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14 March 2020

Fun on the water

by Craig Burkinshaw

Welcome to your ocean playground

With 422 miles of coastline, you’re never far from the sea in Cornwall. In fact, wherever you are in the county, you’re never more than 16 miles from the ocean. Whether it’s a quick paddle or a high-octane surf session, you’re bound to get involved with the water at some point during your holiday. Here’s our list of the best ways to get wet near Three Mile Beach.

Body boarding in Cornwall

Bodyboarding is a way for all ages and abilities to say hello to the waves because you don’t need any experience. It’s the perfect way to get into surfing, and the beaches around here are a great place to try it out for the first time.

Surfing in Cornwall

Surfing is satisfying from Hayle to Godrevy because you can locate based on your experience. Usually, there’s more swell at the Godrevy end, and the waves become smaller towards Gwithian and Hayle. At low and mid-tide, opposite the Sheep Dip rock pool below the lifeguard hut, is where it’s at.

Standup paddleboarding (aka SUP) 

Gwithian beach is the ideal place to learn to paddleboard (when the sea’s not rough). If the waves are too big, you can move east towards Hayle or Carbis Bay where it’s calmer and explore from there. Hayle Estuary is another, more sheltered, option when the tide’s right.


Gwithian Beach is highly rated for ‘down the line’ windsurfing, regularly hosting the UKWA Championships and Red Bull’s Storm Chase event. We go at low tide when you can get some lovely, long rides. If the swell gets too big, try further down the beach at The Bluff or Marazion.

Kitesurfing, Kite Buggying and Kite Landboarding 

St Ives Bay is ranked in Red Bull’s top ten UK kitesurfing spots. Beginners choose the sheltered area near Sandy Acres. Experienced kitesurfers gravitate to Gwithian and Godrevy, near the lighthouse. If the wind direction is wrong – jump in the car and head south to Marazion (20-25 minute drive) – to another Red Bull-rated spot.

Red Bull’s top 10 kitesurfing spots

Before you dive in, a note about staying safe

Wherever possible, swim at a lifeguarded beach. Godrevy and Gwithian beaches have daily lifeguard patrols from mid-May until the end of September. And always pay attention to the safety signs and flags.

Nearest lifeguard beaches

For more on what to do on the beaches in St Ives Bay, take a look at our St Ives Bay Wildlife and Tours blog.

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