North Quay Things to See and Do
North Quay makes an excellent base for a holiday in Hayle. Set away from the main roads but still minutes’ walk from the town, it has the best of both worlds. It’s close to beaches, coastal walks and Hayle’s friendly lido, with places like St Ives and Penzance just a short drive away.
Hayle is famous for having “three miles of golden sands”, and this is no exaggeration. It’s a short walk down to the estuary from North Quay, and this leads you round to the first stretch of beach, Hayle Beach.
Now this can get a bit confusing, as the three miles consists of several beaches running into each other: Riviere Towans, Mexico Towans, Upton Towans, Gwithian plus several more localised areas, all often collectively known as “Hayle Towans”. Really, don’t worry about this: just enjoy the incredibly yellow sands and the views across to St Ives to the west and Godrevy Lighthouse to the east. Swim in the lifeguarded sections (there are strong currents near the estuary mouth), and look out for various cafes, pubs and snack shacks set back from the sands.
Hayle outdoor pool really is one of West Cornwall’s hidden gems. This charming little lido is just by the bridge between North Quay and the town, and is open from May/June until September. The pool is surrounded by gardens and picnic tables, creating a lovely, laid-back feel.
Don’t fancy a swim? Book a spectator ticket and relax on a sunlounger while the kids splash in the water and squeal down the slides. There’s also a friendly cafe and takeaway attached to the pool, Cafe Riviere. This is actually open most of the year, so is a great place to grab a coffee when you’re in North Quay.
Because Hayle is the most south westerly estuary in the UK, it makes the perfect sheltered habitat for a whole range of native and migratory birds. Hayle’s RSPB Nature Reserve is on the road out of Hayle to the west (known as The Causeway because it was built to navigate the estuary, almost 200 years ago), and is an excellent place to spot a variety of birds.
Wading waterfowl include curlews, oyster catchers and little egrets, and come here in the winter to see teals and widgeons. Keep going west towards Birdies Bistro, where you can continue admiring the birds from their pleasant outdoor tables…
As well as the beaches, there’s plenty for families to do in and around Hayle. Wildlife sanctuary Paradise Park is a big favourite among local and visiting families, with all sorts of animals, play areas, and a rainy-day-essential indoor play area. Feel like challenging the family to a round of golf? Head to Penwith Pitch & Putt on the outskirts of Hayle, which also offers crazy golf and the latest craze, football golf.
From North Quay, it’s easy to get onto the A30 and Cornwall’s your oyster. If you want to stay fairly local, drive east through Gwithian and park at the National Trust car park above the beach. Here, you’ll find coastal paths, rock pools galore overlooked by the lighthouse, a colony of seals and a choice of fantastic little places for a drink and a snack.
Coast 2 Coast Karting
Coast 2 Coast Karting, Coast 2 Coast Karting, Chenhalls Road, Saint Erth, Hayle, UK
Hayle Swimming Pool
Hayle Swimming Pool, Hayle, UK
Paradise Park and JungleBarn Cornwall, Trelissick Road, Hayle, UK
Paradise Park, Trelissick Road, Hayle, UK
Penwith Pitch and Putt
Penwith Pitch and Putt, Chenhalls Road, Saint Erth, Hayle, UK
RSPB Hayle Estuary
RSPB Hayle Estuary, Hayle, UK