Our top 10 recommendations for family things to do when visiting St Ives

Heading to St. Ives Bay Holiday Park and want a few ideas? Here’s our recommendations for local places and things to explore – all experienced by our Head of Marketing and her family.


1. What do I do before my 4pm check in? Paradise Wildlife Park!
We recommend leaving early in the morning and arriving in Cornwall for 10am. The kids will sleep on the way (hopefully!) and you won’t get stuck at peak traffic time. Paradise Wildlife Park opens at 10am and has plenty of birds and, train ride, soft play, and café. They let the parrots out to fly over your head which the kid’s love. It is open all day and only 10 mins from St. Ives Bay Holiday Park.

2. How do I get around? St. Erth Park and Ride
Getting to St. Ives or going to Carbis Bay isn’t easily done in the car. There is limited parking, and everything is on a hill/slope. The Park and ride is really easy, loads of spaces and has attendants booking your parking and tickets for you quickly. Be sure to check times, they come pretty much every half an hour. The little railway runs right along the coast so great for the kids to see what’s going on. St Erth – Park & Ride by train for St Ives.

3. Where’s the must-see place? St Ives of course!
A beautiful little harbour & very quaint! There’s plenty of places for a coffee and an ice-cream although beware of the seagulls – they love a pasty! There are local jewellery shops, galleries – all fairly small so watch the kids 😉 Children loved the authentic sweetie shop, gifts and one small amusements for those holiday slot machines. It can be very busy so if you want to eat remember to book.

4. Where can we have a meal out? Rum and Crab Shack
Located in the heart of St. Ives, enjoy a little tipple with a range of rums plus fresh prawns, crab tacos, lobster, and warm bread – yum! Child friendly with Kid’s Mac n Cheese and kid’s fish and chips.

5. Best beach? Porthminster Beach
Probably the best beach for families. A café, toilets (not up a hill!) wetsuit hire, beach shops, alcohol, and glorious sand!


6. Must see? Carbis Bay
Probably one of the most famous beaches after the G7 summit this year! It’s on a very steep hill so remember you’re going to have to take anything back up with you that you take down including the buggy. The beach is smaller than Porthminster but has toilets on the beach, and plenty of options for ice-creams and drinks. The sea was chilly but was great for jumping the waves! And of course, you can indeed book a meal in one of the hotels restaurants but remember to book.

7. Another beach day? Gwithian Beach
Just 10 minutes from St. Ives Bay Holiday Park and this beach has pay and display parking for plenty of cars. Walk across the headland and down to the beach, with toilets half-way down. The beach is great for a walk and the kids will love collecting different coloured shells for their buckets and sandcastles. There’s a little airstream selling teas, coffees, and snacks and back up to the top of the cliff is a lovely little place called ‘The Jam Pot Cafe’. They will box it up and you can have fresh sandwich rolls and a cream tea on the beach!

8. Where’s the local chippy? Lewy’s Fish n Chips
Just 5 minutes from the park, grab your super tasty fish and chips and bring them back to your holiday home. Fresh and delicious!

9. Essentials for my holiday home? Lidl, Boots and Marks and Spencer’s
Just a few minutes from the park, and the Marks and Spencer’s is huge! Plenty of options to keep the fridge stocked or for BBQs. The Boots there is also big, with 24hr prescriptions should you need it. Lidl has all the necessities too and if you fancy a walk to get the kid’s off to sleep in the buggy it’s only 20 minutes.

10. A little treat?! Boat trip to seal Island
Enjoy a trip along the coast with great views! As you soak up the scenery the kids will love seeing the colony of grey seals peeking and smiling at the visitors around them. There are many people selling the boat trips in St. Ives as you walk around the harbour.

St Ives Bay Beach Resort

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