Welcome to Padstow
Padstow is a charming Cornish town. Famed for its foodie scene, bustling with fishing boats and surrounded by picturesque sandy beaches, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. The stunning Camel Estuary is home to one of the UK’s renowned vineyards. However, when you make an effort to step off the beaten track or cast your net wider than the locations that Rick Stein made so famous, you will be rewarded – plentifully!
Read on for our quick tour of some of Padstow’s secret and best-loved spaces. As chosen by David McWilliam, founder of the coastal-distilled Padstow Gin and owner of Number 17, one of Padstow’s bijoux foodie spots.
A warm welcome awaits in Padstow at every time of the year and we are sure you will find a new favourite or discover an old friend when you visit.
The National Lobster Hatchery was opened in August 2000 and is easily found as you drive into Padstow on the South Quay. The Hatchery is a charitable organisation that focuses on marine conservation, research and education about the European lobster. It exists to serve the coastal fishing communities of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The National Lobster Hatchery has a visitor centre which is really worth calling in to. And their social media (particularly Instagram @padstowlobster) gives terrific insight into the care they take in their work – and some brilliant video footage of the hatchlings as they are released.
David’s Top Tip: The Hatchery is easily visible as you drive into town, but it is also a comfortable, level walk from the harbour. Something about the harbour always makes us think of fish and chips – and you are in luck because Stein’s Fish & Chip shop is close by.
If you climb the hill behind the harbour it is a short, but relatively steep, 10-minute walk to Prideaux Place. This is a magnificent, grade 1- listed Elizabethan country house which has been the home of the Prideaux family for more than 400 years and is open to visitors Sunday through to Thursday. Take a tour of the house to view a fine art collection that includes Royal and family portraits, fine furniture and the Prideaux Porcelain Collection. Tours are available every day, no need to book, and the herd of fallow deer is thought to be one of the oldest park herds in the country.
David’s Top Tip: You really mustn’t visit Prideaux Place without taking a walk around the grounds, the views across the Camel Estuary really are spectacular.
At low tide, the beach at Hawkers Cove on the outskirts of Padstow stretches almost 1.5 miles from the old lifeboat station to join up with Harbour Cove. This is one of my favourite spots for a picnic or beach walk – Hawkers Cove is one of Padstow’s more remote locations, probably because there is limited parking close by.
David’s Top Tip: If you are here for more than a walk, you may need to bring supplies! This beautiful spot is unspoilt, which means no facilities until you return to Padstow.
Cycle the Camel Trail
Enjoy 18 miles of the Camel Trail as you walk or cycle through some of the most spectacular countryside in Cornwall. The trail from Padstow follows a disused railway line that was once used by the London and South West Railway to encourage holiday makers to explore and enjoy this part of Cornwall. Today, the trail follows the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge and takes you through the deep and beautifully wooded Camel Valley to Bodmin. This is a thoroughly lovely day out, at every time of the year. And if you do not fancy walking or cycling the whole route, join at Wadebridge or use one of the car parks en route and take a shorter, more casual stroll.
David’s Top Tip: The Camel Valley Vineyard is well worth a visit. Why not take a tour while you are passing? Or stop for a glass of wine – or a cream tea with a glass of their award-winning fizz?
Paul Ainsworth at Number Six
Paul Ainsworth at Number Six A Michelin star restaurant located in a beautiful Georgian townhouse in the heart of Padstow. Paul serves modern British food with a focus on locally sourced Cornish produce. A lovely meal, with first-rate service, Number Six really is one of Padstow’s gems.
David’s Top Tip: Book! Yes seriously – as soon as you have booked your stay in Padstow, if you want to eat at Number Six, get your reservations made ASAP! This lovely restaurant gets booked up well in advance – with good reason.
17 Duke Street
For a more relaxed, bijoux experience, 17 Duke Street is home to great cocktails and coffees, fine wine – and the award-winning Padstow Gin family. Call in for a coffee and cake while you stock up your holiday cellar. We would love to introduce you to our wildly different small-batch Padstow Gins and tasting is always available
David’s Top Tip: Call ahead or drop us a Direct Message and we will happily reserve you a table. Charcuterie and cheeses are available if you want a little taste of something alongside your drinks.