There’s no doubt about it, St Ives is a Mecca when it comes down to golden sandy beaches… we are totally spoiled for choice.
Whether an annual summer holiday, a day trip for the locals or budding surfers, there are plenty of beaches to enjoy …. oh, and that includes our four legged friends – always welcome any time of year.
The beaches in and around St Ives provide all year round entertainment from sunbathing to bucket and spade holidays to surfing and paddle-boarding, fishing trips & pleasure craft or just bracing dog walks and gastronomic delights, our beaches here offer the lot!
1. PORTHMEOR BEACH
( No dog restrictions October 1 to Easter Day then allowed all year round before 10 am & after 6 pm )
Arguably the most popular and most well known beach with its constant blue flag status.
Porthmeor beach is situated in front of the world famous and iconic TATE ST IVES and opens out to the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.
A beautiful expanse of golden sand it’s the number one destination for generations of holiday makers to St Ives. Your typical bucket and spade beach for sunbathing all day long until the sun sets on the horizon, a spectacle you must not miss. It’s also renowned for being one of the best surfing beaches in Cornwall , and where better to learn than at ST IVES SURF SCHOOL.
No beach is complete unless there’s a cafe and Porthmeor lays claim to one of the best ! THE PORTHMEOR BEACH CAFE overlooks the beach and has indoor dining on the inclement weather days but we must insist you try and sit out on one of their many terraces areas and our best advice is to book an ‘ outdoor heated pod ‘ where you can sit and relax and enjoy breakfast, lunch, tapas and cocktails looking out to sea. You can also grab coffee, drinks, sandwiches, snacks & ice creams from the large takeaway hatch on the beach.
2 BAMALUZ BEACH
( DOG FRIENDLY 365 DAYS A YEAR NO RESTRICTIONS )
A real ‘ hidden gem ‘ in the heart of old downalong situated below the ST IVES MUSEUM . Access to the super secluded beach is down a lot of fairly steep steps but well worth the while when you get down onto the beach. The beach is surrounded by very large rocks, and when the tide subsides, it’s rock pooling heaven!
Also take advantage while the tide is out and take your four legged friends and walk along behind SMEATONS PIER towards the end of the high harbour wall where the light house is situated and you turn onto the main town harbour beach where you can carry on along to Porthminster beach or join the coastal path and head towards Carbis Bay or just head back onto the St Ives seafront, grab a bench and sit down and watch the world go by .
3 ST IVES HARBOUR BEACH
( DOG RESTRICTIONS APPLY EASTER DAY TO OCTOBER 1st unless it’s before 10 am and after 6pm , unless you are on the far PORTMINSTER end below Lambeth walk where it’s dog friendly all year round )
The harbour beach is the heart of St Ives and is framed and encircled by the pretty bustling seaside town with its shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and pubs galore all along the seafront.
It’s a working harbour with ever changing views as boats come and go on the daily tides. When the tide is out there’s a huge expanse of sand to enjoy and explore . Visit the light house at the end of the pier or take a look at the lifeboat station RNLI on the slipway onto the beach. You might even be lucky enough to catch them on training days. At low tide walk around the harbour and watch the fishermen prepping their boats or bringing in their catch at high tide.
The harbour has high walls and can be very sheltered, so if you find a place below the seafront out of the wind you have a real chance of some sunbathing and a place to sit and enjoy a family picnic, Ice cream or your favourite pasty. My favourite time is early morning when with the tide out you can walk across to Porthminster beach or with the tide in, sit on a bench and watch the early morning swimmers & paddle boarders while sipping on a coffee.
4. PORTHMINSTER BEACH
Probably the prettiest setting for a golden sandy beach in St Ives surrounded by turquoise coloured sea, cliff tops and palm trees, it literally could be on the Italian riviera but we are proud and delighted it’s right here in St Ives.
A very family friendly beach just a 5 minute walk along the narrow streets from St Ives harbour – well worth the walk with the kids and their buckets and spades, or if you are lucky enough try and grab a parking space at the public car park by the train station that sits above the beach.
The beach has everything for a perfect day out and if you are after fabulous food then look no further than the splendid PORTHMINSTER BEACH CAFE situated at the end of the beach nestled below the cliff by the SOUTH WEST COAST PATH . Mediterranean style unfussy alfresco dining with an amazing all weather terrace or sit inside and loom directly over the beach and out to sea. Super seafood and even a takeaway onto the beach for the perfect fish and chips and ice cold beer!
If you are feeling energetic and want to walk off your lunch then head off to Carbis Bay beach with your four legged friends along the coast path, a stunning 25 minute walk with incredible sea views all the way. If you arrive by train from St Erth then you have 10 minutes to enjoy one of the most scenic short railway journeys in the UK into St Ives.
5. PORTHKIDNEY SANDS ( LELANT BEACH)
( DOG FRIENDLY 365 DAYS NO RESTRICTIONS )
This massive expense of sandy beach and large sand dunes is one of my favourites, well worth a visit, sitting on its own between Carbis Bay beach and Hayle Estuary.
This is definitely one for the energetic amongst you Allow a good 45 minutes each way from St Ives, but you will be rewarded by a fab scenic walk all the way. When you come over the headland towards Carbis bay the sight that greets you is phenomenal , and with the tide out there’s nearly a mile of exposed golden sands out to sea and across to Hayle estuary.
You can drive ( 10 mins from St Ives ) if you have family and all the beach gear with you and park in Lelant at ST UNY CHURCH which sits high above the beach next to WEST CORNWALL GOLF COURSE and walk down or you can also park down by the estuary at DYNAMITE QUAY.
Porth kidney sands is a hidden treasure and never gets crowded due to its size and location, a real benefit but be aware that there are no facilities nearby, so the trick is to be organised and plan your day well. There is THE BADGER INN in the village where you can grab a pint and sit in the beer garden, which is just another 5 mins walk from St Uny church.
Surfers flock here when the swell is right, and you will see fishing boats coming out from Hayle, many dog walkers, but that’s about it. Pure bliss – quiet and no crowds … guaranteed!
If you love the sound of these beaches and are planning a holiday to St Ives why not stay in one of our fisherman’s cottages, large family houses or luxury sea view properties – we have many that overlook the beaches and harbour so check out
Before you book or call the team to book or for more info on our properties or beaches
on 01736 490 640. 💚