Family Activities, Sport & Adventure

St Ives Beaches

St Ives has a total of 5 beaches, all with their own different characteristics. Porthminster Beach is ideal for young families as it tends to have gentle waves. There are a couple of beach cafes and public toilets. Porthmeor is the surf beach with larger waves. The St Ives Surf School is based here. The western end of the beach has some rock pools. Gwithian and Godrevy beaches near Hayle are also very good for rock-pooling.

Carbis Bay beach is slightly further away but is about 30 minutes on foot, or a short bus/car ride away. This is also a sheltered beach and is ideal for families with lovely white sand, cafes and a water sports centre.


Marazion & St Michael's Mount

This historic small town has a sandy beach with a nearby children's play area, as well as some good pubs and cafes. It is also the access point for St Michael's Mount.


Porthcurno has a lovely white sand beach and clear blue water, and is close to an attractive section of coast path. It is also home to the Minack Theatre and the Museum of Global Communication, so a day out here caters for a variety of interests.

Land's End & Sennen

There is some attractive scenery around Land's End and it is worth leaving the more developed area and heading either towards Sennen or around to the south towards Porthcurno to see these areas. The Land's End development includes shops, cafes, a small farm and various family activities. An alternative to driving to Land's End itself is to park at Sennen Cove where there is a lovely beach (see photo), and walk around to Land's End on the coast path. This is a relatively easy section of path and it is about 1.5 miles from Sennen to Land's End.

Paradise Park & Flambards

Paradise Park is about 10-15 minutes drive away and is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. There are regular shows including otter and penguin feeding, flying displays of birds of prey etc. There is also an indoor soft play area.

Flambards is about 30 minutes drive away and includes indoor activities as well as outdoor rollercoasters etc.


The Ocean Sports Centre at Carbis Bay provide tuition, guided tours and hire facilities for kayaks and stand up paddle boards.

There are a number of Surf Schools in West Cornwall with the St Ives Surf School, based at Porthmeor Beach being the closest.

Self Drive motorboats are available to hire from St Ives Harbour

For those wishing to do more sailing there are several boat hire companies and sailing schools based in Mylor and Falmouth. We have used Mylor boat hire and Cornish Cruising also have a good reputation.


The West Cornwall Golf Club at Lelant is 10-15 minutes drive away and is an attractive links course with panoramic views of St Ives Bay. Visitors are welcome and can book a Tee time online.

There is also an 18 hole golf course at Cape Cornwall near Penzance, this is about 40 minutes away by car and also provides lovely views together with challenging golf.

For a less formal golfing experience Penwith Pitch & Putt is located in St Erth (10-15 minutes away) and welcomes families and golfers of all levels. The Hayle RSPB reserve and Coast to Coast karting are both just up the road.

Other Activities

Treasure Trails provide the opportunity for families to explore places in more detail than they might usually do, and turn detective or do some spying in the process. There are trails based in St Ives, Hayle, Marazion and on the coast path between Lelant and St Ives.


The Coast 2 Coast Go karting track is located in St Erth and provides kart hire for adults and children from the age of 8 years.