Carbis Bay

Located less than a mile out of St Ives is Carbis Bay. It is a wide sandy beach with good facilities making it particularly popular with families. It is also fairly sheltered both from the wind and the waves owing to its position in the lee of large, tree covered cliffs.

In times gone by the beach was known by various names including Barripper, Porthrepta and Carrack Garden Cove. Back in those days the beach was mainly used by fishermen to launch their boats. Despite its sheltered aspect there have been several shipwrecks at Carbis Bay, 3 of them in one night in 1893. At low tide it is possible to see the remains of the Cintra in the centre of the beach.

On rare occasions it is possible to surf at Carbis bay but this requires an enormous northerly swell. When there is surf it is particularly popular with body boarders with powerful, wedgy waves occurring close to high tide. 

 Carbis Bay is also convenient to get to. Being outside of St Ives you can avoid the worst of the Summer traffic and in addition it also has its own station on the St Ives train line.

Also known as:

Barrepta Cove

Type of beach


Lifeguard service

RNLI lifeguards daily from 7 July - 2 September

Dogs friendly beach?

Seasonal dog ban. 15th May to 30th September / 10am to 6pm

dog friendly beaches »

Disabled access


TR26 2NW

OS grid ref.

SW 5287 3894


Beach shop, cafe and toilets. Also has a lost child centre, first aid post


Plenty of parking available in beachfront carpark


Blue Flag Award

Carbis Bay Reviews

Perfect for families

Jul 07th 2020

We’ve been staying in Carbis Bay for the last 4 years. The beach is beautiful and perfect for families. The car park isn’t very big and gets full quickly and the hill down to the beach is steep when going back up especially with a buggy or young children. Still a perfect place though !

Amazing Beach

Jul 05th 2020

Carbis bay beach has got to be one of the best beaches I have ever visited. With lovely golden sand and a sheltered bay, perfect for families.

Carbis bay

Aug 21st 2019

Really good beach with nice facilities. Sheltered bay great for a swim. Parking not easy and steep hill for young families to negotiate. Coastal walk to St Ives is lovely and train if you prefer.