Hayle Beach

Hayle Beach is over 3 miles long with soft, golden sand and crystal clear sea!

Hayle Beach starts at the estuary at North Quay and follows the contour of the cliffs and Towans towards Hell’s Mouth.

It is over 3 miles long and can be walked in its entirety when the tide is low! The beach is split into sections along its coastline which helps when defining which area has a seasonal dog ban. There is an RNLI Lifeguard presence between May and September. It is a firm favourite for surfers, kite surfers, kite flyers, SUP boarders and bodyboarders. Hayle Beach is vast; there is so much room for everyone to enjoy their favourite pastime whether it is dog walking, flying a kite, sunbathing, playing beach rounders or galloping a horse!

Across the estuary, you can see an equally large beach and that is called Porthkidney Beach. Sadly, it’s impossible to cross the estuary even at low tide to get to Porthkidney (not unless you want to get very wet!) so drive to Lelant and head through West Cornwall Golf Course to join this glorious beach. Porthkidney Beach is dog-friendly ALL year round.

We have written a blog on Beach Safety which you may want to read to avoid weaver fish stings and dangerous rip tides!

A stupendous beach which is vast when the tide is out!

On a decent day, it’s a feast for the eyes with all the amazing colours and clean clear water with St.Ives, Carbis Bay and Godrevy on the horizon. The beach is dog-friendly but sadly with some restrictions in July and August where dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 am or after 6 pm. RNLI Lifeguards patrol the beach between Easter to September and there is a wonderful cafe called The Cove Cafe if you walk between The Bluff part of the beach and Mexico Towans Beach. For refreshments, you can also access The Bluff Inn and Lula Shack from the beach. There are no public loos on the beach. The best place to park is on North Quay and walk through the Towans or via Lula Shack (be careful with any steep sandy dunes!) or at Harvey’s Towans car park which is accessed off North Quay and via a bump, uneven track so not great for sports cars with hard suspension!

  • Sandy beach
  • RNLI lifeguards between Easter and end of September
  • Seasonal dog ban
  • Parking at Harvey’s Towans and North Quay
  • Beach Cafe – The Cove Cafe

Mexico Towans Beach is the long (very long!) stretch of sandy beach that sits between Hayle Towans Beach and Gwithian Beach. It’s dog-friendly all year round!

The best way to drive there is through Hayle and head in the direction of  Gwithian then follow signs to Sandy Acres and Mexico Towans. If you zoom in on the Google map, you will see how easy it is to get to. From Sandy Acres, walk down onto the beach, turn right, and walk towards Gwithian Beach (which is essentially a continuation of the beach you are on) where, during July and August in the daytime, you would need to get off the beach at low tide just below the RNLI Lifeguard hut. You can walk back through the Towans but, a word of warning, it’s easy to get lost in the Towans, there are seasonal snakes (adders) and there are copious rabbit holes! If you wanted to park in the large car park at Gwithian, you can get onto the beach during the seasonal restriction by timing it with the low tide and making sure you turn left past the rocks on the beach (be sure to be back before the tide comes in if you want to avoid the Towans!).

RNLI Lifeguards patrol Mexico Towans between mid-May and late September. There are no dog poo bins along the stretch of beach or freshwater stations so do make sure you take water with you and you’ll need to carry your poo bags until you reach either end of this dog-friendly beach. You will find refreshments and public loos at Cove Cafe at the very end of the beach without seasonal restrictions at the Hayle estuary end of the beach or come off at Gwithian and visit Sunset Surf for some light refreshments.

  • Sandy beach
  • Dog-friendly all year round
  • RNLI Lifeguards May to September
  • No public loos on beach
  • Nearest parking either at Sandy Acres or Gwithian


Gwithian Beach is close to Godrevy Point, St Gothian Sands reserve, National Trust Godrevy and lots of parking.

There is a great selection of cafes to choose from near Gwithian Beach; Sunset Surf, Jampot Cafe, Hungry Horsebox Co., The Rockpool and Godrevy Cafe so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to refreshments! This stretch of the beach is dog-friendly bar a seasonal restriction of dogs not allowed on the beach between 10 am and 6 pm during July and August. There is a lovely nature reserve behind the beach however where your dog can run safely and, by walking through the Towans, you can reach public loos and access Mexico Towans beach just below the RNLI Lifeguard hut (at low tide). There is a surf school nearby called Shore Surf School and also Gwithian Academy of Surfing so a great spot to take to the water and learn some new tricks!

RNLI Lifeguards patrol the beach between mid-May and late September.

  • Sandy beach
  • Public loos
  • Cafes nearby
  • Seasonal dog restrictions
  • Nearest parking Godrevy National Trust, Gwithian and Rockpool Cafe


Godrevy is at the far north-eastern end of 3 miles of golden sand stretching from Hayle.

It is owned by the National Trust, it takes the brunt of the Atlantic swell and is one of the more exposed beaches of the North coast. That doesn’t mean it’s not a sun trap between rocky areas on the beach so pack your buckets and spades on sunny summer days and enjoy a day of rock-pooling and people watching whilst being super close to refreshments and loos too!

The sandy cove at Godrevy connects to Gwithian beach at low tide to create an impressive stretch of sand. Remember to check the time of high water. as hundreds of metres of sand all but disappear at high tide so don’t get caught out. The beach ends at a low rocky headland and the famous Godrevy lighthouse on an island just off the coast. Godrevy Cafe, hidden amongst the dunes next to the car park sells yummy drinks and snacks for most dietary requirements.

Godrevy is owned and looked after by the National Trust and conserves areas like this, thanks to their members, volunteers and donors. Car park free to National Trust members.  RNLI Lifeguards patrol from mid-May to late September. Dogs are very welcome on this beach except during July and August (10 am – 6 pm) when a seasonal dog restriction is enforced.

  • Sandy beach
  • Plenty of rock pools
  • Great for snorkelling
  • RNLI Lifeguards May to September
  • Seasonal dog ban
  • Parking at National Trust car park nearby

4km of unadulterated bliss! This beach stretches as far as the eye can see (which is St Ives to the west and Godrevy to the east).

Even at high tide, there is still ample beach to have lots of fun on. This has to be the best dog-friendly beach all year round in west Cornwall.

There is limited free parking at St Uny Church in Lelant and access to the beach is following a footpath that cuts through the West Cornwall Golf course. You can also park on lanes nearby or pay via Just Park or with coins at Dynamite Quay (the tide needs to be out/ half out to access the beach from this car park).

RNLI lifeguards ensure your safety between July to September – click here to see more information.

There are no public loos at Porthkidney Beach or cafes for refreshments but you may find ice cream, pancake or coffee vendors near St Uny Church on various days throughout the year.

In summary, Porthkidney Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • No Public loos
  • No Cafes and restaurants
  • Lifeguarded between July to September
  • Dog-friendly all year round