St. Ives is known for one thing: white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise water. This town boasts of some of the best beaches in Cornwall, and it won’t be wrong to call it a sandy paradise. Beaches at St. Ives are unique; each beach has its personality and offers something different from the others.
Every beach in St. Ives is worth visiting because of its unique personality; some are calm while others are rough. Regardless of what you’re looking for, whether you’re looking to surf, swim, sunbathe, visit with your family or sip your cocktail while staring at the ocean, there is a St. Ives beach that meets your need.
Here are some of our top picks of the best beaches in St. Ives or near St. Ives that you would love.
Beaches At St. Ives
This is one of the three beaches at St. Ives. Porthmeor is known for its beautiful and colorful beach huts overlooking the small bay. The beach is very sandy, and the water is nice and clean, making it truly magical.
Porthmeor is suitable for families as the clear water and sand make it a delight for kids. Surfers can also have a fantastic time here. You can have a splash, sunbathe, and build sandcastles, making it a favorite for families looking to have a fun day by the sea. The beach gets crowded in summer because of the size.
If you are interested in beach hopping, you can stay at Carlill Guest house, which is a guest house with a sea view. Visitors love this guest house because of its location; it is close to 2 other beaches aside from Porthmeor Beach.
Porthminster is one of the best beaches at St. Ives you must visit. The beach is a crescent shape with blue waters and palm trees swaying by the coastline, giving it an almost tropical view. It is the second largest beach in St. Ives and is rarely empty all year round.
It is a family favorite. The water is calm and shallow, making it ideal for shallow swimming and paddling. Dogs are not allowed from May to September. There is the Porthminster Beach café right on the beach where you can enjoy a sumptuous meal.
There aren’t many hotels around here, but there are apartments where you can stay. We recommend St. James Rest, a beautifully private apartment above Porthminster beach. The apartment is in a location windsurf and hike, making it a perfect place for a vacation.
This is the smallest and most sheltered of the beaches at St. Ives. It is usually also the quietest beach in St. Ives, making it perfect for people who need a little tranquility. If you are looking to bask in the sun all day while inhaling the sea air, this is the beach for you.
It has pretty beach huts and golden sands, which make it a sight to behold. The water is blue and clear, making it perfect for families to splash and have fun. You can also surf, swim and build sandcastles. It also boasts of superb café and delicious meals, so you have nothing to worry about if you forget to pack a picnic.
You won’t find many hotels close to the beach, but there are some incredible apartments and rooms for rent like Apartment 3, Huer’s Watch, Pednolver which is in an excellent location. It has access to 4 other beaches and is close to the town center.
St. Ives Harbour Beach
Ives harbor beach is right in the center of the town and got its name from the fact that it sits inside the St. Ives’ working harbor. When you hear harbor, the picture you probably have is a grimy patch of muddy sand down a flight of steps. However, St. Ives harbor shares the same beautiful golden sand and turquoise water as the other St. Ives beaches.
The fact that the beach is a working harbor also adds to its charm. You don’t get to swim alone, and you also get to watch local anglers catching seafood. You can build sandcastles, hunt for sea glass, jump ropes, drive a hire motor boat, or just lie down in the sand sun basking. It also boasts of numerous shops, cafes, and pubs to explore.
If you want to explore St. Ives more, you can stay at Tregenna Castle Resort, a magnificent hotel surrounded by picturesque gardens and sub-tropical plants. It has a heated indoor swimming pool, an outdoor seasonal heated swimming pool, and a golf course.
Best Beaches Closest To St. Ives
Carbis Bay Beach
Carbis Bay is a charming location with its beautiful aqua blue water and golden white sand making it perfect for a day out. Remember to go with your bucket and spade so you can build some sandcastles because the sand here is ideal for that.
Suppose you’re looking for a beach in St. Ives for a family vacation, definitely consider Carbis bay. It is excellent for family paddling and swimming. The facilities available on the beach make it families favorite. Dogs are not allowed from May to September, so check before going with your furry friend.
If you’re looking to stay right on the beach, Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel is the best place for you. This elegant hotel is in a tropical garden with incredible sea views. It has a spa and an outdoor swimming pool, making it a perfect spot for a getaway.
Bamaluz is one of St. Ives’ hidden treasures mainly because it disappears at high tides. If you’re looking for a quiet St. Ives beach away from the hustles and bustle of other St. Ives beaches, you should consider Bamaluz. It is located between Porthgwidden and Harbour beaches.
Unlike other beaches in St. Ives mentioned above, dogs are permitted all year round. It is an excellent place for kids for rock pooling as there are several rock pools. It is a lovely shallow beach to have a dip.
One of the best accommodations near Bamaluz is Pedn-Olva, right in the town center and close to two other beaches. The hotel offers elegant rooms with magnificent views, an outdoor swimming pool, and a spacious terrace. A full English breakfast is also served every day.
Porthkidney is close to Carnis Bay, at the mouth of the Hayle estuary. The beach is around a mile long and accessible at low tide. The sand can stretch a mile out to the sea at low tide.
The beach is one of the few St. Ives beaches that are dog friendly all year round. Swimming is not safe here as the tides are strong and unpredictable. However, it is a beautiful surf spot, and you can enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean while sunbathing.
There is no accommodation on the beach, but you can stay at The Badger Inn, just some minutes from the beach. It is located in the quiet village of Lelant, west Cornwall and most people love this stay because of its location. The Badger Inn features gardens and grounds with ample space for eating and drinking.
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Other Beaches Near St. Ives
Gwithian Towans Beach
If you want a quiet and peaceful St. Ives beach where you can still enjoy its beauty from afar, visit Gwithian Beach. Just across St. Ives bay and just a few minutes from Godrevy lighthouse, the wide sandy beach is the perfect place to have a picnic afternoon and watch surfers. If you are also into an adventure, you can surf.
It is considered one of the most extensive beaches near St. Ives, about three miles long. The beach is excellent for rock pooling and sand castle building. Dogs are not allowed in some months.
If you want to spend more time in Gwithian, you can stay at Sea Dream Beach Chalet, just 2 minutes from the beach. It is in an excellent location with top facilities.
This beach sits at the edge of the magnificent St. Ives bay and next to Gwithian Beach. It is a small but perfectly proportioned cove surrounded by cliffs. The National Trust owns Godrevy. The golden sand and rock pools make a beach full of interest.
It is famous among surfers but also perfect for swimming. The golden sand also makes it an excellent spot for sandcastle building. Paddling, sea life hunting, and seal watching are other exciting activities you can engage in on the beach. If you are a water sports enthusiast, you would love this beach as there are amenities in the vicinity to offer water sports excitement.
There aren’t many hotels near this beach, but you can stay at Towennan apartment, a quiet seaside apartment. It is close to Gwithian Beach as well.
Lambeth Walk Beach
Lambeth Walk beach, also known as Pedn Olva Walk on maps, is a rocky and sandy beach between Harbour and Porthminster beach. The beach is easily overlooked despite being almost in the center of St. Ives town, and one of the reasons is because it disappears at high tide.
Lambeth is one of the few beaches in St. Ives, where dogs are permitted all year round with no restrictions. It is best for peddling, balancing, and rock pooling.
If you want to explore St. Ives and its waters more, consider staying at The Western Hotel in the center of St. Ives. It is a historic building in an excellent location with a traditional Cornish pub and a beer garden.
Hayle Towans Beach
Hayle Towans Beach is three miles of charming golden sands. Also known as Hayle beach or Upton Towans, this long stretch of water is a must-visit if you’re in Hayle, St. Ives, or other nearby towns. It is on the edge of town, and you can walk for three miles as some smaller beaches join up to create this impressive stretch of sand.
Despite being directly in front of a holiday park, it rarely gets crowded, given how massive it is.
This vast stretch of sand is a delight for families, surfers, kids, and sunbathers as it has everything they need. It’s a St. Ives beach where dogs are permitted all year round. Check with the lifeguard to know where is the best spot for swimming.
If you need a place to stay near the beach, consider staying at The White Hart beach, located in the center of Hayle. It is an elegant hotel in a location that makes it easy to explore the pretty harbor.
Black Cliff Beach
This sandy beach stretches from just beyond the river mouth to Mexico Towans. It is backed by low cliffs, which provide some shelter from the breeze.
The beach is suitable for sand castle building and sunbathing. Dogs are not permitted in July and August.
There is no accommodation here, but you can stay in hotels in St. Ives, just a few minutes drive from this beach. We recommend The Gannet Inn, an elegant hotel with garden and sea views.
Breakwater is not a famous St. Ives beach, but it is a lovely beach just behind Smeaton’s Pier. It only appears at low tide, which is one reason it isn’t well known. This beach is perfect for you if you are looking for a place to get away from the crowd.
It is an ideal beach for dog walking as dogs are permitted all year round. Many seals play around the boats and pier, making it a great place to watch them from pretty close quarters.
If you need a place to stay, consider staying at 27 The Terrace in St. Ives, an elegant hotel with a restaurant, garden, and bar. You will also get to enjoy a buffet breakfast. There are also popular points of interest near the accommodation, including Porthmeor Beach, Carbis Bay, and Tate St Ives, which you can explore.
If you need a beach in St. Ives that is suitable for naturists, then the basset is one of the best as it is gorgeous and secluded. The beach is an almost 25-minute drive from St. Ives but worth it. The view all around is stunning, and the sands are soft and fine, so do well to go with your spade and bucket.
It is suitable for surfing and rock pooling. Dogs are permitted all year so you can go with your furry friend. There is no lifeguard here, so be careful when taking a dip, especially when the water is rough.
There aren’t any hotels near this beach; however, you can consider staying at Tyacks Hotel in Camborne, a nearby town.
Portreath beach in Cornwall is 6 miles from St. Ives. It is a large and famous sandy and shingle St. Ives beach.
The sand on the beach makes it suitable for sandcastle building, so remember to go with your beach fun gears There is plenty of space to run and play because of how large it is, making it a family favorite. Swimming and water sports are also part of the beach attraction, therefore it is a thrill seekers’ delight.
There aren’t any hotels in this area, but an apartment right on the beach at Lucy’s Beach House is located in Portreath. The vacation home features sea views and is close to Basset’s Cove.
Enjoying The Beaches At St Ives
The mild climate, stunning beaches, restaurants, and other attractions make St. Ives an Idea vacation spot for you and your family. So, if you’re looking for a beach getaway in St. Ives, the sandy paradise, you have many options.
The vast options of beaches in St. Ives and its neighborhood guarantee that you will find something that is suitable for your tastes.