Newest Review: ... The path way then goes down to allow you access to the beautiful beaches. The beaches are sand not pebble which is lovely and th... more
Padstow or should I call it Padstein!
Padstow in general
Member Name: Whizz11
Padstow in general
Advantages: Beautiful location, nice restaurants, shops
I've just spent a lovely couple of days in Padstow, Cornwall and I thought I would share the experience.
Padstow is a historic fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall. It's a beautiful little harbour town that can be found on the Camel Estuary. Recent studies have noted the population as that of only just over 3,000 people so it's very small but very picturesque.
The main shopping/touristy area is located around the harbour which is the main focus of the town. The shops and restaurants almost form a sort of semi circle around the water which has quite a lot of small and medium sized boats moored along the way. I would say that if you wanted to walk to one end of town to the other it would probably take you about 15 minutes so again quite small but of course there are lots of interesting little shops and restaurants for you to browse your time away in.
At the end of the harbour the walk way leads away to the beaches and the sea. There is a nice grass hill walk way which is fairly steep but gives you great views over the valley and the town/beach. The path way then goes down to allow you access to the beautiful beaches. The beaches are sand not pebble which is lovely and the sand is really lovely and golden with crisp blue water. It's really a spectacular site.
The other end of town is dominated by Rick Stein, the celebrity chef and television personality. He has a number of businesses in town which often leads Padstow to be called Padstein! The Seafood Restaurant is his famous, upmarket restaurant and this is located at the far end of Padstow. The location is not brilliant, it looks over a car park but inside the decor and more importantly the food is second to none. The restaurant is quite light and airy with a bar in the centre and then tables around the edges and in the middle too. I would say it could probably seat 100 plus in an evening. Of course, being a fishing port his speciality is fish and this is the main ingredient on his menu. He does a tasting menu for approximately £64 each or you can pick from the full menu. The service was great, as was the meal and his restaurant is definitely one of the attractions of Padstow for me.
Outside this restaurant he also has a fish and chip take away and sit down restaurant. It's only open at certain times a day and beware, there will be a queue for the food. To sit down takes longer but if you want to take away your fish and chips then it will be about 15 to 20 minutes. It's a bit more expensive than regular fish and chips (£20 for two) but again, well worth it. He does the classics like cod/chips, haddock/chips but also does fried Monkfish for example which is delicious. You can also order grilled fish as well for a healthier option. My only criticism is that if you take away there is no specific area to sit down and eat it on, a few tables and chairs would be great but you can take it into town as there are quite a few public benches you can sit on.
The rest of the area is made up of your usual seaside shops but a bit more upmarket than some places with some really nice little gems too. There is a fudge shop selling local fudge, a shop selling shells, a great little toy shop, shops with buckets and spades, etc, a few ice cream shops, a few pasty shops (a Cornish pasty is a must when you are in Cornwall) and then there are some great little beach clothing shops such as Fat Face, Quicksilver and Quba Sails.
At the top of the hill there is a mini golf/crazy golf course which is great fun. It's a bit old and basic but it's cheap (about £7 for two) and a great way to waste an hour, again with beautiful views over the beach.
You can take boat trips out on the water. There is a high speed boat trip around the harbour and then there is also a ferry that takes you across to Rock on the other side of the water. It costs £3 for a return which I thought was very reasonable. There was not much is Rock to see, a restaurant that is open year round and then mostly residential houses but it's nice to go over to the beach and walk around.
There are quite a few pubs in town too, some are a bit touristy but if you walk up the street a bit I can recommend a great locals pub called The London Inn with friendly staff and locals. Most of the other restaurants in town are fish restaurants but there are a few pizza/Italian restaurants if you want something different.
Padstow is a lovely little place and I definitely recommend a visit.
Summary: Padstow, Cornwall
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