So, you’ve decided to stay in and visit St Ives – great! You have several options on how to get to St Ives depending where you are in the world - St Ives attracts visitors not only from the United Kingdom, but the rest of Europe, America, Asia and Australasia. We’re absolutely certain that the journey will be well worth it once you’re here!
Exploring Cornwall from St Ives is best done by car; however, in the summer months, the public transports links improve and often you can get around Cornwall easily with buses and trains.
Cornwall has an international airport based at Newquay and several airlines such as Flybe and Ryanair connect this airport to various towns and cities including Stansted, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Doncaster Sheffield, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Guernsey, Cork, Jersey plus Alicante, Faro, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart. Flying time between London and Newquay is approximately 70 minutes. Certain routes are seasonal.
Newquay airport is approximately 41 miles from St Ives and public transport links can be difficult depending on the time of your flight’s arrival. You can hire a car from the onsite car rental companies, which are Europcar and Hertz. You could choose to catch a bus from the airport (A5 provided by First Kernow) to Newquay train station. From there, you will then need to change twice, once at Par and again at St Erth. Alternatively, either you can take a taxi (best to pre-book) and the onsite company is Coastline Travel, or take the shuttle service to Penzance which you will need to pre-book your seat before travel, they're called The Pirate Bus.
Journey time from London Paddington is approximately 6 hours and is operated by Great Western Railway. They also provide the overnight Riviera sleeper service. If travelling from the North or Midlands, services are operating by Cross Country Trains. At St Erth there is a new Park and Ride service and you change at St Erth for the St Ives branch line: this line is possibly the best branch line in the world as it hugs the bay providing breath-taking views of the sea. Great Western Railway will be providing an increased service from June 2019 between Penzance to Plymouth, this is every 30 minutes.
By road (car)
Leave the M5 motorway just after Exeter at Junction 31 and join the A30. Depending on traffic the journey to St Ives will take approximately two hours. Continue on the A30 bypassing Hayle, take the second exit at the next roundabout and driving past Wyevale Garden Nursey go straight on at the first mini-roundabout. Then turn right at the second mini roundabout, following the signposts. Please see our ‘Arrival and Departure‘ page regarding checking in.
Read our ‘All about parking’ page that’s full of our helpful tips where to park and which properties offer parking.
Exploring the area
The best way to explore the local area is to walk, using the footpaths through the countryside or on the South West Coast Path.
First Kernow is the main bus company in West Cornwall. From St Ives you are linked to Penzance and Pendeen using the A17 and Hayle, Camborne and Truro using the T2. In the summer months there are more buses running and the links are also improved. For example, the A3 to Lands End (using the coastal road) and the A2 that goes to Penzance via Marazion (for St Michael’s Mount).
As mentioned above, use the picturesque St Ives branch line to St Erth (Park and Ride). From here you are on the mainline there are frequent trains to Penzance, Hayle, Camborne, Redruth, Truro (branch line to Falmouth), St Austell (Bus connection for Eden Project, Mevagissey and Heligan), Par (branch line for Newquay), Lostwithiel, Bodmin (for Wenford Railway), Liskeard (branch line to Looe), and to further afield…
By Road (car/coach)
If exploring further afield, let’s say anything further than Truro, you might want to consider using your car or booking onto a coach trip see below for further information.
Alternatively, you're on holiday, forget about the car and let someone else do the driving. Contact Oates Travel who have day trips to a variety of attractions and towns for exampe, Heligan, Eden Project, Minack Theatre, Truro and Padstow.