Fine golden sand, crystal clear water. Awake to the gulls' cry, dress quickly and jog down the cool granite streets for a solitary early morning walk along the beach. Cool sand and warm water caress your soles, tickle your toes. Back to the hotel feeling a little pleased with yourself - sand between your toes before breakfast - a very long way from the busy rush of working life. Do this every day of your stay and with so many beaches to choose from here you would never tire.
A strange ripple, a little nose - a seal pops up in the harbour to say hello and to hold court with the intrigued throng. Dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks in the Bay, a myriad of little undersea worlds of shrimp, crab and anemone, rock pools to explore in timeless fashion. A precious twinkling jewel, sparkling colours, wonderful friendly people. The Bay of St Ives has more than its fair share of beaches and for fifty miles along the length of Cornish coastline there are magnificent open stretches of silky white and glowing sands.
They are clean too; the completion of the £100 million 'Clean Sweep' scheme for Mount's Bay, st ives and Hayle, the West Cornwall area can boast probably the cleanest bathing waters in Western Europe. There are award-winning beaches at Porthminster and Porthmeor, st ives and at Sennen, near to Lands End where European Blue Flag and Tidy Britain awards have been given for several years. Today the West Cornwall beaches measure up to the European Commission guidelines through South West Water's ambitious programme.
Each beach has its own charm and appeal; there are busy family beaches to popular watersports venues and wide-open flat sands and tucked away hidden suntraps. Most of the beaches employ fully qualified Lifeguards during the summer months.
Porthmeor is our Blue Flag Atlantic Ocean family and surfing beach with surf school, fine golden sand, good sunbathing by day and spectacular sunsets. During the summer, trained lifeguards ensure the bathing is as safe as possible. There are restaurant and cafe facilities right on the beach; toilets and beach huts on the terrace behind.
Porthgwidden is a delightful small sandy cove and sun-trap with safe bathing [but keep inside line of buoys], beach huts for hire and handy toilets. The brilliant white terrace houses the relaxed Porthgwidden Cafe and there's a kiosk for coffee and snacks. Porthgwidden is an ideal beach to catch the morning sun and stay all day.
Our tidal, sandy bottomed harbour is still a working port where you can watch the local fishermen landing their daily fresh catches of locally caught seafood. It's also very sheltered, a perfect sun-trap in the heart of town. There are toilets in the Sloop car park and behind the Lifeboat station on West Pier. All facilities surround you here.
Sheltered Porthminster beach boasts almost half a mile of golden sands with calm sea conditions ideal for families. Porthminster has restaurant and café facilities, a scenic cliff walk to Carbis Bay on the South West Coast Path, a putting green, beach huts for hire, toilets and level access to the town centre. The St Ives branch line trains draw up at the top of the steps.