Located less than a mile out of St Ives is Carbis Bay. It is a wide sandy beach with good facilities making it particularly popular with families. It is also fairly sheltered both from the wind and the waves owing to its position in the lee of large, tree covered cliffs.
In times gone by the beach was known by various names including Barripper, Porthrepta and Carrack Garden Cove. Back in those days the beach was mainly used by fishermen to launch their boats. Despite its sheltered aspect there have been several shipwrecks at Carbis Bay, 3 of them in one night in 1893. At low tide it is possible to see the remains of the Cintra in the centre of the beach.
On rare occasions it is possible to surf at Carbis bay but this requires an enormous northerly swell. When there is surf it is particularly popular with body boarders with powerful, wedgey waves occurring close to high tide.
Carbis Bay is also convenient to get to. Being outside of St Ives you can avoid the worst of the Summer traffic and in addition it also has its own station on the St Ives train line.
The village of Zennor is located about 3 miles from St Ives on the north coast road. It has some fine coastal scenery and a pretty church and pub with a very pleasant beer garden. Zennor is possibly best known though from the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor
Is it a harbour or is it a beach? Well it actually does a pretty good impression of both! The golden sand stretches along the wharf side and at low tide all the way to Porthminster beach. One of the best things about the harbour beach is it is right in the heart of the town.
Porthminster is often regarded as St Ives’ other beach after Porthmeor around the headland. However, Porthminster has plenty going for it, from the highly rated Porthminster Beach Cafe to the safe sheltered bathing. It is also right next to the town’s train station and main bus stop.
Porthmeor is St Ives’ most popular beach. A long stretch of golden sand flanked by rugged headlands on either side Porthmeor is both dramatic and beautiful. One of the beaches greatest assets is its closeness to the town and facilities, not to mention the Tate Gallery which overlooks it.