Padstow Arts and Heritage
Fishing harbour then trading port then 19th-century seaside destination: Padstow’s history is the story of Cornwall. The best way to discover Padstow’s heritage is simply to stroll around the streets and harbour. Elegant Georgian buildings stand among the pretty house-jumble of old fisher cottages, reminders of Padstow’s days as a busy port. There are also some fascinating visitor attractions to explore – and you may even catch a unique local celebration…
Follow Padstow’s winding back lanes up to Prideaux Place at the top of the town. The busy streets and harbour seem like a different world from the calm, leafy space of this 3,500-acre Elizabethan estate.
The Tudor manor house and grounds still belong to the Prideaux family, who open their home and estate for tours in the main season. Explore the elegant house, formal gardens and deer park (just remember to visit the tea room before heading back to the bustle).
The National Lobster Hatchery
Come to an aquarium with a difference. The National Lobster Hatchery on the quay started out as a centre for lobster conservation, and its visitor centre gradually developed over the years, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the hatchery’s marine research and conservation projects.
Visitors can meet the baby lobsters (surprisingly sweet), who grow in safety in the hatchery before being released into the wild by local fishermen or divers.
Art in Padstow
If you love pottering around small independent galleries, you’ll find plenty of these among Padstow’s winding streets. While Padstow never had the same pull for artists as St Ives or Newlyn, it still has a great appeal among contemporary artists. If you want to take home a painting or print of Padstow, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice.
Padstow’s ‘Obby ‘Oss
Padstow celebrates its older, pagan heritage on May Day with its famous ‘Obby ‘Oss festivities. Two men dress up as “osses” in masks and black capes, and dance around the town, trying to catch maidens. The celebrations continue until late in the night, when the horses are guided into their stables and the town joins in with a song about their death.
As you can imagine, it’s a pretty unique event, and worth catching if you can. Book well in advance, and use the park and ride.
National Lobster Hatchery
National Lobster Hatchery, The National Lobster Hatchery, South Quay, Padstow, UK
11 Lanadwell St, Padstow PL28 8AN, UK
Station Road, Padstow, UK
Prideaux Place, Prideaux Place, Padstow, UK
9 North Quay Parade, Padstow PL28 8AF, UK
The Drang Gallery
South Quay, Padstow PL28 8BL, UK