Porthmeor Beach – 101 Things To Do In St Ives

February 16, 2022

Porthmeor Beach St Ives Cornwall

Porthmeor Beach – My Favourite Beach In St Ives

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.

Getting To Porthmeor Beach

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.

Access Down To Porthmeor Beach

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.

Facilities On Porthmeor Beach

  • Toilets. There a public toilets open to all underneath the cafe. There are also toilets in the car park.
  • Car Parking. There is a VERY SMALL car park at the bottom of Porthmeor Hill. There is a bigger car park at the top of Porthmeor Hill, overlooking Porthmeor Beach.
  • Bus Service. During the holiday season there is a bus from the layby (by the benches).
  • Food & Drink. There is a cafe/restaurant in front of the Tate St Ives called Porthmeor Cafe. Porthmeor Cafe also have a takeaway cafe below the restaurant, at beach level. On the wooden beach veranda there is an Ice cream shop, smoothie bar and beach shop. At the West Beach (opposite side to the Island) there is the West Beach Bakery. This sells amazing baked goods and is a fab restaurant and takeaway. Their breakfasts in the Summer are a real treat! Please do note that all of these places close over the Winter season.
  • Surf equipment hire and surf school (lessons).
  • Lifeguards.
  • Dogs allowed out of season.
  • Rockpools.
  • Surfing.
  • Swimming

Location Map Of Porthmeor Beach

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Porthmeor Beach Location Map St Ives


St Ives Seagull

You Might Also Be Interested In Our St Ives Game...

Porthmeor Beach is included in our game, The Great St Ives Pasty Dash! It is one of the main starting spaces and you even get a little surfboard counter with Porthmeor Beach on. There are also lots of postcards about things to do on Porthmeor Beach, so you will visit there a lot!

If you love St Ives you will love playing our game!

Buy The Great St Ives Pasty Dash Game
Buy The Great St Ives Pasty Dash Game

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