What to do in Gwithian? A family friendly day out in Cornwall!

Gwithian Beach is one of the most renowned spots in Cornwall, with its miles of golden sand and panoramic views of the St Ives Bay.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, make sure to head over to our Hayle and Gwithian page to find out more, but hopefully this article will persuade you to head over to Gwithian and see it all for yourself!

In the morning...

Once you’re all rugged up in your autumn jacket, with your best walking shoes on, we’d recommend taking a bee line from your location to Gwithian Beach Car Park. On arrival, you’ll be blown away by the views from the carpark, let alone when you start exploring!

The first stop for us is always the very short walk to The Jam Pot Cafe. The Jam Pot has one of the most distinguishable appearances due to its small, round, shape with a pointed roof. It’s also pretty hard to miss, with ‘The Jam Pot’ written in large text on the exterior wall.

If the weather is looking a bit rotten, there is an option to sit indoors, although it is a little small, so get in early! If you’re visiting on a day without rain or too much wind, there is ample seating outside. The view from the outdoor seating is second to none covering the whole of the bay and Godrevy Lighthouse.

You’ll find a selection of hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes, and rolls to choose from. As a mid-morning treat, a hot chocolate and a slice of homemade cake goes a long way in setting us up for a walk along the beach!

The walk…

Depending on how far you wish to go and how much of an appetite you’d like to build up before your next food stop, there are a variety of routes to take. Depending on the tide, one of our favourite walks would have to be down on to the beach and along the three-mile stretch of sand, six if you walk all the way to one end and back (…perhaps don’t do this if you’re hungry). Being near the sea, hearing the waves crashing and sinking your boots into the undisturbed sand is one of the best parts of the day.

If you’re in favour of a little more adventurous walk, whilst exploring the towans further, we would recommend heading over to iWalk Cornwall to take a look at some of their great circular routes throughout Gwithian.


Lunch stop...

Sticking to Gwithian Beach for the day, it’s lucky that the only other beachside café and bar serves up some of the scrummiest food.

Once you’ve completed your walk, head on back towards the carpark and just in front of you, you’ll see Sunset Surf. Here you can sit and watch the waves, and even those brave surfers taking a dip in the October sea, all whilst enjoying some hot food.

If the weather is feeling particularly chilly, you can go and warm up by their wood burner, however, wrapping up warm and taking to the sun terrace is a personal favourite. Again, on the sun terrace you can scope the expansive views of Gwithian Towans and St Ives Bay. That is one of the most enjoyable parts of being in this part of Cornwall. There is no end to the gold and blue of the beaches and we find there is no better way to sit and enjoy some tasty food!

Our favourite bits about visiting Gwithian in Autumn


Of course, this is a very large beach and in summer it quite rightly attracts a great crowd number. However, come the autumn time, you’ll often find yourself sharing the beach with no more than a few walkers and surfers in the sea. Not to mention, the stress levels of trying to find a parking space reduce by almost 100%


There is a seasonal dog ban at Gwithian Beach, however, come the beginning of Autumn this is lifted. With the approximate 3 mile stretch of the beach, when the tide is out, it is one of the best dog walks, with plenty of room for running around!


If you’re a strong surfer, this is one of the best times of year for surf in Cornwall. The swell picks up and the water is a good temperature (apparently!). Although the lifeguard patrols become limited in Autumn (check out the RNLI website for more details), the Gwithian Academy of Surfing often have their own surfing instructors on patrol.

Sunsets and Sunrises

An autumn sunrise and sunset at Gwithian is something not to be missed. A day spent waiting for a Cornish sunset is not a day wasted and especially at this beach. We’re not sure whether it is due to the sea, the sand, or something a little more special, but the colours you see here are wonderfully unique.

Marine Wild Life

In the quieter months, the marine life becomes more vibrant than ever. If you’re lucky you could spot anything from seas birds to basking sharks. Even dolphins come out to play! On more than one occasion, dolphins have been spotted playing with the surfers on the waves!

Hayle and Gwithian are definitely one of our top recommendations for places to stay in Cornwall.


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