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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions at Great Western Beach

Great Western Beach Complex is a privately-managed facility. We aim to offer a warm welcome to visitors throughout the year but we must ask for your co-operation and support to ensure a clean, safe, and presentable environment for all.

Beach FAQsGW Surf Cafe FAQs

Beach FAQs

Where are you? Can we access the beach easily?

You can access the beach at any time via a smooth tarmacked lane. The lane entrance can be found on Cliff Road, hidden between the Koncept Gym building and the Great Western Hotel. Our postcode is TR7 2NE.


You can also visit us from the bay itself (at low tide). Please check tide times before hand. We are wedged between Towan Beach and Tolcarne Beach.

For clarity, Great Western Surf Café is located at the beach itself. Please do not get confused with our lovely neighbours at the top of the path, the Great Western Hotel.

Do you allow dogs?

We understand that dogs at the beach will always divide opinion. Well-behaved dogs and responsible owners are welcome at Great Western Beach 365 days a year. With a few conditions:

  • For the safety and enjoyment of all, dogs must be kept on a lead on the approach lane at all times until you hit the sand
  • Owners must monitor and control their dogs. Please remain aware that not all beach users are comfortable around dogs.
  • Please clean up after you dog! Dog bags are available from the surf school office in an emergency.

Whilst we would like to continue to provide a welcoming environment for our four-legged friends, please be aware that disregard for our policies may force a full dog ban at our beach. This is something that we would not like to pursue but must be constantly reviewed.

Dogs are allowed in our bar and restaurant areas but must be on leads at all times.

Do you have parking?

Unfortunately not. There are a number of public car parks located near Great Western. There are no parking facilities on the beach and vehicle access is strictly prohibited.

Can we bring a bicycle?

We do not offer storage facilities for bicycles.

How about a beach fire?

We cannot permit beach fires due to too many incidents where people think it OK to burn pallets and pieces of wood embedded with nails. Well, the wood burns, the nails don’t. So what’s left on the beach in the morning?! Sharp nails, open to being stepped on by bare feet.

What do we do with our rubbish?

Bins are provided for customers of our food and drink outlets (from April-October). Beach visitors are asked to take their own rubbish home with them. Please reuse and recycle as much as you can.

Are there toilets at the beach?

We offer toilet facilities for all beach users. Our toilets are open from 10am until 6pm during the summer months. Please note that we close our toilets in the winter.

Do you have lifeguards?

Our beach has RNLI lifeguard cover from May until September. For lifeguard season dates, weather, and tide times, and to donate to this amazing charity, you can visit the RNLI website.

Can I hold an event at your beach?

Should you wish to consider Great Western for a surf comp, wedding reception, festival, or kids beach party, please get in touch; we would love to help! Please contact us.

Can we hire a surfboard at the beach?

You certainly can. You can hire a range of surfboards, wetsuits, kayaks, and SUPs from Great Western Surf Hire.

Can we learn to surf with you?

Yes. Book a lesson through the awesome NQY Surf School.

Can I get a drink and some food at the beach?

Great Western has an awesome new beach bar, The Surf Shack. The Surf Shack is located on the beach with a lovely beer garden wondrously located on the sand itself.

Please note we are licensed for you to enjoy a drink in our beer garden area only. You cannot take an alcoholic drink elsewhere on our beach.

The Surf Shack also offers ice-cream, hot drinks, snacks, and hot pasties. All subject to availability, of course.

Surf Café FAQs

Can I book a table at the Surf Café?

Unfortunately not. We are a very relaxed venue ideally situated to cater for beach users. Everyone is welcome and tables inside, on the path, the deck and on the beach are first come first serve, we also have deck chairs in our licensed area! If all seats are taken you’re welcome to order at the counter and sit on the golden soft sand.

How can I contact you?

For anything not answered on our FAQs, or if you’d like to enquire about an event or beach related matter, please feel free to contact us.

Are you dog-friendly?

We are. But please think twice about bringing your dog if he’s a little yappy fella and there’s a potential risk to the enjoyment of other diners. All dogs must be on leads.

Can I bring my children?

You can! We are a family friendly beach and cafe, please note that we do not have any high chairs

Can I book a table outside?

Sadly not. Tables are first come first serve.

Can I book for a group?

Please contact us if you’d like to bring a group to the beach for an event.