Lonely Planet review for Beaches
The largest town beaches are Porthmeor and Porthminster, but the tiny cove of Porthgwidden is also popular. Nearby, on a tiny peninsula of land known locally as the Island, sits the pre-14th–century Chapel of St Nicholas. Carbis Bay, to the southeast, is popular with families and sun seekers.
On the opposite side of the bay from St Ives, the receding tide reveals over 3 miles of golden beach at Gwithian and Godrevy Towans, both popular spots for kiteboarders and surfers. The lighthouse just offshore at Godrevy was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's classic stream-of-consciousness novel To the Lighthouse.
Gwithian boasts some of the best beach breaks in Cornwall. The Gwithian Surf Academyis one of only four BSA Schools of Excellence, so lessons get booked up fast.