The core of St Ives, the harbour, Harbour beach and the old town.
St Ives beaches and town pictures
Harbour Beach. Not exactly quiet nor pretty but the sand is OK, and it’s very near a pub and varied cafés.
The harbour is a full working fishing port but also hosts a decent beach of fine sand and all the facilities of the town – including toilets – nearby. Porthmeor beach is just 60m on the other side of the houses to the left and Porthgwidden a few yards to the right.
St Ives won various UK seaside town of the year awards. But…
• Parking is an absolute nightmare and practically impossible for strangers to find, other than the large park on the top of the hill by the leisure centre, which means a steep walk down into town. If staying in town and travelling by car you might try to get a place with parking, which will probably cost extra.
• beware accommodation on St Ives Rd or Carbis Bay. This may be quite a way out of the centre, meaning a bus ride or 30 minute walk to get into town, so confirm the exact location if you wish to stay in the town centre.
• Entertainment facilities other than eating, drinking and beach-going are very limited, so if the weather turns nasty options will run out speedily.
• Seagulls have become big, fat and aggressive on stolen food and the local council cannot deal with them. Basically tourists cannot even walk down the street with an ice cream without a sea stuka diving in for a bite. The same goes for fish’n’chips, burgers. . . eat undercover or challenge the flying masters of St Ives!
Visitor parking is up on the hill over the beach and quite a steep walk down, while the Tate gallery squats just above the beach in the centre. Blue Flag Porthmeor beach has a surf rental shop and café/restaurants on the beach. Two other beaches are about 5 minutes walk away, Porthgwidden and unattractive Harbour beach.