St Ives, Cornwall, UK

St. Ives is considered to be one of the best beach towns in Cornwall, and one of few towns in England, which offers such a great number of quality beaches. The town with its irregular-shaped coastline offers beaches in all directions, providing its visitors with the ability to enjoy dazzling sunlight, as well as majestic sunrises and sunsets.

There are about twelve beautiful beaches near St. Ives. There are family beaches where you will be able to find anything from sheltered bathing or rock pool to beach restaurant or beach cafe, as well as there are great surfing beaches facing into the full might of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are looking for a bay beach in St. Ives, probably it is Carbis Bay situated nearby the town.

What is more, sands and waters of St. Ives Bay are considered to be some of the cleanest in Europe. So if you are looking for a beach haven, St. Ives is a great place to visit. Furthermore, if you come to St. Ives for surfing, Blue Flag awarded beaches will become your best choice: these are clean and safe beaches with lifeguards patrolling throughout the season. Despite the fact that most of the main beaches in the city are off limits to dogs from Easter Day to 1st October, there are some nearby out of town dog-friendly beaches. Also, throughout the year, dogs are allowed on Bamaluz beach.

There are at least five beautiful beaches nearby the town. All of them are situated within a short walking distance from the center of the town.

1. Porthmeor beach

Porthmeor beach, situated just about 5 minutes walk from the town center, is one of the most popular beaches in St. Ives. This dramatically beautiful beach with a long stretch of a golden sand faces the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and is considered to one of the best beaches for surfing. The best surfing spot, known as “the Boiler” breaks over the remains of an old shipwreck.

Despite being one of the best places in the area for surfing, Porthmeor beach is also considered to be one of the best family beaches. This beautiful and clean beach awarded Blue Flag includes the top-notch Porthmeor Cafe, seasonal lifeguard cover, a little stream running down the beach, some rockpools for kids and surf school for all those who are new to surfing.

porhtmeor beach
ID 152487174 © Johnhill118 |

2. Porthminster beach

Porthminster beach, another regular recipient of the Blue Flag award, is situated directly next to the train station Porthminster. In contrast to Porthmeor beach, Porthminster is far more sheltered. The same to Porthmeor, it offers lots of benefits, including highly regarded Porthminster Cafe and lifeguard patrolled waters for your safety.

porthminster beach
ID 168612142 © Johnhill118 |

3. Harbour beach

Harbour beach, St. Ives’ most central beach, is situated between the granite piers of the town’s harbour. When there is a low tide, Harbour beach joins up with Porthminster, forming a mile of golden sands. Despite the fact the sheltered beach is safe for paddling, it is important to understand that it is situated right in the hub of a busy working port, so boats can be a hazard. Still, there is always something to watch and to stay entertained. Also, the beach faces the Wharf Street with its many cafes and shops, carrying about your thirst and hunger.

harbour beach
ID 155332349 © Johnhill118 |

4. Porthgwidden beach

Porthgwidden beach, one of the most accessible beaches in the town thanks to a large parking directly behind it, is also considered to be one of the most popular family beaches in the area. This small sandy cove sheltered from both the wind and the waves is a perfect place to spend time with children. The beach includes plenty of facilities, including toilets, the Porthgwidden Cafe, a snack shop and even beach huts for hire.

porthgwidden beach
ID 152251473 © Johnhill118 |

5. Bamaluz beach

Bamaluz beach, a hidden little beach you can enjoy only when it is low tide, is just around the corner from Porthgwidden. The beach includes one of the best surfing spots – The Breakwater. Also, it is famous thanks to Phil Moran’s story of Soggy Bear.

bamaluz beach
ID 119910386 © Tomasz Wozniak |
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