Padstow & the Camel Trail in North Cornwall - Padstow and Camel Trail/ Camel Estuary Guide
Your Online Guide to Padstow, North Cornwall

Padstow - in North Cornwall

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Padstow  harbour with fishing boats -Holidays

Your Online Guide to Padstow, North Cornwall

Padstow lies on the west side of the Camel Estuary, about seven miles from Wadebridge. The area is one of considerable natural beauty with beautiful bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath. It is not surprising that Padstow has become one of North Cornwall's premier holiday destinations.

Padstow is a fine example of a Cornish-fishing port. The town is largely unspoilt, with a beautiful harbour. There are good shopping facilities, a cinema, cafes and restaurants, including the famous "Seafood Restaurant" run by Rick Stein and many old and friendly public houses, most of them serving pub food and 'real ale'.

Around the harbour you will find craft and gift shops, artists' studios, book-shops, grocers, newsagents, leather workshops, a home-made fudge shop and much more.

Padstow itself lies on the Camel Estuary, about seven miles from Wadebridge. The area is one of outstanding natural beauty with stunning bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath.

Padstow Harbour - North Cornwall     Padstow Harbour - North Cornwall

The site of Padstow was well chosen by its forefathers. Settled into a narrow gulley on the West side of the River Camel estuary it is well sheltered from the prevailing south-west winds and the air is balmy. Padstow is a heavenly jumble of picturesque houses, quays, boat slips, cafes and restaurants, gift and craft shops. Not mush of this was planned: it has happened through the years.

No architect could have planned the Padstow of today. It is the result of years of adaptation and change, of getting the best out of local natural materials and then ingeniously adapting these buildings to fit the current needs of a friendly little harbour town. Despite the modern applications everything looks right because everything is right, and woe betide the city slicker who tries to redevelop our. We love it as it is.


It is true that time and tide wait for no man but it is also true that here in Padstow they do seem to wait that little bit longer. Everything moves slower. The traffic, because it cannot do any other, and the people, because their lives are governed so much more by the tides, the seasons of the year and the farming calendar. It will become obvious to our visitors that we Padstonians have discovered that rushing about simply does not do anyone any good. Some of us here would like to whole world to slow down to our pace but we know that this cannot be. Instead of this, we invite our visitors to share with us the slowing down - if only for a couple of weeks, and you will find that you are drawn towards it as if by an invisible magnet. Folks always have time to stand and stare into the harbour scene and Padstow is no exception.

There are seats all around and it is a favourite place for locals and visitors alike. The long seat beside the shelter on the corner of the North Quay is called the Long Lugger and this is the traditional meeting place for Padstonians. Here the old boys of the town hold court, swap yarns and generally watch the world go by.

Try to set aside some of your holiday to share in our heritage. Visit our dear little museum which is not a huge tomb of a place, but a small room set aside to house some of our modest historic treasures. Come to church, sit quietly a while and reflect upon the history of Padstow. Somehow the church in a small seafaring town reflects life's chequered pattern so much more. Spare a moment of thought for the wives and mothers of yesteryear who prayed for the safe return of their absent men. Of the joy that would be released at the end of a long voyage safely concluded.

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