St Ives to Carbis Bay walk on the South West Coastal Path | The view of Porthminster beach from above in St Ives

St Ives to Carbis Bay on the South West Coast Path

The coastal path from St Ives to Carbis Bay is one of the most scenic walks in Cornwall. This St Ives to Carbis Bay walk is a small, yet beautiful part of the Carbis Bay coastal path.

The route is part of the South-West Coastal Path, a long-distance footpath of 630 miles that stretches all the way around the coast from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path goes all the way around the coasts of Cornwall and Devon taking in most of the beaches, scenic towns and cities including Britain’s Ocean City – Plymouth.

Whether you’ve come to Cornwall for a walking holiday, or you’re looking for scenic ways to get to St Ives from Carbis Bay, this walk will be a scenic treat. It’s also very doable a walk with kids.


St Ives to Carbis Bay Walk | A Guide

To start the walk from St Ives to Carbis Bay, follow signs to St Ives Train Station.

Note | There’s also a train which runs to Carbis bay beach, taking only three minutes on the picturesque St Ives Branch line.

Turn around to face the sea, you’ll see a set of steps straight in front of you leading down to Porthminster Beach. Turn right at the bottom of the steps and head to the end of the promenade/path along Porthminster Beach. Walk past Porthminster Restaurant and you’ll see a hill that climbs high above Porthminter beach.

St Ives to Carbis Bay on the South West Coast Path | The view of Porthminster beach from above in St Ives Cornwall in Springtime.

Walk right to the top of the hill. You’ll see incredible views across St Ives Bay and towards Godrevey lighthouse as well as picturesque views of the whole of St Ives town. There’s plenty of benches on the way up to take it all in.

 South West Coast Path

At the top of the hill, the path will get wider. Carry on in the same direction along the trail, following signs for the South West Coastal Path. On your left, you’ll see more fantastic sea views. This path continues for quite a while.

When you’ve reached the end of the path, it will start to descend into a thinner path down towards Carbis Bay Beach. Here you can have your first glimpse of Carbis Bay Beach.

Cornwall coast path
Glimpse/view of Carbis Bay Beach

You’ll then reach a set of steps and a bridge. Cross the bridge over the St Ives Branch line Railway track and continue the descent onto Carbis Bay Beach.

You’ll see a set of steps on your left. This is the first entrance to Carbis Bay Beach. If you continue along the path, you can see the Carbis Bay hotel and the beach restaurant and takeaway.


Now you’ve reached Carbis Bay beach, there’s a number of options you can take:

Spend the day at Carbis Bay Beach

Carbis Bay Beach is not to be missed. Popular with tourists and locals alike, the beach has even been awarded blue flag status! The waters are calm and great for swimming too. There’s plenty for all the family including a beach shop, restaurant, takeaway, and water sports.

Return to St Ives on the St Ives Branch Line

The St Ives branch line is one of the world’s most scenic train journeys. You’ll be able to see all the sights you’ve just walked past from a different angle, with the journey taking just three minutes.

A sign at St Ives train station showing the route of the line through Carbis Bay, St Ives, Lelant, Lelant Saltings and St Erth/.St Ives to Carbis Bay on the South West Coast Path
St Ives Branch Line route – Take a look at the St Ives to Carbis Bay section

Continue on the South West Coastal Path | Carbis Bay to Lelant walk

Although it’s possible to walk all the way to Somerset on the South West Coast Path, most people walk to Lelant via Porthkidney beach or Hayle Towans. If you want, you can carry on for miles! Visit southwest coast path for more route ideas.

FAQ’S | St Ives to Carbis Bay Walk

How far is it to walk from Carbis Bay to St Ives?

The walk from Carbis Bay to St Ives is 1.5 miles. It can be completed in under 1 hour.

Can you walk from Hayle to St Ives?

Using the South West Coastal Path, you can walk from Hayle Towans to St Ives. The distance is 6.1 miles. By road from Hayle to St Ives, the distance is 6.4 miles and the drive will take around 13 minutes. To view more about things to do in and around Hayle, read our post on the top 12 things to do in and around Hayle

How far is Lelant from St Ives?

By road, the distance is 3.5 miles. It will take approximately 10 minutes to drive from Lelant to St Ives. On the South West Coast path, the walk is 4.5 miles and more scenic.

Is the walk from St Ives to Carbis Bay suitable for kids?

Yes, the walk is 1.5 miles with lots of benches on the way. With very young children and toddlers, it may be better to ride on the St Ives branch line to Carbis Bay beach.

Is it possible to take my baby on the walk from St Ives to Carbis Bay?

Yes,of course! Although you will need to take a baby-carrier/sling. I completed the walk in under an hour with an 8 month old in a carrier.

More Things to do in St Ives

There are endless things to do in St Ives. From the long sandy beaches of Porthmeor and Porthminster to small coves and beautiful scenery, St Ives has it all! There’s plenty of little shops to visit too as well as plenty of other beautiful walks. For more advice on visiting Cornwall with kids, check out our other blog Kids2cornwall here.

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Have you done this walk? Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

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