Five of Cornwall's beaches named in UK's top 25
Five of Cornwall’s beautiful beaches have been ranked among the top 25 in the UK by TripAdvisor, and four are in St Ives bay!
We know everybody loves St Ives and the four beaches that are easily accessible from the town itself, from the sheltered Porthgwidden to the surfers favourite Porthmeor, but it's Porthminster Beach that came out tops with Tripadvisor reviewers in 2021.
This crescent of golden sand, framed by a glittering bay and with glorious views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, is located just a short walk from the centre of St Ives. The award-winning beach is a family favourite for safe swimming, while onshore you can simply relax in a deck chair or hangout at Porthminster Beach Café which serves up the most amazing local food. If you wish to stay close by, the Pedn-Olva Hotel is built on the rocks at the western end of the beach. it's also right next to the railway station if you want to leave the car at home.
Also in the top 25 is Hayle Towans, the stretch of beach that runs from the mouth of the Hayle River northwards towards Gwithian and Godrevy. All three beeches feature in the top 25. A towan is the Cornish name for a sand dune, and behind the three miles of beach that runs from Hayle to Godrevy, the dunes loom large. Hidden amongst them are holiday parks such as Beachside Holiday Park and Toms Holidays plus the remains of a former explosives factory, don't worry it's all safe now!
Those who want a little bit of excitment should pop along to Global Boarders at Gwithian and take some surfing lessons and afterwards head over to The Rockpool for a warming cuppa or something stronger. They also do some locally Cornish favourites if you're feeling peckish. Beyond Gwithian the National Trust headland at Godrevy offers the last of the sandy beaches, interspersed with rocky outcrops and rockpools. It's a great place for spotting grey seals who haul out in a secluded cove to the east of here.
You can't miss the lighthouse on the offshore island, unmanned since 1939, the light within the tower hasn't been used since 2012 and has been replaced by a LED light mounted on a steel platform nearby on the rocks. It was the inspiration for the 1927 novel 'To the Lighthouse' by the modernist author Virginia Woolf, although the book is actually set in the Orkneys. Woolf used to holiday in St Ives, and we would of course recommend you do the same...