Enjoy a weekend in this charming Cornish harbour town
Hear the name Padstow and most people immediately think of celebrity chef Rick Stein, whose restaurants in the town now number three, plus a fish and chip shop. Stein started working in Padstow in the 1970s, but the bustling harbour town dates back to AD600 when the missionary St Petroc founded a monastery here. Nothing remains of the monastery, however the 15th-century church is said to be one of four founded by the saint.
These days most visitors make their own pilgrimage to the area for the coastal landscapes, and of course the food. Here are our recommendations for top-rated things to do, places to stay and restaurants to enjoy on your visit.
Things to do
Situated on the Camel Estuary, north of Newquay, Padstow is an attractive and popular harbour town destination, with all the cafes, boutiques and art galleries that come with that. There is plenty to do even if all you have in mind is a harbourside stroll, a delicious lunch and a spot of shopping.
If you’re looking for an excuse to enjoy even more of the stunning local food, then a spot of coastal walking might be in order. The breath-taking South West Coastal Path passes through the area, offering stunning views. If you're heading inland, The Saints Way travels 28 miles from Padstow to Fowey, and is best enjoyed over two days, while the 18-mile Camel Trail runs along a disused rail line between Padstow and Wadebridge and can be walked or cycled.
The St Breock Downs Monolith is a fascinating goal for a walk – Cornwall’s largest and heaviest standing stone, it dates from the late Neolithic to mid-Bronze age (around 2500-1500 BC).
What better way to see a coastal area than by boat? Boat trips to view wildlife and the stunning scenery are plentiful, or why not take the scenic Black Tor pedestrian ferry across the estuary over to Rock?
Places to stay
Padstow has a wealth of self-catering options to suit all budgets, as well as welcoming B&Bs and hotels. Campers and caravanners are well-served too in this lovely coastal area.
Where to eat
Whether you want the freshest seafood, fine-dining, bistro classics, a pub supper or simple but delicious fish and chips, food is a priority in Padstow.