Porthmeor Beach is possibly my favourite beach in St Ives (and not just because it is the closest one to our house). Every time I get to the top of Porthmeor Hill and see the beach vista, it takes my breath away. It is so incredibly vast, dramatic and beautiful. Even if I see it every day for a month, it never lessens!
It is the best surfing beach in St Ives, with waves of some sort on all but the very calmest of Summer days.
Porthmeor Beach is a pretty big beach, even at high tide, with lots of different places to sit, depending on what you fancy doing.
Starting at the Island side there is a sort of alcove which is often sheltered from the wind. It is a great place for a cheeky picnic in Winter. There are lots of rocks and pools to explore here at low tide. The tide line is also an interesting place to rummage around in. We are always finding little bits of Lego (washed up from a cargo ship in the 90s).
Most people congregate in the middle area in front of the cafe. There is the Surf School here, so you get lots of people with surf boards and body boards. The Lifeguard station is also here and the swimming area is usually around this bit.
The West side (West Beach Bakery side) is a great place to take the kids on a warm day. There is a waterfall which is superb for playing around. My kids and their friends love making a damn and then body boarding down on the river when it bursts its banks. There are also loads of rock pools to explore at low tide.
It is easy to walk to Porthmeor Beach from the harbour (5 mins flat walk, although a wee bit cobbly!).
There is no bus access directly from the town centre.
There is a bus during the holiday season from The Rugby Club. This goes down Alexandra Road, down through Ayr (past Ayr Caravan Park) and down Porthmeor Hill. It costs £1 for adults and 50p for children over 5.
You can drive to Porthmeor Beach from the town center through the VERY NARROW streets of St Ives. We DON’T recommend this, only do it if absolutely neccessary!
You can drive to Porthmeor Beach from the back of town, down Porthmeor Hill. There is a drop off point at the bottom by the Tate St Ives and there is a very small carpark. This is good if you need to drop off the family and beach stuff. You may find you need to park the car elsewhere though, as the car park gets full very quickly and it is only a short stay one.
Please do be aware that you cannot drive into town FROM Porthmeor Beach. There is a one way street as the road is really narrow.
Steep slope or steps by Porthmeor Cafe.
Steps down to West Beach Bakery.
Flatter access (with no steps or slope) off Porthmeor Road by the Island.
Whether you are a dab hand at surfing or you have never tried it before, St Ives is a good place to surf.
Porthmeor Beach is our best surf beach with good waves most of the year round. It does occasionally go as flat as a pancake in the Summertime, but this is fairly unusual. There is usually decent surf, sometimes fantastic surf!
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