Situated on the west coast of Cornwall, Hayle is a pretty little town boasting three miles of golden sands and the largest sand dunes in the county. The beach is divided into three areas – Hayle Towans, Black Cliff and Mexico Towans and is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months. Hayle Towans is the part of the beach closest to the shops and bars of the town although there is a pub at the top of Black Cliff.
Tourists visit Hayle for all sorts of reasons including bird watching, surfing and walking. The less active can spend their days relaxing on the beach with a stroll to one of the local inns for a spot of lunch and a pint of the local ale.
The local tourist information centre has a useful map of the area detailing the many interesting walks and activities – excellent value at only £1.00.If you prefer your bird watching guaranteed you could visit Paradise Park which is home to over 650 species of birds including the rare Cornish choughs, flamingos, owls and parrots. There is also a small zoo and a children’s adventure playground in the park.
Just outside the town of Hayle in the Hayle Estuary there is a nature reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. During the summer months this can be easily reached by bus or train. It’s worth the effort to see Curlews, Teal and Oystercatchers and many others.
The best surfing beach is Gwithian and it attracts both locals and holidaymakers and you can see various wading birds here as well as Avocets and Ospreys. There is a view of St. Ives with its pretty pastel coloured cottages across the bay – a great place to go if you fancy a lively night out and there’s no shortage of taxis to get you home if have a pint too many!
The 15th century Phillack Church in the centre of town is worth a look. It is situated next door to an old pub called ‘The Bucket of Blood’ – yes really! There is a small stone over the south porch of the church which is thought to date from the 6th century.
The town makes the perfect base for exploring the local area. Nearby towns which are worth a visit include Penzance, Redruth and Truro. You can reach all these towns by train from Hayle and avoid the sometimes heavy summer traffic. Redruth has been around since the 12th century and the church tower was built in 1490 – an interesting place to visit.
Truro is a bustling market town with a magnificent cathedral and a choice of pleasure cruises along the river Fal to St.Mawes or Falmouth. Penzance boasts a statue of Sir Humphrey Davey, inventor of the Davey Lamp. It is a bustling port and has many buildings of architectural interest.
So whether you want sun, sea and sand or a bit of culture, Hayle is a really great place to stay!