Padstow (Cornish: Lannwedhenek) is small historic fishing village on the north coast of Cornwall, England famous (and perhaps spoilt) for being the residence of TV celebrity chef Rick Stein. The town has expanded greatly, become very up market and expensive, and lost its old-fashioned fishing village character, due the crowds who come because of the fame it has gained by featuring on television. Do not let this put you off, it is still a beautiful town to visit (although many now describe it as Cornish London).
Coming from Exeter, take the A30 to Bodmin. then drive through Wadebridge and onto Padstow.
Finding a parking space in Padstow itself is not a simple task in peak months. Use the Park & Ride near Tesco (Easter, May Day, Jun-Aug, £4/car, car park open 10AM-10PM but buses stop at 6PM).
The nearest airport is 1 Newquay Airport (NQY IATA), which has daily flights to London Stansted, London Gatwick and London Luton. When departing from Newquay Airport be prepared to pay £5 extra tax, which will go towards the extension of the terminal building. At present, there are no international flights except to Ireland and Germany, so you might have to change planes.
Take a train to Bodmin Parkway (you may have to change trains at Plymouth), there are several of these a day. There are bus connections from Bodmin to Padstow. The timetables of these buses are designed to fit around the big trains arriving.
All places in Padstow are within walking distance. The South West Coast Path also runs through part of the town.
- 1 The National Lobster Hatchery, ☏ . Located on the south quay, the national lobster hatchery rear lobsters to return back to the sea to relieve the strain from modern pressures.
- 2 Prideaux Place, PL28 8RP, ☏ . An old house located at the top of Padstow.
- 3 Padstow Lifeboat Station. The station is located just outside of padstow at Trevose head. The lifeboat station is open during the day to the public.
- 4 Padstow Museum, Market Pl, PL28 8AL, ☏ . A small museum with local artefacts and documents related to Padstow itself and its docks.
- 1 The Camel Trail (Starts at the car park at Riverside/Station Road near the National Lobster Hatchery). 24 hours. This cycle path along a disused railway line links Padstow with Wadebridge and Bodmin. There are a couple of cycle hire places near the trail start, who also hire trailers for small kids. There are beautiful views of the Camel Estuary between Padstow and Wadebridge, whilst the section to Bodmin is mostly within a wooded valley with a gentle climb. The section in Wadebridge itself is on-road - less confident cyclists may prefer to walk this bit. Cafés and pasty shops in Wadebridge or stop for a cream tea at the Camel Trail Tea Garden.
- Take a day trip to Rock across the Camel estuary. The Black Tor ferry departs from the Ferry Slip in Padstow harbour every 20 minutes from 7:50AM with the last sailing back between 4:30PM and 7:30PM depending on the time of year (adults £3, children £2). A water taxi also operates in the evenings from 7PM to midnight.
Padstow has a lot of beaches within the local vicinity:
- St George's Well (approximately a 1 km walk from the north edge of the town).
- Harbour Cove.
- 2 Hawker's Cove.
- 3 Tregirls.
- 4 Trevone.
- 5 Harlyn Bay.
- 6 Mother Ivys.
- 7 Booby's Bay.
- 8 Constantine Bay.
- 9 Treyarnon Bay.
- 10 Porthcothan.
Others can be found across the other side of the estuary near Rock.
Padstow is sometimes referred to as "Padstein" due to the proliferation of eateries set up by TV chef, Rick Stein. These include:
- 1 Rick Stein's Café, 10 Middle St, PL28 8AP (A couple of streets back from the harbour), ☏ . Daytime M-F 9AM-2:30AM, Sa Su 8AM-2:30PM; dinner Th-Sa 6:30PM-9:30PM. A popular and much more informal alternative to the main restaurant for those who want a taste of Stein but who have less money to burn! Mains £10-£16.
- 2 Stein's Fish & Chips, South Quay, PL28 8BL (5 minute walk from the main harbour), ☏ . M-Su noon-3PM, Th-Sa 5PM-8PM. Small restaurant and popular takeaway - expect long queues at popular times of year. Mains £8.95-10.50, takeaways from £7.
- 3 The Seafood Restaurant, Riverside PL28 8BY, ☏ . Daily 12:00-17:00, 20:00-22:00. Stein's most famous and pricey restaurant. Book weeks if not months in advance at peak times. They also have 16 rooms, B&B double from £180. Mains from £20.
Other restaurants include:
- 4 Rojano's in the Square, 9 Mill Square, PL28 8AE (immediately behind the harbour), ☏ . M-Su 10AM-3PM, 5PM-late, open all day in peak season. Italian restaurant specialising in Cornish produce. Pastas £8-18, pizzas £7-12.
- 1 The London Inn, 6-8 Lanadwell St, PL28 8AN, ☏ .
- 2 The Golden Lion Hotel, 19 Lanadwell St, PL28 8AN, ☏ . 11AM-11PM.
- 3 The Shipwrights Inn, North Quay, PL28 8AF, ☏ . 11AM-11PM.
- 4 The Old Custom House Hotel, South Quay, PL28 8BL, ☏ . 10AM-10PM.
- 5 The Harbour Inn, Strand St, PL28 8BC, ☏ . 11AM-11PM.
- 1 Padstow Touring Park, ☏ .
- 2 Padstow Caravan Hire, ☏ .
- 3 The Metropole Hotel, Station Rd, PL28 8DB, ☏ .
- 4 The Old Ship Hotel, Mill Square, ☏ . Hotel, bar and restaurant
- Padstow Townhouse, 16 High St PL28 8BB, ☏ . Bijou upscale B&B, richly decorated. You eat dinner at No 6 or Rojanos. No children under 16 or dogs. B&B double £300.
- CRW Holiday Cottages Padstow, 3 Duke Street, Padstow, PL27 6NW, ☏ .