Porthminster beach, St Ives, Cornwall

The 7 St Ives Beaches in Cornwall

St Ives is a popular Cornish seaside town that has a choice of 7 sandy beaches all with different characteristics and two of which are dog-friendly.

We will go in clockwise order starting with Porthmeor.

Porthmeor Beach

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

Porthmeor Beach is the only St Ives beach that has an Atlantic facing aspect as all the others face into St Ives Bay. This means if you want good surfing on Atlantic rollers then Porthmeor is the beach to head for and where the surf schools are based.

Porthmeor is a good family surfing beach with local options to get food and is located in front of the Tate St Ives.

Porthgwidden Beach

Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives

The next beach is around St Ives head and is Porthgwidden Beach which is a smaller sheltered beach backed by a row of beach huts with some interesting rocks to explore.

Bamaluz Beach

Bamaluz beach, St Ives, Cornwall

Just on the outside of the harbour wall, we have the small sand and rock Bamaluz Beach and this is a dog-friendly beach that all but disappears at high tide.

St Ives Harbour Beach

St Ives Harbour Beach

St Ives harbour beach is a sheltered beach within the harbour walls backed by the promenade and harbourside shops, cafes and restaurants. Great safe location to rent our kayaks or stand-up paddle (SUP) boards.

Porthminster Beach

Porthminster beach, St Ives, Cornwall

The next sandy beach is the large Porthminster Beach although you do have a small pebble/rocky beach between the harbour and Porthminster. Porthminster beach sits near the train station and is probably the main family-friendly beach in St Ives with plenty of activities available and options to get food.

Carbis Bay Beach

Carbis Bay beach, St Ives, Cornwall

The beach at Carbis Bay is just along the southwest coast path and you can either walk from the town or take one stop on the St Ives branch line train. A large beach but with fewer facilities than Porthminster as it is a beach linked to the Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel.

Porthkidney Sands

Porth Kidney Sands, St Ives, Cornwall

The last beach on our trip is the dog-friendly Porthkidney Sands and as it is harder to get to is also the one that has plenty of space and a large sand dune system to explore. The beach has no facilities although does have seasonal lifeguards. To access you will need to take a 10-minute coastal path walk from Carbis Bay.


As well as the seven listed St Ives beaches you also have the option of the 3 mile Hayle beach and sand dunes over the estuary and this gets similar Atlantic rollers as Porthmeor beach and is very popular with surfers.