St Ives

St Ives and Carbis Bay have everything you need for a holiday in Cornwall. A choice of beaches, stunning views, great surf, a wide range of places to eat and some of the finest art galleries in the UK. No wonder people come back year after year.

St Ives has five fantastic beaches to choose from, these range from Porthmeor, with its almost constant surf, to the family friendly Porthminster nestled below the railway station. In-between you have Town Beach, always busy and with every facility near by, and the two east facing beaches, Porthgwidden and the tiny Bamaluz, reached by steep steps below the museum.

All are within easy reach of the heart of the town and all its facilities. So, whether it’s sandcastles, sandwiches or a swell that you are looking for, St Ives has a beach for you. The problem is deciding which one to choose?

And if it’s out of season, nothing beats a bracing walk along a windswept beach, followed by a warming drink in a St Ives pub, or a visit to a gallery.

In 2022 both Porthmeor and Porthminster were awarded a Blue Flag, as was nearby Carbis Bay.

These days St Ives is well known across the world for its art. Tate St Ives, overlooking Porthmeor Beach, is home both to exhibitions of work by contemporary artists and those who made the area their home over the years. Close by the studio and gardens of the sculptor Barbara Hepworth can be visited, whilst on the western edge of the town the Bernard Leach Pottery offers classes for budding potters and a chance to view the work.

There are also plenty of other galleries dotted around the town including the Penwith Gallery, who have ever changing exhibitions, or you could just pick up some paints and have a go yourself?

People claim St Ives has a light like nowhere else. It has certainly inspired many over the years, from the naïve art of Alfred Wallis to the bold colourful work of Terry Frost, both of whom feature in the exhibitions at Tate St Ives.

This crescent of golden sand has glorious views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy Lighthouse, inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famous novel ‘To the Lighthouse’. With the benefit of the mildest climate in the UK, along with waving palm trees and translucent waters, there is a definite tropical feel to the Porthminster Beach.

No visit to St Ives is complete without a walk around the Island. Not a true island, it’s joined to the town by a narrow stretch of land, much of which is now a carpark!. It’s a chance to escape the crowds and see if you can spot some seals or just take in the views across the bay.

On the summit you will find, at the eastern end, the National Coastwatch Station, built in and around a Victorian coastal battery that also saw action during World War II. At the other end stands a chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, patron saint of sailors. This may at one time have also been a lighthouse and in the 1700s was used as a lookout to stop smuggling. Restored in the early 1970s, it is once again a place of worship and wedding blessings can take place there.

Just a mile out of St Ives, Carbis Bay Beach is the perfect destination for a relaxing day at the beach. The bay’s lush cliffsides and position on the Atlantic Coast assure tranquil waters, making it the ideal spot for swimming.

The Carbis Bay area presents a number of scenic walks from which you can discover both the history and landscape of the area.

Take the South West Coast Path towards St Ives, exploring prehistoric field systems and a Celtic Saint’s medieval chapel along the way. At low tide, the sands stretch right out past Hawkes Point, and a short walk around the cliffs brings you to the vast Porthkidney Sands stretching to the Hayle Estuary and the Lelant dunes.

Tucked away into its own corner of St Ives Bay, Carbis Bay enjoys a perfect, natural shelter from the worst of the Atlantic swell, making its waters a tranquil paradise ideal for swimmers of all ages.

The golden beach itself is perfect for soaking up the sun on warm summer days, or constructing elegant castles in the sand. While surfers might wish to look elsewhere for a swell, any with an interest in stand up paddle boarding or kayaking may just find that Carbis Bay ticks every box.

Carbis Bay is awash with plants reminiscent of the subtropics, and between the lush green and turquoise waters, a sunny day out on the beach might just have you thinking you were somewhere much further south.

Formerly known as Barrepta Cove, Carbis Bay was given its current name in 1884 for an inland farmstead recorded under the family name Carbons.

The 1861 census records 103 people living in 23 houses in the area, most of them dependent on mining, working at the nearby Wheal Providence mine.

While more common minerals and metals such as copper and quartz were mined here, Wheal Providence mine is notable for being the locality, or discovery site, of the rare blue mineral connellite.

Today, Carbis Bay has a population of over 3000, and is renowned internationally for the beauty of its beach and landscape.

Did you know? In 2021, Carbis Bay was announced as the location of the 47th annual G7 summit, and would go on to host leaders from some of the world’s wealthiest democracies in June 2021.

Serena – Carbis Bay, St Ives

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Serena is a luxury holiday apartment in Carbis Bay, St Ives. Two of the bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen in this luxury first floor duplex penthouse apartment boast unrivalled sea and beach views.

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Topaz – Carbis Bay, St Ives

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Experience the ultimate in luxury and location with a stay at this marvellous two bed penthouse apartment; a mere three minutes’ walk from Cornwall’s stunning Carbis Bay beach as well as the area’s best seafront restaurants.

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