Gwithian, Cornwall

A north coast jaunt – from Porthtowan to Godrevy

A sunny September morning at last – one of my favourite things (in the words of Julie Andrews). Camera at the ready it’s now a battle of the falling leaves to capture some summertime shots before the autumnal look takes over Cornwall.

First stop today is Porthtowan. I must admit for a long time I got mixed up between Porthtowan and Portreath. In fact there are far too many Port- somethings in Cornwall for my liking full stop. Both of these coastal villages sit on the north coast not far from our offices so I should have got the hang of it by now.

Porthtowan is the further north/east of the two and I know it as the one with the Blue Bar; a busy beachside café/bar which claims to be Cornwall’s original beach bar and kitchen. If anyone wants to challenge them on that be my guest. I however just opt for a cup of coffee and the lovely view. There is still quite a buzz about the place and I feel rather out of place in my work shoes as I stride across the beach to get my photos. There are lots of wetsuit clad surfers heading out, board under arm looking much more ‘local’ than me – although in reality they probably live in Kidderminster and this is their one week of being a surf dude. There is also a beachside café which looks pretty good, an ice cream parlour and a beach shop. Just up the road there is also a convenience store with an off licence and an unusual looking pub with a boutique cinema – I think boutique just means small in this instance! In the car park behind, the Porthtowan surf school shack is opening up for business at 12 O’clock- how very civilised.

So on to my next stop at Portreath. It definitely has the whiter sand of the two and today is much quieter than Porthtowan. This is the one without the Blue Bar – there are a couple of cafes, a pub and a beach shop but not a great deal else. I think there is a real opportunity here…

Rather than cut back across the A30 decide to take the coast road for a change on my way home westwards. The sun is out and the road really does hug the coastline offering some incredible views. As I drop down towards Gwithian I can’t miss the opportunity to turn off towards the Godrevy lighthouse to get some more photos. This stretch of heritage coastline is owned by the National Trust and is simply stunning. The car park is packed with walkers, surfers and people just simply admiring the view – it is a great seal venue for seal spotting. The National Trust café here does great sandwiches and cakes and just behind it the newly revamped Rockpool Seafood Bar and Grill looks very tempting. There is even an ice cream van parked up on the headland. The tide is out revealing the vast stretch of sand which runs all the way down to Hayle and around towards Carbis Bay and St Ives and I think how lucky we are to have this on the doorstep.

I do feel as if I have cheated by driving rather than walking this stretch of coast but I promise I’ll do that another day!


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