This Page: Things to do Close to Harvey| Gallery
Sited on the North Coast of Penwith in the far west of Cornwall, Hayle is a thriving town with lots to interest all ages. Miles of golden sand and dunes stretching as far as the eye can see make this a superb place for a beach holiday. The surf is often good with plenty of opportunities for surf equipment hire and tuition. No trip to Hayle would be complete without a walk to the beach, or along the King George V Memorial Walk, a beautifully planted promenade along the river. In summer Hayle also has an outdoor swimming pool, which is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Hayle is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site - a fascinating town for industrial heritage and birthplace of Richard Trevithick’s steam engine. Hayle Heritage Center houses a free exhibition that enables visitors to learn about the history of Hayle.
Bird watchers flock to the Hayle Estuary and ten minutes walk from the station brings you to Paradise Park, home to the World Parrot Trust, with its exotic birds, children’s play
barn, fun farm, otters and penguins and onsite pub that brews its own beer the Bird in Hand.
With nine pubs, ten restaurants, seven cafes and nine takeaways you can be confident of plenty of choice when eating out, and Hayle also has a good selection of specialist food shops and supermarkets should you prefer to cook your own. We of course have our favourites places to eat out. We have recently had a very pleasant meal at The Terrace on Commercial Road, and The Cornish Arms, which also specialises in cocktails. We all enjoy a roast dinner at the White Hart Hotel, while the children campaign to have ice cream at the award-winning Mr B’s Ice Cream Parlour. We've had great fish and chips from both fish and chip shops and the Thai takeaway is recommended. The jury is out as to whether Philps or Hampsons do the best pasties in Cornwall, but both are excellent and within easy walking distance of Harvey. If you’re wanting a lively scene with internet access and live music on Fridays through the summer then Salt is the place to be. However places come and go faster than we can update this page, so this list is far from comprehensive. For more ideas of places to eat, please visit our food and drink page.
Do visit The Old Foundry Chapel, a converted chapel close to Harvey and packed with character shops, including a specialist Cornish bookshop, craft haberdashery, a wonderful old fashioned stall selling all sorts of miscellania including tin toys, books, records, games, bottles and gardening tools, a secondhand surf shop, antique camera shop, retro clothes stall and several other independent sellers. Walk along Penppol Terrace towards Commercial Road for more independent shops, including our daughter Poppy’s favourite Lucy Kemp Jewellery
Hayle has retained all those small, individual character full shops that every small town used to have before the chain stores arrived, so at the bottom of the short hill below the carriage there is a Spar, florist, baker, butcher, farm shop, old fashioned toy shop, cycle shop and more. Hayle is a long thin town with the shopping areas divided into three; Foundry Square, which is nearby the carriage and also has a large Asda on the harbour opposite. Copperhouse, a fifteen minute walk away, also sports a good surf shop as well as more boutique clothes stores and an excellent play park. With such an array of local traders, we have never needed to go beyond Copperhouse, but if you continue to the very East of Hayle beyond Lidl you will come to where the big names have landed in an out of town shopping complex.
Just around the bay and visible from Hayle is the famous artistic centre of St Ives with its famous Tate Modern gallery, and its thriving artistic community.
For more images of Hayle take a look at our Fabulous Hayle board on Pinterest. We also recommend buying the book Churks, Clingy and Doodle Dashers, which is available from Hayle Heritage Centre.
Some Holiday Ideas Close to Hayle
For loads more ideas please visit our EXPLORE page.
- Go to the beach! - Three miles of golden sand flanked by sand dunes and a surf hire shop en route to the beach make it the ideal place to relax for toddlers and teenagers alike. Surf lessons are offered in Hayle in two places; Shore Surf School, and slightly further afield Gwithian Surf Academy. For more details about beaches and surfing, please visit our Beaches and Surfing page.
- Go for a walk - A booklet detailing five walks is provided in the carriage, from strolls around the beautiful Godrevy head to inland ambles. The carriage is only 3 minutes from the South West Coastal Footpath. We highly recommend downloading the iWalk Cornwall app, which details a whole range of walks, with lots to look out for along the way.
- Tours of Penzance - No trip to the far west of Cornwall would be complete without an exploration of the historic maritime port of Penzance. We highly recommend Anna McClary who runs walking tours from Penzance station on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Anna is also available for private tours at other times and speaks both English and German.
- St Ives - This lovely town is packed with art galleries. From the station you can see the train running along the branch line - simply change at St Erth for St Ives and sit on the right hand side to get the best views.
- St Michael’s Mount - Catch the train to Penzance then bus to Marazion and walk across the causeway to this beautiful stately home sitting on top of a pinnacle of rock jutting out of Mounts Bay.
- Electric Bike hire is available from Xpress Bikes which is based in Hayle. There are many great and largely off road trails easily accessible from Hayle. If you would rather have a traditional push bike, then try either St Ives Bikes or Penzance Bike Hire who will deliver and collect free of charge.
- There is a lovely cycle ride along quiet lanes through St Erth to St Michael’s Mount in Marazion and then get the train back from Penzance.
- The Engine House Trail is a 24 mile trail from the old foundries in Hayle to Truro. With mine engine houses scattered throughout the landscape, the reminders of Cornwall's industrial heritage are everywhere along this trail.
- The First and Last Trail - This 25 mile ride takes in the picturesque villages of Sennen, Lamorna and Mousehole and has fantastic views across Mount's Bay
- For more information on Cornish cycle rides, including the fabulous mineral and clay trails, which are easily accessible by train, visit Cornwall County Cycle Trails
- Visit a National Trust property near Hayle- gardens and houses, cliftop and beaches, mine engines and castles. There are loads!
- Just in case it rains! Country Skittles offer a variety of indoor activities, from bowling to snooker, indoor games and target shooting. Or perhaps a spot of golf at Hayle Golf Driving Range - "Rain or shine, daylight or dark".
- Scilly Isles - The Scilly Isles, with its array of lovely beaches, clement, sub-tropical climate, antiquities and stunning gardens is easily accessible as a day trip from Hayle. The ferry leaves from Penzance - two stops down the line!
- Ride on an open top bus around Lands End. Take the bus to Geevor and walk to Lelant, or stop at Lands End and visit the pretty fishing village of Sennen, see the impressive engine houses atop the cliffs at Bottalack and explore the World Heritage area around the Penwith peninsula. (Open top in summer - double decker for the rest of the year)
- The Royal Cornwall Museum at Truro has an amazing selection of prehistoric artefacts and of course an extensive mineral collection....and an excellent cafe!
- Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is fascinating for the whole family. Walk up the hill from Porthcurno to the stunning Minack Theatre. Tickets to a Minack production should be high on any holiday list.
- Go to the cinema. There's a good choice of super old fashioned cinemas within easy reach. Combine it with a little shopping. The Plaza, Truro, The Regal, Redruth and The Savoy, Penzance.
- While in Truro, try award winning vegan food at The Cornish Vegan.
- Go horse riding - the closest stables are; Old Mill Stables - A 50 year old business that has a very well renowned reputation in providing quality instruction. One of only three stables in the South West offering horseback archery.Tremenheere Riding Stables - In the heart of West Cornwall, this stables is situated in Ludgvan overlooking Mounts Bay and St Michael's Mount. Offering among other things hacking and beach riding. Penhalwyn Stables - Offering riding lessons for all ages from four years upwards and trekking.
- Yoga - there are a choice of several classes in both Hayle and St Ives, or for families Leif Olsen yoga - Tel: 01736 369578 - specialises in yoga for Mums, babies and children.
- Tremenheere Gardens - A beautiful sheltered valley in west Cornwall, surrounded by woods, streams and dramatic vista provides the perfect setting for this 22-acre exotic and sub-tropical garden. Internationaly renowned artists such as James Turrell and David Nash RA have interacted with the garden to create site-specific permanent works, all harmonising with their garden setting.
- Get close to nature; Cornwall Wildlife Trust manage Loggans Moor Nature Reserve, near Hayle.
- Flambards - family fun at Cornwall's own theme park in Helston.
- National Seal Sanctuary - seal rescue centre in Gweek.
- Model Railway Club Hayle - Website for the Hayle Model Railway Club
Please visit the EXPLORE page for more ideas.
Events in and around Hayle
June - Golowan Festival of Cornish Culture - including Mazey Day and culminating with Sea and Sail Day.
July - Lafrowda Festival, St Just - showcase for musical, dance and theatre talent in the local community.
August - Hayle Fest - Processions, bands and lots going on in the first weekend of August.
September - St Ives September Festival - Last year's festival featured nearly 200 events.
The pictures below were taken by Kernow Dream Photography and some of them appeared in Vintage Life magazine in 2016.