Porthkidney Beach, Lelant: A day trip from St Ives

Porthkidney beach is one of the best choices of day trips if you fancy exploring another beach. Located just two miles from St Ives, Porthkidney is far less touristy than the beaches in St Ives. It’s vast, and you can feel a degree of solitude and wilderness. Nestled in the bay of Hayle, next to the Hayle Estuary, Porthkidney beach is just waiting to be explored.

Location | TR26 3DY

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Porthkidney Beach, Lelant | A day trip from St Ives

Getting to Porthkidney Beach from St Ives

By Car

During my visit, I travelled by car due to the current situation. The main parking area to walk onto Porthkidney beach is located just in front of St Uni Church. There’s a small path running alongside the church, leading down some steps to the beach. The beach is exceptionally long and creates a vast expanse when the tide is out.

The path to Porthkidney beach from St Uni St Ives, Cornwall, South West Coast Path . Porthkidney Beach, Lelant | A day trip from St Ives

By Train

There are two options when it comes to travelling by train. Both options involve going on the St Ives Branch Line, a scenic railway route that connects St Ives to the mainland station of St Erth.

St Ives-Lelant By Train | Visitors to Porthkidney Bech can leave the train at Lelant. It is then a 0.8-mile walk to Porthkidney, where you’ll see views of Hayle estuary and walk along country lanes before arriving at St Uni Church to enter the beach.

St Ives to Carbis Bay by Train | If you fancy some walking, you can catch the St Ives branch line to Carbis Bay and walk a small section of the South West Coastal Path to Porthkidney. If you choose this route, it will take you to the opposite side of the beach than you would enter from Lelant station. A scenic walk idea is to walk from Carbis Bay, along Porthkidney beach and catch the train back from Lelant.

Note | Lelant Station is a request stop meaning the train doesn’t always stop at the station. Make sure you check the timetables before you take this route.

A sign at St Ives train station showing the route of the line through Carbis Bay, St Ives, Lelant, Lelant Saltings and St Erth/. Porthkidney Beach, Lelant | A day trip from St Ives
St Ives Branch Line

Walking to Porthkidney Beach from St Ives

The walk from St Ives to Porthkidney beach is very popular. The route is part of the South West coast path, a 630-mile scenic walk from Poole Harbour in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset, taking in the beauty of the Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Coastline. The walk is in two stages:

St Ives to Carbis Bay | The first part shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Firstly, you’ll climb a beautiful path overlooking the picturesque Porthminster Beach. You’ll then continue along a scenic path with stunning sea views before heading down onto Carbis Bay Beach. To read about this section of the walk-in more detail, you can read our full post here.

Porthminster , st ives, cornwall

Carbis Bay to Porthkidney Beach | Once you’ve enjoyed the scenery of Carbis Bay, continue up the hill and rejoin the South West Coast Path. There’s only one cliff separating Carbis Bay and Porthkidney, so this section is relatively short. To rejoin the train at Lelant, you’ll need to walk all the way to the other side of Porthkidney Beach, then walk up the steps to St Uni church. Lelant station is an 0.8-mile walk down the lane from here.

Catbis Bay coastal path
Carbis Bay Beach with views of Porthkidney around the Bay

Things to spot around Porthkidney Beach

St Uni Church | A beautiful church and graveyard set just North of Porthkidney Beach. It’s well worth a look around. For more information, visit the official website here >>

Godrevey Lighthouse | From Porthidney Sands you will be able to see beautiful views of St Ives Bay, including a more close up view of Godrevey than from St Ives.

The Hayle Estuary | Porthkidney Sands lies at the mouth of the Hayle estuary. View more things to do in Hayle with kids here >>

Views of St Ives | You will be able to see St Ives Harbour and the Island from afar. The view will get closer as you walk towards the Carbis Bay side of Porthkidney Sands.

Porthkidney Beach, Lelant | A day trip from St Ives

Hayle | In the distance is Hayle, a town close to St Ives which is home to the famous Philips Pasty’s as well as Upton Towans Nature Reserve.

Sand Dunes | To the beach’s edge, the walkway is fringed with sand dunes. Looking across Hayle estuary, you can see another group of sand dunes.

Caves | On the Lelant side of Porthkidney beach, the sand dunes turn to cliffs. Both erosion and frequent waves have caused lots of different sized caves to appear on the cliff which kids will love to look at. Be careful, and don’t let the kids play inside.

Porthkidney Beach, Lelant | A day trip from St Ives

Walking the Coast Path | The South West Coast Path runs alongside the golf course overlooking Porthkidney beach. Walking along the path gives an alternative view of the beach (and some great Instagram photos!)

Top Tip | When you enter the beach from the Lelant side, this area is excellent for a picnic and secluded from the wind that the other stretch of beach can get.


Is Porthkidney Beach dog friendly?

This beach is dog friendly all year; however, dogs must be kept on a lead on the footpath leading from St Uny Church to Porthkidney Sands. The beach is very popular with dogs due to its vast expanse and relative isolation.

Is Porthkidney beach good for small children?

Yes! I visited Porthkidney beach with a 9-month-old baby. It’s a lovely space to stop for a picnic, too and there’s plenty of room for crawling. There are quite a few steps to enter the beach,, so it’s best to bring a baby carrier.

Is there anywhere to eat nearby Porthkidney Beach?

As Porthkidney is isolated, there are no establishments on the beach. However, the Badger Inn is a popular stopping point, less than a 1-mile walk from the beach.

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