10 Things to do in and around Padstow this February Half Term

February Half-Term is the ideal time to visit North Cornwall with it’s quieter pace of life and laid back vibe. Whether it’s a coastal walk that you are looking for, a cycle ride along the river or through the beautiful countryside, to spend time on an almost deserted beach, to dine in one of our lovely restaurants, find a cosy pub, eat a Cornish cream tea, or Cornish pasty, in a quaint cafe, or visit one of the many attractions open to visitors at this time of year North Cornwall offers so much to it’s visitors.

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.

Check out our selection of Halloween events this half-term

Halloweek at Camel Creek

 

Daily from the 21st until the 29th of October, a ‘Spooktacular’ day out, complete with eight ghoulishly good attractions, including three BRAND NEW experiences!

The ever popular and super-spooky House of Horrors, Stable Surprise walkthrough, Trick or Treat challenge, Escape the Mummy’s Tomb quest, and Halloween Crafts are all returning for 2023!

But… for more chills and thrills in 2023 you can look forward to 3 AMAZING NEW EXPERIENCES:

Face your Fear!

What’s your fear? Snakes, spiders, or a slimy snails? Come face-to-face with some of our creepy crawly residents and face your fears!

Morgelyn & The Magical Mishap  (live show)

Join Morgelyn the Witch and her accident-prone assistant, Piran, as they prepare for their Halloween celebrations. Magic and mayhem are guaranteed!

Spellbinding Activity Trail

Moregelyn needs your help! Can you find all the correct potion ingredients to help her create a special ‘treat’?

AND, don’t forget, all of the usual adventure of Camel Creek is included in your ticket!

Click here to book

 

Creepy Crab Invasion at the National Lobster Hatchery

 

Back by popular demand!

They need your help this October half term at National Lobster Hatchery, they have been taken over by creepy crabs!

Visit between 14th and 29th October for spooky games and activities this half term.

Guardian led activities including crafts, treasure hunts and colouring.

All included with entry and existing annual passes

Open daily 10am to 4pm

Click here to book

Trick or Treat at Flambards

 

There’s a feast of fang-tastic family fun on offer at Flambards throughout the October Half Term holidays – Saturday 21st – Tuesday 31st October – as the park celebrates ‘Trick or Treat Week’.

From creepy crawly meet and greets, to spooky pumpkin hunts and the famous Fireworks Spooktacular, there’s something for visitors of all ages to get their teeth into. Pick up a Pumpkin Hunt activity sheet and spot the hidden pumpkins as you explore the theme park before taking part in our fancy-dress Halloween Parade. A fun mix of rides and attractions are open daily throughout the half term break alongside awesome additional thrills and chills.

Venture into the Victorian Village and tackle the special Halloween Penny Dreadful quiz sheet or the hugely popular Mystery Trail. Authentic shops filled with thousands of 19th century artefacts will transport you back in time and look out for live characters making appearances throughout the week!

On Wednesday 25th October Flambards is staying open late to stage its famous Fireworks Spooktacular.

As well as the stunning pyrotechnics display, visitors can enjoy after-dark rides, fabulous family entertainment plus live music from the Electric Bandits.

With Flambards ‘7 Days for the Price of 1’ Offer, you can get more out of your ticket this Half Term – full terms and conditions at

www.flambards.co.uk.

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 

TOWN TRAIL

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.

 

       

   

LITTLE PETHERICK CREEK

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.

THE JOHN BETJEMAN WALK

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 www.KateWhisPhotography.co.uk

PADSTOW CIRCULAR WALK-VIA STEPPER POINT

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 www.KateWhisPhotography.co.uk

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 https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/prideaux-place/

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 https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/pencarrow-house/

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. Trail Bike Hire,  conveniently located at the very start of the trail has 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!

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 https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/the-keep/

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 https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/cardinham-woods/

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 https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/badger-forest-school/