Forever Cornwall Surfside Beach Chalet Gwithian 20
Gwithian

A water-sports wonderland

The beach at Gwithian Towans is a tucked away treasure on the north coast of Cornwall, flanked by picturesque sand dunes (the Towans) that run alongside it. This unspoilt, golden beach stretches along the easterly side of St Ives Bay and thanks to its westerly facing position, it basks in the sunlight all day long.

Gwithian is a water-sports mecca, home to several surf schools – ideal for those wanting to try the sport for the first time or to hone their skills. Low tide exposes an array of rock and sand pools, perfect for little ones to play and cool off in. Step away from the water and head up onto the Towans, a favourite for barbecues thanks to the glorious views across to Godrevy headland and lighthouse. Stay a while and you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest sunsets in Cornwall.

With all this and more, we think Gwithian holds the formula for the perfect Cornish beach retreat.

The gwithian guide

Forever Cornwall Bees Knees Gwithian St Ives Bay Surfer In Dunes

Water-sports Wonderland

With its rolling waves, golden sands and stunning sunsets, Gwithian and the surrounding beaches are a water-sports lover’s paradise. Seasonal lifeguards serve the beach here, so it’s a safe place for those wanting to get in the water and discover what St Ives Bay has to offer in terms of aquatic adrenaline. When the wind whips up, you can join the kite surfers soaring over the waves – contact Pasty Adventures to book a lesson. On a calmer day, try your hand at paddle-boarding and relax out at sea, absorbing the different perspective of St Ives Bay. Give the guys at the Gwithian Academy of Surfing a call for SUP hire or a lesson or two to find your feet.

If you’d rather just get in the water without a board, the sea swimming is simply spectacular. Time it right and you can be out in a calm sea, watching the sun sink below the Atlantic. Or, get up with the larks to have the beach to yourself on a summer morning before even the sand has warmed up. Swimming at this time of day is an ethereal feeling and if you can do it (safely), then it’s a must. With plenty of shallow waters and rock pools to explore it’s also the perfect place to bring the kids with a bat and ball for some simple family holiday fun.

Gwithian Sand Pools Summer

Safe, sheltered sand-pools

As the tide retreats back across Gwithian’s golden sands, it reveals a myriad of rock pools and sand pools that heat up under the summer sun, creating safe, warm shallows that are perfect for kids to play in. Gwithian has seasonal lifeguards too, so children can try their hand sea swimming and bodyboarding worry free. For those with a four-legged friend in tow, make for the south-westerly section of Gwithian and the beaches beyond, where dogs are free to frolic, cooling off in the many sand pools along the way.

The vast expanse of beach exposed at low tide serves as a fantastic pitch for beach games – whether it’s rounders, cricket or football. Gathering up a group of friends and family (other beachgoers too!) for a match is an idyllic way to spend an evening. For post-game refreshments, head up into the Towans, fire up a barbecue and watch as the sun sinks down behind the Atlantic – we don’t think there’s a better view.

Cornish walking holidays Gwithian South West Coast Path

Miles of coastal footpath...

With cliff walks to the east and gentle strolls through the dog-friendly dunes to the west, staying in Gwithian offers direct access to fantastic walking, forming part of the famous South West Coast Path. Head east along Gwithian beach and you’ll discover the steep cliffs at Godrevy Head, a stark contrast to the gentle slope down to sea level found at Gwithian. Peer carefully over the edge to Mutton’s Cove to count the seals lounging on the beach below, or continue further along the cliff for stunning views of the dramatic north Cornish coastline.

These north cliffs also join up with one of Cornwall’s richest woodland areas – Tehidy Woods. Home to friendly squirrels and a great cafe, these paths provide cooler shady walking during the summer months and sheltered strolls in the winter.

Walk west from Gwithian and you’ll be greeted with beach, beach and more beach, stretching as far as St. Ives. With gentle sandy tracks, quiet lanes and almost continuous views across St. Ives Bay, this gentle section of the coastal footpath is dog friendly all year round (the path – not all the beaches!).

Whichever direction you set off from, Gwithian offers magnificent, diverse walking, making it an ideal base to get out and explore this part of Cornwall on foot.

Beaches
Gwithian Waves from the dunes

Gwithian

Backed by sand dunes, with a gentle golden slope leading down to clear waters, Gwithian’s lifeguarded shores are perfect for beach life. When the wind blows, watch surfers take on the Atlantic waves and kite surfers take to the air, with seasonal lifeguards looking on.

On a calm day, the waters are dotted with swimmers, families playing beach games and kids finding their feet with bodyboards. Watch the activity from the sand with a picnic, or see the sun set over the Atlantic with a beach barbecue – whatever you choose, whatever the weather, Gwithian is the idyllic beach retreat that Cornwall is so famous for.

Forever Cornwall Bees Knees Gwithian St Ives Bay Godrevy Island

Godrevy

With its rocky outcrops, great surf and sheltered shores perfect for sunbathers, Godrevy is the beach for those looking to find their own secluded spot of sand. When the tide is in, the size of Godrevy is greatly reduced in size, but put your trainers on and head up onto the rocks and watch the waves crash. Godrevy is under the watchful eye of seasonal lifeguards, so children can play happily in the sea, or explore the many rockpools and sandpools.

Godrevy beach and the grassy cliff above looks out towards Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration behind Virginia Woolfe’s To The Lighthouse. It’s one of our favourite spots to watch the sun set, turning the sky a deep red as the sun slips down behind the lighthouse – bring a barbecue for an idyllic Cornish evening.

Gwithian Towans photo showing beaches all the way to Hayle estuary.

And the rest…

Gwithian is flanked to the east by a number of beaches that make up the three miles of sands that stretches across St Ives Bay to Hayle Estuary. Upton Towans, Mexico Towans and Hayle Beach are all dog friendly all your round, and all interconnect as the tide goes out.

These beaches have much more than just sandy shores to explore, with a rich history to be found on the dunes behind them and caves to discover at low tide. From wartime structures to pillars used to facilitate the extraction of tin from the sand over a hundred years ago, there’s plenty to see for those who don’t fancy lounging in the sun all day.

Places to Eat
254 Sunset Surf 3896

Sunset Surf

Set just back from the beach, this cool café serves local produce for breakfast and lunch, offers wetsuit and surf gear hire, and overlooks the beautiful St. Ives bay. Just a short stroll from many of our Gwithian properties, if you’re staying in the area then call in at Sunset Surf for some hearty homemade food and a crisp glass of local cider.

Forever Cornwall Jampot Entrance Fotorsized

The Jam Pot

A quirky cafe in an old lifeguard station, The Jam Pot is an idyllic location for a tea or coffee stop, a mouthwatering bacon sandwich or a generous helping of cake. With a cosy interior but showstopping views from the picnic tables in the garden, it’s the perfect refuelling cafe after a coastal walk or exhilarating surf. Make sure their lovely coffee, lemon drizzle cakes and cream teas are on your must-try list.

Godrevy Cafe

Godrevy Cafe

This National Trust café serves everything you’d want after a blustery beach walk and more. From delicious cooked breakfasts to locally sourced salads and indulgent hot chocolates, grab a table upstairs for a brilliant view of Godrevy or hunker down inside for a cosy pit stop.

Kid friendly, dog friendly and surfer friendly, this cafe is suitable for any occasion and the staff are always more than happy to help. On selected days throughout the summer holidays they also have their streetfood menu available, offering Asian inspired delicacies – check out their Facebook page to find out more.

Things to do
Mawgan Porth Surfers Beach

Ride the waves

There are numerous surf schools around Gwithian and Godrevy – try Gwithian Surf Academy or phone the team at Sunset Surf Cafe to arrange a lesson with their on-site surf school. All schools will cater for all ages and abilities, with Gwithian often welcoming medium sized clean surf to its shores. All lessons will always be weather dependent, however when the wind picks up why not try something different? Put in a call to Hoxton Special, who offer brilliant kitesurfing lessons – a real thrill for those adrenaline junkies and anyone wanting to see what the Cornish surf can really do.

Red Panda At Paradise Park Cornwall

Paradise Park

This brilliant wildlife park is one of our favourite attractions in the area. With over a hundred species of birds including eagles, parrots and flamingoes, as well as Red Pandas, otters and a petting zoo, there are so many animals to marvel at. Paradise Park caters for all ages too – with penguin feeding, free flying shows and the chance to hold a barn owl, make sure you check out their website to find out when these events are on. If the kids still aren’t tired out, make sure you take them to the Jungle Barn, Paradise Park’s whopping soft play area. A thoroughly entertaining way to spend a day!

Forever Cornwall Seals Mutton Cove Gwithian

Seal spotting

All year round, if you head across Godrevy Point to Mutton Cove and peer carefully over the cliff edge, you should be able to spot the herd of seals down below, taking shelter on the beach. Watch them head out to sea and swim, their heads bobbing in the waves like little black buoys, or see fluffy grey pups lollop across the sand. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to spot them in the water off Godrevy and Gwithian beaches – or take a boat trip with St Ives Boat Company and spot them lounging on the lighthouse island.

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