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  • Danieka Strathdee

Padstow, Cornwall England: The best things to do and see

From somebody who lived and worked there over the summer of 2023, here is our top guide on the best things to do and see while you are in Padstow, Cornwall.


You can also read our related article – 


Nestled on the rugged coastline of Cornwall, Padstow is a charming fishing port renowned for its picturesque harbour, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culinary scene. As spring blossoms, there's no better time to embark on a comprehensive exploration of this coastal gem. Join us on an immersive journey through Padstow, where we'll uncover the town's culinary treasures, outdoor adventures, and seasonal highlights.



Restaurants in Padstow Cornwall: What and where to eat

  1. The Seafood Spectacle at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant: Situated along the bustling harbour, Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant in Padstow is a haven for seafood aficionados. Indulge in freshly caught delights like the Padstow Lobster, served simply with garlic butter, or opt for the signature Seafood Platter brimming with oysters, crab, and prawns. Pair your meal with a crisp glass of locally sourced wine and soak in the waterfront views for a truly memorable dining experience.

  2. Artisanal Delights at Cherry Trees Coffee House & Bakery: Start your day on a sweet note at Cherry Trees Coffee House & Bakery, where the aroma of freshly baked pastries fills the air. Treat yourself to a warm Cornish pasty filled with tender beef and savoury vegetables, or sample the bakery's famed Eccles cakes, bursting with plump currants and spices. Don't forget to grab a loaf of their homemade sourdough to enjoy later on your coastal adventures.

  3. Farm-Fresh Fare at Padstow Farm Shop: For a taste of Cornwall's agricultural bounty, head to Padstow Farm Shop nestled in the tranquil countryside. Browse shelves stocked with organic produce, artisanal cheeses, and freshly baked bread, sourced directly from local farms and producers. Pick up a selection of gourmet goodies for a picnic by the beach or gather ingredients for a homemade feast celebrating the best of Padstow's culinary heritage.

  4. Elevated Dining at Paul Ainsworth at No.6: Elevate your culinary experience at Paul Ainsworth at No.6, a Michelin-starred restaurant renowned for its innovative yet comforting cuisine. Start with the signature "A Proper Lush" Cornish Crab Salad, featuring delicate crab meat paired with apple, cucumber, and a zesty lime dressing. Follow it up with the Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder, served with heritage carrots, wild garlic, and rich lamb jus, for a truly indulgent dining experience.


Padstow beach view out to ocean

Outdoor Adventures in Padstow, Cornwall

  1. Coastal Walks and Hikes: Embark on an exhilarating journey through Padstow's coastal wonderland, where every step unveils breathtaking vistas and natural wonders. Begin your exploration along the South West Coast Path, tracing the rugged coastline from Padstow to nearby destinations like Trevone and Stepper Point. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, and windswept headlands that define Cornwall's iconic landscape, and keep an eye out for native wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and even dolphins frolicking in the surf. There are heaps of little coves and hidden beaches to explore all day.

  2. Water Sports and Activities: Immerse yourself in Padstow's aquatic playground, where the crystal-clear waters of the Camel Estuary beckon adventure seekers of all stripes. Dive into the action with a thrilling session of coasteering, where you'll scramble, swim, and leap from rocky outcrops into the bracing sea below. Alternatively, grab a paddle and explore the estuary's tranquil reaches by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, soaking in the serenity of this pristine marine environment. For those craving an adrenaline rush, head to nearby beaches like Constantine Bay or Polzeath for world-class surfing conditions, perfect for riders of all levels seeking the ultimate wave-riding experience.

  3. Cycling and Cycle Trails: Discover Padstow's enchanting hinterland on two wheels, pedalling your way through idyllic countryside and historic villages steeped in charm and character. Follow the meandering path of the Camel Trail as it winds its way alongside the tranquil waters of the Camel Estuary, offering cyclists of all ages and abilities a leisurely ride through scenic landscapes and riverside vistas. For more adventurous riders, venture inland to Bodmin Moor, where rugged trails and sweeping moorland panoramas await, providing a thrilling challenge for mountain biking enthusiasts eager to test their mettle amidst Cornwall's untamed wilderness.

  4. Camel Trail Exploration: Experience the beauty of Padstow's countryside from a unique perspective by embarking on a cycling adventure along the renowned Camel Trail. Rent a bike from one of the local outfitters in Padstow and set off on this former railway line, which winds its way through picturesque landscapes, including wooded valleys, disused railway tunnels, and the tranquil banks of the River Camel. Pedal at your own pace, stopping to admire the scenery, spot wildlife, and perhaps enjoy a picnic along the way. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, the Camel Trail offers a delightful journey through Cornwall's bucolic countryside.

  5. Boat Trip to Rock Island: For a memorable aquatic excursion, hop aboard a boat and set sail for Rock Island or catch the local ferry, a scenic gem nestled in the Camel Estuary just a stone's throw from Padstow. Departing from the bustling harbour, these boat trips offer passengers a leisurely cruise along the estuary, passing by charming fishing villages, sandy beaches, and verdant hillsides dotted with picturesque cottages. Upon reaching Rock Island, disembark and spend some time exploring this idyllic retreat, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and panoramic views of the surrounding coastline. Whether you're sunbathing on the shore, swimming in the sea, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll, a visit to Rock Island promises relaxation and rejuvenation amidst Cornwall's natural splendour.


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FAQ Padstow, Cornwall

Is it worth going to Padstow?

Personally, it's a great little town and a good base to hop into surrounding Cornwall areas like Newquay or Polzeath. There are so many coves and little cafes, the local buses are easy and in Summer there is so much live music and things happening in the streets.


When is the best time to visit Padstow? Weather Padstow Cornwall

Padstow enjoys a mild maritime climate, making it a delightful destination year-round. However, the summer months (June to August) typically offer the warmest temperatures and longest daylight hours, ideal for outdoor activities and beach adventures. For those seeking a quieter experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), when the crowds are thinner, but the weather remains pleasant.


How do I get to Padstow?

Padstow is easily accessible by road, rail, and sea. The nearest major airports are Newquay Cornwall Airport (approximately a 20-minute drive away) and Exeter Airport (approximately a 2-hour drive away). If traveling by train, the nearest railway station is Bodmin Parkway, from where you can catch a connecting bus or taxi to Padstow. Alternatively, visitors can arrive by ferry or boat from nearby destinations such as Rock or Polzeath.


Where can I park in Padstow?

Padstow offers several parking options for visitors arriving by car. The town features several pay-and-display car parks, including the Harbour Car Park and Link Road Car Park, both conveniently located near the town center. Additionally, there are parking facilities available at Park and Ride sites on the outskirts of town, with shuttle services running regularly to the town center during peak times.


What are the must-try dishes in Padstow?

Padstow is renowned for its culinary scene, with an array of restaurants, cafes, and eateries showcasing the region's finest flavors. Don't miss the opportunity to sample local specialties such as Cornish pasties, freshly caught seafood (including Padstow's famous lobster), and traditional Cornish cream teas. For a truly indulgent experience, book a table at one of the town's acclaimed seafood restaurants, where you can savor the freshest fish and shellfish prepared with expert skill and creativity.


Where can I find accommodation in Padstow Cornwall?

Padstow offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From charming bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels to self-catering cottages and luxury holiday homes, there's something for everyone in this picturesque town. For a truly memorable stay, consider booking accommodation with stunning views of the Camel Estuary or the rugged coastline. Advance booking is recommended, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure your preferred accommodation.


What outdoor activities are available in Padstow for families?

Families visiting Padstow can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities suitable for all ages. Take a leisurely stroll along the Camel Trail, rent bicycles and explore the scenic countryside, or embark on a boat trip along the Camel Estuary. Children will delight in building sandcastles on Padstow's sandy beaches, rock pooling at low tide, and participating in family-friendly water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding. Additionally, several local attractions, including the Padstow Sealife Safaris and the National Lobster Hatchery, offer interactive experiences that are both educational and entertaining for kids and adults alike.


Cornwall to do

Whether you're a food lover eager to sample Padstow's culinary delights or an outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure along the Cornish coast, Padstow offers an unforgettable experience for every traveller. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of Padstow, and embark on an unforgettable journey through this coastal paradise.


Experience the best of Padstow with Globe Navigator. Explore our curated travel guides and insider tips to plan your perfect getaway.


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