Porthmeor beach

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path SSSI Dog friendly RNLI lifeguard cover Easter School Holiday, weekends to May 4, full time to September 29, October weekends and half term Beach cleaned regularly Good water quality for swimming

Season: summer

An early morning, high summer re-visit coincided with low tide on a deserted Porthmeor beach in St Ives.  The clarity of the light combined with a misty, fused palette of colours to create a translucent effect.  Sand had been piled high on the upper reaches of the beach by recent onshore breezes and the headlands stood proud against the Atlantic, at the turn of the tide.

Summer visit photo gallery

Late summer photo gallery


David’s focus on the elemental appeal of the beach. 


Early morning in the summer at Porthmeor beach.

Season: winter

This is the iconic St Ives beach, with the best surf in town and backed by the popular Tate St Ives gallery.  The scene setting film was from below St Nicholas’ Chapel on the headland, showcasing the depth of the beach’s bay and its place on the edge of the town.  There’s a great walk round to the west from here, where you’ll find a rural, primeval feel as you make your way along towards Zennor and Morvah.  Porthmeor is a town beach on the edge of wild Penwith.

Winter visit photo gallery


The beach as a magical place.


The view from above Porthmeor beach.

Season: autumn

The morning sun is lower now.  On this beach, it lit the waves out at sea but hadn’t yet reached the sand.  The contrast was striking, highlighted by the white foam of the surf against the dark, golden sand.  In the same way, the white sea spray against the black rocks made for a dramatic dynamic.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Nina ponders the reflective side of the beach.


By the rock in the morning, just after high tide.

Season: summer

This was a bright end to the day, with the sun starting to sink in the west, over Porthmeor beach.  There were still plenty of people on the beach, but the beachside cafe was full and well-heeled partygoers promenaded, before enjoying the pleasures of St Ives in the evening.

Summer visit photo gallery


With Sara and Linda, at Porthmeor beach in St Ives


Looking down on Porthmeor beach, from the west.

Season: spring

It was a quiet, peaceful scene at Porthmeor beach in St Ives for this re-visit.  The sea was flat calm and I looked across the beach from the atrium of the Tate St Ives, open to the beach on one side.  As the Porthmeor cafe opened up for business, early morning walkers were exercising, either before work or on holiday.  All was well in St Ives.

Spring visit photo gallery


Maureen’s enduring relationship with the beach.


What the beach means to Kathy.


A visiting family, at the beach.


Porthmeor beach, from the Tate St Ives.

Season: winter

It was a cold, windy morning for my return to St Ives and Porthmeor beach.  I thought the storms had moved massive piles of sand, but it had been done by diggers, to allow groundworks to be done for the Tate St Ives extension.  As yesterday, the sky and sea were splendid, particularly the colour in the clouds.  I was really pleased to get Joshua’s sentiments on film, as you hear this so often from young adults who have grown up in Cornwall, among nature and particularly the sea and beach, this pull and yearning to return to be near the sea.


With Joshua at Porthmeor beach in St Ives.


Groundworks and nature, together at Porthmeor beach in St Ives.

Season: autumn

I visited Porthmeor beach in St Ives during the Indian Summer of 2011, at the end of September.  Located under the Tate St Ives Art Gallery, the beach is fashionable and extremely attractive, with breakers rolling in cleanly onto a pristine beach, backed by a chic beach cafe.  All facilities are close at hand.  I met a highly enthusiastic metal detectorist, enjoying the balmy weather.


A metal detectorist, looking for clues on Porthmeor beach.


The beach, with the Tate St Ives behind, on a sunny September day.

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