Discover one of Cornwall’s most beautiful dog friendly beaches, Mexico Towans.
If you have ever visited the St Ives and Hayle area, you will be aware of the huge stretch of soft, blonde sand that faces north west towards St Ives. This beautiful four mile stretch of sands is backed by dunes known as the Towans, derived from the Cornish word for sand dunes and part of this stretch is a dog friendly beach. The southern edge of the beach stretching from Hayle estuary along to the area known as Phillack Towans or Riviere Towans are not dog friendly beaches. Neither is the northernmost area of the beach, from Gwithian to Godrevy known as Gwithian Towans.
Mexico Towans, right in the centre of this four mile stretch, however, is a dog friendly beach. The problem is, that there are no clear points of access to this area, and no clear signs to show where dogs are and are not allowed.
We hope to give you some guidance here. But please don’t hold us to it — Cornwall Council really needs to put clear access and clear signs to show dog owners where this dog friendly beach begins and ends, especially as it is in a part of Cornwall where many popular beaches have strict dog bans in the summer.
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You can either head to the Cove Cafe, (follow sign from Hayle town centre to Riviere Holiday Park) or follow the B3301 towards Gwithian and Godrevy. There is parking at the Cove Cafe, which is dog friendly, and you can walk along the dunes towards the centre of the beach either through the Towans above the beach, or along the beach at low tide. Walking for one and a hlaf miles takes you to the central area of the beach, which is dog friendly — although there are no defining signs to tell you the boundaries. The best guidance is the other people will be walking their dogs on the beach, as it is a popular area.
Do bear in mind, however, that if you stray onto either the Riviere / Phillack area, or the Gwithian area, you can face a fine of up to £1000 during the Easter to October dog ban time in the hours that it is in force. The rules are well signposted where the dog ban is in place.
Do always check tide times before you go on this beach, it is long and there are rocky outcrops on the beach which mean you can get cut off from an easy access point from the dunes by an incoming tide. Although there are lots of sandy paths up into the dunes, although some are rather steep in places.
From Godrevy / Gwithian
Another way, is to park at The Rockpool Seafood Grill & Bar or National Trust car park near Godrevy, or try the car park near Gwithian, or on the road beyond Gwithian and walk to the beach from through the pathways in the Towans, From this end of the beach, if you walk towards the cenre of the beach, after about one mile, you will come to a group of rocks which cuts across the beach. Between the rocks at low tide is a gap, that you can walk through, and it is in this area, where you often find people walking their dogs. It seems that dog owners have decided this area constitutes Mexico Towans, and the clear dividing point of the rocks helps you to identify the boundary of where you can let your dog run.
Facilities: The cafes and there are also toilets near the lifeguard hut at the northern / Gwithian edge of Mexico Towans on the dunes.