Porthmeor is one of only eight beaches in Cornwall that hold the prestigious Blue Flag Award 2022, given in recognition of water quality, safety, facilities, environmental management and education.
Situated in the shadow of the iconic Tate St Ives gallery, Porthmeor is a sandy, safe beach, popular with surfers and swimmers alike. It's in an ideal location just a stone’s throw from the centre of St Ives, where you’ll find shops, pubs, cafes and lots of art galleries that the town is famous for. With easy access, it’s the perfect place for families to spend a summers day, though don’t forget the sun cream. In winter it’s the surfers and dog walkers who make the most of the long stretch of sand, battling the waves and strong winds before a warm cup of coffee in a nearby café.
There are several surf schools operating from the beach for both beginners and those who wish to improve their technique.
The South West Coast Path leaves from the western end of the beach giving access to the headlands of Carrick Du and Clodgy Point, nice places for a picnic on a sunny day while you try and spot the seals.
Lifeguard cover from April 9th until October 30th (2022)
Please note: Dogs are welcome on this beach except between 15th May and 30 September (10am - 6pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place (2022)
Parking: The car parks in the centre of St Ives get full very early in main season. The large car park at the top of town has hoppa buses that bring you into the town centre and the rugby club also has a hoppa bus that drops off just above the beach.
Surfing: Facing northwest and with rocky headlands on either side, Porthmeor is a very popular spot. You don’t have to go out too far to reach the waves, which vary from fun walls to huge barrels. It does get very busy in the summer, but a good local scene means there’s always somebody about all year round, and the swells are best in the winter!
Did you know?
The Barnoon graveyard overlooking the beach contains the grave of Alfred Wallis, a St Ives fisherman who took to painting at the age of 70. Having no formal training, he used bits of wood or cardboard to paint boats and harbour scenes on. He would have probably remained unknown had the artists Ben Nicholson and his wife Barbara Hepworth not discovered him and brought him to national attention. Despite this he never made money from his paintings and died in the workhouse near Penzance. His artist friends paid for his funeral and the grave is covered in tiles created by the potter Bernard Leach. Nowadays a Wallis painting can reach up to £70,000 at aution.