St Ives to Carbis Bay circular walk

St Ives to Carbis Bay

A circular walk from St Ives through the Steeple Woods nature reserve to the monument overlooking St Ives Bay where the eccentric quinquennial ceremony of John Knill has been performed for over 200 years, returning along the coast via the white sandy beaches of Carbis Bay and Porthminster.

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The walk begins at the Trenwith car park in St Ives and climbs through the Steeple Woods nature reserve to "The Steeple" monument overlooking St Ives Bay. The route then descends from Trelyon Downs and follows the Carbis Valley to the beach where shipwrecks can be seen at low tide. The walk then follows the coast path from Carbis Bay to Porthminster Beach and onwards to St Ives, returning via St Ives harbour and church.


  • Note that most coastal walks in Cornwall have paths close to unfenced cliffs.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 102
  • Distance: 4.2 miles/6.8 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Recommended footwear: Walking shoes, or trainers in summer

OS maps for this walk

OS Explorer 102 OS Explorer 102 (laminated version)

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)


  • Nature reserve including Steeple Woods and Trelyon Downs
  • Panoramic views from The Steeple
  • Golden sandy beaches at Carbis Bay and Porthminster
  • St Ives historic harbour and buildings
  • Myriad of art galleries in St Ives

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Golden Lion
  • The Hain Line
  • The Three Ferrets


  1. Make your way to the Leisure Centre at the top of the car park then turn left to follow the path along the top of the tarmac. Continue until you reach a pedestrian crossing in front of the houses at the far side of the car park, leading to a gap in the wall.

    The large car park in St Ives was once the site of Wheal Trenwith which was mainly a copper mine, although a small amount of tin ore was also extracted. Amongst the copper ore was a black crusty ore that miners thought was copper oxide, but smelting it proved unsuccessful so it was discarded on the waste tips. It was identified as pitchblende (a Uranium ore, containing other radioactive decay products of Uranium-238) but it was seen of no value. An account from 1843 states:

    Pitch-blende occurs in great abundance among the copper ores of Wheal Trenwith, and was long carefully collected, and thought to be black copper ore. The low prices obtained for the ores with which it was mixed, and the inferiority of the metal they yielded, equally disappointed the miner and the copper-smelter; until a specimen of the copper was examined by Mr. Michell of Calenick, and found mixed with uranium in a metallic state. The ores were then inspected, and pitch-blende being discovered among them, its nature and prejudice to the copper ores were explained to the workmen, by whom it has been, of course, since rejected. Was there ever an instance in which an acquaintance with Mineralogy and Chemistry would have been more useful ?

    By 1907, the economic value of radium was well understood and waste tips were being worked for this valuable ore; small pockets were also extracted from the shallower areas of the mine. Between 1911-1917 there were 694 tonnes of uranium ore recovered, mainly from the waste tips. There are reports that pieces of the pitchblende ore can still be found around the edges of the car park today. It is radioactive so handling pieces of the black rock is not advised.

  2. Go through the gap and turn right. Keep following the path along the hedge and continue along the hedge onto a gravel path with wooden posts. Follow the gravel path to reach a waymarked flight of steps.

    The metallic minerals associated with outcrops of granite tend to occur in bands which radiate out from the granite outcrop. A band of tin deposits usually occurs closest to the granite, then beyond this a band containing copper ore. A band of zinc and lead deposits is commonly found further away from the granite, with just iron at the furthest extreme. The reason for the banding is that the deposition of each mineral occurs within a specific temperature range. Granite starts as a molten blob of magma which cools very slowly and provides a source of heat. The temperature of water in the cracks in the neighbouring rock therefore decreases with increasing distance from the hot granite.

  3. Climb the steps and bear left, in the direction waymarked, across the field to a gap in the hedge.

    Deep in the earth's crust where there is lots of sulphur and little oxygen (hence the smelly sulphur compounds around volcanic vents), copper occurs as crystals of sulphide compounds. Nearer the surface, chemical reactions with air and water form brick-red oxide and blue-green carbonate compounds and also copper sulphate. The latter is the blue stuff from school science lessons which you may vaguely recall is soluble in water; thus it became concentrated at the water table. In the Ice Ages that followed, Cornwall was scoured by glaciers which bulldozed away many of these concentrated deposits. Early copper mining took place on the few remaining areas of these surface layers, but it was not until innovations in pumping technology that copper mining could be carried out on the deeper sulphide deposits and these account for the bulk of the ore mined. The most common ore (called chalcopyrite) is a copper-bearing version of "fool's gold"; when pure it looks like gold but where it meets air and water, patches of iridescent green, blue and purple form and so it was known as "peacock copper".

  4. Go through the gap and bear left slightly across the field to a field gate in front of a house.

    Horses were first domesticated around 6,000 years ago on the plains north of the Black Sea between Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Genetic studies have revealed that there were several independent domestication events from different herds of wild horses and then the domesticated horses were widely interbred.

  5. Go through the pedestrian gate to the left of the field gate and follow the track to a junction with a waymark post. Keep left at the junction and follow the track a short distance to a field gate where a path departs ahead.

    Alexanders are a member of the carrot family and grow along roadsides in places similar to cow parsley. The leaves are more solid than the lacy cow parsley leaves and the flowers are yellow rather than white. The name arises because the plant was introduced to the UK by the Romans and was known as the "pot herb of Alexandria". It is also sometimes known as horse parsley.

    Periwinkle, also known as myrtle, is a native plant in Europe and both the greater (Vinca major) and lesser (Vinca minor) forms are common, both with blue-purple 5-petal flowers that resemble turbine blades.

    The "greater" form has wider teardrop-shaped leaves whereas the leaves of the "lesser" form are thinner and lance-shaped. The flowers on the lesser form are also smaller.

    The name may be from the Russian name for the flower - pervinka - which is based on the word pervi, meaning "first", as it is one of the earliest spring flowers. Some flowers start appearing in November.

    During Victorian times and earlier, small amounts of land in Cornwall were measured by the goad - a unit of nine feet in length, derived from the name of the staff used to drive oxen.

    An area of two goads square (18ft x 18ft) was known as a "yard of ground" or "land-yard". This is confusingly not the same as a "square yard" (3ft x 3ft). In fact one land-yard was 36 square yards!.

    Larger areas of land were measured by the Cornish Acre defined as 160 land-yards (or 5,760 square yards). A unit of land consisting of 4 Cornish Acres was known as a "Knight's fee".

  6. Follow the path ahead until it eventually emerges onto a track. Continue ahead on the track until it ends on a lane opposite the Bowling Club.

    Ivy has two types of roots. The "normal" roots extend in to the soil and collect nutrients. At intervals along the climbing stems there are also aerial roots which attach the plant to a surface. As they come into contact with a surface, the roots change shape to anchor the plant. They then produce hairs that wedge into any crevices. The roots also exude a chemical compound which acts as a glue.

  7. Turn left onto the lane and follow it until it ends at a junction.

    The game of bowls dates from mediaeval times and was first clearly documented in the 13th Century. From the 14th Century, it was banned along with several other sports for being a distraction from archery practice. However bans on bowling continued long after guns had replaced the longbow due to the disreputable nature of bowling alleys which were often attached to taverns. Until 1845, labourers, apprentices and servants were forbidden from playing bowls except at Christmas under the supervision of their masters!

  8. Cross the road to the small lane opposite and follow this, passing between the posts, until it ends at a gate.

    Crows are omnivores and their ability to eat anything from animal feed to potato chips has allowed them to capitalise on food sources created by humans. Their problem-solving skills also allow them to access food that less savvy animals cannot, for example tugging on bin liners and tucking each fold under their feet to raise the contents of waste bins in motorway service stations.

  9. Pass the gate and continue ahead when you reach the junction, passing the school and nursery, until you reach a 20 MPH sign with a path leading off the right.

    Before the school, this was the farmstead of Tregenna which has mediaeval origins. The foundations of a mediaeval chapel were visible in 1814 but this had been cleared by 1914 to build a cowshed. The main school building is built in one of the farm's fields and the playing field occupies another where sherds of pottery from the Early Mediaeval period have been found.

  10. Turn right onto the path between the two buildings and follow it to a junction in the path at a stone inscribed with "3".

    During late winter or early spring, if you encounter a patch of plants with white bell-shaped flowers, smelling strongly of onions, and with long, narrow leaves then they are likely to be three-cornered leeks. Once you're familiar with their narrow, ridged leaves, you'll be able to spot these emerging from late October onwards.

    Three-cornered leeks are native to the Mediterranean and are first recorded as being introduced to the UK in 1759. By Victorian times, they had become well-established in the wild. They thrive in the moist, mild climate in Cornwall and are salt-tolerant so will grow almost anywhere, even on the coast.

    The numbered stones were markers denoting the edges of the plot of land that belonged to a mine. The numbers run up to 15 and enclose an area of land between here and Steeple lane.

  11. Keep right and follow the path to where it enters the woods.

    The woods were thought to have been managed as a mixture of woodland and pasture up until the 19th Century when the gaps were planted to form a continuous woodland. Many of the trees show evidence of being cut (either pollarding or coppicing) to provide a source of timber. The mine workings within the woods are the remains of tin and copper mines which date back to at least the 16th Century.

  12. Continue ahead to pass a large granite gatepost laying in the path and through a gap in a wall and reach a large tree where the path forks. Take the left-hand path and then stick to the main path leading uphill. Follow this, as it begins to bear left through a gap in one stone wall to a gap in another with two fenced-off areas ahead with a tree between them.

    The fenced-off areas are mineshafts so don't climb over the fences! Later, at the top of the path, you'll see some "danger mineshafts" signs which refer to these.

    Mine shafts were dug for several reasons as well as another way of getting people into the mine. One was to pump water up from the lower levels of the mine using a waterwheel or steam engine. Another was to haul ore and waste out of the mine (known as "winding") which was done with capstans and horses in the days before steam engines. The shafts associated with pumping or winding steam engines were often called "engine shafts". Mine shafts were also dug for ventilation and these are often marked as "air shaft" on maps.

  13. Climb over the roots of the tree between the two fences then follow the path uphill. Where the path opens out, keep the large trees on your left and fallen tree on your right. Head to the right of the largest tree and follow the path uphill until emerges via some steps onto a lane.

    Some mosses are able to absorb 20-30 times their own weight in liquid. Moss was used in several ancient cultures as nappies: babies were carried in a moss-lined bag to prevent leaks. Moss has also traditionally been used to line hanging baskets which are very prone to drying-out. Areas of moss help to protect soil from erosion by runoff and rivers from sediment and flooding by capturing rainfall and giving it chance to soak slowly into the soil.

  14. Bear left across the lane to the tarmacked path beside the information board and follow it to the monument.
  15. After a look at the monument, double back to the rocky junction of paths and then bear right downhill towards the sea. Keep right at each of the forks in the path to continue downhill, sticking to the main path, until it ends in a Y-shaped junction with a path crossing the common.

    John Knill was a charismatic Collector of Customs at St Ives from 1762-1782 and mayor in 1767. During his Customs role, it is thought that he might have engaged in a little smuggling himself as there are reports of him fitting out a privateer for the purpose. He built his own memorial: the 50 foot high triangular granite obelisk, known locally as "The Steeple". He also devised a quinquennial celebration which consists of a dinner for the Mayor, Vicar and Customs Officer and guests in the George and Dragon Inn. This is followed by a procession from the market house to the monument, lead by a fiddler with ten young girls (who had to be the daughters of either fishermen, tinners, or seamen) dressed in white, and two widows. The mayor, vicar, customs officer, girls, widows and fiddler then dance around the monument whilst spectators sing the hundredth psalm. The first was carried out in 1801, which Knill attended. In his will, he left money for the upkeep of "The Steeple" and for the celebration to take place every 5 years after his death on St James' Day, 25 July. The delightfully eccentric ceremony has been carried out every 5 years for over 200 years, though the changing industries in St Ives have required the constraints on trades of the young girls' fathers to be relaxed, and the Customs Officer now has to commute from Penzance.

  16. At the junction, bear right onto the path and follow it past a junction to emerge from the trees. Continue on the main gravel path along the contour of the hill until you pass a low wooden fence on the left and gravel path just after this, then continue a few paces further along a rocky section of the path to a fork.

    The common name "foxglove" dates back many hundreds of years but the origin is unknown. The "gloves" almost certainly refers to the shape of the flowers, and the Latin name Digitalis (finger-like) is along similar lines. The curious part is the "fox" and many different suggestions have been made as to where it came from. It is possible that it is a corruption of another word. One suggestion is "folks" which was once used to mean "fairies".

    Closer to the horizon, the sky fades to a lighter blue. The scattered blue reaching you from the horizon has to pass through even more air than the blue reaching you from directly overhead. The molecules of gas have more chance to intercept and re-scatter the blue light in different directions so that less blue light reaches you.

  17. Turn left at the fork and follow the path downhill to a junction with a stony path along the bottom of the downs.

    Although the fronds of bracken die back each year, the black underground roots are perennial and spread extensively, sending up fronds at intervals. The root system of one bracken plant can stretch up to a quarter of a mile across making bracken one of the largest plants in the world.

  18. Turn right onto the path and follow it to a waymark.

    Blackberries are closely related to raspberries and technically neither is a berry but an aggregate of many individual tiny fruits, each containing a tiny stone like a miniature cherry.

    As well as through pollen being transferred by insects from other plants, if there are not many insects around (e.g. in cold or wet weather), bramble flowers are able to produce seeds without being fertilised (the flower is able to use its own pollen).

  19. Continue ahead from the waymark to reach a junction of paths. Continue ahead on the path through the bushes and follow this until it emerges onto a lane.

    Rhododendrons had already become established here by the 1920s and were sufficiently abundant that Bernard Leach harvested to wood to fire his first kilns.

    Honey made with rhododendron pollen can be poisonous to humans, causing severe low blood pressure and low heart rate if enough is eaten. Rhododendron honey is used in Nepal as a hallucinogenic drug.

  20. Turn left onto the lane and follow it until it ends at a T-junction.

    There were a number of old copper and tin mines in this area including Wheal Comfort, Wheal Speed, Wheal Hazard, East and West Wheal Crack, Wheal Mary and Wheal Rose. By 1815 these had been aggregated into United Mines. In 1821 a dam burst and water poured into one of the shafts, drowning one of the miners below. In 1832 a new company was formed and the area was worked until 1877.

  21. Continue ahead at the junction and turn right onto Wheal Speed Road. Follow this, keeping right around the bend at the White House Close sign, until you reach a junction with Park Lowen on your left.

    Many Cornish mines have names starting with Wheal, and it is a common misconception that Wheal meant "mine". In fact, Wheal simply meant "workplace". The word for "mine" was bal and the women who worked on the surface were known as Bal Maids.

  22. Turn left onto Park Lowen and follow it to the cul-de-sac at the end.

    The name is from the Cornish for "field", park, and "happy", lowen, but the exact intent of the meaning has been lost. It's certainly the case that the original happy field didn't include a 20th Century housing estate or even the Victorian mine waste tips that predated this. Most of the Celtic place names date back to the Dark Ages when Cornish was spoken even by the ruling classes which changed after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

  23. Bear right onto the path running between no 16 and the house on its right (14). Follow the path along the wooden fence to emerge onto another residential road.

    The Cornish palm is neither originally from Cornwall nor a palm! It is from New Zealand where it is known as the cabbage tree, being neither related to or tasting anything like cabbage. The top of the stem from which the leaves shoot was harvested by the Maori, resulting in something resembling an artichoke. It is bitter so it was traditionally eaten with fatty meats such as eel to make it palatable. The largest specimen of the plant is thought to be around 500 years old and has a circumference of nine metres at the base! It was introduced to Britain after being collected on Captain Cook's first voyage to the Pacific on the Endeavour.

  24. Cross the road to the path opposite (between no 28 and 30) and follow this until it emerges beside the main road.

    Research suggests that sycamore was common in Britain up to Roman times but then died out due to the warming climate apart from some mountainous regions such as in Scotland. During the Tudor period it is thought to have been reintroduced from southern and central Europe by landowners looking for a rapid-growing tree for their estates and was found to be salt-tolerant - essential in Cornwall.

  25. Carefully cross the road to the path opposite. Follow the path down the steep hill and continue until you reach a junction of paths beside a shed used for electricity equipment.

    Crocosmia (also known as Montbretia) is a garden plant in the iris family with bright orange flowers in summer. It has South African origins and was bred in France as a garden plant, then introduced into the UK in the 1880s.

    It has spread into the wild, particularly along the west coast of Britain and is extremely invasive. It is now a criminal offence to cause it to grow in the wild.

    Crocosmia means "saffron scent" and alludes to the smell of the dried leaves (the crocuses which produce saffron are also members of the iris family).

    Despite their native habitat being woodland, wood pigeons are able to thrive wherever there is food. They have fared better than most birds with intensively-farmed crops and are particularly fond of oil seed rape. They are able hoover up food quickly (up to 100 peck per minute) and stuff large amounts into their crop (e.g. around 150 acorns!). They then digest this overnight.

    During the 21st Century, wood pigeons have been migrating into urban areas where garden feeding has attracted them. There has also been an exodus from parts of the rural environment where changes to farming practices (e.g. daffodil growing or energy crops) has made fields less attractive.

  26. At the shed, keep right to follow the path leading downhill until it emerges at a bend beside a row of cottages, opposite a small "To the beach" sign.

    During winter, from November to March, winter heliotrope is visible along the edges of roads and paths as carpets of rounded heart-shaped leaves.

    From mid November to January, the plants produce spikes with pale pink scented flowers. The scent resembles marzipan i.e. almond and vanilla.

    During winter, from November to March, winter heliotrope is visible along the edges of roads and paths as carpets of rounded heart-shaped leaves.

    The leaf shape of winter heliotrope is similar to its close relative butterbur, but the leaf edges are more rounded than butterbur and the leaves are evergreen whereas butterbur puts up flowers before it has any leaves. Both plants spread via rhizomes (underground stems) and their broad leaves can crowd out other plants making them potentially invasive.

  27. When you reach the bend, turn right to follow the path down the hill. Continue past the houses and under the railway bridge to reach a car park.
  28. Make your way to the far side of the car park (below the hotel car park) to reach a path leading from the far end. Follow this past the restaurant and lodges to join a tarmac path leading uphill along the fence. Continue following the path uphill, which climbs a number of steps, until you reach a footbridge over the railway.

    The beach sometimes referred to as Barrepta Cove or Porth Reptor which are remnants of the original Cornish name for the beach, the exact meaning of which has been lost. This was documented as Parrupter around 1499 and Porthreptor in 1580. Porth rep tor can be translated as "beach beside the hill". However in Cornish, as well as "hill" or "high land", torr can also mean "gash" (which has similar roots to "torn" in English) which could apply to the long, thin Carbis Valley.

    The name "Carbis" is from Carbis Farm which was recorded as "Carbons" in 1391. In Cornish karr means "cart" and pons means "bridge" so this is thought to mean "causeway" but no trace of any structure remains to which this could be attributed. It's possible it was a bridge crossing the stream in the Carbis Valley as part of the road to St Ives. It is said that to avoid Bubonic Plague reaching St Ives, money was left at the bridge and goods were dropped without any face-to-face contact.

    When the St Ives railway was built, a station was created at the bottom of the Carbis Valley which the railway called "Carbis Bay" and this eventually became used as the name for the beach.

  29. Cross the railway and follow the path until you reach a junction of paths with a footpath signpost for St Michael's Way.

    St Michael's Way is a 12.5 mile prehistoric route from Lelant crossing the peninsula to Marazion. This avoided the need to negotiate the submerged rocks and strong currents at Land’s End. Later, St Michael's Way was used as part of a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain. It is believed that this route was a key factor in Cornwall's rapid conversion into a Christian faith.

  30. Continue in the direction indicated for St Ives and follow the track which eventually becomes a lane. Continue past the Baulking House to the bottom of the hill where a small path departs from the lane beside a post with red and yellow waymarks.

    St Ives was the most important fishing port on the North Coast. The pilchard fishery in St Ives was the largest in Cornwall in its heyday during the mid 19th Century. The annual pilchard catch in St Ives frequently exceeded all of the rest of Cornwall combined. The largest recorded catch in St Ives was in 1847 when over 57 million pilchards were caught in a single day. At the end of the 19th Century, the pilchard shoals stopped coming inshore and the industry had died out by the early 1900s.

    During the early 19th Century, visitors to St Ives commented on being overpowered by the smell of rotting fish emanating from the town. A number of pilchard cellars surrounded the harbour but by the 1920s these had either been demolished or converted for other uses (the St Ives museum was originally a pilchard curing cellar).

  31. Follow the small path for St Ives, keeping ahead when you reach a waymark. Continue from this to pass over a railway bridge and reach a Town Centre signpost where the main path bends to the right and a small path leads ahead.

    Until Victorian times, St Ives was just a small fishing port. The town was transformed, and in fact mostly built, after the railway from St Erth was completed in 1877, connecting the white sandy beaches of St Ives to a wealthy population of Victorian holidaymakers. The tiny railway line, winding along the cliffs and bays, somehow managed to survive the closures by Beeching in the 1960s. It has now become a tourist attraction in its own right. During gales, the section along the dunes can become covered in sand and needs to be excavated before the service can resume. In 2019, Lelant Saltings station was closed following the creation of a new Park and Ride at St Erth (at what is described as the "multi-modal transport hub" by Cornwall Council, or by everyone else as a "station").

  32. Turn right, signposted Town Centre, to stay on the main path and follow this down the zig-zag to the café. Pass behind the café to reach a junction of tracks.

    A wide range of sea creatures can wash ashore on the beaches of the Atlantic coast.

    The Portuguese man o' war resembles a jellyfish but is actually a colony of polyps, specialised into four different roles. Some provide the float and others make up the stinging tentacles which can stretch over 160ft long and catch 100 fish in one day.

    The man o' war is easily recognised by the pasty-shaped float with pink and purple colouring. They are normally found in the open ocean but big Atlantic storms with strong winds can very occasionally drive them onto the Cornish coast.

    It is named after a heavily-armed 18th Century warship as a sting is extremely painful and in rare cases can be fatal.

  33. Bear right onto the path running behind the Beach Shop (signposted "Takeaway" and "Beach Bar") and follow this along the top of the beach until you reach a ramp leading up from the beach beside the Beach Bar.

    Sandeels are small slender fish found shoaling around the beaches in Cornwall. If you put on a mask and snorkel, you're almost guaranteed to see some, often swimming around your feet.

    The name is confusing as sandeels are not eels, just long, thin fish (like barracuda, but a lot smaller!). The sand part is because they burrow into the sand if alarmed. There are two main types present in Cornwall: Lesser Sandeels are the small ones you're likely to see by the shore, Greater Sandeels are chunkier and about the length of your foot; they can sometimes be seen shoaling in deeper water, occasionally joining in with a shoal of Lesser Sandeels.

    Sandeels are a vital part of the food chain, supporting many sea birds including puffins and larger fish such as sea bass. Consequently they are a favourite bait for anglers, and in Cornwall a curved iron bar known as a vingler was traditionally used to snag buried sandeels.

    Sandeels eat zooplankton and are therefore snookered by Global Warming causing phytoplankton to bloom early resulting in the zooplankton being undernourished. Industrial fishing for sandeels for use in fertilisers (e.g. "fish, blood and bone") has also damaged the population.

  34. Turn left up the ramp and bear right at the top onto the lane. Follow the lane along the wall and along a row of small cottages to reach the St Ives Arts Club.

    During Victorian times, open air painting became popular and the scenery and mild climate of St Ives generated a reputation as the ideal place for marine painting (of the decorative rather than boat-keeping kind). Once the railway was completed in 1877, St Ives became more accessible. Around this time, the pilchard industry was in decline which resulted in many unoccupied net lofts, cellars and workshops. These became converted into artists studios, with the first recorded in 1885 which had been converted from a sail loft. In 1920, Bernard Leach arrived and went on to make St Ives internationally famous through his pottery. St Ives has continued to attract artists and is now considered to be one of the most important art centres in Britain. In 1993, the St Ives branch of the Tate Gallery opened (named after the sugar magnate Henry Tate of Tate and Lyle). Since 1978, there has been a St Ives September Festival which runs for 15 days during which many artists open their studios to the public.

  35. After the Arts Club, bear right onto the path along the sea wall and follow it until it eventually emerges onto a road beside the lifeboat station.

    St Ives has had a lifeboat since 1840, though the original was a rowing boat launched from the harbour. In 1867, the RNLI relocated it to Porthgwidden beach and built a boathouse for it. This was not well thought out as launching through the surf proved near impossible and so it was quickly replaced by a building in Fore Street. In 1911, a new boathouse was built on the quay which was better suited to launching the lifeboat which had become motorised by this point. This was finally replaced with the station you see today which was built in 1993 to accommodate a larger modern boat.

  36. This is a good point to explore St Ives and/or stock up with pasties. The return route is to turn up Lifeboat Hill and take the first left to reach the church door.

    The RNLI was founded in 1824 under the original name of the National Institution for Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. It was renamed to the RNLI in 1854. Until 1890 all the lifeboats were rowed with oars until some steam-powered boats were introduced. By 1905, petrol-powered boats were being trialled and fairly quickly replaced the bulky steam-powered predecessors. Today a fleet of over 340 lifeboats provide a 24/7 search and rescue service around the UK. The charity has saved over 140,000 lives since it was set up.

  37. From the church cross over the junction to the memorial and continue uphill to pass the Golden Lion on your left. Follow the lane to a junction on the right.

    The current church building dates from the early 13th century and the south aisle was added roughly a century later. The font is also thought to date to the 14th century and some of the carved bench ends are from the 15th century. In the churchyard is a late mediaeval lantern cross which is over 10ft high. The elevated churchyard is thought to have arisen due to the lack of space for burials resulting in a "multi-storey" approach being taken.

  38. At the junction, turn right alongside the bank and then turn left onto the cobbled Chapel Street and pass the Three Ferrets to emerge opposite the Kettle 'n' Wink and Western Hotel.

    The St Ives Feast takes place on the Sunday and Monday nearest to the 3rd of February each year. It celebrates the founding of the town by St Ia and includes a procession to the holy well (Venton Ia) and a version of Cornish Hurling described as "much gentler than ... at St Columb Major".

  39. Cross the road to the small lane between the Western Hotel and the Cinema. Follow this to a ramp departing to the right with a path alongside with railings. Follow the path past Royal Cottage to a flight of steps. Climb all the way to the top to emerge on a road opposite a sign for Tregenna Terrace.

    During Victorian times, St Ives consisted of two quarters known as Upalong and Downalong, between which there was a fierce rivalry. Upalong, on the higher ground, was an area of farming and mining. Downalong, situated beside the harbour, was the realm of fishermen and sailors.

  40. When you reach the top of the steps, bear right onto the road and follow it until you reach a car park on the left with a path signposted to Trenwith car park

    The Herring Gull is the gull most commonly encountered in Cornwall and is an example of a "Ring Species". In Europe, the Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull are distinct species, yet as you circumnavigate the globe, the populations become more similar until they merge in the middle as a single species.

    Despite a growth of urban populations inland, particularly around rubbish tips, the Herring Gull population has dropped to half its size in 25 years. It has been driven inland in search of food and roosting sites due to declining fish populations and lack of undisturbed coastal nesting sites. In urban areas, streetlights allow gulls to forage by night and there is no longer competition from Red Kites, which scavenged the rubbish tips in the Middle Ages.

  41. Bear left up the path to the Trenwith car park and follow it until you reach a signpost for Leach Pottery.

    The residents of of Ives were collectively known by the pejorative of "Hake" or "Hakeies" which is said to be based on the irreligious practice of fishing for hake on Sundays when most other fishermen stayed ashore to go to church.

  42. Turn left up the small path beside the signpost to reach the pedestrian crossing to the car park.

    You'm laid out like a ling is a Cornish dialect term indicating the observed person, dog etc. is laid out at full stretch without a care. The ling is a long, thin member of the cod family found on offshore reefs and wrecks.

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