Choo – choo, all aboard, it’s time to take the train from St Erth to St Ives!
If you’re thinking of visiting St Ives any time of the year, there’s only one way to get there, and that’s by train on the St Ives Bay Line. Whether you park at St Erth train station and hop on the branch line, or climb aboard somewhere else in Cornwall, you won’t disappointed.
Let me tell you more.
Helpful Info About Getting The Train To St Ives
The St Ives Bay Line starts at St Erth. It’s a short ride and one that offers great beauty and amazing scenery. It’s got to be one of the prettiest train rides, or branch lines, in England. The actual journey is about 14 minutes long, and as a result, is ridiculously cheap. An adult fare at the time of writing is £4.00 return from St Erth, and not much more when travelling from Truro. When you consider petrol costs and parking costs in and around St Ives (£10 at Carbis Bay in peak season, anyone?), getting the St Ives Bay line is certainly the most affordable option. It’s also relaxing, and offers some of the best views of Cornwall’s west coast.
Thankfully, trains to St Ives run relatively frequently, but you can check the times here. Don’t forget to look at connections too, if you’re travelling from further afield.
The St Ives Bay Line From St Erth
St Erth is a quaint, grade II listed train station. In summer it boasts hanging baskets and has the feel of something out of Thomas the Tank Engine. There’s a sweet little tea shop if you’re waiting for a while, and there’s also a waiting area.
Once on board the train, there’s only 2 stops before you reach St Ives. The first stop on the St Ives Bay Line is Lelant Saltings, offering a water view. I’ve only passed through Lelant on the train during low tide, but it’s somewhere I’d like to explore another time. After this, the train takes you to Carbis Bay. It’s along here that the views are camera-worthy. If you’re thinking of having a day at the beach at Carbis Bay, the train is a good option for this too. It’s a short walk from the station, but there’s a steep hill so maybe travel light.
If you’re staying on the train, and heading towards St Ives, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the bay. If it’s a clear day you’ll can see the long stretch of beach from Carbis Bay, out towards Godrevy. In front of you, as you approach St Ives, your eyes are treated to more coastal gorgeousness.
As the train edges closer to St Ives, all you can see is the coastline in all its glory. Bright yellow, flawless sand and turquoise sea. I find it hard to believe I’m not travelling to somewhere more tropical when I go to St Ives. It’s fair to say, it’s all quite dreamy and I wish the train ride lasted a little longer.
At St Ives
St Ives train station tags onto a car park with a view of Porthminster beach. You can continue to look at the beach and appreciate the scenery as you stroll into town; the view continues along the footpath.
I love St Ives, there’s so much on offer but it gets very busy in the summer. Considering it’s not the biggest place, there’s quite a few beaches hugging it’s coast. Aside from Porthminster, there’s Porthmeor, by the Tate Gallery, Porthgwidden, and Bamaluz. Personally, I enjoy exploring, going off the beaten path, and strolling through the alleyways.
Whatever you end up doing, enjoy the ride and soak up the relaxed coastal vibe that comes with St Ives. I’m Cornish and live in Cornwall. When I visit St Ives, I feel like I’m on holiday, and that feels pretty special.
Have you ever taken the St Ives Bay Line from St Erth? Or, have you visited St Ives before? If so, what’s your favourite thing to do when there?
And please remember, travel responsibly and wear a mask. Thank you.