Anyone trying to drive to St Ives in Cornwall during the summer months is in for a bit of a shock. The narrow streets are barely big enough for cars, there is nowhere to park and as for meeting traffic coming the other way...... There is a solution.
Leave the stress at home and take the train on one of the most beautiful rail journeys in England. Visitors either change from the mainline train at St Erth or park the car there or at Lelant and start the vacation. The Queen did exactly this last week and arrived in St Ives completely refreshed.
The tiny train sweeps past the Hayle Estuary where birds nestle and an old harbour now has a few small boats. Onwards past sand dunes to three miles of golden sands as the train hugs the coast. Ahead of you are the beaches and there in the distance is Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel.
The train moves on to Carbis Bay and the sea could be in the tropics somewhere- it really is that blue. Past a few trees and there is Porthminster Beach and the glorious St Ives Bay. Who needs the stress of a car when you can arrive on vacation or for a day completely bowled over by the scenery and chilled out.