Padstow is a charming working fishing port situated on the Camel Estuary opposite Rock.
The town has been a popular destination for visitors to the county for decades due to its welcoming nature and picturesque surroundings. Surrounded by stunning cliff top walks and golden sandy beaches, such as Harlyn Bay, Constantine and Trevone, you are certainly spoilt for choice for where to explore.
The town itself has a range of boutique, independent shops and galleries plus a good selection of visitor attractions such as the National Lobster Hatchery, the Padstow Town Museum, and Prideaux Place, a gorgeous Elizabethan manor house built in 1592 where you can stroll around the tranquil grounds overlooking the ancient deer park.
If you’re feeling like some exercise to work off the obligatory ice creams, you can hire a bike (or take your own) as Padstow is the start, or end depending on which way you like to look at it, of the Camel Trail. Once an old railway line, the flat trail meanders alongside the estuary/river Camel offering some unique views of the Cornish countryside to Wadebridge, an historic market town. The trail continues past Wadebridge to Wenford Bridge, giving just over 17 miles of riverside cycle path in total.
For fun on the water, there are some excellent local companies offering fishing or powerboat trips, or RHIB sea safaris. If you prefer to sit back and relax on a larger vessel, perhaps with a glass of something cold in hand, then a trip on Padstow stalwart the Jubilee Queen comes highly recommended.
For the foodies, Padstow has been highly regarded as Cornwall’s food capital for decades, since the iconic Seafood Restaurant was founded by Rick Stein in the town. Today, as well as The Seafood Restaurant, you’ll find a plethora of quality restaurants, takeaways, bistros, and cafes, many of which require advance bookings in the busy months. Padstow is also home to Michelin Starred chef Paul Ainsworth’s eponymous restaurant, Paul Ainsworth at No.6, as well as his Italian inspired Caffe Rojano.
The Black Tor ferry takes passengers the short hop across the water between Padstow and Rock so it’s easy to explore both sides of the estuary. In the evening, a smaller water taxi replaces the ferry and runs from evening until midnight during peak season. With the lights of the town twinkling on the water it’s a wonderful, romantic way to travel to and from dinner or drinks. Brownie points for whoever plans the evening!
One of our favourite events on the social calendar is the annual Padstow Christmas Festival, which takes place on the first week of December. Whether strolling around the Cornish market, sampling and snapping up local artisan produce, or watching a celebrity chef demo, you’ll find plenty to entertain you over the course of the weekend. Highly recommended!
Postcode: PL28 8BY
OS Grid Ref: SW 91900 75432