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A surfer's paradise
Gwithian

Gwithian Towans Holiday Cottages and Beach Chalets

Our Gwithian Towans beach chalets and holiday cottages give you the best access to the beach, a tucked-away treasure on the north coast of Cornwall flanked by picturesque sand dunes (the Towans). 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.

Our Gwithian Towans beach chalets are the perfect base to enjoy this watersports mecca, home to several surf schools and ideal for those wanting to try the sport for the first time or to hone their skills. Low tide exposes 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.

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The gwithian guide

Surfers

Water-sports Wonderland

With its rolling waves, golden sands and stunning sunsets, Gwithian and the surrounding beaches are a watersports lover’s paradise, a stone’s throw from our Gwithian Towans holiday cottages. 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. Take advantage of Gwithian’s decent swell and jump on a surfboard with the help from our friends at Global Boarders. When the wind whips up, you can join the kitesurfers soaring over the waves.

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. 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.

Safe, sheltered sand pools

Our Gwithian Towans chalets and cottages make an ideal base for families. 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 or family 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.

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, Gwithian has direct access to fantastic walking. 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 all the way to 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.

Beaches
Gwithian beach dunes, Cornwall

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. If you want to test the waves yourself, you’ll find board hire and lessons, as well as kayaking, paddleboarding and coasteering, at Global Boarders, just behind the dunes. On a calm day, the waters are dotted with swimmers, families playing beach games and kids finding their feet with bodyboards.

Godrevy lighthouse, Gwithian beach, Cornwall

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. 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. The Godrevy Beach Cafe in the National Trust carpark is great.

Gwithian Beach and dunes, St Ives Bay, Cornwall

Hayle’s beaches

Gwithian is flanked to the east by a number of beaches that make up the three miles of sand that stretches across St Ives Bay to Hayle Estuary. Upton Towans, Mexico Towans and Hayle Beach are all dog friendly all year round, and they all interconnect as the tide goes out. The grassy dunes behind them are a perfect spot for a barbecue and there are caves to discover at low tide, just a stone’s throw from our Gwithian Towans chalets. 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.

Food & drink
Sunset Surf cafe at Gwithian beach, Cornwall

Cool cafes

Right on Gwithian’s sand, the quirky Hungry Horsebox Co is housed in a converted horsebox. They do a delicious dhal and great coffee. Set just back from the beach, Sunset Surf Cafe overlooks the beautiful beach and is a great spot for some hearty homemade food and a crisp glass of local cider. It’s also home to the surf school Global Boarders. With its showstopping views, The Jam Pot is an idyllic location for a tea or coffee stop, a mouthwatering bacon sandwich or a generous helping of cake. At the other end of the beach, the kid friendly, dog friendly and surfer friendly Godrevy Beach Cafe serves everything you’d want after a blustery beach walk or surf, from delicious breakfasts to indulgent hot chocolates. Grab a table upstairs for a brilliant view of Godrevy lighthouse.

Pubs and restaurants

A couple of miles up the road, Trevaskis Farm Restaurant is a great place for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Their seasonal lunch and supper menus include dishes such as crusted sea bream and lobster thermidor, and their Sunday roasts are very popular. In the centre of Gwithian, the Red River Inn is open every day for breakfast, lunch and evening meals, with plenty of local produce and Cornish ales on offer. It holds a popular annual beer festival at Easter. Behind the dunes at the far end of Gwithian beach, the Rookpool is full of sandy footed surfers and  serves small bites and sharing plates, hearty main meals, such as sea platters and seafood chowders, burgers and ribs.

Eating local in Gwithian and Hayle

With two brilliant farm shops within a couple of miles of the village and delis, ice cream parlours and pasty shops in neighbouring Hayle, it’s easy to get your hands on local produce in Gwithian, from fresh fish and meat to veg and local cheeses.

Find out more about buying local with our handy Local Food Guide to Gwithian.

Things to do
Surfing at Gwithian Beach, Cornwall

Take to the water

Gwithian is one of the most popular surfing spots on the north coast, and for good reason — it regularly welcomes medium sized clean surf to its shores, so it’s brilliant for all abilities. There are numerous surf schools around Gwithian and Godrevy, including Global Boarders, which is located at the Sunset Surf cafe near the Gwithian Towans carpark. They cater to all ages and abilities, and they also offer coasteering, kayaking and paddleboard hire and lessons, too.

Red Panda At Paradise Park, St Ives Bay, Cornwall

Paradise Park

With over a hundred species of birds, this brilliant wildlife park in Hayle is home to eagles, parrots and flamingoes, as well as Red Pandas, otters, and a petting zoo. Paradise Park caters for all ages too, with penguin feeding, a jungle train, 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!

Seals Mutton Cove Gwithian, Godrevy

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 taking shelter on the beach down below. 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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