Travel planningBy car
The A30, A38 or A39 are the main roads into Cornwall with the A30 being the main trunk road through Cornwall – and mostly dual-carriageway – leading off the M5 south bound. During the school holidays, the A30 can get very busy but we find our favourite service stop ‘The Hog and Hedge’ at the Whiddon Down Services in Devon is a perfect place to refresh and revive before tackling the last part of the journey. It’s a good chance to make sure everyone is comfortable before hitting potential traffic queues!
Parking in St Ives
Parking in St Ives can be a huge bug bear and it’s the one thing that fills most visitors with trepidation. We have quite a selection of boutique holiday cottages and apartments in St Ives that have provision for parking but equally, there are some delightful St Ives cottages whose sheer position means that they simply can’t offer it. But fear not; there are plenty of car parks to choose from. As most of our self catering accommodation is in St Ives, here is a list of long stay Cornwall Council car parks on offer in the coastal town. We have provided a link to the Cornwall Council website for pricing information and also the 4-digit car park code if paying by mobile phone (call 01872 302947) or the JustPark App. Whether the property has parking or not, we have listed the properties in closest proximity to the car parks below:
This pay on departure car park has 129 spaces which are in high demand as it’s the one closest to properties around the harbour, Downalong, Porthgwidden and Porthmeor. If you are staying in any of those areas, it will only take you a few minutes to walk to your accommodation from the car. A lot of people will park their car in St Ives and leave it for the entire week without moving it, so a good few spaces will become free on changeover days (normally Friday and Saturday) but these spaces are quickly claimed by others during popular holiday weeks.
Properties closest to Island car park
- 1 Porthmeor Road
- Island Retreat
- 45 Back Road West
- 6 Sunnyside
- Sea Fever
- 2 Harbour House
- Harbour Beach Cottage
- 15 The Digey
- In-between Cottage
- Plane Sailing
- 20 Barnaloft
- Artist’s Harbour
- Atlantic Blue
- Rose Cottage
- Smugglers Cottage
There are 124 spaces in this car park, it is the next closest to the main town and waterfront areas, there is a short cut path that runs either down to Porthmeor beach or into the town on foot. These paths have steps and are steep in some areas. It over looks Porthmeor beach and is next to the Tate Gallery.
Properties closest to Barnoon car park
- Sea Blue One Eighty
- Sea Spirit
- Barnoon Villa
- Ocean Seascape
- Coastal Seascape
- Vitamyn Sea
As the name suggests, this 106 space car park is situated at St Ives railway station, next to Porthminster beach. This is another good option if you are staying around the harbour area or in the lower parts of the town. After leaving the car park via a flight of steps, there is a level walk to the harbour that follows the sea.
Properties closest to St Ives train station car park
The 77 spaces are in high demand during the school holidays due to it being close to the town’s shops. There is a short cut into town after having parked here but beware, there are quite a few steps.
This is a pay on departure car park and it has 311 spaces in the winter and 759 in the summer as they use two grassy fields and a grassy area at the top of the tarmac area. Despite it being a 10 to 15 minute walk into town, this is the car park we will often point guests in the direction of first; purely for ease of finding and a better chance of finding a space. If you are prepared to try the others first, be also prepared to face the traffic queues and narrow streets with pedestrians aplenty.
Properties closest to Trenwith station car park
Private car parks
If you wanted to take the stress away from parking in St Ives altogether, you could park privately with www.stivescarpark.com. It’s slightly more expensive but has the advantage of being within a secure compound and for some, it certainly takes a load of their minds when travelling to St Ives.
You could also book a space at St Ives Rugby Club which is a 15-20 minute walk to most holiday properties in St Ives. This car park does not have a set number of spaces due to is large field space it is never short of room no matter the capacity requirements. It is a 15 – 20 minute walk into the centre of St Ives but knowing there are plentiful spaces can really help relieve some stress. An added bonus is that you can pre-pay for your space before you even arrive in St Ives. Simply head over to their website to book now!
St Johns-in-the-fields Church at the highest level of St Ives (about 1km from the harbour front), offers parking for a very reasonable amount and it’s a downhill walk to the seafront. The entrance is practically opposite the Fire Station near Leach Pottery.
Finally, to book and pay for a space on a private driveway, you could try the website Park On My Drive
If you are planning on avoiding the parking scenario entirely by coming on public transport then you’ll be pleased to know that St Ives has its own railway station at the end of an incredibly picturesque four-mile branch line (positively the prettiest view from a train window ever in our opinion). Pick this up by changing at St Erth.
If you miss your connection or are in a hurry, there are plenty of taxi firms operating between St Erth and St Ives. Again, Google will give you a list of these. If you are thinking of flying into Cornwall and landing at Newquay, you can actually get to St Ives on public transport links and the best site we have found to date that breaks it all down for you is rome2rio.com This same site will help when planning some sight-seeing trips around the South West whether it’s to Marazion, The Minack Theatre or Falmouth.
A Few Quick Top TipsDining out (and in!)
For some ideas on best places to eat in St Ives, browse through our Guidebook and we have no doubt it will inspire you as there are many top recommendations. Our number one top tip? Book well in advance of your stay!
If you’re looking for something a little different, we’re excited to share with you the opportunity to have a private chef at your holiday home. Fraser Bruce is a local chef who has been a South-West Chef of the Year Finalist 2019 and a National Chef of the Year Finalist 2020. Take a look at our article to find out more! Private Chef, Fraser Bruce
Fraser needs between 3 to 4 weeks’ notice, so please do book with enough time to spare!
Contact him directly, visit his website and please also call us if you would like to check if the dining facilities at your property will cater for your private chef dinner party.
St Ives Surf School offers Surfing Lessons, Kayak Tours, Paddleboard Lessons and Equipment Hire from their facilities on Porthmeor and Porthminster Beach. Feel free to call them directly on 01736 793938 for all enquiries.
If you prefer to try surf lessons at Gwithian Townans, contact Surf Academy on 07136 757579 or book a lesson on their website
Perhaps you would love to learn to surf at Sennen with the amazing landscape views of Land’s End which is just around the corner from Sennen. If so, contact Smart Surf School on 07377 668465 or visit their website
If you prefer to try your hand at surfing on the Lizard, go to Kennack Sands and contact Kennack Surf School on 01326 290871 or 07980 180993 to book.
Check out our water sports article in our Guidebook for extra inspiration!
If walking is an enjoyment of yours, then we are certainly blessed here in Cornwall with some breath-taking routes that can take you over streams, past waterfalls, alongside tropical gardens, over the moors or clinging to a coastal path! We recommend you take a look at iwalkCornwall and download their App too. We have followed a few of their walks near Bodmin and along the Roseland Peninsular and we were not disappointed! There are routes for all abilities.
Anywhere you decide to cycle in Cornwall, you are sure to reach a hill (and a big one at that!), so you may want to hire a bike for the day but get the added oomph of it being electric? Plan a route and stop off at some beauty spots and enjoy some of the local produce to keep your energy up. Contact St Ives E-bikes to hire a bike and try some of their suggested local routes!
Whether you have booked a holiday cottage in St Ives or Carbis Bay or visiting for the day or two if staying on holiday elsewhere in Cornwall, we have listed the 10 best places to visit to fill your days with activity, tasty Cornish food and rich culture! Read here for our most amazing tips on things to do on holiday in St Ives.