Best for: pleasing the crowd
This soft-sand haven is affectionately known as Mother Meor among Cornwall natives, so central is the beach to local childhood memories. Situated below the Tate St Ives, a four-minute walk from the town centre, it's prime territory for those who want to make the most of the area's many attractions. Ease of access means that summer days on the sandy stretch are busy, but with a sea view so pretty, it's worth joining the crowds, and with Porthmeor Beach Café and West bar and café located right on the sand, you won't have to stray far from your towel for lunch. Porthmeor has a fairly exposed beach break, so swing by St Ives Surf School to rent boards and wetsuits, sign up for lessons or just pick up some tips.