Places to Visit near Hayle and Gwithian

Hayle holidays are fun and action-packed and it is a great place to visit with exceptional beaches and water sports.

When on your holidays to Hayle, why not explore further afield and see many amazing places across Cornwall? Pink flamingos, China Clay Museums, Bodmin jail, exotic Cornish couldn’t get more varied! We list some places we would recommend you visit to entertain the whole family.

Paradise Park is a wildlife sanctuary in Hayle, with tropical birds in exotic gardens and a huge JungleBarn indoor play area for children. The entire family will love a day in Paradise…!

This is an award-winning sanctuary with tropical birds set within sheltered Victorian gardens with the added bonus of a JungleBarn indoor play centre for those wet weather days. They have over 1,200 colourful birds including flamingos, penguins, macaws, and toucans, plus, beautiful Red pandas, rare Red squirrels, playful Asian otters, cute donkeys and also they have a pet corner with rabbits and guinea pigs.

Stop off at the Otter Pool Café for refreshments during your visit and then visit the ‘Tropics’  which is the new open-air development home to tropical birds in spacious flights.

The JungleBarn Indoor Play Centre with giant slides, spinning discs, rope bridge, ladders, Astra Slide, the Big Blue, Drop and Double Drop slides and much more means you can tire out your little ones while you stop and sip a coffee!

Visit their website for a list of daily activities that will wow the whole family!

Godolphin House and Gardens is a National Trust landmark set in stunning woodlands and at the foot of Godolphin Hill offering 360-degree panoramic views.

Plan a day out at Godolphin House and Gardens and you will experience a little slice of Cornish history, verdant gardens and woodlands as well as a network of beautiful footpaths that lead you around and near the estate. Take a guided tour and listen to how Godolphin estate changed the Bronze age right through to the modern day. Previous owners used the local tin resources to fund the building of the house standing today. The significance of Godolphin’s role in Cornwall’s mining history was recognised when it was included in the Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. If you take the walk to the top of Godolphin Hill (which has spectacular coastal views across to St Ives and Mounts Bay) you will find the remains of a Bronze Age circular enclosure. During the medieval period, the hill was inhabited by small hamlets and was a source of rabbits and wild berries! It was during the medieval period that the Godolphin estate started to form. A powerful family called Godolgun bought the land around the 12th century and built a defended house on the land around the late 13th century to early 14th century. Moated homes were built at the time to protect stock and produce from common thieves. Your visit to Godolphin will be full of facts tracking its development through Tudor times, housing prisoners of war of the Napoleonic wars to its modern-day to-ings and fro-ings.

Admission costs are on their website as are the times the house and its outbuildings are open. Click on the link above and it will take you to the relevant page. Dogs are welcome on leads and there is ample parking on-site. Please be warned that it’s not really suitable for people with limited mobility. There is a cafe to enjoy light lunches, coffee and cake as well as a small gift shop and a second-hand book shop.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01736 763094

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline.

Each season (September – March), the Sanctuary rehabilitates so many seal pups that are rescued for various reasons, from malnourishment to being separated from their mothers. The Sanctuary will also provide a permanent home to animals that need special care from their team of marine animal experts. When visiting the Sanctuary, experience wonderful marine animals up close and personal and learn all about their individual stories. Dogs are very welcome on leads at the sanctuary also.

Go and show your love to the seals and also find goats, penguins, sea lions and beavers! Get a close up sight of these fabulous creatures by viewing them in their underwater areas! The Seal Sanctuary has three extraordinary underwater viewing areas located in their Southern Sea Lion Pool, Seal Rescue Centre and Penguin Beach.

Visit their website for more information

Ever wondered what life behind bars looked like in the 18th Century? Discover the life of a prisoner held in Bodmin Jail, in the heart of Cornwall, on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

The convicted were rebels, soldiers, debtors and some of Cornwall’s most notorious criminals from the 18th century onwards. Visit this world-class attraction and immerse yourself in the Dark Walk, a state-of-the-art experience bringing some of the grittiest tales of Cornwall’s criminals vividly to life. Experience the paranormal, peek into Cornwall’s darkest underbelly and learn what life was like for those accused of heinous crimes. See inside the Jail cells and explore artefacts from prison life.

A daring experience for all the family, Bodmin Jail shows Cornish history as you’ve never seen it before.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01208 76292

Discover the UK’s only China Clay Museum, set in a 26 acre Country Park with woodland walks and access to the Clay Trails for walking and cycling.

Whether you want to find out more about Cornwall’s billion-pound China Clay mining industry, explore the Victorian clay works, visit the interactive discovery centre, stroll through the nature trails and woodland walks or give the kids a chance to let off steam in acres of historic grounds, Wheal Martyn is truly unique and has something for everyone, even the dog! You’ll also see Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel and at ‘Pit View’ be amazed by the spectacular modern working China Clay pit with giant machines in action.

What’s on offer at Wheal Martyn:
• Indoor interactive displays telling the story of the men, women and children who lived, worked and played in the shadow of the china clay tips
• Cornwall’s largest working water wheel
• Fully preserved Victorian china clay works, machinery and equipment exhibitions
• Vintage commercial vehicles and locomotive
• Children’s woodland play area
• Acres of nature trails and woodland walks teeming with wild flowers, birds and aquatic life
• Visitor platform overlooking a working China Clay Pit
• Licensed cafe with outside terrace offering the best Cornish food and drink
• Gift shop selling a unique range of quality gifts and souvenirs

Wheal Martyn provides a superb combination of interest, education and fun for people of all ages.

Opening hours: 10.00am-4.00pm (winter) and 10.00am-5.00pm (summer)

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01726 850362

Trebah Gardens are a spectacular example of an exotic, sub-tropical garden here in Cornwall.

Discover the magic of this beautiful 26 acre Cornish valley garden, with over four miles of well-maintained footpaths. Explore under enormous green canopies bursting with exotic blooms and follow vibrant tunnels of colour leading to a (private to Trebah) secluded beach on the Helford River.

Trebah is open all year round and, in spring, the gardens bursts into life with a colourful symphony of 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. In summer, the giant gunnera is a must-see for young and old. In autumn, Hydrangea Valley fills the valley with china blue and soft white across to Mallard Pond. In winter, their spectacular champion trees dominate the landscape, whilst plants from the southern hemisphere start to flower.

Dogs are very welcome on leads and their cafe offers some sheltered terraced seating also for those wishing to stop for nourishment with their dogs. They have a charming little shop with garden gifts as well as local foodie products.

Pre-book your visit now using their website registration


You probably travel for your holidays to Cornwall on the A30 and pass Carn Brea without possibly understanding its significance.

Carn Brea Castle and Bassett Monument dates back to early 19th Century. What may not be apparent the A30 is the size of the monument. It is a 90-foot high granite obelisk. The huge hexagonal column was erected in 1836 in memory of Francis Bassett, Lord de Dunstaville. The interior of the monument can be accessed by a door and is hollow with a staircase leading up to a viewing platform. The Bassetts were a significant mining family in this area and lived in Tehidy for over 700 years. Francis Bassett was the first to be elevated to the nobility because of his efforts to raise an army of miners to defend the port of Plymouth from the combined Spanish and French fleets. Francis also improved the lives of many miners and was a patron to many worthy causes.

Francis died in 1865 and a funeral procession of 20,000 attended with all mines in the area closed. The memorial monument was built with money donated by the public. Another legacy of the Bassett family is Carn Brea Castle. It is suggested that it started out as an Elizabethan hunting lodge – the current configuration is a Victorian folly and is now a restaurant.

Carn Brea supposedly has associations with legendary giants of Cornwall. Apparently, it was home to the giant ‘Bolster’ who when standing could put his other foot on top of St Agnes Beacon over 10 miles away!

It is well worth a visit and a walk between the castle and monument; the views are simply spectacular on a clear day.

Flambards Theme Park has rides and attractions for all the family come rain or shine. Big rides for thrill-seekers and young fun rides in Ferdi’s Funland.

Travel back in time in the immersive indoor attractions. Don’t miss the fun family entertainment during school holidays, including the famous fireworks spectaculars every Monday and Wednesday during August from the 3rd – 29th.

Book online to save 10% off the admission, plus enjoy 7 days for the price of 1.

Visit their website for information or call them on 01326 573404

St Michael’s Mount is a great day out for all the family, visit the castle on its own island just off the coast of Marazion. The tropical gardens are remarkable and so very beautiful against the backdrop of the sea, well worth a visit!

The experience starts with either walking across the cobbled walkway from Marazion Beach at low tide to the island or taking a boat at high tide and disembarking into the small, sheltered harbour where the island residents live. There is a gift shop and cafe to mooch around as well as ice cream booths.  Then take a walk up through the gardens, uphill towards the castle (the walk is steep in places and uneven). Walk under the ancient doorways and discover its past from priory to fortified castle and, since the mid-1600s, home to the St Aubyn family, who still live there today. As you wander centuries-old corridors and unpeel layers of history, you will find artefacts, artwork and unusual souvenirs from around the world.

Please note dogs are welcome between 1st October and 31st March only.

Visit their website for more information

Geevor Tin Mine is a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. As seen on BBC’s TV series ‘Poldark’, for centuries Cornwall’s main industry was tin and copper mining and the remains of the industry can be seen throughout the county.

Cornish miners and engineers were recognised as the world’s finest in the development of hard rock mining. Discover their stories and that of the Cornish tin and copper mining industry at Geevor Tin Mine. Geevor was the last mine to work the famous St Just Mining District once the site of the largest number of undersea tin and copper mines in the world! Visit the mine buildings and dip your toe into 18th-century Wheal Mexico Mine where men and boys worked 200 years ago.

Follow in the footsteps of Cornish miners! Geevor Tin Mine allows you to visit a real mine and learn what life was like for a Cornish miner. Be brave and put on your hard hat and explore the mine!

Stop fr a spot of lunch at the Count House Cafe and enjoy the stunning seascapes from your table.

Visit their website for more information and to book online

Everyone loves ice cream, particularly made in Cornwall! Visit Roskilly’s, an organic dairy farm in St Keverne, take a tour and meet the lovely cows who make the delicious creamy ice cream that we all devour

Stroll around the meadows, meet the farm animals (goats, pigs, calves, turkeys, geese, chickens to name a few) which can all be fed by hand from the Croust House and relax at the tranquil ponds with a cone in hand! Visit their shop and buy tasty chutneys, jams, hampers, mustards, ice cream and fudge. A wonderful day out for all the family, including your four-legged friend as dogs are very welcome on a lead around the farm and also in the courtyard of Croust House restaurant.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01326 280479

A place like no other, the world-famous Minack Theatre is a must-see for visitors to Cornwall.

Discover the extraordinary story of how it was created and experience the magic of live theatre in this iconic space. The Minack stages a full programme of live performances and at other times you can explore the dramatic site and sub-tropical gardens full of exotic plants.

Advance booking for visits, tours and performances is essential.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01736 810181