There’s plenty to do in the charming fishing port of Padstow: from boat trips to bike rides, and family-friendly days out to rainy day activities, it’s hard to beat Padstow’s wealth of attractions and things to do. This characterful little town also boasts some of the county’s best beaches and foodie dining options, so you’ll always find something to suit you, whatever you’re in the mood for.
This beautiful, Grade I listed Tudor mansion is one of Cornwall’s most impressive heritage attractions, as well as being one of its oldest inhabitable buildings; it’s been home to the Prideaux family for over 400 years. Prideaux Place sits in a picturesque location above Padstow harbour with stunning views of the ancient deer park and out across the Cornish coastline. The house is a fantastic place to visit no matter what the weather. The house itself has a wonderful collection of art and porcelain to admire, as well as guided tours available; then there’s the charming tearoom overlooking the deer park, where you can indulge in a cup of tea and cake; and the landscaped gardens are perfect for a stroll in the sunshine.
Opening times: House: 1.30pm-4.30pm, Grounds and Tea Room: 12.30pm-5pm. Sundays to Thursdays, May to October. Check website for specific dates.
Prices: House & Grounds admission prices from £8.50 for adults and £2.00 for children.
Address: Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8RP
Contact: 01841 532411; www.prideauxplace.co.uk
The Camel Trail
This disused railway line runs along the course of the River Camel and provides access to some of the South West’s most beautiful scenery. It’s an 18 mile stretch that can be completed either on foot or by bike; bikes are available to hire in Padstow if you don’t have your own. Along the way you’ll visit places such as the bustling town of Wadebridge, Bodmin with its dramatic moor landscapes, and the extraordinarily pretty moorland village of Blisland. The full version of the route is suited to more committed walkers and cyclists but as it is flat and largely traffic free, it can also be suitable for families in smaller chunks eg. Padstow to Wadebridge.
Start point: Starts in Padstow and ends in Wenfordbridge
More information: www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/camel-trail
As a fishing port, Padstow’s harbour is the heart of the town and it would be a crime to visit the attractions surrounding Padstow without making the trip to explore the harbour itself. From here, there are boat trips across to Rock and around the coastline, as well as plenty of lovely places to eat and drink. You can enjoy an ice cream sat on the harbour wall, sit in a café with a cold drink watching the world go by, or grab some fish and chips from the world famous Rick Stein’s. Other popular activities at the harbour include crabbing, fishing (a licence permit is needed) and visiting the fantastic Tidings shop located in the back streets, which is dedicated almost entirely to pretty Christmas decorations and gifts.
Padstow Sea Life Safari
Awarded a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence, Padstow Sea Life Safaris come very well recommended. The safaris depart from Padstow harbour and take around two hours, covering about 25 miles of coastline in this time. The trips are guided by professionals, who will be able to tell you about the local points of interest and the wildlife that can be found in the area. With any luck, you’ll be able to spot dolphins, basking sharks, seals, puffins and more. The trip will also take you to several spots along the coastline where you can take great photos, and out to Trevose Head for a special view of the new Padstow life boat station.
Opening times: Open all year round. Boat trips start from 8am
Prices: From £25 for children and from £39 for adults; group and family discounts available
Address: Padstow Harbour, Cornwall, PL28 8BP
Contact: 0775482240; www.padstowsealifesafaris.co.uk
National Lobster Hatchery
The National Lobster Hatchery is a marine and conservation charity that supports the conservation of vulnerable lobster populations. It's a centre of excellence in lobster science and the research is highly-regarded around the world. The hatchery invites visitors to see conservation in action for themselves, with the main attraction being the newly-hatched lobsters growing up before they are ready to be released. Around 30,000 lobsters a year are released into the waters off the Cornish coast. Visitors can also see giant lobsters and spider crabs, as well as sponsor the younger lobsters, making this a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Padstow.
Opening times: Open all year, seven days a week. Opens at 10am until at least 4pm. Open later in the summer. To check opening times for specific dates, visit the website below.
Prices: Adult prices from £3.75, children’s prices from £1.75. Under fives go free. Discounted prices for seniors and family tickets available to save money. All prices include a free annual pass so you can return as many times as you like in the year.
Address: South Quay, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8BL
Contact: 01841 533877; www.nationallobsterhatchery.co.uk
Crealy Adventure Park
For a fantastic family day out, look no further than Cornwall’s Crealy Adventure Park. This fun-filled theme park is jam-packed with over 40 family-friendly rides, children’s play areas, both indoor and outdoor, and hundreds of animals that children can encounter; there are pony rides, a pets corner and even a reptile house. It was voted the Theme Park and Attraction of the Year by the Cornish Tourism Awards 2014/15 and is rated highly on TripAdvisor, so you’re sure to have a brilliant time. And you won’t have to worry about the weather either, as Crealy is an all-weather park with plenty to do both inside and out.
Opening times: Varies throughout the year. Please see the website for details
Prices: Prices vary throughout the year and there's a 20% discount on tickets for booking online. For more information on prices please visit the website below
Address: Tredinnick, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7RA
Contact: 01841 540276; www.crealy.co.uk/Cornwall
Cornish Birds of Prey Centre
A fantastic day out for all the family, the Cornish Birds of Prey Centre is nestled among the beautiful Cornwall countryside, around a 15 minute drive from Padstow. There are over 50 birds of prey at the centre, from owls to vultures, and there are many other species of bird to see too including swans, parrots and emu. Visitors are treated to daily flying displays (weather permitting) and there’s also the option to book an experience day, where you can handle and fly the birds.
Opening times: Seven days a week 1st April- 31st October inclusive. 10am-5pm
Prices: Adults from £7, children up to 13 years, £5.50. Family tickets and senior discounts available
Address: Winnards Perch, St Columb, Cornwall, TR9 6DH
Contact: 01637 880544; www.cornishbirdsofprey.co.uk
Padstow to Stepper Point- SWCP
Keeping Watch by Lindsay Philp, © Southwestcoastpath.com
This 6.2 mile circular walk around a section of the South West Coast Path begins at Padstow harbour and travels across the headlands. The route includes spectacular views across the River Camel and the Doom Bar, and takes hikers past sandy beaches, holy wells and fascinating rock formations to be explored. The walk is ideal for families, with most of the route on level footpaths and tracks; and dogs are permitted on any stretch of the South West Coast Path all year round. There are pubs, restaurants and tea shops in Padstow itself but if you want to eat along the walk then why not pack a picnic?
Start point: Start and finish at Padstow Harbour, PL28 8AF
More information: www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/277
Want to see more beautiful views in Cornwall? Check out our guide to 10 must see views in Cornwall.
Harlyn Surf School
© Lisa Stonehouse
Described by The Sunday Times as ‘the best surf school on the North Cornish Coast’, and awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Harlyn is the place to head if you want to learn how to surf in Padstow. With an exceptional safety record and an Adventure Activity Licence, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re in good hands. As well as surfing, you can take part in plenty of other activities here, including Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), coasteering, body boarding and kayaking. Harlyn Bay itself has also been recognised as one of the top five family beaches in Cornwall.
Opening times: Surf courses run from 10am until 6pm in peak seasons
Prices: Surf lessons from £25 for children and £40 for adults. Family discount tickets available. Equipment available to hire at additional cost
Address: Right on the beach at Harlyn Bay, St Merryn Padstow, Cornwall. For SatNavs, use PL28 8SB
Contact: 01841 533076; www.harlynsurfschool.co.uk
Padstow Brewing Company
The Padstow Brewing Company is a new microbrewery in the heart of Padstow. Although compact, this friendly brewery has already won awards, selling a fine range of artisan beers that can be bought directly from the brewery itself, as well as in local pubs, shops and restaurants. Visitors can book a tour around the brewery, where you will be shown around the equipment, learn about the process and taste a few beers. What's more when you finish the tour you'll leave with a gift pack. Full day brewing experiences are also available, where you can brew your own beer to take away.
Opening times: Varies. Please call for more information.
Prices: Tours are from £20 per person, accompanying children go free. Brew Day Experiences cost from £95 per person.
Address: The Brewery, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8RW
Contact: 01841 532169; www.padstowbrewing.co.uk
North Cornwall and Padstow are famous for their restaurants and fine dining options, so if you’re visiting on holiday and want to discover a good place to eat while you’re away, take a look at our guide to six of the best restaurants in North Cornwall.