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Top 10 things to do in Gwithian and Hayle

Gwithian, on Cornwall’s west coast, is renowned for its epic surf and three miles of golden sandy beaches, backed by undulating grassy dunes that stretch for miles in both directions. But beyond the surf and sand, there are wonderful places to eat and drink, things to do and places to visit. Here’s our top 10 things to do in Gwithian and Hayle.

Learn to surf

Gwithian Global Boarders Cornwall gwithian surfing

With three miles of beach connecting Gwithian and Hayle, this is one of the Cornwall’s most popular surf spots — its regular rollers are brilliant for all abilities. There are several surf schools in the area, including Global Boarders, which you’ll find at the Sunset Surf cafe, and Gwithian Academy of Surfing, which also offers paddleboarding from its offices in Godrevy.

Eat out

Eating A Pasty

There are lots of places to eat and drink in Gwithian and Hayle. For cool cafes, head to the quirky Hungry Horsebox Co on the beach, or Sunset Surf Cafe, which overlooks the beautiful beach. It’s also home to the surf school Global Boarders. Surfer-friendly Godrevy Beach Cafe serves everything you’d want after a blustery beach walk or surf, from delicious breakfasts to indulgent hot chocolates. A couple of miles up the road, Trevaskis Farm Restaurant is a great place for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, whilst 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. And don’t miss the chance to sink your chops into a hot pasty — Hayle has two of the best pasty makers in Cornwall.

Go birdwatching

This area is home to one of the UK’s most renowned RSPBs, the Hayle Estuary. Birdwatchers will be treated to dozens of bird species, from curlews and oystercatchers to wading birds, gulls and terns — if you visit in the summer you may spot the magnificent osprey. There’s an interesting circular walk around the mudflats — don’t forget your binoculars!

Catch a sunset

Gwithian’s sunsets are legendary. Whether it’s hidden in the dunes on a warm summer’s evening or paddling along on a paddleboard in the crystal waters, Gwithian has to be one of the best places to Cornwall to watch the sun go down.

Get out on the water

If you’ve ever been tempted to try a new watersport, or if you’re a seasoned pro, there are several watersports centres providing all sorts of activities to try. Lizard Adventures in Hayle Harbour runs a number of activities for families and individuals, from sea kayaking to rock climbing, whilst CS Watersports Academy off Hayle Beach runs kitesurfing and paddleboarding sessions.

Go seal watching

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.

Walk the coast path

Gwithian has direct access to amazing walking. Head east along this stretch of path you’ll find undulating dunes, marshland rich with wildlife, steep cliffs at Godrevy, seals basking in the sunshine at Mutton’s Cove, and dramatic views at every turn. The woodland around Tehidy Woods is home to squirrels as well as a great little cafe. Walk in the opposite direction from Gwithian and you can walk along the vast beach all the way to St Ives.

Yoga on the beach

There a few better ways to start the morning than a beach yoga session. Tucked behind Gwithian’s sandy dunes, Alicia Ray runs yoga classes between April and October on Saturdays and Wednesdays, designed for all levels and abilities. Alicia also holds silent disco events on the beach through the summer season — check her yoga website for more details.

Visit Paradise Park

Red Panda At Paradise Park, St Ives Bay, Cornwall

With over 130 species of birds including eagles, parrots and flamingoes, as well as red pandas, otters and miniature donkeys, this brilliant wildlife park in Hayle is one of Cornwall’s best family-friendly attractions. Children can feed penguins, cuddle rabbits and guinea pigs and handle barn owls, and there’s a jungle express train and various play areas dotted around the site. If you’re visiting in the summer, make sure you check out the eagle flying displays.

Walk to St Ives

The ten-mile walk from Gwithian to St Ives follows the coastal route across sand dunes and through the wildlife-rich nature reserve of Upton Towans, home to a variety of birdlife and wildflowers. The trail crosses the sandy beaches of Porthkidney and Carbis Bay, before arriving at Porthminster Beach in St Ives.

Fancy a stay in West Cornwall? Take a look at our beautiful places to stay in Gwithian and holiday cottages in Hayle.