Although it’s the second smallest of the St Ives beaches and a safe swimming beach, Porthgwidden can be a feisty proposition on a rising tide, the unexpected “seventh wave” often creeping further up the beach than the unwary visitor expects. It’s enclosed by rocky headlands on both sides, so waves seem to explode onto the granite, particularly on the town side. There are beach huts for the warmer months and an excellent cafe, giving Porthgwidden a welcoming, cosmopolitan feel. The view directly out to Godrevy lighthouse and the frequent visits by wildlife – seals and cormorants particularly – only add to the attraction.
Kath and Murray summarise the appeal of the beach to them.
By the rocks and the sea, as the tide rushes in.
On the back of recent storms, the headland by Porthgwidden beach at St Ives was as sensitive as ever to the changeable, fast-moving weather. The light for this re-visit was passing through cascading storm clouds out at sea over the lighthouse in the distance, onto a fresh, clean beach. The waves appeared to be translucent, topping in crisp white. The early morning is a fine time to catch Porthgwidden beach, before its popularity draws people down here, at any time of the year.
The pleasure of working by this beach.
A beautiful morning at Porthgwidden beach in St Ives.
Although it was quite early, Porthgwidden beach and the sea beyond was a hive of activity. There were seals in the water, fishermen about their business and regular swimmers, taking the waters. As the tide fell away, bright sunshine lit the beach in a broad, straight line, from over Hayle Towans in the east, all the way up to the beach cafe and over the hill to Porthmeor beach. It was a magical start to the day.
Fiona and Nigel’s eulogy to the beach here in St Ives and all it offers.
On the waterline, at Porthgwidden beach in the morning.
I returned to Porthgwidden beach in St Ives, after a stormy night in Cornwall. The sea was now flat calm and only showers remained from the night’s wildness. The ebb tide at Porthgwidden left a pristine beach, as St Ives woke up, locals and visitors alike enjoying the freedom of being next to the waves, as well as the special light here.
A visitor’s view of St Ives.
The beach and sea in the morning.
A bright sun shone over the sea at Porthgwidden beach in St Ives, for this summer re-visit. Two young seagulls tugged at weed on the beach and the “Kingdom of Fife”, working on the wave hub off the coast, was moored in the bay. The changeable weather had cast a rainbow over the town, as you can see on the manonabeach Facebook page.
Geoff’s view of the beach, from a National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) perspective.
Early morning in St Ives, at Porthgwidden beach.
manonabeach’s 100th beach visit was on the shortest day of the year, December 21st. The trip to Porthgwidden beach in St Ives allowed for a chat with Claire, who runs the Porthgwidden Beach Cafe and Bar on the beach. The light on the beach and the breakers are stunning, all facilities are close at hand and St Ives is a wonderful place to visit for a day or night out. Highly recommended.
My chat with Claire, who runs the Porthgwidden Beach Cafe and Bar in St Ives, Cornwall.
A view of Porthgwidden beach, from the terrace of the beach cafe.
100 beaches and counting…