Cornish beaches: Godrevy

Godrevy lighthouse was my muse for all of 2017. But even though the lighthouse and the landscape has featured heavily on this blog, I have not actually written about the beach itself.

The beach stretches from the north side of where the Red River runs into the sea at Gwithian. It is broken into several coves formed by outstretched rocks and only accessible a lot of the time at low tide. The cliffs are very unstable here and several routes onto the beach have been destroyed, but at the very far end close to the field car-parks (open summer only) are steps onto a sheltered cove and rock pools.  And although this photo below makes it look as if you can walk to the lighthouse, it is deceptive. Behind those rocks is the sea.

And at high tide in summer it can be very, very crowded. So much so that my attempt only 6 weeks ago led me to abandoning the idea.

At low tide though it is a very different scene and you can walk the entire length to Gwithian and even further to Hayle Towans, 3 miles in the distance. In September it is fairly quiet even on a relatively warm day.  The hundred or so metres of sand all but disappear at high tide so don’t get caught out.

There are rock pools, but not much in them other than seaweed and the occasional small fish, but the colours and shapes are absorbing.

And the views are sublime with the water dancing in the sunlight. The hill you can see on the right of this photo is Trencrom and from where I am often taking  photos of the beaches along here.

A sea monster on the beach reminds me of the seals that often come here and also around the headland at Mutton Cove.

So I leave the beach behind and make my way up to the viewing point where I am not disappointed. Several Grey Seals are basking on the beach and there are more in the water or on the rocks. They are not easy to see with the naked eye and if you want to get a good view I suggest you bring binoculars and/or a good zoom lens.

And the final icing on the cake moment was my decision to walk around Godrevy Point back to the car instead of heading straight back down the hill. For there, strutting about on the grass, was a pair of Cornish Choughs – the ones with the red bills and red legs. Quite rare, even here in Cornwall, so I was mildly ecstatic not only to see a pair, but also to get photos of them feeding.

Godrevy beach is one of the more exposed beaches of the North coast. A good place to storm watch in winter. Godrevy is National Trust Property as is the ample car parking.  There is a seasonal dog ban. Easter day to 1st October.


49 Comments Add yours

  1. BeckyB says:

    Timing is everything!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Certainly is! I was doubly lucky last week. I think I counted 12 seals, though they are hard to see. Only 7 on this image.

      1. BeckyB says:

        Oh wow! I so have to move nearer the sea.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Apparently you can see hundreds in the winter months, I shall try and see if that is true.

  2. Sadje says:

    Thanks for sharing. Love the “trip”’with your camera and descriptions.

  3. Lucky you to spot Cornish Choughs, so very special. We love Godrevy too and were there yesterday, cold and beautiful. 🙂

  4. beetleypete says:

    Lovely stuff, Jude. More joys of Cornwall, (except the too-crowded beach) and great reasons to choose to live there.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      That crowded beach was when I photographed the lighthouse in the fog. I got there so early that I was almost first into the car park, but I went walking before heading to the little beach as I knew the tide was high. When I got back the car park was practically full! This was around midday I think.

  5. Sue says:

    Thanks for showing the place, Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      Only taken me two years to actually get to the furthest part of this beach!

      1. Sue says:

        There’s always something else to do…!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Like today, stay indoors! Blowing a gale here and we are supposed to have our glass roof fitted today. I suspect that is not going to happen!

        2. Sue says:

          Goodness…sounds best if it doesn’t happen!

        3. Heyjude says:

          It happened. Made of tough stuff these Cornish lads!

        4. Sue says:

          Wow! Looks good?

        5. Heyjude says:

          It makes the room look much bigger, I suppose because the volume has increased. Will look better once plastered and painted.

        6. Sue says:

          It’ll be great!

  6. Your coastal scenes are always inspiring Jude; the kelp and wild seals add to the sights. Would love to walk parts of the Coast Path; I’ve been following Quintin Lake’s amazing Perimeter journey. Interesting to see his account of your section of your coast line. The coves and indents really make for an interesting land v. sea conquest.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The coastal path seems like a good idea until you discover just how many ups and downs there are and how steep some of those climbs can be, not to mention the rocks, the scree and the bogs. I choose the bits I walk along very carefully 🙂

      1. Thanks for that sage observation….. i’ll bear that in mind 🙂

  7. bushboy says:

    Thanks for taking me to a Cornish beach Jude 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      You are very welcome Brian, hope you enjoyed it. Lots of nice beaches down your way too 🙂

      1. bushboy says:

        Yes it’s coming on Summer. Went to the beach on Sunday but it was a bit cool and windy 😀

        1. Heyjude says:

          It is always windy here!

        2. bushboy says:

          Must be the cabbage 😂😂

  8. Ilove this lighthouse of yours and the lead pic is gorgeous Jude. I can understand why you go back time and again. The Cornish Choughs remind me a lot of the protected African Black Oystercatchers we get here, often seen in breeding pairs. They are just a bit smaller than your Cornish Choughs, but the colouring seems identical.

    1. Heyjude says:

      To be honest when I first caught sight of one of the birds I thought it was an oyster catcher as we do see them here, but the bill is the wrong shape.

      1. Ah okay. Well they are very similar then.

  9. Gorgeous! That picture with all the people is my least favourite, that would put me off too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is like that everywhere in August which is why I hardly go anywhere. Much quieter where I live.

  10. restlessjo says:

    Not got great Internet Jude. Catch up when I can 😕

  11. Glorious! Especially later in the season when all the visitors have moved on.

    1. Heyjude says:

      September is the season for older visitors or parents with young children and of course coach tours. Never stops!

  12. restlessjo says:

    Came back for a proper look. Internet in the house only works for one of us at a time so I let him hog it 😄😄

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, no! You are going to have to get that sorted out. A booster or something maybe.

  13. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Not for me at tourist time, but lovely in winter. A post that Meg would be proud of Jude x 🙂 x

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have one specially for her next week 🙂

  14. Joanne Sisco says:

    I can understand why people who live in popular tourist areas develop a distaste for crowds.

    I can see how the sea and the vistas can be intoxicating and eventually addictive.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is very soothing watching the waves roll in and out. Cornwall seems to be experiencing a huge influx of tourists lately. Might be due to the popularity of the Poldark TV series. Perhaps once that has finished it will settle down again.

  15. You’re fortunate to live in that part of the country so you can visit after the tourist season has ended.

  16. Some wonderful photos – how lucky you were to get such great shots of the Cornish Choughs!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I was gobsmacked Rosemary, at first glance I thought Oystercatchers and was thrilled at that, but then when I realised they were Choughs!

      1. And you were able to get such wonderful photos too!!

        1. Heyjude says:

          They were most obliging, simply kept on feeding on the grass.

        2. Very good timing all round then!

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