Beach champion: Carbis Bay

Beach Retreats Portfolio Manager Ashleigh Allwood, loves the relaxed vibe at Carbis Bay

With its pure white sand and crystal clear waters, it’s a little gem of a beach that’s less crowded than neighbouring St Ives.

The sheltered waters provide the ideal conditions for sea swimming and stand-up paddleboarding. It suits anyone looking for a more relaxed day at the beach.

You can often see pods of dolphins out in the bay, and in the past year there has even been a humpback whale here, which I was lucky enough to spot when walking the coastal path with my partner. The best chance of seeing dolphins is from the coast path in the spring and summer months.

I am lucky enough to live within a few miles of Carbis Bay. In the winter months I love to come here – just me and my dog, Ronnie. In the summer months, it’s me and my partner taking a paddleboard for a relaxing morning or afternoon out on the water.

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Ashleigh and Ronnie

The ideal day at the beach would be catching the train from St Erth in the morning and enjoying an early sea swim followed by coffee and cake from the café on the beach. After enjoying the quieter hours, we would take a walk along the coast to St Ives, to visit some art galleries and enjoy a little bit of shopping, before heading back to the bay for a relaxing afternoon on the beach.

Not to be missed

The Ugly Butterfly restaurant is a must if you’re visiting Carbis Bay – the food here is simply outstanding. It offers an all-day, fine dining experience by Michelin star chef Adam Handling, using locally sourced ingredients, with a really strong focus on sustainability.

At the end of a day here, if you’re looking for a special spot to watch the sunset, then I highly recommend taking a walk up Trencrom Hill, just a couple of miles from Carbis Bay. From here, you get a 360-degree panoramic view across Hayle and St Ives, as well as Penzance and Marazion to the south.


Read more about the best of Carbis Bay, from tropical sands to scenic train journeys and lido lounging.

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Learn more about the people of Carbis Bay and its thriving sustainable foodie scene, from local community initiatives to zero-waste dinimg.

Image credit: Ugly Butterfly

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