Gwithian is a village in the parish of Gwinear-Gwithian, located in the district of Penwith, in Cornwall, UK. It is located to the east side of St Ives Bay.

A short distance to the east of the village is Gwithian Towans, which is an area of coastal duneland that forms part of The Towans. Gwithian Towans cover the site of a Bronze Age farm. Beyond the towans is a beach, which is a well known haunt of weever fish, who live near the waterline.

The church and relics of St Gwithian, built in 490, were uncovered from the beach and dunes during the early part of the last century, but were then allowed to be reclaimed by the shifting sands. He is the patron saint of good fortune on the sea. The current church dates to the 15th century.

Chesten Marchant, who died in 1676 at Gwithian is believed to have been the last monoglot Cornish speaker (as opposed to Dolly Pentreath who could speak English as well)

Beach and tourism

Gwithian Beach stretches three miles from the Hayle River mouth to the Red River at Godrevy. The beach is popular with tourists throughout the year especially surfers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, surf kayakers and more recently stand-up paddlers. The beach is generally covered by RNLI lifeguards from Easter to September, offering all beach users first aid and safety. Due to the gentle slope of the beach the surf is ideal for longboard surfing and beginners, although in certain conditions should only be tackled by more experienced surfers. Surfing equipment, lessons and hire can be purchased from the beach surf shop which provides a live webcam of the whole beach.

Apart from the infamous weaver fish (which hide just beneath the sand and spike your foot), the main inhabitants of this part of the coast are surfers, dolphins and seals. Gwithian beach is the north-easterly portion of Hayle beach, which is three miles of golden Cornish sand. There is a rip tide as Hayle estuary fills and empties with changing tide, often you find that when surfing at Gwithian you get out of the water by the bluff.

The car park at Gwithian provides a good lookout point, and the Sunset Surf Cafe situated adjacent to the carpark is a great place to relax any time of year. More information on Sunset Surf Cafe & Shop is available on their site including a full menu and surf hire and surf school prices. There is also another smaller cafe further along the beach called the Jampot.

The Red river runs into the sea at Gwithian, named as such because it used to carry effluent from the tin mines, and until about 1990 actually was quite red in colour. The village pub is now named after the river (previously the Pendarves Arms).

See also

External links

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