Things to Do

Read our suggestions on things to do on holiday in Carbis Bay from horse-riding to yoga on the beach

Carbis Bay is just 1 mile southeast of St Ives so the choice of things to do while on holiday is vast as you are a very short (and extremely scenic) train ride, car journey or even a half-hour coastal walk away from the beautiful and bustling harbour town. Browse our St Ives Guide to find out about the best things to do in St Ives.

Holidays in Carbis Bay, much like any area in Cornwall, means you will fall in love with the most breathtaking scenery of a white sand beach against a backdrop of turquoise sea and ruggedly romantic headlands and cliffs. When the weather is settled and warm, there is no better place than to be outdoors taking in all its beauty. Having said that, this sheltered part of southwest Cornwall is equally enjoyable when the weather turns inclement.

Here are a few things Orange Roofs recommends you try doing when staying in a self-catering holiday home in Carbis Bay.

Water sports

It's impossible to stay out of the sea when visiting Carbis Bay so why not try a new water sport if visiting between Easter and October. Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddle boarding, Foiling or maybe just go snorkelling?

Ocean Sports Centre is based on Carbis bay Beach and can offer a fabulous variety of water sports fun and games.

Open between Easter to end of October half term, Ocean Sports Centre is open for 7 months of the year offering kids club, kayak, foiling and stand up paddleboarding lessons as well as Hawaiian canoeing, sea life guided tours and surf safaris! There is no better way to spend warm and sunny days than on or in the clean and calm waters of Carbis Bay.

Visit their website or call them on 01739 794782

Sunbathe and eat

Carbis Bay beach is a private Blue Flag beach where the criteria for the reward is based on excellent water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

The beach is owned by Carbis Bay Hotel which has invested millions in providing a luxury resort experience for all visitors to the beach. Most holiday cottages or holiday apartments in Carbis Bay are within a short walk of the beach but be prepared for a steep walk back up again!

The beach has soft, fine-grain white sand that gently shelves into the turquoise sea and is protected from the chilly northerly winds due to the high cliffs around the beach. For this reason, it’s a perfect beach to set up for the day to enjoy utter relaxation (in between dips in the sea) with the excellent beach services such as toilets, showers, beach cafe and deli and also the beachside restaurant. Carbis Bay Hotel prides itself on providing delicious food and drinks sourced locally, so pack a beach bag with suncream, a good book and soak up the views and enjoy the luxury of being a few steps away from conveniences and great food.

Another addition to the Carbis Bay Estate, this glamorous beachside restaurant offers fantastic beach views to admire over a glass of wine.

Hosted by executive chef Andrew Houghton, Walter’s on the beach offers a mix of internationally inspired dishes created with top-quality ingredients. Additionally to the luxury menu, this is the perfect spot for indulging in one of their specialist cocktails. They recommend their Pornstar Martini which includes a ‘Flavour Blaster’ bubble that surrounds the cocktail and gives a cloud of flavour!

  • Dog-friendly – serving only drinks outside (summertime only)
  • Children’s menu
  • Vegetarian options
  • Vegan options
  • Local produce
  • Sea views
  • Outside seating (summertime only)
  • Parking – On-site

Visit their website or call them on 01736 795311

Part of the Carbis Bay Estate, The Beach Club Restaurant is located right off the sands of Carbis Bay Beach!

The restaurant has a sleek yet nautical feel, true to the landscape, with white wood beams and surrounding floor to ceiling glass walls as if you were still out on the beach. With the option of an outside sun terrace also, enjoy these spectacular beach views over their Mediterranean style menu, full of fresh fish, hand-picked crab and locally sourced options. You are guaranteed a holiday feel here, even if you’re a local!

  • Dog-friendly – allowed indoors during lunch service out of season and, during the summertime, outdoors only in the evenings
  • Children’s menu
  • Vegetarian options
  • Local produce
  • Sea views
  • Outside seating
  • Parking – On-site

Visit their website or call them on 01736 792811

Found on the Carbis Bay beach front, this lovely Deli cafe offers sea views from within the modern yet rustic style cosy cafe, or from their outdoor patio.

The Deli menu comprised of speciality coffee, homemade pastries and cakes, as well as sandwiches and cold snacks. This is an ideal spot for a bit of wave watching over a cappuccino during the winter months or treating yourself to a cream tea whilst enjoying the sea air.

  • Vegetarian options
  • Local produce
  • Sea views
  • Outside seating
  • Parking – On-site

Visit their website or call them on 01736 792811

Indulge yourself

Relax, revive, refresh...

Holidays in Carbis Bay are already indulgent in the sense it’s peaceful, has breathtakingly beautiful scenery and is super close to St Ives beaches, restaurants, town centre and all the wonderful things to do for all the family. Most self-catering holiday homes in Carbis Bay are seaward side meaning the views are spectacular; a true feast for tired eyes.

To make your holiday to Carbis Bay even more relaxing and pampered, we suggest you try out the treatments or spa days at C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay Hotel.

With its show-stopping outdoor infinity-edge pool, soak up the bubbles in their hydro pool while sipping a cool glass of champagne! Spa day packages range from a Sundowner experience with the use of the facilities and a cocktail on arrival to a full day treat including a 30-minute treatment, lunch at The Orangery and use of all the facilities.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 792810

Another Carbis Bay Day Spa to visit for relaxation and pampering indulgence is Una Spa.

Located on the non-seaward side of the town, Una is set in a peaceful, semi-rural setting with ample parking. The Spa has a 15m infinity pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and fitness suite with beauty and relaxation treatments using the award-winning Elemis products. Plan a day around treatments, chilling out around the pool, then enjoy a delicious meal at Una Kitchen with locally sourced ingredients and refreshing drinks.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 257000

Take a train ride to St Ives

Here at Orange Roofs, we have been thinking long and hard about where else in the UK you could experience prettier and more breath-taking views from a train journey and, we simply can’t think of anywhere!

There is just one stop between Carbis Bay train station and St Ives train station where the track meanders around the headland along the coast passing through picturesque woodland to then offer up stupendous sea views of St Ives Bay from above Carbis Bay beach and Porthminster beach; it’s truly mesmerising, quaint and quintessentially akin to a train ride from days gone by. St Ives train station is on the east side of the town and so walk past Lambeth walk towards St Ives harbour and onto Fore Street then the west side of St Ives to Porthmeor beach. There is so much to see and do in St Ives so we recommend you read our St Ives Guide to plan a full day of memory making happiness.

Walk to Lelant for lunch via Porthkidney Beach

The walk between Carbis Bay and Lelant is one that will be locked away in your hearts and memories forever. It is outstandingly beautiful with sea views all along the way as you follow the coastal path from the bridge opposite Carbis Bay train station all the way to Porthkidney beach.

Dropping down from Carbis Bay, the path will branch left into the Towans (sand dunes) and onto the beach where you remove your shoes, sink your toes and walk south towards Hayle estuary which will astound you with its translucent sea colours. Turn right and follow the estuary until you leave the beach up some steep steps onto a path that cuts through West Cornwall Golf Club to St Uny Church in Lelant. Walk Green Lane until it meets The Saltings and it will pop out onto Saltings Reach. Turn left, under a railway bridge and Birdies is next on your left!

Birdies is a delight of a cafe located on the very edge of the estuary just outside Lelant. It has ample indoor seating within a light-filled open plan room with floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the estuary and nature reserve. The estuary, being tidal, is like an ever-changing piece of art. There is seating outside at the rear which means you get to observe the reserve up close or, if you prefer, there are picnic tables at the front of the cafe which are a real sun trap even on a chilly winter’s day. The menu covers breakfast, delicious and wholesome lunches as well as delicious cakes and coffees. It’s a perfect place to replenish calories and rest the legs before walking back to Carbis Bay.

Our vote would be to walk back again as it gives you a green card to indulge at Birdies! But, if you prefer to take the bus back to Carbis Bay, the nearest bus stop is around the corner from The Old Forge opposite Dobbie’s garden centre. Be careful crossing the road to get to the bus shelter!

Birdies has panoramic views of the Lelant Estuary from both inside the cafe and from its outdoor seating area, making this an ideal spot for avid bird watchers!

The light and airy interiors have a modern vintage feel with a nod to the seaside, with large glass windows to maximise views of the surrounding area. This family-run business is the dream of a couple with a history in high profile kitchens, now producing English dishes with a twist using fresh seasonal produce. Birdies also has a licensed bar, so why not enjoy their famous bubble and squeak rendition with a glass of wine whilst taking in the dreamy views.

  • Dog-friendly
  • Children’s menu
  • Vegetarian options
  • Vegan options
  • Local produce
  • Sea views
  • Outside seating
  • Parking – On-site

Visit their website or call them on 01736 759307

Aiming for simple dining using high-quality ingredients, The Old Forge offers a warm and relaxed dining experience with some great flavours.

With a charming rustic interior featuring exposed brick, dark wooden beams and plenty of ambience, The Old Forge is a lovely spot for dinner with friends and family where you can experience some great local food as well as a shop from their deli! Full of locally sourced produce as well as some of their own homemade starter sauces.

  • Dog-friendly
  • Children’s menu
  • Vegetarian options
  • Vegan options
  • Local produce
  • Outside seating – covered with heaters
  • Parking – some spaces on-site

Visit their website or call them on 01736 753696

Yoga on the beach

Whether it’s waking up the nervous system, stretching into the morning listening to the soft sounds of the sea or feeling the last of the sun’s rays on your skin at the end of the day energised by asanas, we can highly recommend booking a lesson with Lucy Alridge who is in love with where she lives as much as the health benefits of yoga practice.

Yoga on the beach, what better way to start or end a day while on holiday in St Ives or Carbis Bay?

Is it better to do exercise outdoors? Here in St Ives, we would all say yes! Any form of activity and exercise is better done outdoors as it lowers blood pressure and heart rate more than if the same exercise is done indoors. Ever dreamed of doing yoga with paradise as the backdrop? Get lost in the rhythmic sound of the sea and the stunning colour of the ocean against the soft white sand of Porthmeor Beach. Join Lucy Alridge, a senior Iyengar instructor, for a 1-2-1 lesson or group lesson for some soul-enriching exercise in St Ives.

Visit her website or call 07817 968936

Riding lesson with a view

There is another way to take in the beautiful Cornish countryside around Carbis Bay and that is on horseback!

Standing Stone Stables are on top of a hill overlooking Carbis Bay (a short walk from Una Spa and Kitchen) and have some pretty breath-taking views and that is just the beautiful, very well looked after and loved horses! With a fenced sand school, you can choose to have a group or 1-2-1 lesson with yard owner Natalie Stevens or book a beach ride or a gentle hack around Carbis Bay. Remember to pack your jodhpurs and riding hat if you are an accomplished rider or tight jeans and walking boots with a heel if you are trying it for the first time. Standing Stones Stables will provide you with a hard hat and plenty of encouragement (and courage!) to experience the incomparable feeling of being in the saddle and at one with your horse.

Whether it’s your first time near a horse or you are on holiday in Carbis Bay and missing being in the saddle and fancy a beach ride, Standing Stone Stables will have a horse to suit your experience.

A fabulous riding school for young children and adults, a super friendly reception offering a confident yet relaxed approach, you will feel instantly welcome and at ease.

Have Facebook? Check out Standing Stone Stables page to see what’s on or call Natalie Stevens on 07903 022172.

 

Play a round of golf

Keen golfers need not miss out on a round of golf when on holiday to Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

A very short drive from Carbis Bay in the direction of Lelant, an 18-hole golf course awaits with what has to be one of the best views in the UK. Equally, just half a mile from Carbis Bay in the direction of St Ives another 18-hole course at Tregenna Castle offers up exceptional sea views from tee-off! Each of the golf courses are happy to accept visitors for a game of golf and have professionals on hand to help as well as shops if you forget your number 4 iron. Fancy a bite to eat or a pint of Cornish ale after your game, both golf clubs welcome relaxation post-game too. If you wanted to walk from your self-catering accommodation to the nearest golf course, Tregenna Castle is the closest to Orange Roofs’ holiday homes in Carbis Bay.

Located in Lelant and overlooking St Ives Bay and Hayle Estuary, the views from this 18-hole golf course are superb.

The coastal railway track runs alongside the course and the links land gives perfect golfing all year round. Porthkidney beach is also at the foot of the golf course offering 4km of beautiful white sand and crystal clear seawater. West Cornwall Golf Course has a restaurant and a relaxing bar for an after round drink. Their pro shop is fully stocked and offers one to one and group coaching.

They are also proud to be the home of ‘Long’ Jim Barnes, a 4-time major winner and in more recent times of Walker Cup players, Philip Rowe (1999) and Harry Hall (2019).

Visit their website or call them on 01736 753401

Tregenna Castle has 72 acres of beautiful woodland that slopes down to St Ives so the views are quite spectacular.

Tregenna has an 18-hole par 3 golf course boasting uninterrupted views of St Ives Bay, and was voted one of the most scenic golf courses in the UK. A round of golf costs from £15 and there are no tee times.

Visit their website or call them on 01736 795254