St Ives has four beaches: Porthmeor; Porthgwidden; the Harbour and Porthminster.
Porthmeor Beach is westerly facing and the largest beach in St Ives. During the summer the waves are ideal for family body boarding or surf lessons at the St Ives Surf School which runs all season. The Atlantic weather system can also produce excellent surfing conditions in the Autumn. The Tate St Ives overlooks Porthmeor beach and with a changing series of exhibitions throughout the year, the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Gardens nearby are a must for visitors to St Ives. Porthmeor Beach regularly achieves Blue Flag status (2016 TBA)
Porthgwidden Beach is a much smaller beach located between ‘the Island’ and the old pier. For those seeking a little more peace and quiet it has a gentle old fashioned atmosphere; with a café and rows of primary coloured beach huts it is ideal for families with young children. From Porthgwidden visitors can walk on up to the ancient St Nicholas Chapel where they can take in the fantastic view of St Ives Bay, perfect for bird watching and dolphin spotting.
The Harbour: is in the very centre of town and at high tide there are two beach areas, outside the Sloop Inn and by Smeaton’s Pier. At low tide the whole harbour is dry leaving a vast expanse of sand. There are also self drive motor boats for hire and opportunities to take pleasure boat trips out to do some mackerel fishing or see the wrecks and seals.
Porthminster Beach: This crescent beach has almost half a mile of golden sand and azure water. There are wonderful views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘To the Lighthouse’. The Art Deco café buildings at either end, the 18 hole putting green and colourful chalets makes this the quintessential family beach. Like the other beaches, Porthminster is patrolled by lifeguards throughout the summer season. Porthminster Beach regularly achieves Blue Flag status (2016 TBA)