Situated in St. Ives Bay, Carbis Bay beach is a long, sandy expanse of beach facing northeast so has a sweeping vista back toward Godrevy lighthouse all the way on the other side of St. Ives bay. Because of where Carbis Bay is located on the north coast it is one of the most sheltered beaches you’ll find anywhere on the north coast of Cornwall.
The beach stretches for a fair way and only really gets crowded around the main access and facilities even during the peak season. Carbis Bay is a soft sandy beach and at high tide the beach is still fairly large with plenty of room and at low tide the beach expands further.
Carbis Bay beach is one of several that make up the beaches around St. Ives but remains slightly less crowded than the beaches closer to town. It is however served by the St. Ive branch line with the station just above the beach. It is also surrounded by tourist accommodation and owned by Carbis Bay Hotel so it has a holiday resort atmosphere.
Just a short walk to the north or left from the beach along the coast path is Porthminister beach and to the east or the right side of Carbis Bay is Porthkidney Sands. It’s actually possible to walk to Porthkidney at low tide, of course taking care to keep an eye on the tide. Porthkidney Sands is an RSPB nature reserve and an important habitat for sea birds as well as being a beautiful beach in itself.
Carbis Bay is an unusual in being a north coast beach in Cornwall that is also sheltered from both the Atlantic swell and winds. This makes it an ideal location to go for a swim except of course in rough weather. As the beach is sheltered in such a way it isn’t recognised as a surfing beach and doesn’t get many waves.
Getting To & Parking At Carbis Bay
On the A30 just west of Hayle take the exit on the roundabout signposted to St. Ives A3074. Follow the A3074 through Lelant and after a mile or so you will see the brown tourist sign to Carbis Bay Beach on the right hand side. Follow this road and you will get to Carbis Bay beach car park which is just past the St. Ives branch line train station.
The beach car park is fairly small and only holds a few hundred cars so can get full quickly during the summer. There is more parking up the hill at Porthrepta by the church although this is a fair walk away.
Access & Facilities
Access from the Carbis Bay Beach car park is level and suitable for both disabled access and pushchair use. The hill down to the beach from the car parks further up the hill is level but quite steep.
There are public toilets and other facilities in the beach car park above the beach.
Lifeguard Patrol and Swimming at Carbis Bay
There is a RNLI lifeguard patrol at Carbis Bay beach stationed between the beginning of July and the beginning of September. Watersports are restricted at the beach and it is largely family oriented.
Carbis Bay is an ideal spot to swim from and one of the best choices of all the local beaches on this stretch of the north coast. The bay is sheltered so doesn’t see the large swells elsewhere in St. Ives Bay. Care should be taken at low tides and during rough or windy weather
Dogs are allowed on the beach out of season. There is a restriction on dogs between the hours of 8:00am – 7:00pm between Easter and the the end of September. Outside of these hours the beach is dog friendly.