Getting Around

Tips on parking in St Ives, getting around on public transport, taxis and electric car charger points

St Ives is special. That much is clear from the many stunning seascapes, beaches, sunsets, sunrises as well as the quality locally sourced and prepared food at St Ives’ restaurants plus a generous choice of places to visit and things to do all in one town.

There is one ‘but’ to visiting St Ives whether you’ve booked self-catering accommodation in St Ives itself or just day-tripping; the parking. With many of the sought after and centrally situated fisherman’s cottages and apartments being on the harbour front or in Downalong, the roads are quaint yet narrow with little to no option for on-site parking. Unlike many other coastal towns of Cornwall (and the UK for that matter), St Ives does have a good selection of public and privately owned car parks. ‘’Thank goodness’’ we say as these get full up quickly during busy times across the year, particularly the ones closest to the town centre.

St Ives is built on a hill so, as you can imagine, the place to be in St Ives is at the bottom of the hill where the beaches, shops and restaurants are! There are 5 beaches to visit in total as well as the harbour front and 2 piers. For that reason, the bottom of the hill can get quite congested with cars. Having said that, despite how it looks on Google maps, St Ives isn’t huge. It takes just 20 minutes to walk from the bottom of the hill to the top where you will find The Leach Pottery. It is split into two halves with the west side of the town being home to Downalong, The Island and Porthmeor beach moving up the hill towards Barnoon and up further to Ayr. On the east side of the town is Porthminster beach, The Malakoff, heading up to the Belyars and St Ives leisure centre. You can walk from Porthminster beach to Porthmeor beach in less than 10 minutes.

We want to make parking in St Ives easy for you, so here is a list of car parks and their proximity to the town centre and St Ives beaches. To know the current fee for parking in a public car park in St Ives, please refer to Cornwall Council website.

Long Stay Car Parks

Location – Burrow Road, TR26 1SY Spaces – 129, Just Park code – 8419

Located in the heart of Downalong, the Island Car Park is often the busiest and most sought after spaces. Perfect if your holiday cottage is located along the harbour front, Downalong, Porthgwidden or Porthmeor areas. This car park is only a two-minute walk from Porthmeor beach and the harbour. If you can claim one of these popular spaces on changeover day, this is a great spot if you’re not looking to use your car during your stay. It is a pay on departure car park.

Location – Clodgy View, TR26 1JF, Spaces – 124, Just Park code – 8422

Located up on the hill overlooking Porthmeor Beach, Barnoon Car Park is close to the town centre as well as Porthmeor beach and Downalong. Like Island Car Park, Barnoon can get busy during the summer months so this is another location we would recommend for those looking to leave their cars for the duration of their stay. It is a pay on arrival car park.

Location – TR26 2EQ, Spaces – 106, Just Park code – 8417

Found on the Malakoff on the approach to the train station platform, this car park is great for guests who are staying near Porthminster and along the Hain Walk area. With limited spaces due to some spaces being privately let, this is another central car park where you may find it harder to find a space, however, if you do manage to find one, expect fantastic views of Porthminster and St Ives Harbour (The Malakoff is the perfect location to get a fantastic photo of St Ives!). It is a pay on arrival car park.

Location – Park Avenue, TR26 1QE, Spaces – 77, Just Park code – 8416

Approximately a 5-minute walk to the harbour front, Park Avenue is a great spot for those staying within the central town or towards Porthminister. There is a handy cut through from this car park down into the town, however, please note that there are quite a few steps! It is a pay on arrival car park.

Location – St Ives Leisure Centre, TR26 1DD, Spaces – 759 Summer/311 Winter, Just Park code – 8414

Located at the top of St Ives overlooking the town, Trenwith Car Park is a safer bet if looking for a space in peak season without having to search the narrow streets of St Ives. A 10-15 minute walk downhill into the town, you will have some magnificent views on your descent! It is a pay on departure car park.

Rugby Club Car Park (privately owned), Location – St Ives Rugby Club, TR26 1ER, Spaces – 250 approximately, Website

If you would rather not search the streets of St Ives for parking, you are guaranteed to find a space at the Rugby Club, with plenty of space at an affordable rate. Although this car park is a 15-minute downhill walk to the town, during peak season there is also a shuttle bus between the car park and the town which runs every 10 to 15 minutes and is dog-friendly; it certainly saves the uphill walk to the car!

Short Stay Car Parks

Location – TR26 1PS, Spaces – 31, Just Park code – 8420

Located on the edge of the harbour front pier, there are only limited spaces here however this spot is perfect for those just wanting to pop to the harbour front for a meal or some shopping on Fore street. It’s better suited to smaller cars; vans or large vehicles may struggle to get through the gap leading off the harbour towards the pier and then onto Back Road East.

Location – TR26 1LT, Spaces – 42, Just Park code – 8418

You will not find a more central car park than this one! Tucked behind The Sloop Inn on the harbour front, this small short stay car park is perfect for friends of guests popping into town to meet for dinner out or a stroll around the town.

Location – TR26 1JU, Spaces – 30, Just Park code – 8421

Overlooking beautiful Porthmeor beach, this short stay car park is a great spot for those wanting to spend a few hours on the sands or anyone looking to enjoy the culinary delights of Porthmeor Beach Cafe or Porthmeor West. This is also a fantastic spot to enjoy the sunset from the bonnet of your car!

Location – Alma Terrace, TR26 1QX,  Spaces – 70, Just Park code – 525316

Privately owned, this car park is only a few minute’s walk from the town centre and avoids the hill walk! A popular choice for day visitors, this short stay car park is an ideal spot for guests who have family visiting. 24-hour tickets are available however this will be substantially more expensive than the long stay car parks available. This car park also has security teams checking the car park regularly and will issue fines for inconsiderately parked cars in spaces, so make sure to park between the white lines!

Whether you’re day tripping to or from St Ives, there are a few different options to choose from!

Not everyone wants to drive to their holiday cottage in St Ives, it’s a very long way after all from the border of Devon! When self-catering accommodation in St Ives comes with parking, it seems a no-brainer to come on holiday by car. We know, however, that driving the narrow, busy Cornish roads isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so we have given a taste of how else visitors to St Ives can get around and how easy it can be. How does the famous saying go? It’s not all about the destination, it’s about the journey too.

 

Buses

St Ives bus station is located at the Malakoff above St Ives Railway station, it is only a few minutes walk down into the town and the harbour front. The number 17, 200 and T2 buses all pass through Carbis Bay and take approximately 5 minutes to get you from A to B if staying in Carbis Bay. These run fairly regularly throughout the day, however, we recommend checking the First Bus website for live updates and times.

Exploring further afield

If you are staying with us and you’re looking to go further afield for a day trip, there are regular buses from St Ives bus station to nearby towns.

The number 17 bus will take you through Carbis Bay, Lelant and onwards to Penzance. Penzance is an historic port within Mounts Bay which experiences one of the mildest climates in the UK. Home to the only promenade in Cornwall, things to see also include the art deco outdoor lido ‘Jubilee Pool’ with a geothermal heated pool, the victorian subtropical gardens at ‘Morrab Gardens’ and nearby in Marazion the famous ‘St Michaels Mount’ castle in the sea, accessible by a tidal causeway!

Both the 200 and T2 will take you through Carbis Bay, Lelant and then upwards through towns including Hayle, Camborne, Redruth and ending in the capital, Truro.

Coastal buses

A captivating open top bus tour along the beautiful rugged coastlines of Cornwall! The ‘Lands’s End Coaster’ bus is an open top bus that showcases breathtaking views both inland across the moorland and out across the cliff tops to the ocean. With the ability to hop on and off throughout the day, from St Ives you can take the Land’s End Coaster to St Just, Land’s End, Porthcurno, Newlwyn, Penzance and Marazion, enabling you to explore west Penwith. This service runs hourly from May to September and two hourly October to May.

Coming soon is also a brand new Coaster bus, named the ‘Atlantic Coaster’, which will tour from St Ives through Hayle, Portreath, St Agnes, Newquay and Padstow along 46 miles of incredible coastline! Much the same as the Land’s End Coaster, this will be an open top experience enabling you to hop on and off, adventuring Cornwall to your heart’s content! Details on this will be shared as soon as available!

Shuttle Bus

If you are parking at the St Ives Rugby Club there is a shuttle bus which runs passengers from the club down to the Tate Gallery alongside Porthmeor beach, as well as the return journey! This seasonal shuttle bus runs every 10-15 minutes from 10am and at a return cost of only £2 this is a great option for those parked near the top end of the town who would rather not attempt the hills! Dogs are also welcome!

Rail

If you are travelling to Cornwall by train you will be pleased to know that St Ives does have its own railway station via a connection from the main London to Penzance line at St Erth. Joining us via train not only means you avoid the search for a parking space but also get to experience some of the most incredible coastal views whilst travelling the 4-mile branch line, so picturesque that we would recommend the train journey to any visitors during their stay!

If you are looking to use the trains to explore the local area, the branch line from St Ives travels through Carbis Bay and Lelant where it rejoins the mainline at St Erth. From here you can head south to Penzance or north towards the city centre of Truro.

If you fancy a day trip or two in a car when staying in St Ives, why not hire one and enjoy the convenience of a car when you need it?

Newquay Airport Car Hire offers a full range of new cars and their prices include insurance, VAT, unlimited mileage and breakdown cover.

They offer free delivery and collection anywhere in Cornwall when hiring for 3 days or more plus flexibility to leave the car at alternate locations throughout Cornwall.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01637850971

Car Hire Cornwall is a family run business established in 1993.

Promising no cancellation fees or collision damage waivers, excellent customer service, £100 insurance excess, free collection and drop off service as well as being carbon neutral, you will feel like you are supporting a local Cornish family business by hiring a car through Car Hire Cornwall. You can collect a car from either Penzance or Liskeard train stations if this is more convenient to holiday plans.

Visit their website for more information or call Alan, Linda or Callum on 07790039780

Europcar Penzance Train Station is located very conveniently as you exit the train station

All you need to do is get off the train, exit the station, cross the road and their office is in the car park so a very short distance to walk with luggage. Their office is open 8am until 4pm but do charge an after-hours service between 4pm and midnight. They can offer automatic cars, luxury, 4×4 and SUV cars. Choose their ‘Full Tank’ option and you will get a car which is fully fuelled up and you won’t have to return the car full either. To make the experience either more hassle-free, choose their ‘Deliver & Collection’ service for as little as £10 each way.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 0871 384 9900

*(Calls to 0871 numbers will cost 10 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

Enterprise Car Club in Longrock just a short distance from Penzance.

It offers the national car hire experience such as a large range of cars to hire, fuel and roadside assistance is included, free cancellation up to 5 hours before car collection, hourly rental charges are capped at day rates, physical damage/ liability is included with an excess of £750 as standard, 24/7 Clubhouse support.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 0345 266 9290

Road

If you decide to arrive in St Ives by car, as well as the parking, another thing to consider is your route! The A30 is the main road through Cornwall and is made up mostly of dual carriageway, however, there are a few single-lane roads also! (A new dual carriageway is in the process of being built) So, during the holiday season, the A30 can get very busy.

There are two ways to drive into St Ives; via Halsetown or via Lelant and Carbis Bay. Our recommendation is to use the old coach road into St Ives so passing through Halsetown. When you exit the A30, follow the signs to St Ives past Dobbies garden centre on your right and at the mini roundabout, take the left turning and follow the brown signs to St Ives. Continue for a few miles and when you get to a T-junction, turn right towards to St Ives. Travel through Halsetown and take a right at the T-junction leading to St Ives town. You will find fewer hold-ups on this route and it drops down into St Ives via The Stennack instead of down the narrow hill of High Street that is a continuation of Tregenna Hill.

Be warned, there are narrow lanes in St Ives and so choosing a holiday cottage in Downalong or along Fore Street will mean negotiating tight turnings and also many pedestrians who walk along the harbour front and the shop lined cobbled lanes of Fore Street and The Digey. The most central car park to holiday cottages near St Ives’ beaches and St Ives Harbour is The Island and this is approached via a narrow lane and a tight turn which is often made more difficult when there are stationary vehicles dropping off or even worse a Tesco delivery van!

Air

If you are flying into Cornwall, the nearest airport is located in Newquay, 26.6 miles from St Ives. From here the fastest way to St Ives is a taxi, with an estimated cost of £75 – £95 and taking around 48 minutes. Alternatively the nearest railway station from Newquay Airport is Newquay station, approximately 5.7 miles away (taxi’s between are available) and would take anywhere between 2-3 hours to St Ives depending on the train, including two changes, at a cost of around £11.50 at off-peak times. Finally, there is the option of taking the bus from Newquay Airport to St Ives, with the journey taking between 3-4 hours and changing buses at St Erth.

If you are interested in taking any day trips whilst staying in St Ives, why not take a trip to the nearby Isles of Scilly? With flights available from Land’s End airport aboard the ‘Skybus’, you can travel from Land’s End to St Mary’s airport on the Scilly isles in only 20 minutes! Plus if you’re visiting St Ives with dogs, they are allowed to join you for the flight! Flights start from around £127.00 for a return trip per person. Buses are available from St Ives to Lands end via First Bus service.

Another flight option for a trip to the Isles of Scilly is to fly via helicopter from Penzance Heliport. Flying directly from Penzance to either Tresco or St Mary’s takes around 15 minutes and a return flight can be booked from as little as £129.00 per person if booked as part of a last minute rate! This is not a dog friendly option however, so please be aware if travelling with pets. Buses are available from St Ives to Penzance via First Bus service (more information on this in the bus section above!).

Pedal power

Growing in popularity, especially in St Ives with the hilly landscape, e-bikes are a fantastic way to get around St Ives and explore the surroundings without worrying about the steep gradients! Available to hire daily or weekly, St Ives e-bikes have a range of electric bikes available for hire, with added extras such as tag along bikes, child seats and bike carts, so younger members of the family or your four-legged friends can come along for the ride also! Not sure where to go? Or fancy a big adventure? St Ives e-bikes have created a list of recommended routes with varying lengths and steepness!



Take a ride around spectacularly beautiful coastal routes exploring Cornish coves without the effort of too much peddling!

Hire an e-bike from St Ives Bikes and download one of their set routes from the Zennor Zoom which is a 10-mile bike ride to Land’s End Loop which is a whopping 55-mile bike ride (but so worth it!). Try their Cape Caper, Godrevy Gambol or Moorland Meander; they have rides for everyone and the sheer sense of being outdoors, inhaling the freshest of sea air and feeling the benefits of cycling (made easy) is a perfect way to spend a day in the saddle exploring beauty spots around West Cornwall while on holiday in St Ives.

Visit their website or call them on 07536 171214

Electric car charge points

Going green is the way to go. Families having annual St Ives holidays and saving the planet at the same time is a marriage made in heaven!

Taking the plunge to buy an electric car can be daunting particularly when long journeys are part of the equation. We thought we would share the nearest electric car charge points to St Ives to help with your holiday itinerary planning for a stress-free exploration of Cornwall. Visit the ZapMap website for more electric car charge points around West Cornwall.

This is an open charge unit installed at the Tesco Superstore in Carbis Bay

4 x 7kW Charge points, Connector A and B, type 2 socket, single phase. Refer to Podpoint’s website for more information.

1 Tesla Connector, up to 22kW.

Available to the public. Self-park.

1 Tesla Connector, up to 22kW.

Available to the public. Self-park.

This is an open charge unit installed at the Tesco Superstore in Penzance

4 x 7kW Charge points, Connector A and B, type 2 socket, single phase. Refer to Podpoint’s website for more information.

This is an open charge unit installed at the Sainsbury’s Superstore in Penzance

4 x 7kW Charge points, Connector A and B, type 2 socket, single phase. Refer to Podpoint’s website for more information.

8 superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW, CCS compatible only

Taxis

It’s understandable if you have found a parking space in St Ives and are frightened of leaving it, you may want to get around locally by taxi instead! Or you fancy a tipple at lunchtime and want to explore further afield or perhaps you’ve come by train and want to get around West Cornwall quickly. Below is a list of St Ives and other local firms you may want to call.

01736 797700

01736 797799

01736 799999

01736 754000

01736 796633

01736 756565