Other Reasons to Visit Padstow

Padstow-Matt Jessop

Padstow used to be known as a picturesque fishing harbour on Cornwall’s north coast, and that was why the visitors went there. Then a certain chef got himself a name on television and everything changed…

These days you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat, and from the humble pasty to fine dining at Rick Steins, you can take your pick depending on your budget. For our list of places to eat in the area, click HERE.

But there is far more to Padstow than eating. The fishing boats still do battle with the famous Doom Bar to return to port at the end of the day, their decks awash with some of the freshest fish you could ask for. The harbour, enclosed on three sides by historic buildings is a photographer’s dream, with more reflections than anyone could ask for. Shops, pubs and restaurants draw you from the water away up the hill towards the Church and onwards to Prideaux House.

Home to the Prideaux Family who purchased the land in Padstow and built a mansion here in 1592. The house is now a treasure trove of Cornish life and history containing collections of furniture, porcelain and paintings. But it is not a museum as the family still live there and are often around to greet visitors. German tourists may recognize the house as it has featured in TV adaptions of Rosamunde Pilcher novels over the last few years, as has the deer park and gardens.

Those wanting to do something that provides a bit more of an adrenalin rush should check out Harlyn Watersports. Based a few miles outside Padstow and described by the Sunday Times as “the best surf school on the North Cornish coast” they also offer family activity days including coasteering and standup paddleboarding.

If you would rather keep dry, there’s always the Camel Trail, the old railway line from Padstow to Wadebridge and Bodmin. Hire a bike and head off inland to explore the beautiful Camel Valley. And if that name seems familiar, it may be because of Camel Valley Wine, one of the best wines in the UK. Nearer to Padstow you can visit Trevibban Mill Vineyard, or take an award winning tour with Cornish Wine Tours, who operate out of Padstow.

The sunshine that ripens those grapes can be enjoyed on the many walks in and around Padstow. The South West Coast Path, takes you out around Trevose Head with its lighthouse, or cross the estuary to Rock and walk through countryside beloved by Sir John Betjeman. And after all that exercise, you will be in need of a drink and a good meal, which brings us back to where we started…