Gwithian Towans


Treglisson is a small secluded site just South of Hayle on the North Cornish coast and a short distance from the town of St Ives. Our self-catering cabins are perfect for visitors looking for a secluded spot to unwind and rest after an active day in the sea air.

A brief guide to Cornwall’s longest beach

Table of contents:

A brief eulogy

We love Gwithian beach. We’re hardly impartial; it’s our closest beach and we spend a lot of time there, but the love is certainly justified. Spend a day or two exploring (or lounging on) Gwithian and you’ll see what we mean. With three and a half miles of sand backed by miles of dunes, it’s easy to find the sort of wide open space you sometimes need. You can swim, surf, snorkle, bodyboard, kite surf, kayak, walk the dog, go for a jog, play in the rock pools, explore the rock formations or the dunes, fly a kite, skim a stone, fish from the rocks (careful!), picnic, barbecue . . . . . . . . . well, you get the idea.

The main takeaway from this section is that Gwithian is very beautiful and very big and if you’re staying with us at Treglisson then it’s on your doorstep. (Back to top)

Where is Gwithian Towans beach

It’s on the North Coast of Cornwall and is the biggest beach on St Ives Bay. It is flanked by Godrevy Point and Godrevy lighthouse to the East and the Hayle River to the West.

Accessing the beach and where to park

Let’s start from the Hayle River and work our way North East.

Hayle River/Hayle Beach end

This is the easiest point to walk to from Hayle, crossing the North Quay bridge over the estuary and following the road down to the beach (look for Lula’s Shack). At low tide the entire beach all the way to Godrevy is accessible from here, but at peak high tide you may not be able to round the corner to Hayle Beach and the Bluff. The area around Lula’s Shack is a good spot if you want to have snacks and drinks nearby and have youngsters who want to paddle in the water without any waves.

Car Park: Harveys Towans TR27 5AS

Dogs allowed: Not in high season

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Hayle Beach/Riviere Towans:

We tend to call this end of the beach The Bluff. You can walk around to this bit of the beach from the river if the tide’s not too high, or you can walk across to The Bluff Inn from Harveys Towans car park and down from there, OR just park at Hayle Beach Parking behind the Bluff Inn. The beaches are easily accessed from The Bluff Inn, though Hayle Beach can be cut off by a high tide. At low tide the entire beach is accessible from here, but this area is isolated by high tides (though the main stretch is still easy to reach via a short and safe clifftop walk). This area can be quite busy in the Summer, but many people like the easy access to car parks and food & drink.

Car Parks: Harveys Towans TR27 5AS, Bluff Inn & Hayle Beach Parking TR27 5FJ

Dogs allowed: Not in high season – walk over the cliff-top from The Bluff to the main section of beach

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“The Main Stretch”/Mexico Towans/Sandy Acres:

This is the main section of the beach and it’s the two to two and a half mile section you’re most likely to find me on. At low tide this bit of the beach is huge, wild and spectacular, with the cliffs and rock formations towards the Godrevy/Rockpool end and the wild dunes towards Sandy Acres. At low tide you can reach Rockpool to the East and The Bluff to the West, but if you park on the main Gwithian Towans car park at the top of the cliff you’ll want to keep an eye on the water to make sure you’re not being cut off, especially if you don’t fancy clambering over rocks to make it back to the steps.

From The Bluff: Walk over the cliff top at high tide to reach this section of beach.

From Sandy Acres: Walk down the dune to the beach – look towards the lighthouse to get a big bit of beach all to yourself.

From Gwithian Towans car park: (KEEP YOUR DOGS ON THE LEAD HERE!) Walk down the path in the direction of the lighthouse. There are steps down to the beach by the lifeguard hut. When you reach the bottom of the steps take a sharp left through the passage between the rocks

Car Parks (West to East): Bluff Inn & Hayle Beach Parking TR27 5FJ, Sandy Acres TR27 5BA, Gwithian Towans Car Park TR27 5BT

Dogs allowed: Yes

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“The Bit At The End”/St Gothian Sands/Rockpool/Godrevy:

This is the furthest part of the beach from Treglisson, but it’s great for families and particularly good if you really want the easiest access, surf board hire and a selection of places to eat and drink. This is often where the best surfing waves on St Ives Bay are to be found and the beach is backed by a small pool/wildlife sanctuary. To the East of this point the coast climbs to high cliffs and you won’t find another easily accessible beach until Portreath. This is also a very photogenic part of the beach, with the iconic Godrevy Lighthouse featuring as the backdrop to many family photos and the film of shallow water creating beautiful reflections of the sky.

At medium/low tide explore the rocks and pools around the base of the steps down from Gwithian Towans car park. Kids love this area, and the water is often much warmer than the sea.

From Gwithian Towans car park: Walk down the path in the direction of the lighthouse. There are steps down to the beach by the lifeguard hut.

From The Rockpool: Take the path to the right of The Rockpool Cafe and you’ll reach a little clearing. To the left of the clearing you’ll see a little wooden bridge across a brook. OR just follow the sound of the sea – you can’t really miss it from here!

Car Parks: Gwithian Towans Car Park TR27 5BT, The Rockpool TR27 5ED, Godrevy National Trust Car Park TR27 5ED

Dogs allowed: Not in high season (see “The Main Stretch” section for where to walk your dogs if you’ve parked at Gwithian Towans car park)

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Places to eat on or near the beach

Again, let’s start from the Hayle River and work our way North East.

Lula ShackN Quay, Hayle TR27 4DDTel:01326653653
Bluff Inn18 Riviere Towans, Phillack, Hayle TR27 5AFTel:01736751765
Cove Cafe80 Riviere Towans, Phillack, Hayle TR27 5AFTel:01736754889
Sandy Acres Beach CafeSandy Acres, Hayle TR27 5BATel:07817614152
Sunset Surf10 Gwithian Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5BTTel:01736752575
Jam Pot Cafe113 Gwithian Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5BUTel:01736755811
Hungry HorseboxSt Gothian Sands, Gwithian Beach, Hayle TR27 5BX
The Rockpool1 Godrevy Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5EDTel:01736449990
Godrevy CafeGodrevy Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5EDTel:01736757999

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Watersports on Gwithian

Surf Kayak Coaching6 Bodriggy Villas, Hayle TR27 4PGTel:07845204040
Coast Boat TripsThe Old Customs House, Hayle TR27 4BLTel:07522607126
Hayle WatersportsHarbour, N Quay, Hayle TR27 4BLTel:07845204040
Eskinzo Surf SchoolHarvey Towans car park, Hayle TR27 4BLTel:07710564067
Sandy Acres Surf School22 Sandy Acres, Road, Hayle TR27 5BATel:07415946025
Global Boarders Surf School10 Gwithian Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5BTTel:07769831578
Pasty AdventuresGwithian Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5BTTel:07814501920
Gwithian Academy of Surfing1 Godrevy Towans, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5EDTel:01736757579
Shore Surf SchoolGodrevy National Trust Car Park, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5EDTel:01736755556

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Let’s get the WARNINGS out of the way:

  • If you park at Gwithian Towans Car Park you MUST keep your dogs on leads. The cliffs in front of this car park have caused many casualties and even dogs who know the area make mistakes along here. If your pup is excitable and prone to tearing off out of the car, get them on a lead before you open the door.
  • It is easy for dogs (and owners!) who don’t know the dunes behind the beach to get lost. The area is full of hills and hollows. People have the advantage of being able to orient themselves using the sea and NOT becoming overly excited by rabbits!

Where can you walk your dog on Gwithian?

Out of season, anywhere!

In season you can still use about 70% of the three to three and a half mile beach. This is the entire stretch West of the steps by the lifeguard hut close to Gwithian Towans Car Park and East of the lifeguard hut at the start of the cliffs at The Bluff end of the beach.

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Tidal Pools in Cornwall

We had an interesting question from a camper this morning – can you recommend a tidal pool nearby for swimming? There are lots of natural

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