One of the best things about booking a holiday to St Ives is that the town is jam-packed with restaurants, shops and places of interest. Being surrounded by gorgeous beaches on every side means that the town has everything you could possibly want for a wonderful holiday, all in one place. It’s true that once you’ve arrived at your holiday cottage, you can park up and – in theory – not have to move your car the whole time (if you don’t want to). It’s compact, easy to get around and you’re never further than a 10-minute walk to the nearest beach. Now that’s what I call a holiday!
Perhaps the most iconic beach, seen as you drive into St Ives from Carbis Bay, is Porthminster. Located just below the bus and train stations and a large pay-and-display car park, this beach is easy to access however you’ve arrived. With soft, golden sand, sparkling blue sea and backed by colourful beach chalets, Porthminster really is postcard perfect. On a clear day, you have unrestricted views across to St Ives’ picturesque harbour with its fishing boats bobbing about and across the sea in the other direction you can see the iconic Godrevy lighthouse perched at the end of the long golden stretch of Hayle beach.
Porthminster is a firm favourite with families as the water tends to be flatter and calmer than the wilder Porthmeor beach (more on that in a minute!), lending itself to swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. As with many Cornish beaches, it’s usually lifeguarded through the busy summer months, too.
In the summer, Porthminster is often covered with beach towels, parasols and deckchairs as holidaymakers camp out for the day. In the winter, the beach is perfect for walking and admiring the views.
At the top of the beach are several food outlets meaning you don’t have to go far to pick up some yummy food or refreshments. Among the buildings is Porthminster Café; although a café in name, this is a renowned restaurant, known for its sit-down meals and cocktails.
Perhaps better suited to a daytime beach trip are the other Porthminster Café offerings which include a Beach Bar & Takeaway. Located on the beach itself, the Beach Bar offers picnic benches with umbrellas tucked into the sand, perfect for those days when you need a little break from the sun whilst keeping your toes in the sand. There’s nowhere else quite like it. As well as their informal outside seating, the Beach Bar and Takeaway offer to-go options, too. From classic Cornish pasties to burgers and chips, their menu offers a great range of foods to suit any fancy. Little ones who love ice-cream? They’ve got that too! The perfect break between sea swims and suncream applications which can all be enjoyed without leaving the beach.