One of the main attractions of St Ives and the surrounding area are the many coastal walks that celebrate the charming beauty of the county and the sea. For anyone looking to walk their dog, take in the sights or simply a calming walk as a family or a couple, these walks around St Ives are some of the best to get started with. 

The Best of St Ives Walks

There are plenty of walks to choose from when in St Ives, whether you’re looking to do a part of the 630 mile South West Coast Path or are looking to forge your own trail.

1. Godrevy Head Coastal Walk St Ives

The Godrevy Head coastal walk is one of the easiest walks in the area, perfect for those of you looking to take a quiet moment to enjoy the sights. 

The walk will take you past Three Mile Beach with views looking out over St Ives Bay and the iconic Godrevy Lighthouse. The walk is also a prime spot to catch sight of seals or pods of dolphins. Starting the walk in St Ives will allow you to make the return trip from Three Mile Beach, increasing your opportunity to catch some local marine life in action.

2. St Michael’s Way Coastal Walk

Possibly one of the most popular and famous walks in the St Ives area, the St Michael’s Way coast path runs from Lelant all the way to Marazion on the south coast, coming in at a reasonably hefty 12 miles which you can shave to around 10 miles by starting it in St Ives. 

A backpacker on her way in Cornwall hills on the coast by the Celtic Sea

The reward at the end is worth the hike though with stunning views across Marazion Beach with the opportunity to head out to St Michael’s Mount, a must see attraction in the county. The walk comes with great views out over the rugged coast and its length makes it a perfect walk to take your dog on. 

3. St Ives to Lelant Coastal Path

Alternatively, you can head the other way and make the trek to the charming village of Lelant. This walk is a favourite with families as it takes you across three stunning beaches: Porthminster Beach, Carbis Bay Beach and Porthkidney Sands. 

You can explore the village or take your time on the walk to make a day of it by stopping to drink in the sights at each of the beaches. There’ll be plenty of fun for children on this walk and the beachside views are as relaxing as it gets. 

4. Zennor Coastal Walk

The coast path up to Zennor is not for the faint of heart but the views on the way and when you get to the beautiful coastal village are a stunning reward for your effort. 

Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes before you set off from Porthmeor Beach and don’t forget to stop to admire the sights of the harsh rocky cliffs of the coastline that help you to make the most of the wilder side of the Cornish scenery. 

5. St Ives to Carbis Bay Coastal Path

Whether you’re heading from St Ives to Carbis Bay or the other way around, this is one of the easier and shorter walks. You can either head along Porthminster and Carbis Bay Beach, following the same Lelant trail or you can turn it into a circular walk. 

The circular coastal walk would start at the Trenwith car park, taking you through the Steeple Woods nature reserve and Treylon Downs where you can take a break at the historic Knills Monument for gorgeous views out towards the coast before heading down towards Carbis Bay proper. 

6. St Ives Coastal Path to the Island

A starkly beautiful natural landmark at the town, this brief walk out to the Island across the beach is perfect for families. It goes from Porthmeor Beach to Porthgwidden Beach, finishing at the chapel above the latter. 

In the autumn, The Island is a great place to spot sea birds and the views from the coastal lookout offer a great perspective on the bay and Godrevy Lighthouse. 

7. St Ives to Hayle Coastal Walk

This long walk takes you past a lot of the dramatic scenery of the Cornish coast. You can add it onto the end of the St Ives to Lelant walk or make it a whole new walk on its own with great views of the natural wildlife that permeates the coast. 

One of the best attractions when you make it to Hayle is the three mile long stretch of beach that is perfect to relax on after all that walking. If you want, you can even take it a little further to Gwithian but for a day’s walking, making it to Hayle leaves enough time for you to explore the village and grab some refreshments. 

St Ives’ Attractions on Coastal Walks

The coastal walks are best for those looking to experience the intensity of Cornwall’s natural world and lose themselves in an escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life. 

Many of the walks offer the opportunity to spot rare and beautiful wildlife from seals,dolphins and the occasional whale along the coast to one of a number of sea birds that roost in the dramatic cliffs that define the Cornish coastline. 

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the picture perfect beaches as well, whether you’re starting out at St Ives’ iconic Porthminster Beach or finishing your walk further afield in the sandy coves of Lelant. 

There’s plenty of history burrowed away along the coastal paths as well from neolithic forts and monuments to historic churches and chapels. 

Where to Stay to Visit Places Near St Ives

As the shining jewel in Cornwall’s crown, St Ives often finds itself in the heart of the adventure so finding a place to stay in town while you select the best walks for you goes a long way to guiding your coastal journey and ensures you always have a warm refuge to return to after exploring. 

Our apartments such as 26 Piazza and 4 Crusoes are right along Porthmeor Beach, making them the perfect choices for anyone eyeing the Zennor Coastal Walk or the Island while 13 Carrack Widden, 36 Carrack Widden and 51/52 Carrack Widden all overlook Porthminster Beach, situating you perfectly for treks up past Carbis Bay towards Lelant and Hayle. 

Properties like 9 Bowling Green Terrace meanwhile put you right in the heart of St Ives, giving you the best access to a number of beaches and the car park for ultimate freedom in curating your coastal walk journey. 

Whichever coastal walk you choose and whichever catches your fancy, you’re sure to make some memory that will stay with you for a long time, whether it’s the breathtaking views out across the sea, a glimpse of a dolphin in the water or the well-deserved refreshments at the end of a trek.