Built in 1751, the charming Elizabethan manor of Trerice (NT;
Wind the clock back a decade or two and Padstow was just another quiet fishing village along Cornwall’s north coast, but over recent years this little harbour has been transformed into the capital of Cornish cuisine, with some of the poshest restaurants and swishest boutiques this side of the Tamar. The transformation is almost entirely due to the efforts of one man, celebrity chef Rick Stein, who opened his first seafood restaurant on the harbourside back in the mid-’70s and has since expanded his property portfolio with a second café, a couple of hotels, a seafood school, a delicatessen and even a fish and chip shop. Hardly surprising, then, that the locals often wryly refer to the town as ‘Pad-stein’ – but despite its chichi provenance, it’s still a pretty place to visit, with a cluster of cafés and fishermen’s cottages nestled around its old harbour.
The tourist office (
Much favoured by directors of costume dramas, the stately manor house of Prideaux Place (
The disused Padstow to Bodmin railway line now forms the Camel Trail, one of Cornwall’s most popular cycling tracks. The trail starts in Padstow and runs east through Wadebridge (5¾ miles), Bodmin (11 miles) and beyond. Bikes can be hired from Padstow Cycle Hire (
The Jubilee Queen (
Padstow is surrounded by some excellent beaches, including the ones at Polzeath and Treyarnon Bay.