Discover the Best Beaches in St Ives 2024

Looking for the best beaches in St Ives? From secluded coves to expansive golden sands, each beach has its own personality and offers something unique from its neighbours. As well as the stunning Carbis Bay Beach, we've uncovered a few more to add to your getaway bucket list.

Carbis Bay Beach

Distance from hotel: 0.4 miles

If you’re in need of a laid-back beach day, look no further than the soft golden sands of Carbis Bay, with its Blue Flag water quality, seasonal lifeguards, low-tide rock-pooling and excellent beachside facilities.

The beach is popular with families and offers plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. Cliffs line both sides of the beach, providing shelter from the wind, while a stream provides a natural swimming stream for children. Why not enjoy a day building sandcastles and swimming in the turquoise waters, followed by a bite to eat in the highly acclaimed Beach Club Restaurant?

If you're feeling adventurous, why not drop by the Ocean Sports Centre and experience the Cornish coast from a different perspective? If you haven't yet tried SUP, the usually calm waters of the bay are ideal for getting to grips with the basics of this popular sport. However, if you want to try something a bit different, hop onboard a four- or six-seater Hawaiian canoe for a guided coastal tour, during which you can spot marine life through underwater viewers. The bay is also home to a variety of wildlife such as seabirds, seals, and dolphins that can often be seen from the shore.

Porthminster Beach

Distance from hotel: 1.3 miles

Among the four beaches in St Ives, Porthminster Beach is the second largest. Nestled amidst picturesque cliffs and azure waters, it entices visitors with its pristine golden sands and breathtaking vistas across St Ives Bay to Godrevy Lighthouse.

Its sheltered position means that the waves are gentle, making it ideal for swimming and paddling. There’s also plenty of space to sunbathe and relax, or to take part in a variety of water sports such as surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding or try your skill at the mini 18-hole golf course located next to the beach.

This beach in St Ives is just a short 5-minute walk from cafes, shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Harbour Beach

Distance from hotel: 1.2 miles

Like the town's other main beaches, St Ives Harbour beach features golden sand and crystal clear waters. Both the south and east sides are surrounded by stone piers that protect it from strong winds and currents which make it ideal for sunbathing and boat watching.

It's a great place to take a dip after hitting the shops since the shallow waters are perfect for children. Local fishermen land their daily catch of fresh seafood like mackerel and bass from the beach in St Ives, which is still very much a working port.

With such easy access to the town, you won’t go short of ice creams and hot pasties while you relax in the sun. Just watch out for the seagulls!

Porthmeor Beach

Distance from hotel: 1.3 miles

A sweep of sand between rocky headlands, Porthmeor is one of the most popular beaches in St Ives.

Its expansive stretch of golden sands is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, attracting wave riders from far and wide. The beach is embraced by rugged cliffs and framed by the mesmerising Atlantic Ocean, creating a stunning backdrop for relaxation and exploration. Porthmeor is also famous for its artistic connections, with the iconic Tate St Ives gallery overlooking the shoreline. Visitors can soak up the creative atmosphere, take art classes, or simply appreciate the inspiring fusion of natural beauty and artistic expression that defines Porthmeor Beach.

Porthgwidden Beach

Distance from hotel: 2.1 miles

Situated on the eastern side of the town, Porthgwidden Beach offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged cliffs of West Cornwall. This picturesque beach is located in a sheltered cove, with a quieter atmosphere than the other beaches.

The beach itself is made up of a mix of sand, shingle, and rock. It is a popular spot for snorkelling, and the crystal-clear waters make it a great spot for spotting dolphins and other marine life. Visitors can also take advantage of the abundance of rockpools, which are perfect for exploring the marine life of the area.

For those looking for a little more excitement, Porthgwidden Beach is also a great spot for surfing. The waves can be quite strong, so it is important to take the necessary precautions before heading into the water.

Bamaluz Beach

Distance from hotel: 2 miles

Many visitors are unaware of Bamaluz, which is located between the harbour and Porthgwidden beach. The beach is easily accessible, with a flat and wide path that leads straight down to the sand. The beach is often quite busy, especially during the summer months, but it's still possible to find a secluded spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

The main attraction of Bamaluz is its stunning location. From the beach, you can see the iconic St Ives harbour and the harbour-side restaurants and pubs. The beach is also perfect for exploring, with plenty of rockpools to explore and a variety of interesting wildlife to observe.

Porthkidney, Hayle & Gwithian

Distance from hotel: 1.5 miles

Part of St Ives Bay, Porthkidney Sands is a north-facing and long beach at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary that lies just 1.5 miles from the hotel. A vast expanse of sands, at low tide, the beach can stretch almost a mile out to sea.

Reached at low tide from Carbis Bay beach around Hawkes Point or along the South West Coast Path, its remote access and secluded location mean it stays relatively quiet compared to neighbouring beaches. 

The beach is situated in a sheltered cove, with the dramatic cliffs of Hayle Towans stretching along the shoreline. There is plenty to do and explore - from rock pooling and sunbathing to swimming and surfing. The crystal-clear waters make it a great spot for snorkelling, while the rugged coastline is perfect for stunning coastal walks. The beach is also a popular spot for wildlife watching. Home to a colony of seals, Porthkidney Beach is a great place to spot some of the area’s native species. From puffins to razorbills, the seals are a treat to watch as they play in the waves.

Book your 2024 Summer Beach Break at The Gannet

Let sun-soaked days and the fresh sea breeze carry you to The Gannet Inn this summer. Think quirky interiors, hearty Cornish food and oh-so-comfy beds where a peaceful slumber beckons. Tempted?

Book your stay now

The great Kids' Club at nearby Carbis Bay Estate runs throughout the school holidays and is available for all little ones staying with us.