Situated directly opposite Rock on the western bank of the Camel estuary, Padstow is a charming working fishing port surrounded by glorious sandy beaches, quiet coves and wonderful walks. We do not let in Padstow, but our holiday houses in Rock are just a short ferry trip away.
Visitors naturally gravitate towards the harbour, with its mixture of houses, quays, boat slips, inns, cafes and restaurants, gift and clothing shops, holiday cottages and food shops. There is always something interesting going on in the harbour with plenty of seats scattered all around it from which to soak up the magic that is Padstow.
Fishing and pleasure craft rock side-by-side on their moorings, children fish for crabs from the harbour wall, and quayside inns and cafes overlook the calm water. Local fishermen offer wreck, reef or bottom fishing trips from Padstow or Rock, with mackerel and pollock being the main catch. Excellent pleasure trips are run from Padstow in powerboats or on the larger Jubilee Queen, which tours the local bays and islands.
Padstow is also the start of the Camel Trail, once the route of the old railway line - it is a must for cyclists and a superb way to explore north Cornwall’s beautiful countryside. A flat trail, it runs alongside the estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge and on to the upper reaches of the River Camel at Bodmin. Bikes to suit all ages can be hired locally.
On dry land there’s the National Lobster Hatchery where you can discover the fascinating world of lobsters and their environment. Then there's the Padstow Town Museum where you can step back in time and discover the history of Padstow through its Obby Oss, Railway and Lifeboat displays. The Museum is open from Easter to the end of October and is run by volunteers.
Padstow has more than 100 listed buildings of which St Petroc’s Church, Prideaux Place and Abbey House are the most significant. St Petroc’s church is the starting point for the 30 Mile Saint’s Way walk, that links Padstow on the North coast to Fowey on the south coast.
A stunning Elizabethan manor house, Prideaux Place was built in 1592 by Nicholas Prideaux. With 40 acres of landscaped grounds, terraced walks, a formal garden, temple, Roman antiquities and 9th Century Cornish Cross. An ancient Deer Park overlooks the estuary of the River Camel. Guided tours of house are available until October. The ancient Abbey House on Padstow's North Quay is said to be the oldest house in Cornwall. Indeed, even in the days of Queen Elizabeth I the house was described as old. Until relatively recently Abbey House was owned by the Prideaux family and one legend is that a tunnel ran from here to the monastery up the hill.
The Black Tor ferry runs from Rock to Padstow all year (times displayed on harbour board), making it easy to explore both banks of the estuary. In the evening a water taxi is available which specialises in taking people to Padstow’s restaurants such as Paul Ainsworth at No 6 and Rick Stein, thus saving the long drive round to Padstow.