St Austell Bay is a very rural parish, with only 776 homes at present, though a programme of housebuilding in two of the wards will see this rise considerably over the next few years. All three of the wards border St Austell Bay, a beautiful and extensive bay which is enclosed by the Gribben Head and Black Head, and which contains stunning yet secluded beaches, some of them private. It is a peaceful and private locality, yet one with a strong sense of community, and many thriving local organisations. Central to it is the historic World Heritage Site of Charlestown, famous for its harbour and tall ships, used as a location for many film and tv programmes, and justifiably popular with holidaymakers. The Cornish coastal footpath runs right round the seaward boundary of the parish, and many ramblers, both local and visitors, enjoy using this while taking in the panoramic views of Cornwall’s coastline at its best. Others enjoy fishing, sailing, gig rowing, golf, or simply relaxing in the best of what rural Cornwall has to offer.
There is almost no local industry apart from some agriculture and fishing, and only a small number of shops and businesses are located within the parish. However, residents are within easy reach of St Austell, which caters for most needs, and the county town of Truro is just 30 minutes away.