Rugged coasts, sandy beaches, quiet coves and fabulous walks, the opportunity to fish and sail, play golf, and enjoy water sports, plus a wide selection of pubs , restaurants and shops are all on hand for an enjoyable holiday on the North Cornish coast.
The historic town is a delight, with its fleet of fishing vessels, colourful buildings and narrow streets. Historically the town was a very busy commercial fishing village, and today has a unique charm all of its own and offers a wide range of holiday activities to suit both the young and the young at heart!
Over 4000 years ago, it is thought that travellers used the Fowey and Camel Valley on their journeys from Brittany to Ireland. By using this route, known as "The Saints Way", the traitorous sea passage around Land's End could be avoided. St. Petroc's arrival on the shores of the River Camel about the 6th Century put the town on the map. St Petroc studied theology and then founded a monastery which became know as Petrocston, and then ultimately Padstow. He died in Wales, c. 594 but was buried around the area.
Prideaux Place overlooks the town and was built in 1585 by Sir Nicholas Prideaux. The house is set within sixty acres of ground which includes twenty-two acres of deer park situated opposite the house. This deer park is thought to be very old with records available back to the year 450. For details visit www.prideauxplace.co.uk
As time went by the town continued to develop as a fishing and trading port and as a ship building centre. During the 16th century the port gave shelter to Sir John Hawkins as he made his way back from the West Indies and also to Sir Martin Frobisher on his way back from his search for the North West Passage to China in 1577. Most famously of all, Sir Walter Raleigh lived in the town for a time when he was Warden of Cornwall and his Court House on Riverside was the administrative center for the collection of taxes. During the 17th century mining was expanding around Cornwall and copper ore and slates were exported. The heyday of the Port was reached around the 19th century by which time a number of shipbuilding yards had been established and the fishing industry was at its peak.
Today, the working fishing fleet can be seen going about its business from the harbour area. Many of the restaurants have a daily supply of fresh fish, as a result of such a local fishing fleet. There are many holiday activities available from the harbour area to visitors. These include a high-powered speedboat trip, a more leisurely cruise aboard the ‘Jubilee Queen’, a ferry trip across to Rock (and visit St Enodoc church where Sir John Betjeman is buried), or a family fishing trip around the bay.The local coastal waters offer excellent fishing. Contact the Padstow Angling Centre on 01841 532762 for details. You could also learn to surf with a British Surfing Association approved surf school, the Harlyn Surf School. For exclusive Private and Group Surfing Lessons suitable for all ages and abilities, contact Harlyn Surf School
As well as the passenger ferry which runs regularly to Rock, there is also a water taxi service.
The town used to be the Cornish terminus of the Southern Railway and there was a direct train service from London Waterloo, "The Atlantic Coast Express". The existence of the station came to an end as a result of Dr Beeching's cuts, but all was not quite lost, as the old rail track became the 'Camel Trail', a very popular cycle and pedestrian link to Wadebridge proceeding to Bodmin before moving up to Wenford Bridge near St Breward on the slopes of Bodmin Moor. Bicycle hire is available, for details contact Padstow Cycle Hire
The town offers an agreeable mix of retail outlets including fashion boutiques, craft and souvenirs, book shops and home furnishings, all nestled amongst its quaint narrow streets. Also on offer is an amazing array of places to eat while you are on holiday, catering for all tastes and pockets! One of the most well known is Rick Stein with his world famous Seafood Restaurant. He now has several other eateries in the town including St Petroc’s Bistro, The Cafe, Seafood Cookery School and his own Fish and Chip shop!
Others include Restaurant No 6 http://www.number6inpadstow.co.uk/, and Rojanos http://www.rojanos.co.uk/. There are also many public houses that offer good pub food as well as locally brewed ales and even fine wine from http://www.camelvalley.com/ - the Camel Valley Vineyard. What better than a glass of Champagne and a view of Padstow harbour? BinTwo the local wine merchant, offers a wide selection of wines, visit http://www.bintwo.com/ And don’t forget to sample a Cornish pasty! http://www.thechoughbakery.co.uk/
During the spring and autumn the town steadies to a more leisurely pace. At the beginning of May Padstow holds its famous 'Obby Oss' Pagan festival celebrating the beginning of summer. This is truly a unique experience that shouldn't be missed! Keep an eye on our special offers for the beginning of May. Outside the main visitor season, the beauty of the area can be easily appreciated.
Even during the winter, the Christmas holiday lights around the quayside, harbour and town have become famous throughout. Mid December is also the time for late night Christmas shopping when local bands, mulled wine and the carollers take to the streets. Why not have a look at our Christmas and New Year holiday accommodation availability?
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