The ultimate guide to the best St Ives beaches, in one of Cornwall’s most iconic seaside towns.
St Ives attracts thousands of visitors each year. One of the many draws to this idyllic port is the abundance of beautiful beaches just a stones throw away from the town centre. Boasting six beaches right on it’s doorstep, with many more just outside, it’s easy to see why so many visitors flock to St Ives each year.
Porthminster Beach is the first sight for many visiting St Ives, as it’s situated just below St Ives train station, part of the famously beautiful St Ives branch line. This sheltered, family friendly beach has golden sands and all the facilities you could need including and is one of the most popular St Ives beaches.
The easily overlooked Lambeth Walk Beach is situated just outside of the south pier of St Ives Harbour and almost disappears at high tide. Low tide reveals golden sands as the beach connects to Harbour Beach and a low Spring tide means on the opposite side of the beach actually joins up to Porthminster beach.
Although still a working harbour, St Ives Harbour is also a sandy, family friendly beach set within the hustle and bustle of the town. The beach is sandy even at high tide, but low tide reveals the bottom of the entire harbour with boats left sitting in the sand. The harbour front is also full of wonderful restaurants, cafés and bakeries.
The remains of Wheal Dream tin mine overlook this quiet, sandy beach. Situated between the harbour and Porthgwidden beach, Bamaluz often goes un-noticed by the majority of visitors. The beach itself is fairly sheltered from all but an onshore breeze but the high walls can also block out some of the sun. At high tide the beach is also greatly reduced in size and can almost disappear on a spring high.
Porthgwidden beach is smaller and more hidden than Porthmeor and Porthminster beach but this very sheltered beach is highly popular in the summer season. Situated just below the island it’s also host to the Porthgwidden Beach Café, a colourful row of beach huts and other facilities. There is no lifeguard coverage on this beach.
Porthmeor beach is arguably St Ives’ most famous and iconic beach. Situated just below Tate St Ives the long golden sands are popular with locals and tourists alike. The beach also faces out to the Atlantic Ocean, so is a very popular surfing destination and home to St Ives Surf School. This blue flag beach has lifeguard cover, plenty of facilities and the highly popular Porthmeor Beach Café.
Clodgy Point Beach lies just outside of the town, only a few hundred yards from Porthmeor. Whilst all other beaches in St Ives are sandy, or mostly sandy, Clodgy Point is a rocky pebble beach that’s dog friendly all year round.
Carbis Bay beach is one of only eight blue flag beaches in Cornwall. It’s an expansive, sheltered golden sand beach that’s great for families and has all the facilities you might expect. The tree covered cliffs on either side protect the beach from the elements and there’s lifeguard cover from July – September.
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