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.

Whilst in Padstow, visiting Prideaux Place is a must do. Here is a great suggestion of a circular walk taking in some spectacular sea and estuary views along the way.

Starting from the Padstow Tourist Information Centre head towards the Ship Wrights Pub on the other side of the harbour.  As the name suggests, this was once a workshop and warehouse supplying timber to the boatyards of the town.  Padstow was at one time an exceptionally busy ship-building port with 5 yards operating here in the 1850s.  Continue past the pub up the slope towards the War Memorial.  From here you will have amazing views of Rock, the Camel Estuary and out to sea.  On your left you will see some benches, walk past these and follow the path until you reach St Saviour’s Lane, take the first right on to Fentonluna Lane.  After a short while you will come across Fentonluna Well, the well’s granite arch is dated 1592 and commemorates the completion of Prideaux House.  The stones came from the original gate house entrance which was demolished in the 1750s.  This is supposedly the original well which served the early Priory.

At the end of Fentonluna Lane turn right and you will see the splendour of Prideaux Place!  This Elizabethan Manor House was built in 1592 on the site of a monastic grange, previously inhabited by the former Barton of the Monks of Bodmin.  Today the house is still owned and lived in by the Prideaux family after 14 unbroken generations.  It is open to the public at times throughout the Summer, check their website for details.  Many big screen productions have been filmed here.

Another great reason to visit Prideaux Place is their 22 acre Deer Park. The herd of fallow deer at Prideaux Place is thought to be one of the oldest park herds in the country. The Park itself has been dated back to its enclosure by the Romans in 435AD though not necessarily in its present form.  Legend has it that if the deer die out, then so does the Prideaux family. In February 1927 the herd was supplemented with a new master buck sent via the Great Western Railway by King George V from the herd at Windsor. Unfortunately the animal did not get the chance to improve the bloodline as was hoped, for the following morning the gamekeeper set out to cull the old master buck and shot the King’s buck instead!

Enjoy the sight of the deer whilst taking a light lunch, a glass of wine or afternoon tea in the licensed Terrace Tearoom overlooking the Deer Park with its views across the Camel Estuary.  Feeding times are very popular with visitors and you can even feed them yourself!  Feeding times vary so if you are planning your visit to include this experience then please check the time beforehand by contacting the Administrator on 01841 532411 or by email office@prideauxplace.co.uk

Don’t forget to book a yourself a tour of the House too!   Monday – Friday 11am – 3pm, it is a truly memorable experience.

For more information please visit  https://padstowlive.com/things-to-do/prideaux-place/  

         

         

Rock is a great place to start a walk along the coast path. Not, as many people think, a rock, the village of Rock takes its name from the quarry (now the car park) which provided stone to act as ballast for ships. An earlier name, dating back to 1337, was Black Tor, which is why the passenger ferry, which makes the frequent crossing from Padstow, bears that name.

Setting off from Rock through the sand dunes (or on the beach at low tide) you will reach Bray Hill. Climbing to the top to experience the stunning views (or keeping to the path around the front or back of the hill ) you can catch a glimpse of St Enodoc Church. This wonderful old building, parts of which date back to the 12th century, was once overwhelmed by the surrounding sand dunes, so much so that the priest had to be lowered in through a trapdoor in the roof to conduct a service once a year! (this was required if the church was to remain active.) A beautiful spot, the church is now famous as the burial place of John Betjeman, the Poet laureate, who spent much of his life in this part of Cornwall.

From the church, continue along the coast path between Daymer Bay and Polzeath where you come across the less well-known Greenaway Beach – a quiet place ideal for a picnic and rock pooling, which has a history of shipwrecks, the most recent of which happened in 2013. If you look closely, you can see the remains of one of those shipwrecks.

Carrying on, you will arrive at Polzeath. On the cliffs, over looking the beach is The Cracking Crab -a café and restaurant perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

 

The beach at Polzeath is the only surfing beach in the Camel Estuary and next to it, the smaller, New Polzeath, also known locally as ‘Baby Beach’ is where you will find one of the new ‘Saunas-by-the-sea‘!

 

To finish your walk, retrace your steps back to Rock or, if you want to continue, head up onto Pentire Point. With stunning views back towards Padstow, this dramatic headland is steeped in history that is not always obvious to the naked eye. Look out for the plaque which marks the spot where, in 1914, Laurence Binyon wrote the famous war poem “For the Fallen” with the famous line that we recall every Remembrance Day – ‘We will remember them’. From this spot you can also see why people might be reminded of a sleeping dragon! The spectacular headland called ‘The Rumps’ is the site of an Iron Age hill fort and the system of ditches and ramparts that protected it can still be seen. There was a mine at Pentireglaze which in the mid 1800’s produced 955 tonnes of lead ore and 19,065 ounces of silver so keep your eyes peeled! The National trust has recently opened a new café nearby – perfect for a coffee stop before heading back to Rock.

Just a 10-15 minute drive from Padstow jutting into the Atlantic is Trevose Head which commands views for miles along the coast.

Arguably the most prominent headland on the north coast of Cornwall, Trevose Head boasts far reaching views to Pendeen Watch in the west to Hartland Point to the east.

The South West Coast Path passes around Trevose Head offering extensive views across Booby’s Bay and Constantine to one side with Mother Ivey’s Bay and across to Pentire Head to the other.

The ruggedness of the coastline extends further out towards Dinas Head at the tip of the headland with sheer cliffs and huge round hole, a dramatic result of a cave top collapse.

There is a tremendous lighthouse and you may be lucky to see a number of species of birds including skylarks and linnets.

If you set out in the morning why not stop by at Lucy’s Barista Coffee & Cornish Grill situated at Higher Harlyn Park?  Open 8am – 1pm Wednesday – Sunday, Lucy serves locally made cakes, homemade beefburgers & breakfast baps using meat from local butchers, proper job!

On leaving Higher Harlyn Park head straight on to the National Trust Car Park at Trevose Head.. It is possible to make a nice circular walk from here taking in the RNLI Padstow Lifeboat Station at Mother Ivey’s Bay and Booby’s Bay.  This walk will probably take an hour and half to 2 hours.  To make the most of a nice sunny day the nearby beaches are good for body boarding, surfing and sun bathing.

If you have whipped a good appetite or would simply like some lovely late afternoon/evening drinks why not stop off at Constantine Restaurant at the Trevose Golf & Country Club which is open to non-members.

With stunning views out over the Atlantic, Constantine aims to deliver quality local seafood, meat and produce fresh to your plate. They also have a sun deck where you can just sit and relax with drinks overlooking the view.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the sights of local fishermen working their pots in the distance as the waves roll in to Constantine and Booby’s Bays.

Whatever you decide you could easily wile away a day here!

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 

Rosamunde Scott was born in 1924 in the small village of Lelant in Cornwall. She spent many happy times growing up on the cliffs and beaches, and the Cornish landscape had a profound influence on her. In 1946 she married her husband, Graham Hope Pilcher, and moved to the opposite end of the British Isles, to Dundee in Scotland.

She began publishing some of her writings in 1949, first under the pseudonym Jane Fraser, and then under her own name. Although living in Scotland, the landscape and scenery of her childhood in Cornwall provide the setting for many of Pilcher’s stories. Pilcher went on to sell more than 60 million books worldwide.
Pilcher’s books have been turned into television series and films. These programs are particularly popular in Germany, where over 160 television series based on Pilcher’s works have been produced. Sunday evenings are even affectionally known in Germany as ‘Rosamunde Pilcher Night’, and her shows attract a weekly audience of 7 million viewers.
Picher country is so popular that 350,000 German tourists visit Cornwall every year, and two-thirds of all foreign visitors who come to Cornwall are from either Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.
Below can be seen some of the scenic locations across Cornwall that serve as the backgrounds to the Rosamunde Pilcher films and television series.

Prideaux Place

If Rosamunde Picher fans were pilgrims then Prideaux Place would be the Holy Land. The Elizabethan country house has been used as a filming location in numerous Pilcher series

The house is situated near the fishing village of Padstow, and lies on the south bank of the Camel River. Built in 1592, and comprised of 81 rooms, the house sits in its own estate of 3,500 acres. The current owner of the Prideaux estate, Peter Prideaux-Brune, has featured in several of the series, his roles to date include: chauffeur, gin taster and coroner.

Prideaux Place, its grounds, the nearby town of Padstow have all been used as settings. If you are a fan and plan on visiting Cornwall then Prideaux Place is a must-see location.

More informationprideauxplace.co.uk

Padstow

Very close to Prideaux Place, on the banks of the Camel Estuary, lies the picturesque town of Padstow. This town grew as a fishing port and, while some fishing vessels still harbour here, it now accommodates more modern and luxurious yachts alongside the traditional fleet.  In addition to being a stop on the Pilcher tour Padstow is a tourist destination in its own right, known for its stunning views across the Camel Estuary and as the home of Rick Stein’s fish restaurants.

More informationpadstowlive.com
         

Bedruthan Steps

North of Newquay, on the North Coast, lies Bedruthan Steps. Also known as Pentire Steps, or its Cornish name of Carnewas, this is probably the most awe inspiring and dramatic setting on our list of locations. It consists of a series of geological stacks, which rise out of the sands across the bay. Each of the stacks has a name, such as: Queen BessSamaritan IslandRedcove IslandPendarves Island, and Carnewas Island.
The name ‘Bedruthan’ it has been said comes from a mythological giant, who used the stacks as steppingstones. The earliest records of this myth, however, indicate that it was most likely invented to entertain the Victorian tourists of the last 19th Century. The name itself is more likely to have originally been the name of one of the miners paths that lead up the cliff from the beach.
Steps leading to the beach were covered by a rock fall, and unfortunately there is currently no safe way down. However, the views from the top of the cliff are still astounding!
TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE AND SEE ALL OF THE FILMING LOCATIONS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN GERMAN, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

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