Carbis Bay, St Ives and Pen Enys Point.

Start. Carbis Bay.

Route. Carbis Bay (Fern Hill) - Carbis Bay - Porthminster Beach - St Ives - Harbour - St Ives Head - Carrick Du - Burthallan Cliff - Hellesveor Cliff - Hor Point - Pen Enys Point - Hellesveor Cliff - St Ives (Alexandra Road) - Porthmeor Hill - Baileys Lane - Harbour - B 3074 - Carbis Bay.

Notes. This was two walks in one, the coastal path from Carbis Bay to St Ives came well recommended so as we were staying in Carbis Bay why not walk the mile and a half to St Ives. We did just that, once in St Ives we went our separate ways, Sue hunted out the gift shops and galleries, me well, I continued, the coastal path under my boot soles, destination unknown. I had three hours so lets see where the first hour and a half would lead me.

As luck would have it a public footpath passed directly by our holiday apartment, this we descended to the beach and the South West Coastal Path. This mile and a half stretch of path guided us passed the Carbis Bay Hotel, through mature woodland clinging to steep slopes falling into the sea, we passed some exclusive properties, tested our lungs and legs on a couple of steep ascents and descents before popping out of the tree cover at Porthminster Beach, one of three fabulous arcs of golden sands passed en route.

On reaching the Harbour we parted company, I continued along the coastal path leaving Sue to shop. I wandered to the northern corner of the Harbour, followed the path to a small beach backed by brightly coloured beach huts before ascending St Ives Head, adorning the summit the Coastwatch Station and tiny St Nicholas Chapel. Unfortunately there is no record of the chapel being built, but it is assumed a wooden structure stood on this site as early as the fifth century AD. After descending the head I passed behind the houses bordering Porthmeor Beach, wondered at the Tate St Ives a fabulous building before leaving the town behind.

Passed the rocky headland of Carrick Du I strolled, I wandered along the foot of Burthallan Cliff before ascending Hellesveor Cliff, a long descent followed before a lung buster of an ascent to access Hor Point. I should have headed in land from here but decided to continue to Pen Enys Point where I sat and drank coffee contemplating my next step. My next step was to double back to a path junction above Hellesveor Cliff, hope I could navigate through fields without getting lost, if lost happened Sue would be lunching alone and I would be in the bad books.

Sounds easy navigating fields, I'd much rather navigate the fells. As it happened I wandered into some of Cornwall's green ways, sunken tracks with no views and no chance of working out exactly where I was, I studied the map many times, my guide book advised not to go that way. After a great deal of deliberation I worked out where I was and was heading. After turning left at what looked like a cross roads, traversing a small field full of nosey bullocks, I emerged onto a lane with views over St Ives. I continued down the lane to a junction, turned down hill and soon emerged at the sea front yards from the Tate St Ives, a short wander over cobbled streets passed small art galleries saw me emerge onto the Harbour yards from my good lady staring across the bay, and only a few yards from the Sloop Inn the oldest inn in Cornwall, lunch I think.

After all this bravado with several shopping bags and full stomachs we set of back to Carbis Bay, the big question, should we walk back the way we came, or follow the road? or even jump on the train, it was a three minute ride. In this case the road won and a pleasant walk back it was.

view route map.


The beach at Carbis Bay with views to Godrevy Point.

Over the beautiful turquoise waters of St Ives Bay, seen from the coastal path, St Ives.

On the edge of Porthminster Beach looking to iconic Smeaton's Pier, photographed and painted many times, built by John Smeaton between 1767 and 1770.

Porthwidden Beach backed by The Island of St Ives Head.

Porthwidden Beach backed by the brightly coloured beach huts mentioned in the text above

As seen from St Ives Head, stunning in this light, Porthmeon Beach.

Standing proud on St Ives Head, the tiny St Nicholas Chapel.

Porthmeon Beach, no path that way, the coastal path follows the narrow street behind the houses.

Approaching Carrick Du looking back to St Ives Head.

Viewing the rocky headland of Carrick Du with St Ives Head beyond.

Fingers of petrified rock, a wonderful view from Burthallan Cliff.

Iv'e lost count of the headlands crossed, I presume this is Pen Enys Point seen from Hor Point.

Striding out, map in hand following one of Cornwall's many green lanes.

Typical stile found in these parts.

The Holy Well of St Ia, untill 1843 the only water supply for Downalong which is the old name for the area of St Ives opposite Porthmeor Beach.

Wonderful views to the town of St Ives.

Smeaton’s Pier an iconic symbol of St Ives, possably the most painted and photographed pier in the UK.

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