Godrevy Beach, Cornwall


Sea thrift
Mussels on rocks

Broad sandy beach bordered by terraces and cliffs of dark-coloured slate, beneath sandy bluffs bearing varied wildflowers; many rock pools and other eroded formations
Carnewas at Bedruthan, off the B3276 near Trenance; PL27 7UW
Godrevy is the name of a headland, beach and area of rocks at the north end of St Ives Bay in west Cornwall, reached by a short, dead-end road off the B3301 near the village of Gwithian. The coast hereabouts is owned by the National Trust, who operate two car parks, at the north and south ends of the beach, which extends for nearly half a mile, albeit interrupted in the middle by the Godrevy Rocks.

The sands are up to 1000 feet wide at low tide, bordered to the south by the Magow Rocks, beyond which is the even larger beach of St Gwithian Sands, and to the north by more rocks, leading to the headland of Godrevy Point.

Godrevy Beach has a relatively exposed, west-facing location, subject to fierce waves during stormy weather, and is one of the more spectacular places along the north Cornwall coast, owing to the mix of pure sand and dramatic rocks, eroded into many fissures, pinnacles and tide pools. The bedrock is the Mylor Slate Formation, a mix of slate and siltstone, predominantly black or dark grey in colour.

The Beach

The beach, and the rocks, are lined by low cliffs or sandbanks, around 20 feet high. The south end of the sands is accessed, away from high tide times, by a short path through the Magow Rocks, starting from the southern car park; to the north is one patch of sand, up to the Godrevy Rocks, which are fairly flat on top, split by narrow channels, then beyond is the second half of the beach, opposite the upper car park. The rocks further north are bigger, with deeper channels, and extend seawards to a group of semi-submerged stacks known as The Cleaders. Godrevy Point, the northern tip of these rocks, overlooks Godrevy Island, a quarter of a mile out to sea, centred on a lighthouse built in 1859 and still in operation.

Greenish pool
Rock pools in the Mylor Slate