Cornish Coast Path Challenge- Carbis Bay to St Ives

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Distance: 5.32 miles (there and back)

Time: 1 hour 56 minutes

After setting ourselves a challenge to walk the whole Cornish Coast Path in 2021, my partner and I started planning different routes. This started off tricky with lockdown 3.0, but once restrictions were eased we were able to go further afield.

I'll be sharing tips from these walks in a series of blog posts; check out our previous blog post all about our walk from Porthleven to Gunwalloe here.

This time we started off in Carbis Bay. It was a sunny day and we wanted a short walk, which this route is perfect for.

There is limited parking in Carbis Bay, with a small pay and display car park right by the beach and then a few residential streets where you can park for free if you're lucky enough to find a space! As it was out of season, we were able to park on the street.

We walked down towards the hotel to begin our stroll; this can be a bit confusing as the hotel takes up the majority of the beach area now. The coast path actually goes through the holiday apartments and up towards the train track, so it may feel as though you're venturing into Carbis Bay Hotel but keep going, you'll eventually come onto the path.

The walk along the coast path is relatively easy; instead of the muddy coast path from our previous walk, this one is mostly tarmac, making it easier for accessibility (although I'm not sure it would work for a wheelchair as it gets steep and narrow). We walked over the train bridge; the branch line from St Erth to St Ives is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the country. Overlooking St Ives bay for almost it's entirety, it is definitely worth a trip if you're visiting the area.

Carrying on up the coast path, we enjoyed the views through the tall trees until the path steers further in between the houses. This is one of my favourite parts of this walk; the houses along this stretch of coast path are incredible. We spend much of our time pointing out our favourite features in the new glamorous buildings and the adorable quirks in the older, character-filled cottages. I often think back to what it must have been like to live in a cottage on an isolated cliff many years ago. One of the many beauties of the Cornish coast path is it's variety. One minute you can be walking amongst rugged, steep cliffs with no civilisation for what seems like miles, and the next you're meandering through tree covered pathways surrounded by beautiful houses.

Eventually the sheltered path comes out on Porth Minster beach, which follows on to St Ives.

If the tide is out you can walk all the way across the beach towards the harbour, if the tide is in you can walk up the cobbled streets into the town. St Ives is one of the top 5 places to visit in Cornwall, in my opinion. In the summer this quaint town is a buzzing nest of unique shops and quality cafes, and in the winter the peaceful streets contrast with the roaring waves of Porth Meor beach.

If you'd like to stop here for food or drink, there's an abundance of choice. Some of our favourites are:

  • Hub- outstanding burgers and very trendy!

  • Caffe Pasta and Pizzeria- cute little Italian restaurant on the harbour front

  • Mex- a small, family run Mexican restaurant with great cocktails

  • Jus' Desserts- a takeaway ice cream shack with all the flavours of ice cream you could imagine!

There are plenty of small cafes for a quick coffee and cake as well as multiple pasty shops. This is a great walk for families as well as couples and friends. A nice length and outstanding views!

Top Tip: When you get to St Ives, be sure to walk around the island to Porth Meor; there's so much landscape to take in.

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