Places to Visit in Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay beach is the most obvious place to visit when on your Carbis Bay holidays. We recommend a few other places to visit too! An off-the-beaten-track historical monument, a photo archive with amazing images from Carbis Bay and St Ives of old, a community nature reserve and more.

Carbis Bay is a small coastal town in West Cornwall, less than a mile from St Ives so most visitors seem to miss worthwhile places to visit in Carbis Bay in favour of St Ives and all that it offers. At Orange Roofs, we have visited all the places below and highly recommend adding them to your holiday itinerary. Some ideally need dry weather days (but we’ve been there in wet weather and they are equally appealing!) mainly because the views are just too fantastic and breathtaking to be missed.

We appreciate the beauty of booking a holiday to Carbis Bay is because of its natural beauty, peacefulness and proximity to many other places of interest in Cornwall. There are special corners of this peaceful town that should be explored before heading to bigger holiday attractions; we promise, the holiday memories will be worth it.

Found above Carbis Bay on top of Worvas Hill, Knill’s Monument is a Grade II Listed 50ft high pyramid-shaped granite obelisk overlooking Carbis Bay and St Ives.

Built-in 1782 as a mausoleum and memorial for the late John Knill, this was the final work of architect John Wood the Younger of Batheaston (The designer responsible for the Royal Crescent in Bath). Knill, who was at one point the mayor of St Ives, was responsible for building the town’s first pier and had the monument commissioned as part of a quinquennial ceremony to take place on St James the Apostle’s Day. The original ceremony involved ten young dancing girls from the families of local fishermen dressed in white, two widows in black and a fiddler who would play the ‘Furry Dance’, and although the vault remains empty, the tradition lives on, with this celebration continuing to take place every five years as per Knills will. The next parade will be held in 2026. Knills monument is a fantastic spot for a brisk walk and fantastic panoramic views.

Would you like to see more information on Knills Monument?

Located below the Knill’s Monument, Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is a 40-acre space open to the public and overlooking Carbis Bay, St Ives and beyond.

Parts of the reserve date back to medieval times and is made up of mature woodland, heathland and areas planted with young trees, making it a hive of activity for wildlife, with the woodland itself being classified as a temperate rainforest! Within the grounds, you will also find several old tin mines, including the Wheal King mine that has been linked to the Elizabethan era by historians. Granite was also quarried on Worvas Hill until the early 20th Century and was used as building stone throughout St Ives. Steeple Nature Reserve often holds community events alongside its own volunteer work sessions, wildlife surveys and environmental research projects.

Visit their website above for more information on this worthwhile reserve

Located in central Carbis Bay within the old St Uny School building, the St Ives Archive Centre is a hub for all historical information on the St Ives area.

Run by a handful of volunteers, the St Ives Archive Centre began in 1996 and is a registered charity that aims to develop and maintain a historical archive for the benefit of the public, and is open to visitors! Their archives cover all areas of local history, including St Ives geography, arts, natural history, architecture and past inhabitants. Funded through local business grants, memberships, donations and the sale of their publications, why not pop by and learn a little about St Ives history, or perhaps even trace an ancestor? Their website also hosts a range of short films for you to enjoy.

Visit their website for more information by clicking on their name above.

A protected cove with soft golden sand and awarded Blue Flag status so the sea is clear and clean.

Ocean Water Sports base their activities on Carbis Bay beach and so there is a choice of kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and even foiling!

There is a huge choice of what to eat and drink at the beach thanks to Carbis Bay Hotel offering a beach bar, cafe, restaurants and cocktail menus! Don’t worry, you can still buy a bucket and spade with your ice cream from the shop on the beach too.

There are public loos and a shower directly off the beach and it is dog-friendly with some seasonal restrictions.

RNLI lifeguards ensure your safety between July to September.

In summary, Carbis Bay Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Public loos
  • Cafes and restaurants on the beach
  • Lifeguarded between July to September
  • Seasonal dog restrictions

Trencrom Hill is an Iron Age hill fort, previously thought to be a Neolithic enclosure.

With fantastic 360’ degree views across North Cornwall, the uphill climb is definitely worth the hike! The summit is approximately 175m high and surrounded by historical archeology, wildlife and folk law. When exploring Trencrom Hill, Cairns or hut circles can be found in the level area, surrounded by stone and earth banks, as well as an old well. When at the summit, you will be able to find boulder’s drilled with holes in which Victorian miners would pack with gunpowder and lit as a midsummers celebration. You will also be able to find rock-basins referred to as ‘The Giant’s Chair’, ‘The Giant’s Cradle’ and ‘The Giant’s Spoon’ linked to folk tales of the giant Trecobben who resided on Trencrom. It is told that Trecobben and Cormoran (The giant that lived at nearby St Michaels Mount) would play by throwing rocks at each other, resulting in the loose boulders scattered around Trencrom to this day.

Want to discover Cornwall like a local? Introducing Elizabeth Dale, The Cornish Bird, a Cornish writer with a passion for the history and heritage of her home.

Her blog and podcast dive into the past to uncover the lesser-known stories, forgotten characters and hidden places that you just won’t find on the usual tourist trail. Whether it is a hidden cove, haunted woodland or mysterious ancient site The Cornish Bird Blog has it all and there is even a handy interactive map to inspire your travels around this fascinating part of the UK. See Cornwall through a local’s eyes and discover some of its most unusual myths and legends. When you want to go off the beaten track a little, read The Cornish Bird and get a taste for adventure and real Cornish history.

Visit The Cornish Bird’s website and start planning your next adventure from your holiday cottage in Cornwall.

N.B. Please note, the address on the map is Orange Roofs’ office given, understandably, Elizabeth didn’t want to give her home address away!