Things to see and do in Hayle.
Our first holiday in Cornwall was to the seaside town of Hayle. With miles of sandy beaches and in a good location for accessing other parts of Cornwall, Hayle is a good choice for a holiday.
Hayle is on a quieter part of the map but that’s not to say that it isn’t an interesting place to stay.
First, it is home to our accommodation, Harvey. A static train carriage housed us all for a week, in the most wonderful of holiday homes. You can read more about the vintage features and everything that a rail holiday entails here.
Places to Eat
The best pasty shop in Cornwall is located in Hayle. Philps pasties are widely known and can be ordered online! I must say, I wasn’t a fan of Cornish pasties, until I tried a Philps pasty. I am converted! They are huge, hot, and delicious. Dicky does not eat vegetables so he happily devoured the breakfast pasty. We made a stop on the way home just to take some with us!
Sanders Fish and Chips are heavenly. We ate these a few times too. They are cooked fresh and the fish is unlike any other we have tasted. You must definitely have fish and chips to walk along the harbour with.
Mr B’s ice cream is delicious. They have a great range of flavours and dairy free options too. Finley happily licked away at a sorbet while we all had our ice-cream. I love that most ice-cream parlours we went to in Cornwall have dairy free options. Finley feels much more able to join in, and I don’t fear leaving the other 2 out because of Finley’s allergies.
In Hayle, the sea runs into an estuary straight into the middle of Hayle. Every morning, the tide is out and boats are strewn on the sea bed. But, come early afternoon the water is flowing and the vessels bob happily on top of the water.
Places to Visit
There is an outdoor swimming pool, known as a Lido. Unfortunately we were one week early for it to be open, but it is very cheap to enter and a season pass can be bought if you live locally.
Hayle has history too! We visited the Hayle Heritage Centre to learn how the town used to function and what it was famous for. Initially Hayle was a coal importing and ore exporting port, but copper and tin works gradually made their way in from nearby Angarrack.
History of Hayle
In 1779 John Harvey, a blacksmith from nearby Carnhell Green, established a small foundry and engineering works in the area, now known as Foundry, to supply the local mining industry. The business went from strength to strength through both professional and family partnerships with a series of great engineers and entrepreneurs, including Richard Trevithick, William West and Arthur Woolf. Giving the firm a level of expertise unmatched in Cornwall. The firm of Harvey & Co is probably best remembered for producing beam engines, considered as some of the finest ever built. As well as being used as part of Cornish heritage, they were exported worldwide. It also produced a range of products ranging from the SS Cornubia and the world’s first steam-powered rock boring machine. Over eighty ocean-going vessels were made at the foundry and shipbuilding yard between 1831 and 1893.
The kids loved looking around at the interactive pieces on display. There is an old radio which plays local residents experiences of living in Hayle and events that occurred over the course of time. The kids were able to press a button to hear a different story. There is a sand pit with items hidden for them to find and also a writing bureau with old stamps and writing equipment that the kids can use. Entry is completely free and the heritage centre is bright and cheery. A lovely homage to a wonderful town.
The main centerpiece to Hayle is it’s beautiful sandy beach. The golden sands stretch for 3 miles, from Hayle to Godrevy. The beach was quiet and clean (this may have been due to the time of year we visited) which allowed us many hours of building sandcastles and throwing around a Frisbee.
Hayle seems to be a quiet and friendly town. We enjoyed meandering around with a visit to a small collective of shops known as The Foundry. They sell all sorts, from antiques to handbags.
The pond has the most eclectic wildlife I’ve ever seen on a town pond! We went for a stroll after tea one night and came upon a single swan, a heron tucked up in the bushes, huge fish swimming around, geese, ducks and 2 turtles!
Trains run regularly through Hayle which provide fantastic routes to other areas of Cornwall very easily. It’s always good to be a bit greener! We jumped on the train straight to Penzance, which took a matter of minutes. There are also trains to the Eden project and St Ives (with a quick change).
Overall I would absolutely recommend a visit to Hayle. Such a charming Cornish town with very easy access to other touristy areas if you fancy a change of scenery.