Depending on the tides, Lelant Saltings will either be a lake, or uncovered salt marshes covered with amazing birdlife. Take your binoculars! We saw herons and oystercatchers. The car park is £2.80 to park all day, and the return family train ticket (2 adults + 2 kids) is £8.00. The trains only run every half hour and the queues build quickly, so I would GO EARLY and get into St Ives ahead of the rush.
The train drops you right on Porthminster Beach, so dead easy.
This is such a beautiful stretch of coastline - we like to park at Lelant and then walk the coast path to St Ives (about 5 miles, with some short steep sections up from beach level); it runs parallel to the train track and alongside the beach. You get to have a great lunch and wander round St Ives as your reward, before hopping on the train and taking the easier option home!
Just up from the Tate at St Ives and on Porthmeor beach, walk to the end of the beach [West End]. There is the West End Bakery, great for Breakfast, Lunch and Coffee. Before the crowds and the beach sitters arrive, have coffee and a bun. Very well priced and the best view of the beach away from the crowds.
A wonderful experience for the whole family, including the dog!! The views from the train are just stunning. St Ives is a very pretty harbour, and well worth a visit, particularly for its art galleries, Cornish pasties, cream teas and clotted cream fudge! There is a lovely beach for the children and Bamaluz beach is specifically for dog owners. A truly wonderful day out.
If you go after 10 am car parking is very reasonable for the whole of the day. St Earth is only a very short distance from Lelant and has a wonderful little cafe where you can take refreshments whilst you wait for a train.
Don't forget your family and friends rail card. Return to St Ives for family of 5 is then only £7.60!
Wonderful way to get to St Ives