St Ives is one of the jewels in the crown of British seaside holiday destinations and is renowned for its beautiful golden sandy beaches making it a mecca to visit at any time of year but particularly during the peak season its popularity can harbour its own problems with the main one at the top of everyone’s ‘worry list’ is the nightmare of being able to park!
If you are lucky enough to be visiting St Ives in beautiful Cornwall and haven’t booked one of our 16 St Ives luxury Cornwall cottages that are fortunate to already have parking, all is not lost!
Here’s a few insider tips of a dozen parking options all within St Ives where on the whole pay and display car parks operate throughout the town and with forward planning there are are also a couple of places that you can prebook (highly recommended) which will make that long journey down so much more rewarding on arrival.
Many of the car parks are run by Cornwall Council where paying for parking for longer stays has been made easier by being able to buy a ‘rover ticket’ either on your arrival at the car park on line. A rover ticket gives you flexibility in letting you park your car in most (but not all) Council long stay car parks and you can purchase them to start at any time of the day so you can park immediately after you have made your payment. This enables you to park at any car park during your stay that can be found on the Rover ticket car park list….but just remember all parking as in any public carpark is on a first come first served basis and the ticket does not guarantee you a space…if you are unlucky and go out for the day to return and park you will just have to join the queue if busy and wait to find that coveted space. Many seasoned visitors have now taken to buying a weekly or two weekly tickets, find a space and leave the car well alone for the whole duration of their holiday as of course with so many things to see and do in St Ives you don’t need to travel anywhere!
Here’s a need to know simple parking guide
Island Long Stay
One of the most popular car parks in the heart of downalong between Porthmeor & Porthgwidden beaches …be prepared to queue at peak times!
Long stay car park
Smeatons Pier Short stay
Parking on the old pier with fab views, more expensive than most!
Sloop short stay
Tucked away behind the famous Sloop public house right on the harbour front ..couldn’t be more central if you tried!
Porthmeor Short stay
Parking with the ultimate sea view, just along from the Tate St Ives …fab access to the beach but a small car park & always popular with surfers!
Barnoon Long stay
Up Porthmeor hill and to the side of the cemetery with stunning sea views and a short walk into town
Station long stay
Park by the train station overlooking the gorgeous Porthminster beach then a short walk in St Ives
Park Avenue long stay
Below the rockface along Park avenue most of you will use this road to exit St Ives then a 2 min walk down the steps into St Ives
Please note this is the car park of the Stennack surgery which turns into a pay and display parking outside of normal surgery hours Monday – Friday 18.00 at night until 8.00 the following morning and 24 hours per day on Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays .
Reserved spaces available for disabled parking
Laundrette short stay Private car park
Please note this is privately operated and monitored by Armtrac security so please park between the lines and don’t overstay your ticket time as you may be fined . Very central parking and handy for town.
Trenwith Long stay
Known as the 1000 space car park by locals. Huge car park up at St Ives leisure centre overlooking St Ives. 5 min walk all down hill into town!
Be smart and prebook your parking before you arrive in St Ives!
Bit of a trek to get to ( 10 min walk into St Ives ) or just hop on the paid for bus service down into town . The beauty of here is its large capacity and being able to prebook your parking in advance online!
Located at the very top of town on the Penbeagle industrial estate this car park offers secure pre-booked long stay parking. The town centre is a 15-20 walk away (all downhill!) but local taxis are available
The best time to find a parking space.
If you do want to find a parking space close to or in the town centre, we would always recommend early on especially during the busy changeover days of Friday & Saturday. Be warned there are in general no places to queue for parking so you may be turned away. This is often the case at the popular Island car park where jams are a common occurrence!
Reserved parking warning!
Unless your holiday cottage comes with its own reserved parking, please avoid parking in the reserved parking spaces located in the Cornwall council car parks. These are designated spaces for residents and businesses that are in constant use and spaces are clearly defined with painted number on. You will be fined for any unauthorised parking and Porthgwidden car park is solely for reserved parking !
Finally if you want to avoid all the possible stress in parking within the narrow confines of beautiful St Ives and haven’t got parking at one of our Cherished cottages and feel you can do without the hassle of your car for your holiday then park at St Erth station hub just a 10 minute drive from St Ives, hop on the incredibly scenic St Ives bay line and be in St Ives in under 15 minutes stress and car free! If you are smart book a taxi ahead for collection at the other end who can whizz you, your family & luggage off to your holiday cottage!
Open 24 hours
Electric car charging available.
We hope our insiders knowledge of parking tips helps you when planning your next trip to beautiful St Ives to make your visit as stress free as possible and if you are looking for a very special place to stay in St Ives with or without parking, check out our portfolio of cosy cottages, sea view apartments, studios for two and large family houses to stay at www.cherishedcottages.co.uk
Author Tim Petersen May 2023