Over 3 miles of golden sand!
Bordered by the Hayle Estuary on its southwestern side, this fabulous beach is approximately three miles long and at low tide almost a quarter of a mile wide. Even in the height of summer there is plenty of space to relax and unwind and never seems crowded. This beach in St. Ives Bay is reputed to have the warmest waters in the country. This beautiful beach has great views across the bay to Carbis Bay and St. Ives and is supported by RNLI lifeguards at various points along the beach and throughout the season.
There are various access points and car parks along the stretch of sand from Hayle estuary to Godrevy.
The beach is backed by high dunes each area with its own name and all areas of great beauty and with stories and history to tell.
Riviere Towans have for decades been the focus of families wanting to enjoy the fabulous beach and still retains the natural beauty and atmosphere of a traditional beach holiday. Now with facilities including a beach shop and cafe, there are good access points with a ramp leading onto the beach from the Bluff Inn, steps from the Cove Cafe and a sand ramp on the western edge near the estuary. At low tide pools are left on the each creating great places for children’s sailboats and paddling. And there are caves and rockpools to explore. Swim, surf, fly a kite or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and great views.
Mexico Towans with sssi status reminds us of the mining links across the globe.
Upton Towans Beautiful dunes now almost entirely conceal the history of Upton Towans with the occasional derelict building reminding us of the past. If you look carefully at some of the dunes you will see they are actually square and the legacy of dynamite bunkers. Upton towans also contained an arable farm known as Upton Barton, and included a large area of towan grazing.
Gwithian Towans cover the site of a Bronze Age farm which has been excavated although no remains are visible. It is said that in a gale the turrets of a castle belonging to Theodoric can be seen, once king of Cornwall.
This great beach on the southern edge of St. Ives bay has not only some of the best swimming waters in the country but hosts many watersport activities including kite surfing, sail boarding, paddle boarding and world class surfing competitions.
The large beach at Gwithian at the end of the three miles of sands is very popular with both families and surfers of all levels, offering a good expanse of fine sand and excellent surfing conditions.
Gwithian Academy of Surfing caters for surfers, from beginners to top level competition.
Both Gwithian and Godrevy have lifeguards during the summer, but check https://rnli.org/ for more information.
Nearby is one of Cornwall’s best known lighthouses on Godrevy Island. This was the lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel, ‘To the Lighthouse’. The point and beach here are owned by the National Trust. On the northen side seals can be seen on the beach and breeding colonies of guillemot, razorbill, fulmar and cormorant can be seen on the cliffs.
Godrevy lighthouse, was built in 1859 to protect shipping from a dangerous reef called the Stones which extends from the island, across the bay in the direction of St Ives. Today the lighthouse is solar powered and automatic and is controlled by Trinity House from its operations control centre in Harwich
Gwithian Sand Pit.
Gwithian Sand Pit is an area just behind the beach where the sand has been quarried for many years. The old sand sifter used to stand nearby. This area has in recent years, been turned into a nature reserve where it extends the existing Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with its rare species of flora and fauna. Take some time to enjoy this special place.