Carbis Bay

The View from Carbis Bay
The View from Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay is located on the Cornish coast between Hayle and St Ives next to the older village of Lelant. Set on and around a steep wooded cliff which runs down to a sandy beach Carbis Bay is a popular holiday spot. There are a plethora of hotels and guest houses, mostly along the side of the A3074 Hayle - St Ives road running through the village.

Nestled amongst the trees on the hillside as it slopes down to the sea are a large number of whitewashed houses and bungalows which somehow give the area a slightly exotic foreign feel. Further down the hillside there is a tiny railway station served by the St Ives branch line, one of the most scenic in the country.

Until recently Carbis Bay was just a relatively low key beach backed by a posh hotel. All that changed in June of 2021 when it became the site of the G7 summit. For just over a week the whole area was sealed off with thousands of police drafted in to secure the are for world leaders including the American president, Joe Biden.

Carbis Bay is bordered to the west by Porthminster Point and to the east by Hawke's Point, both with heavily wooded cliffs. Hawke's Point looks out over Porthkidney Sands and is a well known surfing 'secret spot'!. Carbis Bay beach itself is one of the best family beaches around with all the facilities right on the beachfront and relatively safe swimming. However, be prepared to pay through the nose for parking - we'd recommend taking the park and ride train service from St Erth.

The Knill - nr St Ives
The Knill - nr St Ives

The original Cornish name of the bay is 'Barrepta Cove' after one of the local farms. Carbis is probably derived from the Cornish word for causeway although where or what the causeway might be is unclear.

Before tourism was the mainstay of business in Carbis Bay there was mining. It is somewhat hard to imagine that this area was once upon a time quite industrial. There were nearly 20 mines in the immediate vicinity and any number of shafts dot the landscape beyond the beach. It is even said that if you were to follow the adits of Wheal Providence, which opens next the beach itself, you could travel all the way to the Knill which sits atop the hill beyond the village.

On a hillside behind the village is The Knill - a 50 ft high monument to John Knill, who was Mayor of St Ives in the 18th Century