of Britain’s most important 20th century artists. Highlights include impressive sculptures in bronze, stone, and wood, along with paintings, drawings, and archive material.  

Cornish seal sanctuary: Set on the Helford Estuary in the village of Gweek, this incredible charity rescues grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline – and then returns them to the wild. You’ll get to enjoy the underwater viewing areas and even stay for feeding time.

Lost gardens of Heligan: Just an hour’s drive away, this 200-acre wonderland offers plenty of thrills for plant lovers. Rediscovered by the Eden Project’s co-founder Tim Smit, this Victorian country house garden is filled with traditional and rare breeds and plenty of peaceful spaces.

Eden Project: An epic domed structure just an hour’s drive away, this dramatic global garden is home to cutting-edge architecture, outdoor gardens, plant-based exhibits, art installations, and play areas – all housed in tropical biomes set in a crater the size of 30 football pitches.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall: Located on Falmouth Harbour, this award-winning museum celebrates Cornwall’s maritime heritage through interactive exhibits, talks, lectures, boatbuilding workshops, and more. The National Small Boat Collection is one of the star attractions.

Geevor tin mine: As the last mine to work the UNESCO-listed St. Just Mining District, this award-winning heritage attraction is home to the largest number of undersea tin and copper mines in the world. The museum and visitor centre opens year-round from Sunday to Thursday.   

7 Night Cornwall Guided Walking

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

South Cornwall Coast Path Guided Trail

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3 Night Cornwall Self-Guided Walking

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

7 Night South East Cornwall Guided Walking

Book now or call 020 3974 8865