St Ives

Beach facilities

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 greeted me at the harbour in St Ives for this re-visit.  Beyond Smeaton’s Pier, a stormy sky over Hayle made the harbour here a comforting place.  I spoke to Andrew, whose 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 was a balance to 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 for this visit, so I could get well down into the harbour at St Ives, to look back at 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, from the harbour.

Season: summer

Although it’s 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.  Graham was there, from my previous visit to St Ives.  The fine sand of the beach glistened under the gentle lapping of the harbour waves, shared with me, interviewee Tim and 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.


The 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’s 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 Smeatons Pier.  It’s a fine setting in a well-to-do town, with all facilities at hand.  The tide was falling when I visited, and at low tide a walk across the beach gets you to the old town without the crowds on the sea front.  St Ives has great art galleries, beaches, shops, pubs, restaurants, a thriving Arts Club, superb fish ‘n chips at the Battered Eel and a real cosmopolitan feel, in short a must-visit location, one of the jewels in Cornwall’s tourism crown.


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


My first view of the harbour at St Ives, 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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