Porthmeor beach is St Ives’ premier beach. Half a mile of golden sand flanked by rugged headlands and backing onto the Tate gallery it has plenty to offer. Porthmeor is the most dramatic of St Ives’ beaches, exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and dominated to the east by ‘the Island’ with the tiny chapel of St Nicholas atop. Whilst in the winter waves constantly pound the beach, looking like they are going to engulf the beachside studios on every high tide it is a different story in the summer.
With summer comes a calm with Porthmeor often calmer than the beaches up and down the coast. This is a great family beach with all the facilities nearby including a top notch cafe. The bathing here is safe as the beach has a more than adequate lifeguard service throughout the season.
For those a little more adventurous Porthmeor is St Ives’ most consistent surfing beach picking up far more swell than any of its more sheltered neighbours. There is surf hire and lessons available on the beach for those interested.
The surf here can be quite powerful, particularly towards the Island end where it is referred to as ‘the Boiler’ as the remains of the wreck of the Alba are down there somewhere.