Porthmeor beach

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 visit coincided with a low tide on a deserted Porthmeor beach.  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 best known 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 situation at 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 the final town beach before 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 created a dramatic dynamic.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Nina ponders the reflective side of the beach.


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

Season: summer

This visit came at 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 beach-side cafe was full and well-heeled party-goers promenaded, anticipating 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.  The sea was flat calm, looking across the beach from the atrium at Tate St Ives, which is open to the beach on one side.  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, seen from the Tate at St Ives.

Season: winter

It was a cold, windy morning at Porthmeor beach on this occasion.  You hear so often from young adults like Joshua, below, 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.

Season: autumn

This was a visit to St Ives during the Indian Summer of 2011.  Situated in front of Tate St Ives Art Gallery, the beach is fashionable and extremely attractive, with breakers rolling onto a pristine beach, which is backed by a chic beach cafe.  The town’s facilities are close at hand.  A highly enthusiastic metal detectorist was enjoying the balmy weather.


Looking for clues on Porthmeor beach.


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

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