Padstow Harbour
Padstow Harbour
Spring view from Padstow over to Rock

Padstow Guide


Padstow in Cornwall - picturesque harbour town, stunning scenery, home of the National Lobster Hatchery and Rick Stein's world famous seafood restaurant. Let's Stay invites you on a tour of the beautiful Cornish town of Padstow...



From M5 (south): leave the M5 at junction 31, then branch left and merge on to the A30. Stay on the A30 until you reach the A395 signposted Wadebridge, Camelford.  Leave the A30 at this junction and at the roundabout, take the 4th exit on to the A395 for 12 miles. On reaching the A39 Atlantic Highway, turn left for Wadebridge.  Go through Camelford and carry on the the A39 until reaching Whitecross. Turn right onto A389 signposted Padstow. After travelling through St Issey and Little Petherick follow signs for Padstow.  There are plenty of parking spaces and Park and Ride in the summer outside the main part of the town.

By Train: You can travel to Cornwall via the Rail Network. There is no train station in Padstow. Bodmin Parkway station provides a bus service to Padstow from its train station. Go to the National Rail website to plan your journey from wherever you are in the UK.

By Air: Newquay Cornwall Airport is serviced by flights from around the UK. Flybe, Ryanair, BMI Baby, Lufthansa, AirSouthWest and Skybus all operate out of Cornwall's premier Airport from most regional Airports. There are plenty of Car Hire and Taxis available at the Airport.


It is thought Padstow has a history going back over 4000 years. Travellers used the Fowey Camel Valley on route from Brittany to Ireland known as “The Saints Way”. In 520 AD St Petroc arrived on the River Camel, with a small number of followers, from Ireland and built a monastery on the hill above the harbour. Born in Wales, St. Petroc studied theology in Ireland, he lived in Padstow for thirty years, before making a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. When he returned to Cornwall he founded yet more hermitages and monasteries. He died in Wales in 594AD and was buried in Padstow.

The Monastery was destroyed by the Vikings in the 10th century. The church's control ceased when the ownership of the land was transferred to the Prideaux family. In 1592 Prideaux Place was built by Nicholas Prideaux. The Elizabethan manor remained unaltered until the 18th century when Edmund, Nicholas's great grandson, created a formal garden and updated the house.

Padstow continued to develop as a fishing and trading port and as a shipbuilding centre.  Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Padstow for a time when he was Warden of Cornwall and his Court House on Riverside was the administrative centre for the collection of taxes. The building still exists, however the Court House and his cottage are not open to the public. In the 17th century, Pilchards, wheat, barley oats, copper and tin were exported from Padstow from it’s sheltered location on the River Camel.

In 1899 a railway link was created between Padstow and London Waterloo. This link lasted less than 70 years as Padstow became a casualty of the railway cuts in the 1960s’. Many people feared the worst for the small town, however the West Country was beginning to become a popular holiday destination and Padstow, with its natural beauty, was ideally placed to welcome the newest visitors. The old railway track became the Camel Trail, a cycle and pedestrian link between Padstow and Wadebridge.

The first day of May in Padstow is Obby Oss day. Padstonians from all over the world come “home” and dress in white and wear either a red or blue ribbon sash depending  on which Obby Oss they support. The annual celebration is to mark the arrival of Spring and the end of the dark winter. Rick Stein has also been credited with increasing the number of visitors to the town with his seafood restaurant, as well as other establishments which provide quality food and much employment.

While Padstow remains in essence a traditional fishing village, its credibility today as a fine holiday destination is undoubted. A range of Padstow cottages and other holiday accommodation is available to help make your stay a memorable one.


Jubilee queen: The Jubilee Queen boat trips, have been a firm favourite with visitors to Padstow for many years. The trips from Padstow up the estuary are always interesting and informative. Summer coastal cruises run daily (weather and sea conditions permitting) from Padstow around the offshore islands. You can be sure to see a variety of seabirds and marine life. Occasionally passengers are lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins passing through, or the odd seal or basking shark. The vessel has a fitted Bar and toilets on board

Padstow Cycle hire: Padstow Cycle Hire offers modern, safety checked cycle hire on the Camel Trail and around the Padstow area. They offer cycle hire and bikes for all ages and ability so whether you are looking to explore the Camel Trail, Padstow or the surrounding area Padstow Cycle Hire have the facility and experience to meet your needs. There is now also a DISABILITY BIKE.

Prideaux place: An Elizabethian House with grounds, which include a deer park, Prideaux Place has been the home of the Prideaux family for over 400 years. Built in 1592 by Nicholas Prideaux, the Elizabethan manor survived unaltered until the eighteenth century when Edmund, Nicholas's great grandson, influenced by his Grand Tour through Italy in 1739, created a formal garden.

National lobster hatchery: At the heart of the NLH’s work is a lobster restocking project. Local fishermen bring “pregnant” female lobsters in to the hatchery, to give them a chance to release their delicate offspring in captivity, where there are no predators. The young lobsters are then raised to a size where they can be released back into the sea and look after themselves. Unlike most marine biology labs their work is on view for anybody going to the visitor centre.

Golf: Trevose Golf Club, is set on the coast offering three courses including a championship 18 hole course. The two other golf courses at Trevose are both nine-hole layouts.

The camel trail: The Camel Trail is a disused and resurfaced railway line in Cornwall, United Kingdom, that provides a recreational route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The trail is flat (and suitable for disabled access); running from Padstow to Wenford Bridge via Wadebridge and Bodmin, it is 17.3 miles (27.8 km) long and used by an estimated 400,000 users each year generating an income of approximately £3 million a year.The trail is managed and maintained by a partnership between North Cornwall District Council and by Cornwall County Council.

Angling: If you would like to take in some fishing whilst in Padstow, the Padstow Angling Centre is there to help you. It is situated in a prime position on the edge of the quay, in an area called The Drang, Padstow Angling Centre is a mecca for every keen angler. There you could meet Ed Schliffke known as "" The Rockhopper"" and his friendly staff, and they will give you every help to catch fish, whether you are experienced or a novice. Based on Ed's love and knowledge of over 40 years fishing on the spectacular North Cornish Coast.

Apart from a comprehensive stock of fishing tackle, the staff can tell you what species can be found and in which area, and also the best times of the year and of the tide to catch them. The shop will also provide the appropriate bait and correct tackle to fish with.


Doctors: The Medical Centre, Boyd Avenue, Padstow Tel: 01841 532346

             St. Merryn, The Surgery, (next to Village Hall), St Merryn, Padstow  Tel: 01841 520394

Dentist:  Padstow Dental Practice, 18 Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8BY Tel:   01841-532373

Hospital: Main Hospital with casualty and accident and emergency centre Treliske  Hospital, Treliske, Truro.  Tel: 01872 25000 

             East Cornwall Hospital, Bodmin.  Tel: 01208 251566 - minor injury unit  (not  24hrs)

            Newquay Hospital, Newquay.  Tel: 01637 893600 - minor injury unit (not 24hrs)

Passenger Ferry: Rock to Padstow passenger ferry takes the short journey across the Camel Estuary. At high tide, leaves from Padstow Harbour, at low tide from a special landing site close to Chapel Stile field. The ferry is well sign-posted throughout the town.

Padstow Harbour master: The Harbour Office Padstow Cornwall PL28 8AQ. Tel: 01841 532239


Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015