Scenic Walks, Watersports, Golf Course, Amusements, Pubs/Clubs, Theme Park, Takeaways, Fishing, Historical Attractions, Shops, Padstow Harbour, Camel Trail - to mention just a few!
Padstow Harbour is undoubtedly the strongest attraction in the town and visitors find themselves drawn to it like a magnet. Fishing and pleasure craft rock side-by-side on their moorings, children fish for crabs from the harbour wall, quayside inns and cafes overlook the calm water. There are seats all around the harbour and because there’s always something going on and it’s such a restful and interesting place it’s a favourite spot for both locals and visitors.
But the town and its harbour is just the first step in getting to know the area. Walk or cycle the Camel Trail toward Wadebridge, take a stroll along the estuary footpath toward one of several sandy beaches or take the ferry across the river to Rock. There’s something for everyone and for all tastes in Padstow and the surrounding area.
The natural beauty of the area – its rugged coastlines, sweeping sandy beaches, quiet coves and fabulous walks, is probably its main attraction. But there is much more to do and see. At the centre of all activity is the harbour. Brass band concerts are held regularly, visiting entertainers often perform on the quayside, fishing and pleasure trips depart from there and much social activity is conducted from the harbourside pubs and cafes, and of course the famous Rick Steins fabulous restaurants.
Treat yourself to a wreck, reef or bottom fishing trip or a fun-for-all-the family mackerel trip out in the bay. Or try a high powered speedboat trip or more leisurely cruise aboard the Jubilee Queen for a trip along the fabulous coastline. And if dry land is more your scene there’s the National Lobster Hatchery where you can discover the fascinating world of lobsters and their environment. Then there’s the Padstow Town Museum where you can step back in time and discover the history of Padstow through its Obby Oss, Railway and Lifeboat displays. The Museum is open from Easter to the end of October and is run by volunteers.
You must also visit the 7 Bays whilst staying here, the motto is 'Seven Bays for Seven Days', they are absolutely stunning. They are:-
Harlyn, Trevone, Treyarnon, Constantine, Mother Ivey, Booby's and Porthcothan.
The nearest to here is Harlyn Bay (1 mile north), the furthest (Porthcothan) 3.5 miles south-west. Only one of these, Booby’s Bay has no beach at the highest tides, the ribs of a wrecked ship appear periodically as the sand is relocated by the sea and prevailing currents. The widest beaches at low tide are Harlyn Bay and Constantine Bay. All the bays have fine golden sands and a backdrop of either rocky cliffs or sand-dunes, and all are popular with families as well as swimmers and surfers.
There is a sand-dune Conservation project at Constantine Bay, preserving an ancient haven for wildlife. This 20-year project involved planting tens of thousands of sea grass plants. The North Cornwall Coastal Path (follow the yellow arrows) leads even an average walker to dramatic coastal scenery; there are many notable viewpoints between Porthcothan to Padstow. The 7 beaches have varying aspects, offering the potential for shelter or surf, depending on wind direction and tidal state. Most beaches offer ‘crabbing and netting’ rocks at their west end, a favourite pursuit for children.
Many clifftop benches are dedicated to relatives of locals and visitors ‘who loved this place’. ‘Lark song and sea sound in the air, and splendour, splendour everywhere’ is one inscription on a bench between Treyarnon and Constantine Bays. Another nearby is the mysterious ‘The Captain and the Purple Lady – The sun is always over the yardarm’.
On Trevose Head (located between Booby’s Bay and Mother Ivey’s Bay you can see the Trevose Head Lighthouse, and go inside the Lifeboat Station. Between Trevone and Padstow, the estuary headland is topped with an old stone lookout tower, now unmanned.
In the summer, St. Merryn hosts a funfair, steam traction rally, St Merryn Carnival featuring floats and a Parade. A favourite for refreshments is the ‘Young Men’s Green’ opposite the Cornish Arms public house, now run by local celebrity chef Rick Stein!