St Ives

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path Dog friendly Beach cleaned regularly Good water quality for swimming

Season: winter

A low tide and mixed weather was the order of the day in St Ives.  Beyond Smeaton’s Pier, a stormy sky over Hayle made the harbour feel a reassuring place.  Andrew explains how his grandfather, William Barber, perished on a lifeboat while going to the assistance of others in 1939.  His eulogy to the working side of life in St Ives sits at odds with many visitors’ initial impressions of the town.

Winter visit photo gallery


Generations by the beach at St Ives.


The scene at St Ives harbour in the morning.

Season: spring

The tide had just turned inward, so access was easy to the harbour at St Ives, enabling a view back to the town from the sea, so to speak.  It was a bright, sunny morning, the low tide allowing fishing and leisure boats to be made ready to leave harbour on the rising tide.


With Scott, learning about the Jumbo Association.


Graham’s view of the beach.


St Ives on a spring morning, seen from the harbour.

Season: summer

Although it’s best known for its appeal to visitors and artists, due to its beautiful beaches, charming streets and clear light, St Ives is still a fishing town.  This morning, it was mackerel that were being landed in modest numbers on Smeaton’s Pier, as the tide started to fall back.  The fine sand of the beach glistened under the gentle lapping of the harbour waves, shared with the fishermen, before the town woke up.

Summer visit photo gallery


Tim, at ease by the harbour in St Ives, first thing in the morning.


An early morning view from the end of Smeaton’s Pier.

Season: autumn

St Ives is a popular all year round getaway destination for well-to-do city dwellers.  It is compact and walkable, with four great beaches and plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés.  The enclosed design of this harbour makes promenading a pleasure at any time of day or in the evening.  An early morning visit is a real treat, to see the sun rise beyond Smeaton’s Pier, over Hayle Towans across the bay.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Leandra’s satisfaction, by the sea in Cornwall.


A morning panorama, in St Ives harbour.

Season: winter

The beach at St Ives is right in the centre of town, framed firstly by the church, then the character shops and businesses and round to Smeaton’s Pier.  It’s a fine setting in a well-to-do town, with many facilities at hand.  The tide was falling on arrival and at low tide a walk across the beach gives access to the old town, avoiding the crowds on the sea front promenade.  St Ives has fine art galleries, beaches, shops, pubs, restaurants, a thriving Arts Club, superb fish ‘n chips at the Battered Eel and a cosmopolitan feel, in short a must-visit location, one of the jewels in Cornwall’s tourism crown.


A chat with artist Martin Moffatt in his St Ives art gallery.


A first view of the harbour at St Ives, seen from in front of the Arts Club.

One thought on “St Ives

  1. Colin

    It means years of pleasure and excitement, especially when my daughter was younger. Me and her still walk, jog and surf at these beaches, even more now since we relocated from London to St Ives last year. We are fortunate in this area, as it has so many beaches to offer, with crystal clear seas that can suit everyone. From surfing to relaxing, it’s the best resort in the South West, it’s just great.


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