Walk - Godrevy Head

0.6 miles (0.9 km)

Godrevy Head Car Park - TR27 5ED Godrevy Head Car Park

Easy - A short walk, with one stile and one gentle climb. Due to the stile, only part of this walk is likely to be suitable for people with impaired mobility or with a pushchair.

This short walk has great views across St Ives Bay, and out to the lighthouse on Godrevy Island just off shore. Children will love the long beach, as well as the island and the lighthouse and the tales of shipwrecks. A good walk in spring, when the coastal grasslands are full of wildflowers and fulmars nest noisily in the cliffs, and in autumn, especially during strong winds, when huge flocks of migrating seabirds pass through, including kittiwakes and sometimes storm petrels.

To check that this walk is suitable for you click here where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces, and other detailed information.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Nanterrow Farm

Found in the heart of a 100 acre farm, this charming late Georgian farmhouse sits within a traditional country garden in a quiet, traffic free valley.

Sandbanks Holidays

Nestled in the sand dunes of St Ives Bay, surrounded by National Trust conservation areas, with direct access to the coastal road and the A30, sandbank is an ideal location, whatever your personal holiday passion. 

Sandbank House B&B

Nestled in the sand dunes, surrounded by conservation areas, with direct access to the coast road and A30, we are in an ideal location whatever your personal holiday passion.

Creekside B&B

Creekside B&B in Hayle welcomes you warmly with ensuite rooms, free wifi & a tasty breakfast. Transport links, cafes, restaurants & shops are nearby.

Penhayl Cottage

Very quiet 5 star house, full central heating. 2 Beds/2 Bathrooms, lounge overlooking Hayle Estuary RSPB reserve & SSSI. 10 minute walk to bus & Inn.

Beachpads

Three stunning holiday homes (2 x 4-Bed & 1 x 2 Bed) located on the Coast Path, at Lelant in St Ives Bay with absolute sea and beach front position, unrivalled vista.

Carlill Guesthouse

Stylish modern ensuite rooms. Few minutes to coast/amenities. Long parking available

The Painters Cottage

Small friendly guest house set in historic former artist's residence with arts and crafts period features. Ideal for exploring West Cornwall and the South West Coast Path. One night stays, 4 full ensuite rooms. Evening meal available

The Western Hotel

In the heart of St Ives with good breakfasts, comfy rooms and live music at night. Just steps away from the harbour, local art galleries and Coast Path. Baggage transfers.

Cohort Hostel

Newly renovated hostel: Centre of St Ives & minutes from the coastal path. Dorms & private rooms, free WiFi, kitchen, TV room, lounge & bar.

Ayr Holiday Park

We offer luxury holiday caravans, s/c apartments, touring & camping pitches with amazing views and facilities. Less than half a mile from beaches, town centre & harbour. Town centre 10 minute walk from the park or a short bus/taxi ride.

Tamarisk Guest House

Tamarisk is only 10 minutes' walk from Porthmeor Beach and Town Centre. Away from traffic and situated on a delightful lane leading onto the cliffs carrying the south West Coast path.

Cliff House B&B

Situated directly on the Coast Path, Cliff House in Portreath offers cosy accommodation. Rooms are bright & airy and provide everything you'll need for a comfortable stay.

Portreath Arms

The Portreath Arms is a family owned and run Bar, Restaurant and Hotel located in the centre of the village. The menu features good home cooked food with ever changing specials and daily locally caught fish dishes.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the car park follow the Coast Path out towards the headland keeping the sea on your left.

    A little way offshore is Godrevy Island with its lighthouse – thought to be the inspiration for 'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf who spent many summer holidays in St Ives.

    As you walk along, keep an eye out in the water for grey seals playing and hunting for fish in the surf, and for the pod of bottlenose dolphins that are often seen further off-shore in St Ives Bay. Guillemots, razorbills, fulmar and cormorant are among the many seabirds that nest on the cliffs around the headland.

    Beyond Godrevy Island a dangerous reef known as the Stones extends out into St Ives Bay, and many vessels have been wrecked here over the years. It was the scene of a famous shipwreck in 1649. In the aftermath of the execution of King Charles I, followers attempted to send his lace trimmed garments and other possessions abroad for safe keeping as relics of the 'Martyr King'. The ship was wrecked and only a few of the clothes were washed ashore.

    Following the loss of the screw steamer ‘Nile’ with all hands in 1859, public pressure led to Trinity House constructing the lighthouse designed by James Walker. It was maintained by a two-man crew. The 26 metre high white octagonal tower is made from rubble stone bedded in mortar. The tower is  28 metres above the sea at high water. 1 white and 1 red light flashes  every 10 seconds and can be seen for 8 nautical miles. The cost of the station,  with its adjoining keepers' cottages, was £7,082 15s 7d.

    The original optic revolved on rollers, driven by a clockwork motor, which was in turn driven by a large weight running down a cavity in the wall of the tower.  Until it was automated in 1939, there was a 3cwt bell used as a Fog signal. This was struck once every 5 seconds. 

    Further modernisation was undertaken in 1995, when it was converted to operate with solar power. It is now monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich in Essex. In 2005 a review proposed closure, but following campaigning, this decision was overturned, and the light continues to provide a warning to mariners. In 2012 the light was moved from the lighthouse tower to a new steel structure on the adjacent rock. 

    1. As you come around to the north side of the headland, the path starts to descend slightly and as you pass Mutton Cove (there is no access down the cliff to the cove), a path leads off on the right, returning you to the car park. Alternatively the walk can be easily extended with a gentle stroll onwards along the Coast Path to the next headland, Navax Point and the Knavocks.

    Here a small herd of Shetland ponies help maintain the mix of grassland merging into heathland and gorse scrub which provide an ideal habitat for nesting birds such as stonechats, and butterflies such as the grayling.

    Public transport

    Buses run between Godrevy, Hayle & Penzance several times a day. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

    Parking

    Godrevy Head Car Park (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR27 5ED) open from Easter to the end of October. The car park at Gwithian Towans is open all year round.

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