Travel Notes | Gwynver

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Are we letting you into a little Cornish secret? Maybe.

Will local surfers appreciate us telling you such privileged information? Nope.

Do we care? No, nobody is reading this.

Cornwall is the English mecca for surfing, think of surfing in Cornwall and your ill-educated mind probably dreams of either the shit hole known as Newquay, arrogant hot-headed surfers in St Ives, or the bluesy, too cool for school surfers in Porthleven. Think outside the box and dig further west along the coastline and you will discover one of Cornwall’s best surf spots not well known, Gwynver.

History has it the name Gwynver comes from the name of King Arthur’s wife, Guinevere. The beach is located at the base of steep granite cliffs and accessed by a steep path from above. Both the steep path and tricky location provide shelter from tourists, meaning the beach is never overcrowded. Waves are ever-present at Gwynver, both in the summer and winter months. It is rare to find flat surfing conditions at Gwynver, this attracts local experienced surfers riding the larger waves this break provides. If you are expecting hostility from local surfers, don’t worry, there are generally plenty of peaks to choose from without getting in anyone’s way.

Take note for all you surfers out there, although the waters seem vivid blue, crystal clear, and scream lay one on me, there are tremendous rip currents that reside within Gwynver. Although the beach has lifeguards during the summer months, there are none in winter so head out with caution. There are a few horror stories surrounding the beach, but in the summer months, it's generally pretty safe. We are talking about those blustery, howling, chunky waves of winter with little to no daylight. As a general rule with this spot when in doubt, chicken out, if no-ones out there surfing, its for a reason.

Location-wise, this is not the easiest to find. It use to be that someone invited you to the spot and thus showing you the way. These days it is possible to find the spot on your own. Head towards Sennen, just before you reach Sennen you should pass a caravan park on your right, straight after the caravan park there should be a tiny sign with ‘beach’ pointing towards a dusty lane, that’s your entrance. Continue down the path and keep right, the road gets a little tight at this point, you should drive past some houses, keep driving down to the end of the lane and you’ll see the car park. This is where it gets shady, parking used to be limited to a grass hump capable of holding 5-6 vehicles, first come, first served. Currently, one of the local homeowners has opened his grounds as a car park, for a price. This includes the grass hump, unfortunately, so, if you want to visit, expect to pay.

If you are a wave hunter or an explorer, check out Gwynver. With its cruisy blue waters, golden sand, and picturesque views, it is unique to Cornwall. Many summers have been spent at this location catching some of the best waves we have ever ridden. Although the secret is slowly creeping out, the locals do not mind (as long as you are respectful). Forget Newquay, turn your back on St Ives, and only drink in Porthleven, get yourself some decent surf at Gwynver.