St Ives is a popular holiday destination in the UK. Hundreds, if not thousands, flock to Cornwall in the summer holidays. With crystal clear waters, and beautiful beaches, it’s not hard to see why. Here is a guide to the beaches in St Ives, Cornwall. If you’re ever in the UK, it’s definitely worth going to see this part of the UK. You won’t be disappointed!
- Porthmeor Beach
I’ll start with my favourite beach in St Ives, Porthmeor. A little hidden, being out of the main area of town, and a lot of people don’t even realise this is here. This beach is surfers paradise. It’s the perfect location for the conditions needed for a decent surf. I’ve been plenty of times when there’s been 10ft waves, if not bigger. If you’re not already a surfer, there is a surf school so you can learn the skills needed. This is also the biggest beach in St Ives. With the island overlooking it, and also the Tate Gallery, it’s in a beautiful setting, and you can easily forget you’re in the UK on a hot summers day. The Porthmeor Cafe at the top, is the perfect location for a drink, or even a meal if the weathers a little dull. When the tide is out, the rock pools emerge, and make a great area for exploring the marine life in the rock pools. If you’re not already sold on visiting this beach, this is the place to be during sunset in St Ives. The sun sets on this side, and is the perfect location if you’re a photographer, wanting that perfect sunset shot.
Tip: It does get windy on this side of the harbour, which is why this beach is so perfect for a surf. But not so great if you’re wanting a day sunbathing! So it’s worth taking some windbreakers or a beach tent along with you.
- Porthgwidden Beach
The smallest beach in St Ives (minus the dog beach), so it’s definitely worth getting down there early in the day if you want a spot on the beach. This little hidden gem is a great spot for families, as the water is quite calm. And being relatively small, it’s easy to keep an eye on the kids. Being in a dip, it does mean it’s usually not so windy on this beach. So if you’re a bit cold because of the wind on Porthmeor, you can head over to this beach, which is less than a 5 minute walk away, and you’ll be in the warm sun again, away from the wind. There is a beach cafe, and some benches, if you didn’t want to get sandy, and just enjoy the view!
Tip: There is a little shop at the top of the hill, as you’re walking down to the beach, next to the toilet block. It’s actually cheaper here for a drink, than it is at the beach cafe. And it isn’t even a minutes walk away from the beach cafe!
- Harbour Beach
The main beach in St Ives, but my least favourite. This is where all the fishing boats come in, so unfortunately the water isn’t as clear as it is on the other beaches in St Ives. It’s great to explore when the tide is out, and seeing all the crabs washed up between the fishing boats. When the tide is in, there’s usually a few seals that come in with the fishing boats.
Tip: When the tide is fully out, you can walk across to the Porthminster Beach
- Porthminster Beach
My second favourite beach in St Ives. You can relax on this beach, and get fab views across the harbour of St Ives in the distance. This is a nice quiet beach, and doesn’t usually get too busy, as a lot of people think it’s miles away when they can see it from St Ives harbour. It’s right next to St Ives train station, so perfect if you’re not staying in St Ives, and don’t want to pay the car park charges. There’s plenty of things to do with the kids, including paddle boarding, kayaking, crazy golf etc. During the summer, the local church also put on some activities, such as beach volleyball, tug of war etc. So great for keeping the little ones occupied!
Tip: Grab some lunch in town, and take it with you, as prices can be quite expensive on the beach. It’s not a far walk into town, but saves you making the journey!
- Bamaluz Beach
This is the only dog beach in St Ives during the peak summer months. Rest of the year, dogs can go on the other beaches. It’s also not really a beach if the tide is in! It’s tricky to get to, as you have to climb down the steps, and then the rocks to get to it. If you don’t like dogs, obviously don’t head here. Being the only dog beach in town, and being quite tiny and only accessible for a few hours during the day, it does get busy with dogs!