St Ives Harbour Beach

In Brief

Suitable for: Families
Location: St Ives seafront
Parking: Plenty of parking around St Ives
Dog friendly?: Yes, apart from the summer months

Who doesn’t want to sit on a beach, relax in the midday sun and watch the local fishermen bringing in their fresh catches? Well, kids maybe. But it doesn’t matter because there’s enough space on St Ives Harbour Beach for them to build sandcastles while you take in the bustling scenes out on the water.

St Ives Harbour Beach is obviously slap bang at the seafront of the town, with Porthgwidden Beach to its north and Porthminster Beach to its south. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is hardly a clean spot due to the harbour and being the most central beach in town but that’s just not the case. These soft sands that are revealed when the tide is out are clean and spacious, sheltered by St Ives’ thick harbour walls.

The beach is a bit of a suntrap, so it’s a great place for sunbathing and boat watching while the kids play in the sand. Plus, the waters are safe so going for a dip is encouraged. And obviously, due to its location, St Ives’ wonderful galleries like the Tate St Ives, pubs and coffee shops are within a stone’s throw so you’re well catered for throughout the day. Dogs are welcome on the beach throughout the year apart from the summer months and at low tide the beach joins with Porthminster so you can walk across those sands too.

St Ives is a unique place with a handful of top beaches. Don’t let the name of this one put you off. It’s worth laying a towel down here for a few hours before you hit the pubs, galleries and shops behind you during your lazy afternoon, Cornwall-style.