For a town of its size, St Ives is blessed with a great set of beaches! The four main ones are within walking distance of the town, each with its own character.
Porthmeor is perhaps the best known, facing the Atlantic and backing on to the Tate Gallery. Porthminster is the second biggest and is conveniently located next to the train and bus stations. The Harbour beach is right in the centre of town and makes a fantastic family option. Porthgwidden is tucked away around the corner from all the hustle and bustle with beach huts available.
BOAT TRIPS TO SEAL ISLAND
Seal Island is located around 3.5 miles (5km) west of St Ives and as the name suggests it is home to a colony of grey seals. Boat trips are run on a daily basis from the harbour. The trip along the coast provides great views of Porthmeor Beach and the rugged Cornish coast. On arriving at Seal Island visitors can get close to the seals and soak up the scenery. And if you’re lucky, you could catch a glimpse of all the other wildlife to be spotted on this sea safari!
Lifeboat Shop, Wharf Road, St Ives TR26 1LF
t: 0777 300 8000
THE MINACK THEATRE AND CAFÉ
Porthcurno: A 40-minute drive from St Ives brings you to the unique Minack open-air theatre and café. It is sculpted out of the granite cliffs and overlooks the spectacular Porthcurno beach towards Logan Rock.
The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance, TR19 6JU
THE TATE, ST IVES
The St Ives branch of the Tate Gallery opened its doors in 1993. At the time the building was as much of a talking point as the gallery itself. Overlooking Porthmeor beach this structure makes a striking visual statement with its iconic circular entrance vestibule. Head to the gallery to discover its collection of contemporary art with an emphasis on the St Ives School and legendary Cornish artists such as Alfred Wallis.
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, TR26 1TG
SURFING IN ST IVES
Positioned where it is, jutting out into St Ives Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, St Ives is a very popular surfing destination. During the winter Porthmeor often provides some of the only surfable waves in West Cornwall with ‘The Boiler’ being a highly rated and challenging wave. However surfing in St Ives doesn’t end at Porthmeor, there are a few secret spots that produce great waves on the right day. In summer, everything changes and beginners can take advantage of Porthmeor’s sheltered aspect to learn to surf. There are plenty of places to hire the gear and lessons are available right on the beach.
Moreover, A 45-minute drive from St Ives, almost at Lands’ End, finds you at a vast and stunning destination surfing beach, Sennen cove. It is Cornwall’s most westerly surf spot, and not one to miss.