1. The National Lobster Hatchery
Learn all about lobsters at the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow. A marine conservation, research and education charity. Find out about the fascinating insights of the life cycle of lobsters and how the National Lobster Hatchery plays it part in replenishing the lobster stocks off our shores. Lots of fun and things to do in their upstairs educational facility!
2. Camel Ski School
Venture over to Camel Ski School in Rock, UK’s largest waterski centre offering waterskiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and inflatable rides. Proudly accredited by the British Water Ski & Wakeboard Federation, Camel Ski School caters for all of your on water needs, guided by expert instructors. Lots of fun, without the crowds.
3. Surf, Kayak or Paddleboard at Harlyn, Constantine or Porthcothan
Set on the golden sands of Harlyn Beach 3 miles from Padstow is Harlyn Surf School, learn to surf or discover the exhilaration of stand up paddleboarding, sea kayaking or coasteering. Their location at Harlyn Bay is one of the safest and best family beaches on the North Cornish coast and they have a base on the beach, providing changing and kit hire. Waves Surf School based in St Merryn specialise in surfing lessons and operate at Harlyn, Constantine and Porthcothan, in fact they will go where the best surf is!
4. Sealife spotting boat trips
No visit to Cornwall is complete without a boat trip! Padstow Sealife Safaris and Wavehunters both have trips departing from Padstow harbour. Both have offices in the harbour or simply book online in advance to avoid disappointment. Search for curious seals and playful dolphins, bird spotting and exploring the beautiful, rugged Cornish coast – make it a boat trip to remember! Discover marine life with 1 hour or 2 hour trips, or enjoy a bespoke tour, tailored made just for you.
5. Greens of Padstow
Come and enjoy a delicious meal, or just coffee and cake whilst soaking up the stunning views of Padstow and the Camel Estuary. A great place to sit and relax, or if you are feeling a bit sporty try out their mini golf course, teams of 4 can putt their way around the beautiful 18-hole course, surrounded by lush foliage and flowers, all the while overlooking the estuary and harbour.
6. The Camel Trail
The Camel Trail is an 18 mile largely traffic free trail which follows an old railway line from Padstow to Wenfordbridge via Wadebridge & Bodmin. Being mostly level, it is ideal for families and less experienced cyclists, The trail offers spectacular views of moorland, woodland and estuary and is used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and horse-riders. The trail goes alongside the Camel Estuary, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that enters the sea near Padstow, and provides an excellent habitat for birds. Large areas of salt marsh encourage a variety of winter waders, while on the mudflats at low tide you can often see members of what was Britain’s very first colony of Little Egrets. For more information click here. Visitors can hire bikes in Padstow at Trail Bike Hire which is right at the start of the trail when you leave the main car park and Bridge Bike Hire in Wadebridge.
7. Explore Bodmin Moor
Away from the coastal delights of the Cornish coast sits another area of stunning beauty, the hidden heart of Cornwall that is Bodmin Moor. More often than not visitors pass across it’s wild centre and barely notice it, though every where you look there are prehistoric remains, moorland streams, huge granite boulders, medieval bridges, gaunt engine houses and unique villages. See the geological formation around the village of Minions, stumble across the Cheesewring, a tower of naturally balanced stones dating back 280 million years, take a stroll alongside the Golitha Falls on the River Fowey or take a walk on the wild side and scale Cornwall’s two highest peaks – Rough Tor and Brown Willy. A circular route takes you to the top of Rough Tor where you can enjoy gob-smacking countryside and coastal views all the way along the ridge to Showery Tor, where you drop back down into the valley before tackling the ascent of Brown Willy – Cornwall’s highest peak at 420m. Perhaps you would like to do some mountain biking? Then head to Cardinham Woods, a popular recreational area on the south west corner of the Moor. 10 miles of trails for both walkers and cyclists in 650 acres of coniferous woodland.
8. Visit Bodmin Keep
Bodmin Keep is over 160 years old and is the historic home of the Army in Cornwall. This former headquarters of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry houses the museum, with more than three hundred years of military history. There are lots of activities for children and exhibitions going on throughout the year and there is free entry February Half Term! Click here for more information.
9. Hike the South West Coast Path
There’s nothing like a coastal walk to blow away the cobwebs, keep fit and feast your eyes on Cornwall’s stunning scenery. Visit the Padstow Tourist Information Centre on South Quay and grab the Stepper Point Circular Walk. A moderate 7 mile walk passing the vast beaches and sand dunes at Hawker’s Cove, Stepper Point Beacon and Butter Hole, then coming back inland via the sensational Prideaux Place and it’s fabulous Deer Park. You can also pick up the Sir John Betjeman circular walk which involves a short but exciting ferry ride over to Rock. Visit the 12th Century St Enodoc Church where Sir John Betjeman is buried and take in fabulous views of the Camel Estuary as it flows out to the open sea. Alternatively, just amble along the coast path to Trevone (3 hours from Padstow) and Harlyn half a mile further on. From Rock you can reach Polzeath Beach in under 2 hours and if you are super fit, carry on to The Rumps on the other side of Pentire Point.
10. Hangloose Adventure
Fly down England’s longest and fastest zipwires over the unique Biomes of the famous Eden Project or choose from any of the other amazing activities on offer such as the Zero Gravity Swing. Hangloose Adventure is home to one of the UK’s most adrenaline-pumping, fun filled outdoor adventure centres.