There are places that have a resonant appeal which is hard to define, rather like when you meet a charismatic person. The Bay of Naples, looking across from Sorrento, is an example and so is St Ives, but Porthminster beach here can exert a particular hold. There is a structure to the view from the beach that’s very reassuring, with clear reference points as you look out, yet the constantly changing light and elements can’t be captured and labelled, which is both refreshing and intoxicating.
On Porthminster beach with Steve, explaining the beach’s permanence.
Josephine and Helen say what the beach means to them.
Looking down on Porthminster beach, from the grass behind.
An uncharacteristically misty day greeted me for this morning re-visit. This St Ives beach looked immaculate, in full swing for the season, with neat bins on the beach, tables and seats neatly arranged and an industrious atmosphere at the Porthminster café along the beach, serving breakfasts already. This is one of Cornwall’s iconic beaches, heavily patronised by visitors, many of whom, like my interviewee Claire, keep impressions of this beach with them when back home.
Porthminster beach, through the decades.
A misty morning at Porthminster beach, in St Ives.
I visited this most easterly beach in St Ives on Bonfire Night to see the spectacular fireworks, which I caught on film. The beach is popular for weddings too, due to its stunning views of St Ives harbour and beyond, as well as the proximity of hotels to the beach. There is also a choice of beach cafes and all facilities are available. You can enjoy the shops, restaurants and pubs of St Ives, all in easy proximity. An excellent choice for well-heeled metropolitan visitors to the county.
Fireworks at Porthminster beach.
Porthminster beach is one of St Ives’ busiest, due to its large size with acres of golden sand and its position, just below the railway station and main town car park. The beach was quiet for this re-visit, however and there was plenty of space down on the waterline, to enjoy the view across the bay, taking in St Ives harbour and Godrevy lighthouse. This is a great beach to visit at any time of the year, if only for the amazing light.
What the beach means to Izabella.
The tide rolls in at Porthminster beach.