Over 3 miles of golden sand!
Hayle, a coastal haven adorned with over three miles of golden sands, boasts an expansive beach that stretches from the mouth of the River Hayle in the southwest to Gwithian in the northeast. Revered for its inviting waters, this coastline beckons sun-seekers with its unmatched warmth.
Mexico Towans, with its SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) designation, stands as a poignant reminder of Cornwall’s global mining heritage. Upton Towans, shrouded by beautiful dunes, conceals traces of its past, sporadically marked by abandoned structures and square dunes that echo the legacy of dynamite bunkers. This area once encompassed the arable expanses of Upton Barton, along with a substantial towan grazing region.
Tracing back to the Bronze Age, Gwithian Towans harbors remnants of an excavated farm, evoking a rich history. Legends speak of stormy times when the turrets of a castle once belonging to Theodoric, the former king of Cornwall, emerged into view. Situated on the southern rim of St. Ives Bay, this remarkable beach not only offers prime swimming waters but also thrives as a hub for water sports, including kite surfing, sailboarding, paddleboarding, and world-class surfing competitions.
Gwithian, the expansive beach at the culmination of the three-mile stretch, captivates both families and surf enthusiasts of every skill level. Its vast expanse of fine sand merges seamlessly with optimal surfing conditions. The Gwithian Academy of Surfing caters to surfers of all proficiency levels, ensuring an unforgettable experience. While lifeguards patrol both Gwithian and Godrevy beaches throughout the summer, refer to the RNLI website for detailed information.
In close proximity stands Godrevy Point, a site cared for by the National Trust. Godrevy Lighthouse, one of Cornwall’s iconic landmarks, stands proudly on Godrevy Island. This lighthouse inspired Virginia Woolf’s renowned novel, ‘To the Lighthouse’. Erected in 1859, it stands as a sentinel against the treacherous reef known as the Stones, safeguarding ships navigating the bay towards St. Ives. Powered by solar energy and operating autonomously, the lighthouse is overseen by Trinity House from its control centre in Harwich. To the north, seals grace the sands, while on the cliffs, breeding colonies of guillemot, razorbill, fulmar, and cormorant flourish.
Nestled behind the beach, Gwithian Sand Pit reveals an area historically quarried for its sand. In recent years, this space has transformed into a nature reserve, extending the existing SSSI, offering refuge to rare species of flora and fauna, embodying nature’s splendour.
A network of vigilant RNLI lifeguard stations ensures the safety of beachgoers. These dedicated guardians stand watch from Easter to the end of September, providing peace of mind to those visiting the shore. For inquiries about lifeguard services, reach out to the RNLI Area Support Centre.
Conveniently accessible from Toms Holidays, Hayle Towans and Riviere Towans await exploration. Several routes lead from the park to the beach, including steps near the Cove Café, a sand ramp in the vicinity of the C section of the park, and a user-friendly concrete slope with a rail positioned before the Bluff Inn.
For those with canine companions, the beach and dunes offer an idyllic haven. Riviere Towans, Mexico Towans, and Upton Towans are dog-friendly year-round, providing a space for four-legged friends to frolic in nature’s embrace. However, a daytime dog ban from Easter to 1st October applies to the stretch between Hayle River and Black Cliffs, which transforms into a haven for dogs between October and Easter.”
Sunset is a great time!!