The Beaches of West Cornwall

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The local beaches were the main reason we purchased our properties, as they are absolutely stunning.  Hayle and Gwithian Towans are the ones we go to mostly and regardless of the weather, they has the ability to blow away the cobwebs and clear the mind. They’re both windswept and completely un-spoilt (as are so many beaches in this area).

Here’s a little bit more information about some of the many nearby West Cornwall beaches.

Hayle towans BeachHayle Towans

This is an impressive stretch of north west-facing golden sand that rarely gets crowded and is ideal for sand yachts and kite buggies. Hayle Towans (towans is the Cornish word for dunes) also known as Upton Towans and can be accessed from several different places in Hayle. Lifeguard cover is provided from May to September, 10am – 6pm.

We love this beach. There are caves to explore at low tide, the perfect sand for sandcastles and due to its vast expanse of sand it’s also great for beach games.

Porthkidney

Park up by the church in Lelant and walk down the footpath through the golf course to this beach.  Its a bit of a trek to the beach but absolutely worth it.  The view from the path as you wend your way down is one photo opportunity after another and you’ll take twice as long as you need, just stopping and taking photos.

If the tide is high or coming in, then its best to turn left when you get to the ww2 pill box and follow the path along the cliff top until you see a path down over the dunes to the beach.  Kids will love running , sliding or jumping down off the dunes to the soft golden sandy beach.

This is such a large beach that its fabulous for beach games, as no matter how busy the season, there’s always plenty of space.

 

Gwithian TowansGwithian Towans

Blasted by the breeze off the Atlantic, the magnificent beach at Gwithian Towans is always a colourful scene of windsurfers on the water and kites in the sky. Backed by sand dunes tufted with wild grass, at low tide there is a vast amount of sand to enjoy and large areas of rock pools and caves are uncovered which are great for kids to explore.

The beach is a favourite destination for surfers as the constant swell coming in from the Atlantic provides good all year round conditions. Common seals are a regular sight near the beach and the area is a breeding ground for colonies of seabirds such as guillemots, razorbills and cormorants.  This special area is now protected and maintained by the National Trust and it also means that if you’re National Trust members you can park for free.

There’s a great cafe that overlooks the beach called Sunset Beach Bar and is open all year, serving locally sourced, seasonal ingredients wherever possible and nearby Jam Pot Cafe, a former 19th century coastguard lookout, is where you can enjoy home cooked snacks and be distracted by the stunningly natural views out over St Ives Bay.

Access to the beach is along a path through the sand dunes from the car park.

Lifeguard cover is provided from Easter until the October half-term holidays.

Carbis BayCarbis Bay

Facing northeast and just one mile east of St Ives, the beach rarely has any surf so makes for an ideal spot for families with toddlers as the sea here is perfect for swimming.  Served by the picturesque St Ives branch line and around a mile long, the golden sands bathe in the bright light of west Cornwall.

The beach at Carbis Bay is surrounded by sub-tropical plants and lapped by turquoise waters.

The branch line train station is above the beach and there is convenient parking. The cliff walk to nearby Porth kidney Sands or St Ives starts just above the beach.  You can catch the train to Carbis Bay and St Ives from Lelant Saltings which is just 1 mile from the cottages. There is a regular park and (train) ride service from here and the journey is one of the most picturesque in the country.

St Ives HarbourSt Ives Harbour

More of a working beach with a unique charm of it’s own.  This is a brilliant little beach where you can watch the fishermen landing their daily fresh catches of locally caught seafood. It’s also very sheltered, a perfect sun-trap in the heart of town.

 

There are so many more beaches to discover and explore in this area that it was difficult to come up with a shortlist.  However, these have been selected, not just for their diversity but also proximity to the cottages, as none are more than a 10 minute drive away.