Calling all Trailblazers and lovers of the Path – join our Trailblazer Walk and help celebrate our 50th anniversary and 50 years of protecting, caring for and sharing the amazing South West Coast Path!

Join the South West Coast Path Association 50th Anniversary Trailblazer Walk  – an epic 630 mile relay hike which is open to anyone and everyone.  You can join just a morning or afternoon walk on your favourite stretch of the Path or take on a number of sections. The walk starts in Minehead on 12 May and South Haven Point on 27 May with a finish point at Royal William Yard, Plymouth on 15 June where the charity will celebrate its golden milestone.
It is FREE to take part but there are limited spaces per walk and booking is essential.
Grab your ticket on Eventbrite 


Are you visiting Padstow for the first time and want to know all about it? Or maybe you’ve been before and have wandered around the town looking at the old buildings and wondered about their history? Find out more about Abbey House (the old property over looking the harbour) or discover how the town got its name!  Why not call into our office and find out more – our town trail is approximately 1.5 miles long and should take just over an hour. The printed guide is full of historical details and photos, a bargain at just £2.75!

Please call into our office if we can be of further help about the trail or other local walks. Find us in the Mariner’s Clock Building on South Quay-opposite The Harbour Office.





A delightful circular route (approximately 5 miles, taking 3 hours) with amazing views of the Camel Estuary, this walk can start from Padstow or Little Petherick.  Be aware that part of the walk is impassable when the tide is high and it can be muddy, but the stunning glimpses of the river make it worth the effort. When starting from Padstow you begin by following The Saints Way-continue along Dennis Lane to the end, where the footpath leads up to the top of Dinas Hill, near to the Queen Victoria Obelisk. From here you follow the footpath along the creek to Little Petherick. Crossing the bridge you will find another footpath on the other side of the creek, which leads you back to the Camel Trail, bringing you back into Padstow across the old iron railway bridge.

Please call into our office for further help. We have a selection of free maps and our town guide or you can buy a delightful printed guide which contains details of the route and historical information about the features you will pass on the walk. Find us in the Mariner’s Clock Building on South Quay-opposite The Harbour Office.


If you’d like to explore the other side of the river, this delightful walk of about 3 miles (with alternative routes to extend or shorten your return) could be just right for you. Starting with a ride on the Black Tor Passenger Ferry, across to the other side of the Camel Estuary, this walk takes in St Enodoc Church where the Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman is buried. The mainly flat walk passes through sandy grassland, taking in the site of Bronze Age burial mounds and a Roman encampment.

Please be aware that the ferry departs from 2 different points depending on the state of the tide. Call into our office for further help or to buy our printed guide (75p) which contains details of the route and information about the features you will pass on the walk. You can find us in the Mariner’s Clock Building on South Quay-opposite The Harbour Office.


Photos courtesy of Kate Whis


If you’re in the Padstow area and looking for a walk (about 7 miles, but can be shorter) this is not to be missed! Nowhere in Cornwall will you find a greater variety of scenery on a relatively short walk. The first part takes you along the side of the Camel Estuary with views across to Rock, Brea Hill, Daymer Bay and Pentire Point. Turning out of the estuary, the walk continues along the Coast Path along the craggy cliffs towards the village of Trevone before heading back across several fields, towards Padstow, passing the delightful Prideaux Place enroute. At all stages of the walk there are stunning views and glimpses of the estuary that you wouldn’t normally see. The route is clearly waymarked and is suitable for most people.

Please call into our office for further help or to buy our printed guide (£1.75) which contains details of the route and information about the features you will pass on the walk. You can find us in the Mariner’s Clock Building on South Quay-opposite The Harbour Office.


Photos courtesy of Kate Whis

If you enjoy visiting stately homes and their grounds, Prideaux Place and Pencarrow House are a must to visit whilst holidaying in Cornwall.

Prideaux Place situated in Padstow is a beautiful 400 year old family owned Elizabethan Manor, with their grounds and Terrace Café open serving light lunches, the best cream teas and a selection of local beers and spirits.  For more information visit

Just a ten minute drive from Wadebridge you will find Pencarrow House, with 50 acres of gardens to explore and trails for children, guided tours around the house and the Peacock Café serving homemade cakes, lunches and refreshing drinks. For more information visit

For anyone who doesn’t know the area, The Camel Trail is an 18 mile cycle way which passes through some of the most spectacular countryside in the south west. Following the disused railway which was once used by the London and South West Railway, the trail runs along next to the stunning Camel Estuary (the river taking its name, not from the animal, but from an old Cornish word meaning ‘crooked’) from Padstow to Wadebridge. It then continues through the beautiful, wooded Camel Valley to Bodmin and beyond.

For those of you with your own bikes (or those who just want to walk along the trail) call into our office to pick up a free map of the route. Alternatively, you can chose to hire a bike locally. In Padstow you have a choice of Padstow Cycle Hire or Trail Bike Hire . Both companies offer a wide range of cycles, suitable for all the family (even the four legged ones!)



If you want to start your ride in Wadebridge Bridge Bike Hire also offer everything you need.



Whichever company you chose to use, at busy times its worth pre-booking your bikes, to avoid disappointment.


If you’re planning a visit to Bodmin, the previous county town of Cornwall, here are some attractions not to be missed!

Whether arriving via bike, along the Camel Trail, or car, don’t miss Bodmin Jail! Recently re-opened after a major re-development, you can immerse yourself in Cornwall’s Dark History in their new Dark Walk, with state of the art theatrical effects that bring some of the grimmest stories vividly to life. You can enjoy something to eat at The Jolly Hangman Tavern or even stay overnight in the new Bodmin Jail Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel, built within the walls of the Grade II listed building.  For more information and how to pre book your visit, follow this link

For more history why not visit Bodmin Keep which 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, a library and meeting rooms. Follow the link to find out more and pre book your tickets

Just outside Bodmin you’ll find one of Cornwall’s hidden gems-Cardinham Woods. Nestled in a beautiful valley with a bubbling stream, this mixed woodland offers walking routes, family-friendly play and picnic areas and fantastic mountain bike trails. Follow this link for more details

Also based in Cardinham Woods is Badger Forest School-a unique outdoor learning experience and opportunity to connect with nature, for anyone aged from 1 to 99! Follow this link for more details

If you’re in the Padstow area and fancy a game of golf take a look at these options!

Trevose Golf and Country Club is situated on one of the most beautiful stretches of the North Coast of Cornwall offers three golf courses, catering for golfers of all standards. The Championship Course ranks as one of the top links courses in the British Isles. The Headland Course is the ideal 9 hole alternative to The Championship Course with a challenging layout and fast greens. The Short Course is ideal for beginners, juniors and those more accomplished golfers looking to refine their short game. 


The Point at Polzeath Golf Club sits just above the Camel Estuary (5 miles from Wadebridge and a mile from Rock). The 18 hole golf course has stunning views out over Hayle Bay and Pentire Point. The course is a real challenge for golfers of all standards and the greens are now considered to be among the best in the county.


And for any less experienced or less ambitious players (or just for a bit of fun?) what about Greens in Padstow. Traditional family fun with a modern twist! They have created a Golf Garden with sculptures and specimen planting to accompany your journey around their unique 18 hole mini golf course. The space is constantly changing throughout the seasons as the new planting comes to life! Greens crazy golf boasts some of the best views in Padstow.


18th-century prison with gory history reopens as £8.5m visitor attraction in Cornwall.

Most visitors to Cornwall head to the surf beaches, the picturesque fishing harbours, art galleries, gardens or castles in search of light and joy.

However, a murkier side of life in the south-west of Britain is being told from within the towering granite walls of an 18th-century prison, which is reopening as a new visitor attraction on Thursday.

The £8.5m Bodmin jail recounts tales of crime and punishment in Cornwall from the 1700s to the early 20th century. Visitors are treated, if that is the right way to put it, to a subterranean “dark walk” that uses special effects to expose the lives and deaths of some of those once imprisoned here.

They are invited to stroll in and out of the cells where prisoners once lived and to inspect the artefacts found in excavations of the prison including bunches of rusty keys and even what might be the skull of the fabled Beast of Bodmin.

The most daring can take part in paranormal events or watch horror films, as the jail claims to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.

For those who want to immerse themselves, a £38.5m four-star boutique hotel is due to open early next year. Each room comprises three former cells: one for the bedroom, one the living area and the third the bathroom.

Martin Lyall, the jail’s general manager, accepted it was a challenging time to open a tourist attraction but said the “staycation” market had been strong in Cornwall this summer.

“Many people were reporting levels above 2019. We think that market may stay strong into 2021 and even 2022. The future is promising,” he said.

It will also be a boost to Bodmin, often a town that visitors whizz past on their way to the beach or Cornwall’s better-known attractions such as the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount. Post-Covid it is expected that about 30 people will work at the attraction and more than 50 at the hotel.

Visitors can enter the “dark walk” element of the attraction through a doorway hidden by a bookshelf. Stories of mining, smuggling and wrecking (when boats were lured on to the rocky coastline) are told.

But it may be the individual stories of the prisoners who were housed in the jail between 1779 and 1927 that visitors find the most compelling. Such as that of brothers William and James Lightfoot, who were convicted in 1840 of the highway robbery of merchant Neville Norway on the road between Bodmin and Wadebridge. More than 20,000 came to watch their execution and a special train was laid on so people would not miss out.

Or that of Selina Wadge, who was hanged at the age of 28 in 1878 for the murder of her son, whom she was said to have dropped into a well on Bodmin moor. Her final words were: “Lord deliver me from this miserable world.”

More than 35,000 prisoners were held at the jail, including 341 children. Fifty-five people, eight of them women, were hanged within the walls, some for heinous crimes such as murder (one woman, Sarah Polgrean, poisoned her husband, Henry, with arsenic hidden in a pat of butter), others for what through modern eyes seemed much more minor, such as sheep rustling or setting fire to a neighbour’s crop. The last execution took place in 1909.

When the prison opened conditions were particularly brutal. Men, women and children were kept in communal cells and one in four died of typhoid.

Later conditions were improved and Bodmin claims to be the first jail in Britain to hold prisoners in individual cells. Sanitation was better, inmates were paid to work, and death, at last unintended ones, became more uncommon.

One the most eye-catching exhibits is the skull of a creature that some believe is the Beast of Bodmin. It was found 100 years ago during the demolition of a hospital wing.

Close to it is an account written by a French prisoner of war, Capt Mathieu Pringy, who claimed that during a trip out from the jail in the 1790s he encountered the beast, a creature with the “largest pair of piercing eyes” and “teeth larger than daggers.”

But perhaps equally as impressive and evocative is the collection of keys. The hefty one for the main gate is 22cm long and weighs 0.5kg. Another display holds a couple of dozen cell door keys found during a 2005 excavation of the jail’s execution pit. The thought is that warders may have ceremonially thrown them into the pit, perhaps when the prison finally closed.