Best beaches when you visit the St Ives area

Our guide to St Ives best beaches and when to visit.

St Ives has some of Cornwall’s best beaches –that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it? Each beach has its own personality and offers something unique from its neighbours. 

So, where do you want to lay your towel? Working from west to east, here’s our guide to St Ives beaches. 



Porthmeor NikRead

Porthmeor Beach

Porthmeor Beach

A sweep of sand between rocky headlands, overlooked by Tate St Ives, Porthmeor is home to a fantastic café and take away and bakery. Learn to surf, explore the rockpools, lie on the sand, or eat like a king: you could easily spend the whole week here.

Best for: surfing and breakfast


Porthgwidden Beach

Porthgwidden is a sandy cove tucked under The Island, lined with beach huts, and with an inviting café. Lovely all year round; however it has a special, wilder appeal in the winter.

Best for: lazy lunches or coffee on a cold day


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Bambaluz Beach

Bamaluz Beach

This secret cove is reached through the back streets. It’s secluded and has a mix of sand and scrambly rocks. The fab thing about Bamaluz is it’s dog-friendly all year.

Best for: four-legged beach fans


Lambeth Walk Beach

This tiny stretch of pebbles and sand joins Harbour and Porthminster Beaches at low water, and vanishes at high tide. Dogs are welcome all year.

Best for: pebble balancing and dogs


Porthminster Beach

Porthminster is the ideal family beach. When the tide is low, the shallow waters are perfect for paddling, and there’s lots of sand for digging, building and ball games. There’s a choice of places to eat and drink.

Best for: families



IMG 1636 Harbour Beach

Harbour Beach

Harbour Beach

Jump over the rows of ropes at low tide and search for sea glass on the town’s central beach. Grab an ice-cream or fish’n’chips, and lean against the wall for the nicest al fresco meal in Cornwall (always put someone on Gull Guard Duty).

Best for: atmosphere


Carbis Bay Beach

Reach this beautiful bay from Porthminster Beach along the coast path. Try sailing or stand-up paddleboarding, visit the beachside restaurant, or simply enjoy the Mediterranean vibe.

Best for: kayaking and ocean canoeing


PorthKidney ZoePower Flickr

Porthkidney Beach

Further round the coast…


Head down past Lelant parish church to Porthkidney. This sandy beach faces Hayle estuary, and is overlooked by West Cornwall Golf Club. At very low tide you can walk along the sands to Carbis Bay (just research the tides first).

Best for: dog walking and cobweb blowing



Our next-door town, Hayle, promises “three miles of golden sands” – and delivers them. Park at the carpark at Gwithian (the east end) for views of Godrevy lighthouse, rockpooling, and a seal colony.

Best for: scrambling


For more detailed information on these beaches visit:  https://www.stives-cornwall.co.uk/inspire/beaches-coastline/

Pictures: Nik Read; Lizzie Churchill; Alex May; Zoë Power- beautifulsimplicity.co.uk

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