Cornwall

Godrevy, near St Ives

Set at the far end of St Ives Bay, Godrevy beach is just spectacular and a popular spot for surfers, families, nature-lovers, and those seeking simply to walk and enjoy the stunning scenery.

As well as the huge beach, a walk on the headland that lead on from its far end is a must. So, it was on a sunny, if blowy Saturday we parked up in the handy National Trust car park, an easy drive from Hayle, and swapped shoes for boots, and pulled hats on heads to protect ears from the prevailing winds.

We followed the wooden boardwalk which snaked amongst the dunes, leading us to the entry point to the beach, passing a friendly surfer as we walked, red-faced and perky from taking to the waves. But we weren’t heading for the beach; instead, we followed the coastal path left and walked along the cliff edge, admiring the sea views as we walked. Down below, families played together and dogs raced across the glistening sand.

Soon, the path began to climb, leading up to Godrevy Point and exceptionally good views across the Godrevy Lighthouse, stoically marking Stones Reef and built in the late 1850s. Said to have inspired Virginia Woolf to write ‘To the Lighthouse’ after holidaying for many years in St Ives, the lighthouse was once manned but today is automated.

The point is an excellent spot for seal watching too; we spotted four in the water, buoyed by the choppy waves, and we watched for a while until the wind moved us onwards. From here it’s a relatively easy walk around to Mutton Cove, a well-known haven for seals, and we weren’t disappointed – a group lounged peacefully on the beach below, all different colours and sizes, reminding me very much of pebbles.

The National Trust are very much present here, advising visitors to keep calm and quiet so not to disturb the seals, and wooden rails keeps people set back from the cliff edge.

After gazing at the sleeping creatures for a while, we drifted on around the cliffs towards The Knavocks, a precious area of heathland rare to Cornwall. As we strolled my beady-eyed companion spotted an adder, dozing in the early spring sunshine – gorgeously marked, it was such a privilege to see a snake at this time of year, and we made sure to give it a wide berth so not to disturb it!

 

From here its possible to carry on around towards Portreath, but as the wind was getting even more blustery and the temperature was dropping, we turned back, passing the seals on route (the snake had wisely disappeared) back towards the beach and the car park. If you’re a mite cold or in need of refreshments as we were, there’s an excellent coffee shop with views over the sea, and the lunches are fantastic too.

This is a wonderful walk, and as its maintained by the National Trust the paths are well-cared for and suitable for sturdy buggies if you have little ones with you. It can be steep in places, but in comparison to other parts of the coastline it’s a nice, easy walk with fantastic views and the chance to spot seals.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in West Cornwall here.

Gwithian, near Hayle TR27 5ED | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/godrevy

 

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