St Merryn Park is situated only a stone’s throw from the popular and picturesque harbour town of Padstow.
Nestled in a narrow gulley on the western side of the River Camel estuary, Padstow is sheltered from the prevailing winds and the air is generally soft and balmy. Town life clusters around the harbour, providing a mixture of houses, quays, boat slips, inns, cafés and restaurants, quirky shops as well as chain stores, ice cream stands, brass bands and, of course, Rick Stein.
Padstow is definitely a must when you visit Cornwall, so we’ve put together a list of the best things to do, see, eat and drink when you’re here…
Rick Stein’s impact on Padstow is so vast that the town has been nicknamed “Padstein”. Rick Stein owns four restaurants, a bistro, a cafe, a seafood delicatessen, a patisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school.
You could quite easily spend the day doing a Rick Stein tour of Padstow. Start off with coffee and pastries at Stein’s Patisserie and spend the morning doing a half day course at Stein Seafood School (there are courses for children and courses for meat and baking if your not so keen on fish), here you get to enjoy everything you cook – so that’s lunch sorted! Stein’s Gift Shop is perfect for some afternoon retail therapy – don’t forget to check out Stein’s Deli and Stein’s Fishery as well. When shopping’s started to wear you out Rick Stein’s Cafe is the perfect place for a pick-me-up afternoon tea and cake, then take a late afternoon walk around Padstow (if the tide’s out Lower Beach makes for a lovely long walk) and when you’re feeling hungry enough decide what it will be for dinner, Stein’s Fish and Chips, The Seafood Restaurant, or St Petroc’s Bistro?
A great one for both children and adults – especially photographers!
The vessels sails out of Padstow harbour and away from the Camel Estuary. There are opportunities to see Grey Seals, Dolphins, Porpoises, Basking Sharks, and Sun Fish to name but a few. In spring and summer the cliff formations are teeming with Guillemots, Cormorants, Gannets & Kittiwakes. Puffins are also in residence on Padstow’s very own local “Puffin Island”.
Prices: there are a range of tours available with varying prices, click here for details.
One for all the family – dogs are welcome to wander round with you too!
Tee off at the Cornish cottage, then under the railway bridge, past the lighthouse and make a wish at the wishing well, through the Pyramid and Moby Dick, past the water wheel, loop the loop, then over the drawbridge and into the castle.
For the more serious golfers looking to perfect their skills, Greens also has an 18 hole grass putting course that backs onto Prideaux Place deer park.
There are elevated views of the estuary and rolling hills from every point, including Green’s Cafe.
Prices: adults £4.00, children £3.20, grass putting £3.20
Roskilly’s Ice Cream
Trust us, this is the place to go for ice cream in Padstow!
Crabbing is a cheap and entertaining way to spend the afternoon, regardless of your age.
Crab lines and bait are sold at many of the shops around the harbour. The inner harbour is the best place to catch them. Drop a baited line into the water and wait for the baby crabs to bite. Place them in a bucket of sea water and then put them back into the harbour when you’re done.
Great for a game of pool and the open fire is a bonus on a cold day. The Harbour Inn serves local cider and lager, as well as large food menu and tea and coffee. Children and dogs welcome!
Located on Strand Street, an easy find when you’re at the harbour.
The Camel Trail is arguably the most successful recreational trail in the UK, providing access to the beautiful Cornish countryside along a disused railway line between Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.
The trail is 18 miles, smooth surfaced and virtually level. If you don’t fancy the whole 18 miles, set off later in the morning, have lunch in Wadebridge, and cycle back. It’s also very easy to turn around and head back to Padstow at any point so you can cycle for as long as you like.
You can easily hire bikes from Padstow if you don’t have your own.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving seasonal local produce.
The Basement also has an outside sheltered and heated seating area so you can watch the boats in the harbour while you eat – if you’re lucky, the brass band will be playing nearby too!
Click here to view their menu.
High Speed Boat Trips
As you wander around Padstow harbour, you’ll hear skippers yelling “high speed trip around the bay!” Hop on to one of the four speed boats that run trips daily, no need to book in advance.
Summer coastal cruises run daily from the harbour around the off-shore islands. A variety of marine life and seabirds is not unusual to see while on board. There is also a fitted bar and toilets on board.
Great family pub from St Austell Brewery, The Shipwrights has outside seating both harbour side and in a larger garden area when you go through the pub. Inside, there’s a ground floor bar and first floor dining area with views over the harbour.
Fishing trips running from either Padstow Harbour or Lower Beach, keep your catch!
The Emma Kate 2 is a Lochin 33, she has a large spacious deck area and has seating facilities for all passengers. There is also a toilet on board. All fishing equipment is supplied for all trips, although passengers are welcome to use their own.
This beautiful mansion sits on the hill above the busy harbour of Padstow and the grounds boast some of the finest views over its ancient Deer Park and the Camel Estuary to Rock and Bodmin Moor beyond – which you can soak up from the charming tea rom. The grounds also contain many unique buildings such as the beautiful Gothic Double Dairy, the 18th Century Temple built of Bath stone (the first use of it outside Bath), now fully restored, and the 18th Century Stable Courtyard has survived remarkably unchanged.