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10 things to do in Padstow

Head to the picture-perfect Cornish town for pasties, a pretty harbour and super-fresh seafood

Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
By Lucy Lovell |

Padstow is the seafood capital of Cornwall. After Rick Stein set up The Seafood Restaurant in 1975, the fishing port exploded into a dining destination. But it’s not just good grub that attracts visitors. This Cornish town is also a super-picturesque spot, with a historic harbourfront, pretty pastel cottages, smart shop fronts and polished pubs, plus coastal walking trails and pristine beaches within walking distance too.

RECOMMENDED: Explore nearby Penzance and St Ives

Things to do in Padstow

The camel trail in Padstow
Gary Perkin / Shutterstock

First up

Stroll along The Camel Trail. The 18-mile route follows a disused railway line through the Cornish countryside. There are bike hire shops near the start, if you want to pedal your way along the trail.

Coombeshead Farm, Padstow
Joe Woodhouse

Stop for lunch

You can’t swing a cod in Padstow without hitting a good restaurant, but committed food fans should venture to nearby Coombeshead Farm. This small farm in Lewannick has been commandeered by a group of skilled young cooks. Now it’s a hotel and restaurant which favours open-fire cooking, fermenting, pickling and rare-breed pigs.

BinTwo wine bar in Padstow, UK
sean gee

Drink like a local

Pop in to cosy wine bar BinTwo. The buzzy space has floor-to-ceiling shelves of interesting bottles, and the tables are often full of merry drinkers until way past last orders. Beer fans should head to Padstow Brewing Co. By day it’s a bottle and can shop, by night a candle-lit tap room serving a small selection of the very best brews.

National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow

Soak up the vibes

It’d be a crime to come all the way to Padstow without visiting Captain Barnacles. He’s a whopping great lobster – more than 60 years old – at the National Lobster Hatchery, whose mission is to promote sustainable fishing and increase the lobster population of Cornwall.

Rick Stein's Patisserie in Padstow
Rob Lavers / Shutterstock

If you only do one thing

If you haven’t eaten a pasty on the harbour, have you even been to Padstow? You can’t walk ten paces in this town without tripping over a pasty shop sign – the only difficulty is choosing one. We love the classic steak from Stein’s Patisserie, a classy little bakery on Lanadwell Street.

A suite at Padstow Townhouse - a perfect day in Padstow

Wake up here

Central, sophisticated and super-luxe, the Padstow Townhouse is the ultimate bolthole. Six suites have unique – yet tasteful – themes, all underpinned by classic country house decor. It’s impossible to go hungry: there are mini welcome pasties, a flask of boozy hot chocolate left waiting for you on your pillow, and a pantry that guests can raid 24/7 stocked with fresh cakes, gin and fizz. All of this within champagne cork-popping distance of your freestanding roll-top bath? Book us in for a month. From £300 a night.