St Ives Beaches
St Ives is known for its beaches and that’s no surprise… There are 8 amazing choices on our list. We simply couldn’t leave any out.
We’re spoilt for choice and we won’t pick a favourite, we couldn’t agree on one if we tried! But we will tell you what we love about each of them in turn.
So from West to East, here’s a brief rundown on what the beaches of St Ives have to offer…
Well known by surfers and art lovers alike.
Sitting between Man’s Head and the Island (which isn’t an Island at all), you’ll find lots of facilities perfect for a day spent on the beach. From the Porthmeor Café, serving both tapas food in the restaurant and take away on the front, to the modern art gallery: Tate, St Ives. You’ll be right in the middle of it all!
Pop in to see our friends at the St Ives Surf School and get yourself enrolled in a surf lesson, you won’t regret it!
This small soft sandy cove is often overlooked due to the larger, more ‘surf friendly’ beaches that sit either side. Due to it’s proximity to the Island it is very sheltered and perfect for families looking to set up a base for the day with a picnic and beach games.
If you don’t fancy packing up a hamper of food, don’t worry, Porthgwidden Beach Café sits directly on the sand and serves great Mediterranean inspired food all day long.
If you have a four-legged friend you’ll know that St Ives has beach restrictions for dogs in the busier season. Fret not! This hidden cove is dog-friendly all year round. At high tide the beach almost disappears so make sure you keep an eye on the time.
You’ve found Fore Street, the heart of the town, got your St Ives Bakery pasty and want to find somewhere to perch where you can take in views of the sea and squidge your feet in the sand. This is it.
Still a working port, you can watch the fishermen bring in their daily catch or children build sandcastles when the tides out. Explore the arches, wander along the pier or simply dodge the seagulls.
Kick off your shoes and pad your way down the stone slipway onto Harbour Beach.
‘Anytime you’re Lambeth way, any evening, any day, you’ll find us all doing the Lambeth Walk…’
Named after the 1937 song from ‘Me and My Girl’, this tiny stretch of sand is located at the point where, at low tide, Harbour Beach meets Porthminster Beach. Dogs are allowed on Lambeth Walk all year round.
Keep an eye out for the towers of pebbles, ‘stone balancing’ has become very popular in the last few years and we love spotting the amazing and hard to believe balancing acts.
Just down from the train station is this white-sand wonder. Another large beach but this one benefits from being more sheltered than Porthmeor. There is an abundance of facilities from public toilets to beach supply shops, with the jewel in its crown being the Porthminster Beach Café where we’ve never had a bad meal.
This blue flag beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer and is very family friendly.
Carbis Bay Beach
Take a stroll along the South West Coast Path from Porthminster and you’ll reach another highly recommended blue flag beach. A great spot to try out a new water sport, the guys at the Ocean Sports Centre will have you standing up on a paddleboard in no time. They also offer equipment hire for kayaks, Hawaian canoes and sailboats.
Visiting with a group of friends? Ask about their giant SUP that can hold up to 8 riders for a really fun and unique watersports experience.
If water sports aren’t your thing don’t worry, Carbis Bay beach also has a lovely Beach Club Restaurant where you can grab anything from morning coffee to cocktails and dinner.
Continue along the coast path to the mouth of Hayle Estuary and find this vast and quiet beach. Around a mile long and backed by gentle sand dunes it’s a great spot for walkers; especially those with dogs, which are welcome all year round.
It’s important to note that the currents around the estuary are very fast and unfortunately not safe for swimming. The far ends of the beach are much calmer though and possible to swim in.
So whether you want quiet walks, adrenaline filled water sports, family-friendly sandy shores or just somewhere to eat your pasty, St Ives has it all.