While we understand that you might not want to leave this pretty harbour town, there’s so much to discover on foot with wonderful walks around St Ives. St Ives walks differ hugely in distance and difficulty, from short and sharp coastal walks to local meanders.
The walking scene may be dominated by the South West Coast Path, but West Cornwall is home to some of Cornwall’s most cherished places, and many can be reached by walking from St Ives.
Here our St Ives walking guide, gives you all the sauntering stimulus you should need.
For a St Ives coastal walk which isn’t too challenging, a stomp to Carbis Bay along the coast path is well worthwhile. If it’s a good enough location for 2021’s G7 summit, if you’re not staring at beautiful seascape then admire the enviable homes dotted along this stretch.
A 2 mile or 4.5mile circular walk, start out at the Trenwith car park. If you don’t fancy doing the whole loop why not hop on the train at Carbis Bay? The pretty route between St Erth and St Ives is regarded by many as one of the most scenic rail routes in Britain, and it’ll take just 15 minutes from Carbis Bay station.
Gurnard's Head, Zennor. ©National Trust Images Sue Brackenbury
For something a little more challenging, head west along the coast path for this St Ives coastal walk. Just over six miles will take you to Gurnard’s Head, a mesmerising rocky peninsula with sweeping views and the remains of an Iron Age fort. You’re not far from the village of Zennor, famous for the medieval carving of a mermaid inside St Senara Church. The walk will have built up an appetite, fortunately there’s a legendary ice cream parlour here, Moomaid of Zennor, to refuel.
Alternatively, walk the 20-minute coast path around ‘The Island’ (perfect for children). The path starts above Porthmeor Beach and takes you past the coastguard station, finishing at the hilltop chapel above Porthgwidden Beach. That’s a walk you can do barefoot if you are so minded.
St Michael's Mount, National Trust
If you’re looking for a long distance walk around St Ives, head to nearby Lelant and march the St Michael’s Way, a 12.5 mile walking route to St Michael’s Mount, near Penzance. An interesting fact, due to its historical significance St Michael’s Way is the only footpath in Britain that is part of a designated European Cultural Route.
The route begins at St Uny Church in Lelant, and you’ll take in plenty of views, from Knill’s Monument a 50-foot-high granite obelisk, Bowl Rock (from the legend of the Giants: Treccoben of Trencrom and Cormoran of St Michael’s Mount), and of course National Trust owned St Michael’s Mount itself. If you can’t muster the energy to walk back to St Ives, you can get a bus into Penzance from Marazion, and catch the train or an additional bus.
We have curated a collection of our favourite luxury self-catering holiday cottages in the artist town of St Ives, known for its harbour, shops and food scene. Browse our accommodation to book your perfect stay.