Padstow

A town with a history of ghosts that’s been around for longer in spirit than it has in name.

The area of Padstow may have been used from as early as 2500 BCE as a natural harbour that linked Brittany to Ireland from Fowey. It’s always been an important area, and its position on the North Coast of Cornwall makes it even more so.

A brief history

The harbour that was developed in the Middle Ages was used as a trading port for copper, tin and lead ores, slate, pilchards and agricultural produce. Welsh coal was imported by sea along with timber and fish salt. But that was just the start of Padstow as we know it, for the town has developed much more than that over the years.

The Port had a thriving fishing industry and by the nineteenth century there were six shipyards in total. Padstow became the heart of a new life for many people; those who were looking to start anew in American or Canada would come through Padstow first.

When shipbuilding declined, the railway came, and tourism bloomed once more in Padstow. Through all of its history, Padstow has been the home of a tightly knit community that welcomes all with open hearts and open arms.

What to do and where to go

Padstow’s May Day celebrations are a pretty unusual but loved by all of the town’s inhabitants. The main activities of the event revolve around the two Obby Osses (hence the celebration’s name of “Obby Oss”) which resemble a pantomime horse. Also involved are fair maidens, a team of Morris dancers, and the public, of course.

St George’s Cove, Tregirls and Hawker’s Cove are all fabulous family-friendly beaches that exist in Padstow. Even though Padstow isn’t regarded as a beach town, there are still quite a few sand and rock beaches nearby that are certainly worth a visit. To get to the rock beaches, hop on the ferry to get across the river.

In a town that used to be (and still is) very well-known for sailing and boating, there are boats of all shapes and sizes taking short trips across the coast of Padstow. You can try angling, or even go wildlife spotting to find seals, dolphins, puffins and even basking sharks!

Prideaux Place was built in the year 1592 and has been passed down through the generations of Prideaux children to its current owners, Peter and Elisabeth Prideaux-Brune. There are formal gardens, as well as a park that houses wild deer.

Where to stay

Padstow Townhouse has some of the best ratings from guests for its traditional rooms and 17th century style. Just two minutes from Prideaux Palace manor, you’ll be in a great location to get to several attractions within Padstow.

A statelier and luxurious hotel in Padstow is St. Enodoc Hotel. A chic hotel with riverside views and offers fine dining and a day spa. It’s obviously a little more expensive per night than the B&Bs and Townhouses of Padstow but has great benefits.

Also available are the Woodlands Country House, the Golden Lion, and Lellizzick Farm B&B.