A tiny and very attractive Cornish village with ancient origins, Gwithian is delightfully set in the Gwithian Towans (from the Cornish: Tewyn, meaning "sand dune"), an area of sand dunes grazed by free wandering ponies and bounded by the Red River, so named for the residues which used to flow through it from the mines upstream.
The village itself backs onto the dunes, and the local church beyond was originally built by St. Gothian, the patron saint of good fortune on the sea and one of the many Irish Saints who landed here, dating back to 490 AD. This building was claimed back by the ever-shifting sands, but parts of it have been incorporated into the lych gate of the present 15th century church.
As an overnight stop there are several options for relaxation and refreshments, The Red River Inn is an imposing Victorian building, providing good food both inside and outside in the beer garden in the summer.
Just beyond the village, the Sunset Surf Cafe is a laid back place to relax in at any time. This is also good place hire your equipment to experience some local Cornish surfing culture on the golden sands. This is also a good location to head up to from the village after dinner to enjoy a panorama overlooking the whole of St Ives Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration behind Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel “To The Lighthouse” as well as offering a view of this breeding ground for seals, guillemots, razorbills and cormorants.