Walks in and around St Ives

Larissa Ellis-Jones

Let’s set the scene, you’ve arrived on your holiday for a week in St Ives, the sun is shining and you’re getting excited to make some plans and gather ideas of things to do.

The weather is too nice to be indoors, but perhaps you’re after a day away from the sand and the sea; maybe you want to have an adventure exploring the famous historic paths that trail around Cornwall’s coastline.

Well, you’re in luck, Cornwall and St Ives, have an abundance of tracks and routes to suit all levels and ages. All of them encompassing glorious, breath-taking views that stretch to what feels like the ends of the Earth.

The South West Coast path spans a total of 630 miles, starting from either Somerset or Dorset. Cornwall boasts a 300 mile stretch of that total, depending on your experience and durance level, intrepid explorers can take the path all the way around the Cornish peninsula if they wanted to.

For us here in St Ives, we are part of a small section of that path, and below we have gathered a few routes and sections of the path that are close to, or have easy access to, from our luxury apartments here at the Sail Lofts.

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Porthmeor St Ives to Zennor circular walk

The route: Starting out from Porthmeor beach that sits just a 2-minute walk from our apartments here at Sail Lofts; you will start to make your way towards Clodgy Point. Why not stop off at the Porthmeor Café for breakfast to fuel up for your big adventure. Then as you make your way around the South West coast path towards Zennor you will pass the Merry Harvesters Stone Circle, for the history lovers amongst you, this is believed to be a late-neolithic feature that was put together in 2500 – 1500BC. Carrying on your adventure towards Zennor you will spot Seal Island, an outcrop of land that is home to our lovely marine friends, then round to Zennor beach and into Zennor itself where you can grab a well-deserved ice cream from the Moomaids of Zennor. When you’re ready, you can start the journey back towards St Ives… or maybe source a taxi for the short drive back.

Miles and time in total: 10 - 12 miles | 4 hours round trip.

Durance level: Moderate – Hard; depending on experience and how far you wish to go.

Accessibility: Parts of the path are paved, other parts maybe more rugged with small cut throughs and over grown hedges spilling over. Most of the path will have been carved out over years of use, there will be benches and opportunities to sit along the way too.

Things to see and do on the way: The incredible coastline. Porthmeor Café. The Merry Harvesters Stone Circle. Zennor Beach. Moomaids of Zennor.

What to pop in the Sat Nav: The Sail Lofts – St Ives, Porthmeor Road, TR26 1GB to Zennor St Ives then add a route back to the Sail Lofts – St Ives and set to walking routes. https://shorturl.at/iGQ78

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Godrevy Lighthouse circular walk  

The route: This route is a lovely circular walk that is owned and maintained by the National Trust. To get to the walk you will have to drive a short 20-minute coastal road over to Gwithian and Godrevy. Once here you can park up and make the most of this idyllic, secluded little paradise. If you are a member of the National Trust then you can benefit from free parking. Once parked up, make your way up towards Mutton Cove, this beach is not accessible, unless you are a seal! Due to its privacy, the seals around our waters love to come ashore for a rest-bite after all their fishing and swimming activities, it’s a great place to see them in their natural home. After you’ve admired the seals, you then can start the walk around the peninsula island, taking in the incredible panoramic views around the Cornish coast, you will pass the famous Godrevy Lighthouse on its island outcrop. Then make your way back towards Godrevy beach for a paddle or a dip into the waters to cool off, but not before stopping for a sweet treat from the Ice Cream truck.

Miles in total: About one mile around. | 35 – 45 minutes depending on level.

Durance level: Low – moderate. Suitable for all ages and levels.

Accessibility: This route starts off with a gravelled path and then goes into a grassy area. The path is fairly flat, however, there are parts that are a bit uneven and could be difficult for people who perhaps are not as agile on their feet.

Things to see and do on the way: Mutton Cove. Godrevy Lighthouse. Godrevy Beach. Ice Creams!

What to pop in the Sat Nav: Head over to Godrevy National Trust and follow the directions to the car park. Once here pop in Mutton Cove into the sat nav and follow the guided route from there. https://shorturl.at/aiVX2

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St Ives to Carbis Bay

The route: Starting this route you can either begin from your luxury apartment here at the Sail Lofts, or make your way over to the harbour front on Wharf Road. We recommend grabbing a picnic to-go bag from the Cornish Deli as there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for a spot of lunch along the way. Making your way from the harbour, you'll walk along the front of St Ives, through the shops and round to Porthminster, here you'll join the coastal path that will take you alongside the railway route to Lelant. This is a gorgeous scenic path with lots of incredible panoramic views for you to take plenty of pictures of your day. Eventually you will reach the lovely Carbis Bay, here you can have a rest-bite at the famous Carbis Bay hotel which was home to the G7 Summit in Cornwall. After you've taken in all there is to see, make your way back along the same route, being sure to check out the views you might of missed on the way and then get back for a well deserved rest at your luxury home-from-home.

Miles in total: 1.5 miles | around an hour to an hour and a half depending on your speed.

Durance level: Low – moderate. Suitable for all ages and levels.

Accessibility: Part of this route will go through St Ives town and along the roadside. There may be sections that are more rural and coastal with cut throughs and dirt tracks. Most of the path will be flat and suitable for most.

Things to see and do on the way: Porthminster beach. The St Ives railway and trains!. Carbis Bay Hotel.

What to pop in the Sat Nav: Starting from either The Sail Lofts, or if you want to go from the harbour front in St Ives, pop in 'Wharf Road' and then set the destination to Carbis Bay via the South West Coast Path. Setting this route to walking it will show you the paths to take. To return, just follow back the same way to the Sail Lofts. https://shorturl.at/ftGQ2

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The Island St Ives

The route: From most of the properties here at Sail Lofts, you can see this super fun little walk that is a joy for all the family. Setting out from either Island, Godrevy, Surf, Driftwood, Beach, Bay, Ocean or Slipway, take a right towards Porthgwidden along the Porthmeor Road. For those staying in Lighthouse, Harbour, Curno or Zennor, take a left out of Rope Walk towards Porthgwidden. On the approach to the beach down the slip, you want to keep left and walk along the beach front path round to an almost hidden staircase. This will take you up to the bottom of the Island hill and from here you can make your way up through the slight incline to the top. The reward for getting up the hill is a breathtaking panoramic view of Godrevy, Gwithian and Hayle. After you've made it to the top, go left towards the other side of the Island towards Porthmeor beach, as you start your ascent you will pass a few benches and opportunities to sit and take in the amazing views around you. Perhaps you could take a book or download your favourite playlist and take a few moments to relax, unwind and refresh with the amazing scenery. After this, you'll make your way back down the path towards Porthmeor and home to your lovely, cosy apartment, waiting to welcome you back.

Miles in total: Half a mile round trip | 12 - 15 minutes depending on how fast you'd like to go.

Durance level: Low – moderate. Suitable for all ages and levels.

Accessibility: Part of the route has a wide tarmac'd path that will take you from the car park up to the Island centre with awesome views over to Godrevy lighthouse. The rest of the circular route round is on grass, but from years of walkers, the route is well trodden and suitable for most people.

Things to see and do on the way: Godrevy Lighthouse. Gwithian Beach. Hayle Estuary. St Ives town. Porthmeor Beach.

What to pop in the Sat Nav: This one is the closest to us here at the Sail Lofts and won't require you to pop anything in the sat nav. Heading out towards Porthgwidden you will find your way to explore the path. If you need any recommendations or a map of the route, then pop in to see us in Studio 7 at the Sail Lofts and we'll show you the way!

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Lelant Saltings to Carbis Bay

The route: Taking a short drive over to Lelant will be well worth it for this fun little walk that is suitable for all the family, four legs included! or, perhaps take the train from St Ives to Lelant Saltings - This circular walk starts from Lelant Saltings Railway station, taking you down through a little country woodland area and out to the beaches of Hayle Sands, where, if you're early enough before the dog ban comes into force, you can let your four legged pal roam around in the shorelines. Here there is lots to explore, many little hidden pathways and directions that will take you along the side of the Hayle Estuary, down to Porthkidney beach and over some train bridges for waving at the passengers. Make your way round along the coastline, with gorgeous views of St Ives from a different perspective. Once you've made it over to Carbis Bay, you can take some time to replenish your energy at one of the many little shops and cafes along the route. When you're suitably energised, you can make your way back to the car along the paved paths through Carbis Bay.

Miles in total: 4.8 miles | 1 hour 40 minutes

Durance level: Low – moderate. Suitable for all ages and levels.

Accessibility: Part of the route will go down mud tracks and trails through woods with some steep steps down to the beach. There are a few trails through the dunes for an extra bit of adventure. For the most part, the trek is paved with wide spaces and plenty of seating.

Things to see and do on the way: Hayle Sands. Hayle Estuary. Old railway bridges. Porthkiddney Beach. Carbis Bay.

What to pop in the Sat Nav: Starting from Lelant Saltings and then pop in to head round to Carbis Bay, via Porthkiddney Beach. Then add your return from Carbis Bay to Lelant Saltings to complete the circular walk.

Staying with us at Sail Lofts for adventures 

However you'd like to adventure around St Ives and the surrounding areas, we will be here waiting with our luxury, self catering properties, ready to give you a peaceful retreat to recover and replinish in.

Check out the availability on our properties here: Our properties

We look forward to welcoming you soon and hearing all about your adventures,