Porthmeor beach in St Ives, Cornwall, England
© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offse
Swell for surfers. Island life on Porthmeor Beach
When is an island not an island? When it’s the Island in St Ives, Cornwall – which is actually a headland connected to Porthmeor Beach. The grassy peninsula is a stopping-off place for migratory seabirds and wildlife watchers, hoping to spot dolphins, seals, sunfish and basking sharks in the surrounding waters. At the top is the tiny St Nicholas Chapel, which boasts panoramic views across St Ives Bay and was once used to spot smugglers.With its golden sands, rock pools and clear waters, Porthmeor is popular with swimmers, surfers and families on their summer holidays. The picturesque beach is overlooked by artists’ studios and the famous Tate St Ives gallery, featuring modern and contemporary art. St Ives is said to benefit from a unique quality of light that has attracted generations of artists. A word of warning however, it is also known for its seagulls, which swoop down and steal food from unsuspecting tourists.