Featuring four central beaches and the great sweeping sandy bay of neighbouring Carbis Bay, St Ives is a beach paradise catering exceptionally well for families and surfers. Beautiful golden sands at St Ives are flanked by facilities in the village including a wealth of independent shops and restaurants. The gleaming white Tate Gallery overlooks beautiful Porthmeor Beach or enjoy the ultimate beach retreat at sheltered Porthminster offering stunning golden sands and direct access onto the coast path towards Carbis Bay. If you are based elsewhere around Carbis Bay or travelling into St Ives to enjoy the beaches during the summer months, leaving the car behind is recommended as the village gets very busy and parking is limited. A popular route in is via the scenic railway from Carbis Bay to St Ives. You'll also find ample parking spaces at Lelant Saltings Park and Ride.
A central award-winning beach with a surf school, Porthmeor is a beach gem on the western side of the island overlooked by the Tate Gallery St Ives. Sunbathing and surfing are popular on this beautiful beach which has a lifeguard service across the summer season. Restaurants, toilets and cafes are all adjacent.
A pretty Blue Flag cove beach, Porthgwidden Beach has magnificent views towards St Ives Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse, and offers great safe bathing for families. It sits on the eastern side of St Ives island, and is a real sun trap flanked by beach huts which you can hire. Porthgwidden also has a popular beachside cafe.
Blue Flag Porthminster Beach near the harbour nestles just below Porthminster Point and also boasts spectacular views towards St Ives Bay. A stunning sheltered beach with around a half a mile of golden sands, award-winning Porthminster is a favourite with families and affords easy access onto the South West Coast Path and scenic cliff top walking towards Carbis Bay. An acclaimed seafood restaurant sits right on the beach and there are pretty beach chalets available to hire on a seasonal or weekly basis. Other facilities include beach bars, an ice cream parlour and beach shops.
Looking more like a Caribbean beach than a British beach, spectacular Blue Flag Carbis Bay Beach just east of St Ives covers a huge 25 acres and ranks as one of the world's best beaches. A beach cafe is open across the summer season and beach huts are available to hire daily. Parking is also adjacent and several watersports outlets are around the Bay. A lifeguard service operates here across summer.
Beautiful St Ives harbour flanks the eastern side of the island and is the perfect spot to relax watching small fishing boats heading out to sea. A choice of boat trips, fishing excursions and boat hire opportunities are available at the harbour, with popular boat trips including a tour of nearby Seal Island (Western Carracks) located just 3 1/2 miles west of St Ives. The island is famed for its colony of Grey Atlantic Seals. Another fantastic boat trip excursion is a trip around Godrevy Lighthouse and Hells' Mouth - the lighthouse was made famous by Virginia Woolf in her novel 'To The Lighthouse'.