Upton Towans

A sand dune reserve rising steeply from the beach


2 miles north-east of Hayle
A static map of Upton Towans

Know before you go

97 hectares

Parking information

Official car parking at SW580 406. Parking is free at the two small Gwithian Towans car parks just off the B3301, on the way to Cornwall Councils Gwithian Towans long stay car park.

Grazing animals

Yes. Pony grazing during the winter

Walking trails

Some paths crossing the reserve may be suitable for wheelchair access. Off these paths, the surface can be potholed and uneven and some grassed slope will be slippery even in the dry. The area is dotted with mine shafts.


Disabled access is available from a small carpark at SW 5801 3978. A 1000m Tarmac path passes through the dunes to a viewing point.


Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year around interest. Best for butterflies in June

About the reserve

Sand dunes rise steeply from the beach at this reserve. The inland dunes have wider vegetation cover. The pyramidal orchid grows here, and glow worms and the silver-studded blue butterfly occurs here. The ruins of the National Explosives Works are highly visible here

Contact us

Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01872 273939