Hayle dominates the crescent of St Ives Bay with three miles of golden sands stretching out to Godrevy Lighthouse. The "towans", Cornish for sand dunes, form an impressive backdrop.
Hayle gets its name from the Cornish word for estuary (Cornish "heyl"), and has been inhabited as a port since the Bronze Age. But the river eventually silted up, and the estuary is now marshland
There are not many such sheltered estuaries on the north coast of Cornwall, so it has been a port since way back. But the harbour entrance has always need regular dredging to remove the silt deposited by the river. The boom time for the harbour was naturally in the first half of the nineteenth century when the foundries of Copperhouse and Harvey's were at their zenith.
In the 18th centre it was a famous engineering centre, as Copperhouse and Harvey's of Hayle manufactured boilers and steam engines for the Cornish mines and for export all over the world. In its heyday Harveys employed 1000 men. Copperhouse is one half of the town of Hayle, the other half of the town was Foundry reflecting these two companies. The Cornish Copper Company established this site in 1758, but it declined about 50 years later due to the massive pollution and ill-effects on health of the inhabitants. The newly restored Levant Mine at Pendeen has a fine example of one of Harvey's engines.
Trevithick built his steam powered road carriage here in 1801. And one of the first railways in the world ran from Hayle to Redruth.
There is a three mile stretch of sand from St Ives Bay to Godrevy Lighthouse, with views across to of St Ives, Carbis Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse. The sand is particularly suitable for speed sailing, and British and European rounds of the World Championships have been held here.
Backing the beach are The Towans (Cornish language for "sand dunes") which dominate the coastline here. Godrevy Lighthouse is on a off-shore small island and is believed to be lighthouse in the Virginia Woolf novel "To the Lighthouse"
There are two man-made pools, the largest being the tidal Copperhouse Pool, which was made to help flush the sand bar at the entrance to the harbour.
Nearby is Phillack with its pub called "the Bucket of Blood" after a murder victim was found in the pub's well
Migratory birds stop over in the Hayle estuary between Copperhouse and Lelant Saltings.they can be twitched at man-made Carnew Pool, the Estuary or the Lelant Saltings.
Hayle, Cornwall genealogical information on Genuki
The Book of Hayle: Portrait of a Cornish Coastal Town (Halsgrove Parish History) Harry Pascoe