Ride the Train from St Erth to St Ives

The train from St Erth to St Ives was recently listed as one of the top 500 things to do in the UK by Lonely Planet.

For an 11 minute train ride, that’s pretty impressive, right?

If you like spectacular scenery and charming English experiences this one is for you…

The train from St Erth to St Ives

Riding The Train from St Erth to St Ives

The train from St Erth to St Ives is an 11 minute ride along the coast showcasing some of Cornwall’s most beautiful scenery.

You can ride the train both ways, and actually it’s definitely one of the easier ways to get into St Ives during the busy summer season.

We over heard some locals saying they rode it regularly and an extra two carriages had been put on due to the amount of people having a staycation in the area because of the coronavirus travel restrictions in place.

The train is £4 for a round trip but you can ride the line as many times as you like during the day, perfect if you’re exploring the coast or want to walk bits of it (price correct in 2020 at time of posting).

I’d actually not heard of the train ride until reading the Lonely Planet book. It wasn’t far from where we were staying so I decided to check it out. And, aren’t I glad I did?!

St Erth’s Train Station

The train station at St Erth

We caught the train from St Erth train station and that in itself is something out of a Harry Potter film.

The train station at St Erth

The station is full of quaint English features, a ticket room with a fireplace and neat white fencing, trimmings, and flower boxes.

It is a wonderfully pretty start to the journey.

Thankfully much thought had gone into the management of people due to coronavirus and there were four carriages in total. They limited numbers on each journey and the station was well spaced with stickers on the floor to help with social distancing.

The train station at St Erth

At the end of the platform you can get a cracking view of the train coming into the station. And, of course, I waited like a kid hanging over the rails to see it arrive.

The train was a little more modern than I thought it would be and my only complaint was that the windows were dirty so I couldn’t grab the photos I wanted. As you’ll see I’ll poked my camera through the tiny window opening to try and grab some better, clearer pictures for you!

The train from St Erth to St Ives

The Journey

When you get onboard you want to sit on the side you boarded on, and then the opposite on the ride back, this will ensure you get the best views of the coastline.

The train from St Erth to St Ives

The train from St Erth to St Ives actually covers a lot of ground, and you take in Lelant Saltings, Lelant, Hayle Towans beach and Carbis Bay.

The train from St Erth to St Ives

The small train hugs the coast line and only stops once at Carbis Bay during the journey.

The train from St Erth to St Ives

The journey is only 11 minutes long but it’s so pretty. Golden sands, turquoise seas and palms and leafy greens create a view that would make you think you’re in another country, not the UK!

The train from St Erth to St Ives

I just wish the windows had been clear. Can you believe you’d have grubby windows when the view on the ride is so spectacular. But, I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying the view and I don’t think it stops you from enjoying it. I quite like the fact you can see the edge of the window in the snaps. It’s a memory that will stick with me. I think I embarrassed Mr Bright Lights Big City with my awkward and very obvious attempts to capture some pictures.

St Ives Train Station

When you arrive at St Ives train station you’ll quickly realise you’re right next to Porthminster beach, one of the four beaches St Ives has to explore.

The train from St Erth to St Ives

From there you’re only about a five to ten minute walk from central St Ives too. Take care the paths down to the water’s edge are steep, there are steps down follow the coast along to central St Ives, But, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to take a different path if you have accessibility considerations.

St Ives Train Station

If you thought St Erth train station was tiny, and it is, St Ives is even smaller, a tiny hut next to the railway line!

I’m very glad we did it and it was by far my favourite part of our day to St Ives.

Let me know if you’ve ridden the train or plan to add it to your bucket list.

Ride the train from St Erth to St Ives – a service provided by Great Western Railways

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4 thoughts on “Ride the Train from St Erth to St Ives

  1. I love this little train ride every time in St Ives it is the first thing I want to do the scenery is beautiful

    1. It’s so charming, and really makes a visit to St Ives – there’s just something so wholesome about it. No wonder it’s on the Lonely Planet top UK trips! 😍😍😍 Do you spend a lot of time in Cornwall? I’m always looking for new places to explore there!

  2. Thank you for your post. Since when I was little until 15 we holidayed in St Ives, you brought back so many happy memories for me

    1. Oh amazing, that’s made my day Helen. What a lovely memory to have, this was from my first visit (since I was very little) as an adult. I must confess this was absolutely one of my favourite parts of my visit. I’d love to go on this journey in the middle of summer next time, apparently all the flowers come out and it’s spectacular!

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