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13 March 2022

Gwithian Towans Beach

by Jasmine Greenwood

Gwithian Towans beach is a beautiful, quiet Cornish beach that forms part of three miles of beach called The Towans (Cornish for ‘dune’). That’s our doorstep. From Godrevy beach at the eastern tip of St Ives Bay past Gwithian beach to Hayle Sands, it’s a wild world of rockpools, dramatic cliffs, and rolling dunes. Glowworms in the grasses, larks in the sky, surfers in the surf, dolphins in the waves, seals in the rocky shallows, and dog walkers on the sands. We call it Three Mile Beach.

Godrevy Lighthouse

Overlooking it all is Godrevy lighthouse. Built-in 1858, it was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s seminal novel ‘To the Lighthouse’, and it continues to be a handsome, life-saving landmark protecting passing vessels from the perilous rocks of Stones Reef.

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Godrevy Beach

Godrevy Beach is found at the very north end of St Ives Bay. It’s a beach with a lot to give. Seals congregate around the rocks, especially in autumn and winter. All year, experienced surfers catch the area’s biggest waves. It’s perfect for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and surfing seriously or for the first time. There are even lifeguards on watch from early May through to late September.

Dear dogs: This could change at any time so check the sign, but you can only run riot on this beach before 10 am and after 6 pm in July and August. The rest of the year, it’s yours all yours.

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Gwithian Beach

Next up is Gwithian Beach. It’s just a 5-minute walk from Three Mile beach to the steps that lead down to it. Turn right at the bottom of the steps for Godrevy Beach. Turn left for Gwithian Beach’s rockpools, dramatic cliffs, and miles of sand stretching out towards Hayle. This is a great one for families who like to explore marine life in the rockpools and run free in the untamed wilderness.

Dear dogs: This one’s all yours, all year except from 10 am – 6 pm in July and August.

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Upton Towans Beach and Mexico Towans Beach

Upton Towans and Mexico Towans are the next ones along. Their massive expanse makes them dog running, swimming, fetching heaven. And set back from the sand are grassy dunes brimming with wildlife, so it’s an explorer’s dream too.

Dear dogs: This one’s all yours, all year.

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Riviera Towans and Hayle Beach

On the western end of The Towans, Hayle Towans Beach is more sheltered from the swell, making it a surfer’s favourite. It’s fringed by Riveria Towans and leads onto Hayle Sands, Hayle estuary, and, if you keep on walking, Hayle itself – the nearest town to Three Mile Beach.

Dear dogs: This could change at any time so check the sign but – sorry – you can’t live your best life here between 10 am and 6 pm in July and August. Not even if you beg.

The Hayle estuary area is out of bounds from Easter Sunday until 30th September from 10 am – 6 pm.

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Within reach of Three Mile Beach

The beaches don’t stop there. St Ives Bay continues west to Porthkidney Beach, incredible Carbis Bay, and ends at the beloved beaches of St Ives. Walking the South West Coast Path along this stretch and dropping down into the beaches and, eventually, St Ives, is life-affirming stuff.

More about Three Mile Beach

Three Mile Beach is a collection of 15 luxury 2, 3, and 4 bedroom beach houses in the wilds of Gwithian Towans, St Ives Bay, Cornwall.

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