Outdoor Activities in St Ives – Making The Most Of Cornwall

It won't come as a surprise to many of you, that the best way to enjoy Cornwall, is to venture into the great outdoors! Below are just a few of the great activities we have on our doorstep...

St Ives Surf School

St Ives Surf School has been teaching people, from all over the world, to love surfing since 1977!

Whether you’re a confident surfer, looking to learn a little more about the waves in St Ives, or a complete beginner, St Ives Surf School is sure to help you get the best out of your time by the sea.

The Surf School not only caters to all abilities but all occasions too. Providing a brilliant day out for families, stag and hen do’s, birthday parties, and team-building activities. If you’re planning on going solo for your surf, their private lessons are an excellent way to kickstart your own surfing journey, or to fine tune and expand your skills. No matter the reason for your visit, you’re sure to have a fun and safe time (especially when trying to stand up!).

Porthmeor Beach’s idyllic location is the perfect addition to your surf lessons.  As a constant winner of the Blue Flag award, the beach and surf school have all the facilities you need to enjoy and relax on your day out. There is onsite secure changing (no need to try and wiggle around with your towel), male/female toilets, male/female showers, and a selection of three cafes, right on the beach, to enjoy a warm-up hot chocolate or celebratory beer.

If you are desperate to be in and around the water, but feel like surfing just isn’t for you, the surf school offers some brilliant alternatives to suit everyone. With the surf school, you can enjoy guided Kayak tours around our beautiful coastline, SUP (stand up paddle boarding) tours and even Coasteering!

Horse Riding

There are so many brilliant ways to explore Cornwall, however, nothing feels quite as complete as looking out over the bay on top of a horse. Whether you’re a total novice or an expert jockey!

A couple of the riding schools we would recommend, for enjoying the Cornish outdoors with are,  Old Mill Stables and Tremenhere Riding Stables.

Old Mill Stables has been a riding school for over 58 years, acquiring a wealth of knowledge and wonderful horses for you to enjoy. As the riding school is situated just a 10-minute drive out of town, it is the perfect place to escape the busy streets of St Ives, and enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside. The yard is surrounded by rolling green hills, historic national trust sites, woodlands and bridle ways, with some sea views thrown in there too!

Tremenheere Riding Stables is a little further along the coast, heading towards Penzance. However, it is worth the trip over for their beach rides! For the less experienced riders, out of season beach rides are available, and for the more experienced, beach rides are available at busier times. The ride takes approximately 2 hours, and consists of riding through woods and fields, allowing you to enjoy the views of the bay before reaching it yourself. Once on the beach, you will find yourself beside the renowned St Michaels Mount, splashing in the clear blue sea with your horses.

Both of these riding schools have fully qualified instructors, and a range of horses and ponies for all experiences, so the whole family are able to enjoy the day out.





Boat Trips

Now, you may have spotted quite an aquatic theme with these outdoor activities, however with beaches like ours, it's impossible not to include them!

If you have walked along the Harbour Front in the summer time you’ll have seen that there is an abundance of boat trips to choose from, whether it is a trip on the Blue Thunder Rib Ride or a trip to Seal Island and Godrevy Lighthouse.

We’ll begin with the newest addition to the Harbour front, the Blue Thunder Rib Ride. This is an up-beat coastal tour on a very exciting speed boat, perfect for all the thrill seekers in the family! There are a range of trips for you, from a High-Speed Excursion to Coastal Tours.

For those looking for the more leisurely experience, the Coastal Tour allows passengers to stop and soak up the views of the various beaches and St Ives bay. The ‘High Speed Excursion’ does exactly what it says on the tin – an exhilarating, high speed ride through the ocean (still with great views!).

Another resident in the St Ives Harbour is ‘Dolly P’. If you wish to take a trip to Seal Island or to Godrevy lighthouse, Dolly P is the boat for you! You’ll be taken on a tour along the Cornish coastline, enjoying the views of the bay and the marine wildlife.

The base for the self drive motorboats, can be found right on the slipway on the harbour front. These boats have been safely designed for groups of up to 6 to go out and enjoy the sea and views at their own pace. Life jackets are provided for everyone, including the dog, so they can join you too!


It’ll come as no surprise that walking is one of the best ways to get around and make the most of the views in Cornwall (despite some of the hills!)

For the more keen hikers out there, we would recommend downloading the ‘iWalk Cornwall’ app. It has a total of 245 different, circular walks, showing off the best of Cornwall, providing information and updates on everything from footpaths to heritage and the natural history of the areas you’re exploring.

A very popular walk, especially for those staying in St Ives, is the walk to Zennor. This is not one for the faint hearted as it can total a 12-mile round trip (although, many either get a taxi or bus from the pub at the other end!). This walk takes you all along the twists and turns of the dramatic cliffs, bordering the coast line. The majority of this walk is on a path, requiring some scrambling and climbing to reach your destination. However, it is completely worth it on the other end! We’d strongly recommend paying a visit to ‘The Tinners Arms’ for a drink and light meal before your journey back home.

If you’re looking for views more than mileage, a simple yet charming walk is the coastal path between Carbis Bay and St Ives. The path throws you back in time as you accent on the town, providing uninterrupted views of the Harbour wall and piers (first noted back in 1478!). The footpath traces the water’s edge and railway track, passing shipwrecks, fisherman’s huts and lookout posts.

A perfect way to spend a sunny day in Cornwall!

These are just a select few activities we love doing in our spare time, but we have barely scratched the surface.

If there is anything new, old, calming or adventurous, you spend your time in Cornwall doing, we’d love to hear about it!

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