10 Best Things to do in Padstow
No matter why you’re thinking about visiting Padstow, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Located on the coast of North Cornwall, the popular fishing port of Padstow has risen from a small fishing harbour to one of the key places to visit in the Westcountry.
Located around a picturesque harbour, this lovely port offers a fantastic mix of old and new. Narrow streets are filled with historic fisherman’s cottages along with a range of different shops, galleries, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Although much of Padstow’s success lies with its charm and beauty, the quality of its locally produced food has clearly had a massive impact. Famous celebrity chef Rick Stein has for some time had a restaurant, cafe, and Stein’s Fish & Chip shop based in the town all of which draw a huge number of visitors to the area each year.
Padstow is and always will be one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations and with a large number of cottages, houses, and luxury accommodation in Padstow there really is something for everyone. To help you find something to do whilst visiting, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best things to do in Padstow.
1) Padstow Harbour
Padstow harbour is the heart and soul of the town. It is one of the main reasons to visit and is always fairly busy during the summer months with many people heading down to the quayside just to soak up the atmosphere. With a number of shops and galleries alongside the harbour and the plethora of boats, it’s a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by.
Sit on the quay and eat a locally made pasty or have fish and chips for lunch. Have an ice cream from one of the many shops or a pint at the local pub. Whatever you decide to do in Padstow, make the harbour your starting point.
2) Padstow Beaches
Although Padstow doesn’t have its own beach, what it does have is a whole range of beaches that you can get to by car or foot within a short amount of time. From Rock Beach, Daymer Bay and the popular surf spot of Polzeath to the north, to Hawkers Cove, Harlyn Bay and Mother Ivy’s Bay to the south, there really is a beach for all occasions.
3) Coastal Walks
Cornwall is hugely popular with walkers of all ages and abilities. Whether you just fancy a stroll along the coast or you’re an avid rambler looking to tot up some miles, the coastal footpaths around Padstow will lead you to some wonderful places.
Some of the most popular places to walk to near Padstow include St Georges Cove and Hawkers Cove where you’ll find some beautiful beaches. 6 miles further along the coast is Stepper Point which is a headland that offers far-reaching views over the River Camel. Sat on top of the headland is an old tower that was built to help sailors navigate the shoreline.
4) The Camel Trail
The Camel Trail is one of the most popular and famous cycle tracks in the UK. The trail follows the route of what was the North Cornwall Railway trail near to the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge and then along the Camel Valley to Bodmin.
Cyclists love the Camel Trail for a number of reasons. Firstly, because of the beautiful scenery and wildlife and secondly because there are no steep inclines along the 17-mile route meaning that it’s fairly easy to ride no matter what your ability.
Lying on the opposite side of the River Camel is the famous village Rock. Popular with the rich and famous this lovely resort has a number of things to do from its sandy beach that stretches all the way to Daymer Bay to its water sports centre where you can pop out for a bit of sailing.
Also based in Rock is the famous Sharps Brewery. Offering brewery tours and tasting sessions you can see where Doom Bar, the UK’s best selling cask ale is brewed and even try a few whilst you’re there. To get to Rock, you can either drive or jump on one of the regular foot passenger ferry services from Padstow harbour.
6) Food and Drink
We’ve already mentioned Rick Stein’s establishments and it’s not surprising how many people travel to eat at Steins Seafood Restaurant, the cafe, or the fish and chip shop. However, although Padstow is synonymous with Rick Stein the town is also blessed with a large number of other restaurants that cater to a range of budgets and tastes, some of which naturally include seafood on the menu.
Other popular restaurants include Rojano’s In The Square, the Prawn On The Lawn, Barnaby’s and Paul Ainsworth’s sensational restaurant No6.
7) National Lobster Hatchery
The National Lobster Hatchery is an attraction unlike any others in the area. A fantastic day out for children, the hatchery takes visitors on a journey through the different stages of a lobster’s life from birth to death.
The charity’s main work involves marine conservation, research and education to enhance the stocks of lobsters in the coastal waters surrounding Cornwall. Working with local small-scale fishermen the hatchery sources young-bearing lobsters from the wild to help their young survive those all-important first few months. The visitors centre offers people the chance to see this important work in action, upfront, and personal.
8) Prideaux Place
Prideaux Place is a beautiful historic house that overlooks Padstow. Grade I listed and built in 1592, this Elizabethan country house has been the home of the Prideaux family for over 400 years. The gardens and house are open to the public throughout the year with the house containing a fine collection of art, fine furniture and porcelain.
9) Learn to surf
If you have never surfed before or are wanting to hone your skills then why not learn to surf at one of the many beaches near Padstow. Trevone, Harlyn, and Polzeath can all be reached within a relatively short time and are perfect for surfing.
With the availability of a number of different surf schools in the area, you’ll be in safe hands whether you’re venturing out into the sea for the first time or not.
10) Sea Life Safaris and Fishing trips
With such a stunning coastline and Padstows seafaring past, it’s not surprising that some of its best activities are water-based. Some of the most popular boat expeditions involve seeing the local marine life. Set off from the harbour and be on the lookout for sea birds, dolphins and grey seals whilst taking in beautiful views of the North Cornwall coastline on a sea life safari.
Have you ever caught your own fish? If you’ve been fishing before then you’ll love some of the fishing trips on offer. If you eat fish and haven’t caught your own before then we can highly recommend it.
Wherever you decide to go when visiting Padstow we hope you enjoy your stay.