An important trading port for at least 5000 years, Hayle lies on the southern side of the magnificent sweep of St Ives Bay and with its clean sandy beaches, is a magnet for surfers, sailors and other water sports. It is situated just off the A30, the main road through Cornwall. There is a railway station in the town which affords good links to other parts of the country, as well as a station at St Erth which provides the branch-line to St Ives.
Hayle rose to prominence during the Industrial Revolution, its engineers developing the Cornish Beam Engine which powered mines and municipal water-works worldwide. Those glory days are long gone and Hayle has endured tough economic times with high unemployment: however, it is now looking to the future. The impending harbour regeneration, the restoration of key Foundry buildings, new industrial and retail parks, together with Hayle's World Heritage Status, are playing a major role in bringing new community-led development, including about 1,000 new houses.
The town has a local Health Centre, St Michael's Hospital, and St Julia's Hospice. There are three primary schools, and a secondary school that has been designated as a language college. It has a good range of shops, two Post Offices, Hairdressers, Estate Agents and many excellent restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, as well as an adequate supply of pubs.