Lelant Saltings to St Ives: Beauty by foot and by train
There is never much in the press regarding Lelant Saltings and it being much of a holiday destination. However, Lelant has much to offer if you prefer the quieter side of St Ives.
You can also make use of the St Erth park and ride, which will not only ease your parking stresses, but the train journey itself is one of the most stunning in the country.
What can you find in Lelant?
You will be surprised at the vast amount of activities you can find in such a relatively unknown part of Cornwall. It has everything from pleasant walks, kids play areas, outdoor swimming pools and an estuary that boast many a rare bird.
There is a stunning walk around the saltings, which showcase the incredible wildlife and birdlife you can find on Cornish shores. The walk is around a mile and is very flat and accessible for all levels of walker. It is also very easy for both wheelchairs and prams, with only a small section of the route on a flat trail.
The walk can change dramatically depending on the tides. If the tide is out, then you have the opportunity to experience all of the different varieties of birds that draw the attention of many bird watchers to this location. If you walk it at high tide, the calm, reflective sea creates scenes of majesty and is a wonderful photography opportunity.
The walk is also teeming with plant life, and once the spring arrives, it has many stunning blooms for you to walk through and enjoy. It is usually relatively quiet there, and so is a more relaxing option for those who fancy a wander.
Outdoor Swimming Pool
One of the few outdoor swimming pools in Cornwall, the Hayle outdoor pool is an excellent spot for the family if the beaches are too hectic. It boasts a relaxed environment with all the amenities of an indoor pool plus a great cafe to grade yourself refreshments, food and coffee.
It is best to book your spot on those sunnier days as the pool is currently running at reduced numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coast 2 Coast karting offers you an incredible adrenaline fulled adventure. Anyone from the age of nine and above can enjoy the experience of racing around the track, making it a perfect family day out for you and your little ones.
They offer three different types of kart. The junior kart, the single-engine kart and for those who love speed, the twin-engine kart.
Lelant to St Ives by foot
This just over four-mile walk from Lelant to St Ive’s covers some of the most beautiful parts of the southwest coast path. On your journey will pass through a variety of beaches, each one with its unique features.
The first you will see is Porthkidney. Porthkidney runs along the river Hayle, which opens out into the sea. It is a stunning, quiet location that has tropical vibes on a sunny day. The dunes are as picturesque as you can get on the coastal path, and you will be stopping every five minutes for another photo opportunity. Porthkidney is also one of the only dog-friendly beaches near St Ives during the summer months.
After a while, you will reach Hawkes Point. It is possible to walk along the beach and up to the rocks at Hawkes Point, but only at low tide. This beach is a favourite among local surfers as it is a quieter, more sheltered spot than Porthmeor. From here, the trail becomes a lot less hidden, but with incredible views of St Ives as you walk it. The path can be quite narrow in places, but you can easily manage it in a single file.
The next beach you will come across is Carbis Bay. This beautiful beach is a fantastic place to relax and unwind if you want to stay away from the business of Porthmeor and St Ives. You can stop for a coffee or snack (or both if you are anything like us). There are very few waves to experience here, but it is a great spot to hire some stand-up paddleboards for a calmer experience on the sea.
From here, your walk will take you to Porthminster beach. The trail becomes more of a concrete pathway, making the walking aspect of it substantially more manageable. Porthminster has a wonderful restaurant should you wish to stop for a bite at this stage and a few coffee shops.
After Porthminster beach, it is a small tarmac road to town. It is a stunning walk in both rain and shine. With multiple beaches, refreshment stops and views, it will be a journey to remember.
Lelant to St Ive’s by Train
You will want to get a seat on the right-hand side of the train for this journey. Noticeably one of the most beautiful train journeys in the country, this fifteen-minute trip will blow your mind and make you question if you are still in the U.K.
You can get on the train at either St Erth or Lelant saltings line (although on a busy summers day, the sooner you get on, the better). The train line follows the coast into St Ives town, giving you breathtaking views from start to finish.
The journey will begin with views of Godrevy beach and Porthkidney, which homes the Hayle River. The train continues through the dramatic landscape through Carbis bay, giving you a high vantage point to take in the spectacular beach.
The final part of the journey will take you directly to Porthminster beach, St Ives station. There you will alight and have the opportunity to either head directly into St Ives town and start your shopping or head straight to the beach. Both directions can get you into town, but the direct route is substantially faster.
St Erth Park and Ride
You have checked our webcam and can see that the beach is already full of sun worshipers, so what now? Finding parking can be tough, but there are options. The St Erth park and ride is a perfect way to have a stress free journey into St Ives.
Tickets will cost you less than £4 for an entire day of parking, plus the cost of your train ticket. Just don’t forget your mask. Covid restrictions are currently in place.