Porthminster Beach | Kidadl

Porthminster Beach

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines

  • Porthminster Beach is a Blue Flag awarded beach, with golden dunes and palm trees adding to the tropical feel.
  • Conveniently located near to the centre of St Ives, this is a favourite family spot.
  • Safe for shallow swimming and popular with families, there is no lifeguard cover and dogs are only welcome in winter. 
  • Be sure to check out Porthminster Gardens to reconnect with nature.

Porthminster Beach is a Blue Flag awarded beach that's nestled underneath the steep slopes of Porthminster Point, home to breath-taking, picturesque views of St Ives Harbour and Godrevy Lighthouse. As well as the golden, lush sand, azure blue seas, there are some fantastic beach facilities available, from delicious fish and chip to take away, sandwich bars, to beach shops selling everything you could wish for.

In the summer, you can revel in the sheltered parts of the beach away from the strong, prevailing winds, and enjoy the sun, sea and sand. During the winter, be witness to the drama of Atlantic waves as they crash over Godrevy Lighthouse on the other side of the bay, like straight out of a movie.

This crescent of yellow-golden sand, which is framed beautifully by the glittering bay, has tremendous sea views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, which was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s well-known novel ‘To the Lighthouse’. As this is one of the mildest climates in the UK, boasting palm trees and clear, glistening waters, the whole family will love this tropical atmosphere.

Porthminster Beach is a firm family favourite, conveniently located, just a short walk from the centre of St Ives. One of 300 beaches in St Ives, Porthminster Beach is known for safe swimming, while on the soft golden sand, you can relax, read and sunbathe. If you're seeking some fun activities, be sure to check out the 18 hole mini golf course and try out your skills.

When you're feeling hungry, Porthminster Beach Café is situated right on the beachfront. This award-winning seafood restaurant has a cosy, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, great for a fine-dining seafood experience. Specialising in Mediterranean and Asian seafood cuisine, the café is a serene oasis, all set against beautiful serene landscapes and sea views of West Cornwall. They're open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offer a range of homemade patisseries and hot drinks.

Be sure to check out Porthminster Gardens, a free entry sub-tropical garden in the micro-climate that already exists at Porthminster Beach and then building from and upon this as the area has a reputation for being a centre for environmental cultural relevance and excellence.

If you're looking for things to do nearby, check out the guided Tours of St Ives, where you can learn all about this West Cornwall area. Visit Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden for some history of the area in St Ives and Cornwall more generally. For some thrilling fun, check out Escape Time for the whole family to enjoy. Don't miss out on St Ives Boats 'Dolly P' for some fantastic sea and bay views of West Cornwall and Carbis Bay.

Stay nearby, with many beach hotels found on the seafront.  Choose from Pedn Olva Hotel, St Ives Harbour Hotel and Spa, Cornish Riviera Holidays or the Sea Breeze. There are so many options; you'll be spoilt for choice. Kidadl recommends Porthminster Beach huts, which you can reserve at Porthminster Beach Café.

Are you looking for more fun things to do near Porthminster Beach? Check out Fistral beach, great for surfing, For history buffs, Pendennis Castle is a great place to visit to soak up the sights of St Ives, Cornwall and more, offering fantastic family fun.

What to know before you go

  • There are toilets, plus accessible toilets, available at the beach café bars and restaurants, including Porthminster Café.
  • There are baby changing facilities available.
  • When you're feeling peckish, check out Porthminster Café, an award-winning restaurant, a pro in seafood, plus serving vegetarian and vegan options, everything made with the utmost care.
  • Paths make certain areas navigable for pushchair and wheelchair users, although not every part of this beach is accessible.
  • There are wheelchairs available for visitors who need.
  • Please note, there are some steps down to the beach.
  • Dogs are not allowed between 10am and 6pm.

Getting there

  • Porthminster Beach is located in St Ives, Cornwall, south-western England.
  • In the summer months, St Ives can be very busy. We recommend you leave your car at the park and ride in Lelant, take a ten minute, scenic, old-fashioned train ride on this beautiful stretch of coastline to St Ives and a short walk to the beach and café.
  • If travelling by car, drive via the M5 towards Exeter or Plymouth, join the A38 from Plymouth, and the A30 into Cornwall.
  • If travelling by train, there are services from Paddington London to Penzance, from Glasgow there are services to Penzance, Get off at St Erth Station for St Ives.
  • If travelling by plane, fly into Newquay Airport, and take a taxi from there.
  • By foot, you can get to St Ives Porthminster Beach from St Ives Harbour Front, where you can head towards the lifeboat house, situated from Lambeth walk and past the lifeboat house through the Warren. Porthminster Beach will emerge on the other side. Look out for Porthminster Café, which is the white building on the far side of the beach.
  • There is car parking at St Ives Railway Station, although it is important to note this can get busy during the summer months. There is also parking at St Erth or Lelant Saltings, where you can enjoy the scenic branch line that runs through into St Ives and offers a short, leisurely, stroll down to the beach.

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