St Ives is one of the most picturesque towns in Cornwall.

How to visit by train

With its mild climate, beautiful beaches of soft white sand and a famous Mediterranean light that has attracted artists for centuries, St Ives is rightly considered one of Cornwall’s gems.

The town more than lives up to expectations and the journey to St Ives on the train is where the whole experience begins.

St Ives harbour
Family walk down to Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Mother and daughter look in gallery window in St Ives
Train with Porthminster Beach and St Ives in background

The train journey

It is only a 12-minute ride from St Erth Park & Ride to St Ives but the views from the train window are fabulous.

Sit on the right-hand side of the train if you can and you will be rewarded with panoramas of beautiful turquoise waters and sandy beaches.

When you arrive, our recommended day trip incorporates good food, beautiful beaches and art. It begins at Porthminster Beach, just metres away from the station.

St Ives Bay Line
Porthminster beach, St Ives

Beach at your finger tips

It’s just a short walk across the station car park to Porthminster Beach.

It’s a beautiful crescent shaped beach with views out to Godrevy Lighthouse. With its safe waters it’s a family favourite.

The Porthminster Beach Café right on the beach is famed for its local seafood, garden grown produce and foraged sea herbs. The views from the café are stunning.

Culture

To include some culture in your day, head to Tate St Ives (timed slot must be booked).

This renowned art gallery is located just above the beautiful Porthmeor Beach and is housed in a stunning modern building.

The gallery showcases the best British artists of the twentieth century including famous St Ives names such as Barbara Hepworth.

The Barbara Hepworth museum (timed slot must be booked) is affiliated to the Tate and there is a combined ticket that allows you to visit both. Visitors arriving by train receive £1 off the ticket price.

Tate St Ives

Harbour

If the weather is too nice to be inside, then why not simply have a stroll from Porthminster beach to the harbour. It’s just a few minutes’ walk along historic narrow streets.

St Ives was once one of the foremost pilchard landing ports in Cornwall and although tourism is the main industry in the town now, the harbour is still at the heart of the town and has a small fishing fleet.

There are plenty of places to spend some more money and if you still have room maybe an ice-cream.

Watch out for seagulls if you decide to eat one out in the open as they will try and steal food.

Moomaid of Zennor serves particularly good ice-cream and has a seagull proof area in which to enjoy it.

St Ives harbour panorama

Visit the pub

If you are thinking about something stronger by now, then do what the locals do and head to the Sloop Inn, right by the harbour front.

The Sloop is reputed to be one of the oldest pubs in England and is believed to date from around 1312. It is full of character and at the end of a busy day there is nothing better than sitting here with a glass of something cold and watching the world go by.

Trains run late into the evening on the St Ives Bay line but give yourself plenty of time to wander back to the station before heading back on the train to St Erth.

Coming by train

Forgot the hassle of parking in St Ives. Instead come by train on the scenic St Ives Bay Line.

This begins at St Erth Park & Ride which is on the Cornish main line.

12 minutes from St Erth

55 minutes from Truro

From St Ives station it is a 10 minute walk into town. Or visit Porthminster Beach within seconds – it’s just on the other side of the station car park.

Buying Tickets to St Ives

St Ives Bay Line Ranger Ticket

£

4.00

Travel the line as much as you like for one day. Valid after the morning peak, and anytime weekends or Bank Holidays.

Great fares from further afield

TRURO
TO ST IVES

£

7.50

Adult Off-Peak Day Return

Fares explained

55 min

Approximate journey time

PENZANCE
TO ST IVES

£

4.80

Adult Off-Peak Day Return

Fares explained

40 min

Approximate journey time

 

St Ives Bay Line

More Destinations

  • Carbis Bay with train in foreground - photo: Mark Lynam

    Carbis Bay

    One of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, Carbis Bay has very little parking so the best way to visit is by train. Get off at Carbis Bay station, just before St Ives.

  • Lelant station with train reflected in water

    Lelant

    There is a lovely walk on the South West Coast Path between the village of Lelant and St Ives station. As Lelant station has an infrequent service, we recommend you plan your trip carefully and take the train from St Ives to Lelant and then walk back.

  • Girl looking out of train window

    St Erth Park & Ride

    St Erth is the Park & Ride station to visit St Ives by train. It’s conveniently located on the A30 (TR27 6JW) and has more than 500 spaces spread across its two car parks.