St Ives is a small place with limited parking. The narrow cobbled streets, whilst described as one of the Town’s endearing features, weren’t designed for large modern vehicles. For many visitors, driving through town and parking can be one of the most stressful parts of their holiday experience, so please be warned, plan in advance and follow all the information provided by your accommodation provider.
Please follow our good manners guide to driving and parking in the town:
- Please don’t park anywhere which is not a public carpark, allocated parking space or simply anywhere you don’t have permission, chances are its someone’s treasured spot or a private space and it will not be well received
- Be aware that the volume of pedestrians means people tend to walk in the road.. a lot ! please drive very slowly through town and, if necessary, use your hazard lights
- Many streets are narrow and one-way and one thing guaranteed to raise temperatures is if you park up to unload, blocking someone else’s route, usually with the words – I’ll just be five minutes. Bring a trolley or some wheels, park up and carry things on foot
- If you’re staying in town, think really hard about whether you need you car, apart from trips further afield. Why not park it up for the week ? A good option is the St Erth Park and Ride. Then you can move around without stresses or strains – everything is very accessible on foot.
- Further afield ? Still worth considering public transport options. The main and branch line train route picks up all the towns in Cornwall if you’re visiting say Truro, Penzance or Falmouth. There are local bus routes, including open top buses and scenic routes and St Ives ebikes are becoming a popular choice for visitors looking to take a trip further afield.
- Do you really need to place an on-line food delivery ? Try our fantastic local independent shops and supermarkets are half a mile away.
- Driving, parking, reversing -it can all be stressful, especially after a long journey, but please keep your calm, share a smile and be polite at all times: verbal and even physical abuse are not uncommon and it’s not a great way to enjoy your stay.
Parking in St Ives
There’s no way around it, parking is very limited in St Ives in the Summer months.
The best option is to make use of park and ride services.
The St Erth Park & Ride is train based and has space for 500 cars and your journey takes only 10 minutes on the very scenic branchline service, winding its way around the coast and stopping at Lelant, Carbis Bay and arriving at the Station above the Porthminster beach.
Trenwith carpark is a longstay carpark operated by Cornwall Council, with space for 1,000 cars. It is the largest carpark in town. It’s always worth driving straight there, rather than trying to drive through town. Although at the top of town, there is a regular shuttlebus service running to the town centre. The buses run until 11pm in the Summer.
If you do want to drive into town to park, then travel early and check directions or your Satnat first and follow advice on any electronic signs, advising of any carparks which are already full. In town, there are five long stay and three short stay public car parks, run by Cornwall Council, which all use a phone and pay code. Although there are other private options you can explore. Full information can be found on Cornwall Council or the Visit St Ives websites, links below.
Visit St Ives Travel and Parking Advice
Cornwall Council Car park information