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Best Things To Do in Padstow & Things To Do Near Padstow!

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Padstow is a great base in Cornwall because of the number of things to do in Padstow and things to do near Padstow. There are so many places to visit in Cornwall but it can be hard to get to them all because many of the roads in Cornwall are small lanes which get extremely busy with tourist traffic, especially in the summer!

Therefore staying around the Padstow area as I did when I was camping near Padstow is a great idea because there are so many beaches, walks, castles and nice towns near Padstow to visit.

I really loved my time in and around Padstow so let me share with you where to visit in Padstow and what to do in Padstow in this Padstow travel guide!

Things To Do in Padstow

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Padstow Harbour
Keep reading for the best things to do in Padstow!

Are you looking for other places to visit in Cornwall? To see some quieter places that fewer people know about, have a look at these 14 Hidden Gems in Cornwall to visit!

How to get to Padstow

If you aren’t in Padstow already, Padstow is on Cornwalls North Coast not too far away from Newquay.

The A39 is the closest A road to Padstow and after this depending on where you are travelling from you will take a B road like B3274 into Padstow Town.

Related Post: How To Do A Cornwall Road Trip From London & 12 Places To Stop On Route!

What to do in Padstow

Padstow Town and Padstow Harbour

Whether you’re staying in Padstow or slightly further away like I did, I recommend making Padstow Town your first stop of the day. The Marco Polo Devon & Cornwall Guide that I was using to help plan my trip says that ‘If you could create an enchanted spot by a harbour, it would probably look like Padstow.’

Apart from the heaving crowds that had descended upon the town on an August weekend, I agree, it’s still worth a visit.

Padstow Harbour is enclosed by small buildings home to shops and cafes on 3 of its sides, with the windy streets of the town centre behind it.

The shops offer all you need when at a British seaside, harbour village- ice cream shops, a row of Cornish Pasty shops, a few clothes shops, especially stores like Animal for the surfers, and shops where you can get your buckets, spades, inflatable’s, crab fishing kits, sticks of rock and anything else you may need when on an English holiday.

And if you want a hair braid done, this is the place to get one as there are lots of stalls with ladies braiding hair very quickly, I may have been the oldest person getting one done amongst the many 10-year-old girls but I didn’t mind!

For things to do in Padstow, I would recommend having a walk around the harbour and through the small streets of the town before walking alongside the quayside as it is a bit less busy up there.

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Padstow Harbour
Padstow Harbour!
Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Cornish Pasty
Getting a Cornish Pasty is one of the top things to do in Padstow!

Camel Trail Bike Path

In terms of what to do in Padstow, you can hire a bike from one of the bike rental places on the quayside and head along the Camel Trail bike path towards Wadebridge town which would nicely pass a few hours.

Take the Passenger Ferry to Rock

Cross the River Camel via the passenger ferry from Padstow to Rock. Rock is a village that is popular with holidaymakers in Cornwall. It has lovely places to eat, lots of water sports on offer and is a great place to relax near Padstow.

The National Lobster Hatchery

You can do a boat trip from Padstow along the Camel Estuary for a few hours to witness the beautiful Cornish Coastline, you could visit The National Lobster Hatchery which is a conservation centre, and you can get some really good food.

Steins Fish and Chips

Padstow is Cornwall’s centre for exceptional fish cuisine and it shows this by being home Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant which is probably the best restaurant in England as far as fish and seafood are concerned.

Also Stein’s Fish & Chips – a cheaper version of Stein’s fine cuisine, and I can confirm that the prices here are much more relative to a normal Fish & Chip shop but they are meant to be some of the best still.

Essentially, eating good food should be high on your list of things to do in Padstow!

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Steins Fish and chips

Parking in Padstow

Because Padstow can get very busy in the Summer months, parking could be an issue.

As you approach Padstow there is a purpose-built car park called Link Road Car Park charging £2.00 for 1-2 hours and £3.90 for 3-4 hours.

However, when I visited we saw signs for a £3.00 car park just before this car park, it’s a field and the owner is taking the money but if you plan to be in Padstow for more than 2 hours it is worth parking a bit further out and walking into Padstow as it’s £3.00 for a whole day.

There is also Padstow Town Car Park by the Harbour but because of its prime location, it will likely be full in the busy tourist months.

Another option for parking in Padstow is to take the Padstow Park and Ride. Padstow Park and Ride is situated on the Wadebridge Road A389, just before Tesco, with buses running every 15 minutes to take you into town and is £5.00 per car all day.

You’ll need a car in Cornwall! If you need to hire a car for your trip I’d recommend looking into Rental Cars as they compare prices of all the big hire companies to get you the best price and car for your trip! Have a look here.

Are you looking for other places to visit in Cornwall? To see some quieter places that fewer people know about, have a look at these 14 Hidden Gems in Cornwall to visit!

Things To Do Near Padstow

After you have spent a few hours in Padstow and seen everything you need to you can now head to places near Padstow, I recommend making your next stop Tintagel.

Tintagel Castle

We drove from Padstow to Tintagel via Wadebridge and Camelford before taking the narrow Country Roads out to the Coastline.

As we approached Tintagel there was a field-turned-car-park charging just £2.00 for the day and it was a lot less stressful parking there than if we had tried to park in the village centre so I would also suggest parking a bit further out and walking in too.

Tintagel is only a small village with a small population but according to my Marco Polo Guide it thrives because of an old legend that King Arthur was conceived at Tintagel Castle. Despite the fact that some scholars believe that the King may never have existed, and evidence that the Castle dates back to the 13th Century but the legends of King Arthur date back to the 5th Century, it’s still a popular place for visitors to embark on the trail of the King.

From what I saw there isn’t that much to do in Tintagel but there’s quite a nice loop you can make around Tintagel visiting the Church, walking along the coastline, passing by or visiting the Castle and then into the village centre. 

St Materiana’s Church is believed to have been a site for a church since the 5th Century although the existing Church is from the 11th or 12th Century, it has many Saxon features and is a nice Church to see from the outside and inside whilst you’re passing by on the way to the cliffs. 

The Coastline and Cliffs are pretty impressive and just what I wanted and expected to see from Cornwall. They’re also a complete contrast to the small fishing harbour of Padstow just a 45-minute drive away.

The rock where Tintagel Castle used to sit is in full view from the cliff edge and the people on top look like tiny ants from a distance. Today only the ruins remain of Tintagel Castle but it’s definitely a unique place. There is an entry cost of £9.50 for adults which if you were to pay it takes you across a narrow bridge, up some steps and onto the rock where the Castle once perched.

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle is one of the best places to visit near Padstow!
Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Tintagel Castle
Add Tintagel Castle to your list of things to do near Padstow in Cornwall!

We didn’t enter the castle and instead continued along the footpath, back inland towards the village centre. Tintagel Centre was pretty packed when I visited but it stretches out along one main road and again has an array of pubs, restaurants and shops making it a good place to have some lunch.

The final places you may want to visit before leaving Tintagel is the Old Post Office, which for a long time Tintagel’s Post Office was housed in a 14th Century farmhouse of the same name. The National Trust has now restored the former premises to its former state and for an entry price of £4.60 you can enter inside and see what life was like in the Middle Ages.

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Tintagel
Tintagel Town Near Padstow

Harlyn Bay

From Tintagel, I would recommend heading down South back towards Padstow to Harlyn Bay if you want some beach time. Harlyn Bay is a popular beach and considered one of the best family beaches in Cornwall according to Visit Cornwall.

It’s spacious and wide with a mix of sand, pebbles and rock pools. Harlyn Bay has full lifeguard cover from the start of May to the end of September adding extra safety and making it a great place for surfing and surf lessons, especially for novice surfers. 

If you want to spend the day at Harlyn Bay, be warned that it may get windy, so I would look into buying a beach tent ready for your visit.

Apart from relaxing on the beach or enjoying the waves things to do in Harlyn Bay include going out sea kayaking, walking the footpath between Mother Ivey’s Bay and Trevose Head and visiting Harlyn Village, just inland from the coastline.

If you’re not staying in the area with easy access of going back to get Dinner, Harlyn Village would be a good place to get some Dinner before ending your day in a pretty epic way.

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Harlyn Bay
Visiting the many beaches are high at the top of things to do near Padstow!

Trevose Head

To end your day I would recommend making the most of being on the Western side of the UK (aka the perfect spot for a sunset) and being very close to Trevose Head which is a little Peninsular sticking out of the Coastline not too far from Padstow.

You could drive or walk up to Trevose Head to the lighthouse which will give you the perfect view of the sunset ahead of you, or head to Booby’s Bay or Constantine Bay which are right next to each other and also give a great view of the sunset to the side.

Down here it’s very peaceful, we found that there were only a few people out walking, taking in the sea breeze, the gorgeous wild coastline and the sunset.

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Trevose Head
Trevose Head!
Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Mother Ivys Bay Beach
Mother Ivey’s Bay Beach is a great place to visit near Padstow!

If you get there with enough light you could do the whole circular walk to and from Mother Ivey’s Bay which takes 1-1.5 hours to walk, you can see it in this photo:

Things to do in Padstow Cornwall, Mother Iveys Bay Walk
Trevose Head Walk from Mother Ivey’s Bay.

It really was the end of a perfect day exploring East Cornwall.

Budruthan Steps

Budruthan Steps, Cornwall is another really good place to visit near Padstow and extremely picturesque! 

Padstow FAQ’s

Why is Padstow so popular?

Padstow is a charming harbour and town to visit, however, there are many of these in Cornwall. What has helped make Padstow so popular is Rick Steins and his famous Fish and Chip shop and Seafood Restaurant.

What is there to do in Padstow in the rain?

Most of the things to do in Padstow are outdoor activities but to avoid the rain in Padstow you could go inside the National Lobster Hatchery, find a cafe to sit in until the rain stops, or drive to nearby Newquay to the Blue Reef Aquarium which is also inside.

What is near Padstow?

There are many places near Padstow like Rock, Constantine Bay, Harlyn, Pentire Point, Tintagel.

Can you walk from Padstow to Rock?

You can’t actually walk from Padstow to Rock but you can take the passenger ferry from Padstow to Rock across the River Camel in 30 minutes, walk around Rock and then get the ferry back to Padstow. No car needed!

I hope this gives you a good idea of things to do in Padstow and things to do near Padstow!

Are you looking for other places to visit in Cornwall? To see some quieter places that fewer people know about, have a look at these 14 Hidden Gems in Cornwall to visit!


Friday 12th of October 2018

I love Padstow and having lived in Cornwall for a few years have visited many times. The harbour is really nice and there’s lots of lovely restaurants and places to stop for fudge and ice cream!! Glad you enjoyed the campsite, looked great!


Friday 12th of October 2018

Ah amazing! Such a nice place to live! I really enjoyed it thank you :)