Looking for things to do in Padstow? You’ve come to the right place. While Padstow has a population of less than around 2,000 people, it’s a popular tourist spot thanks to its working harbour, relaxed feel and sublime food.
A day spent on one of Padstow beaches is of course a must when the sun is shining, but for when the weather isn’t playing ball we’ve also given plenty of indoor goings-on for a rainy day, child-friendly activities as well as new openings in Padstow.
Here’s our top ten things to do in Padstow.
An obvious family or couples activity in Padstow, is the Camel Trail. Whether you choose to cycle it or clock up the steps is up to you, although for kids we’d recommend embracing the pedal power.
The Camel Trail extends for 17 ‘car free’ miles from Bodmin to Padstow passing through stunning scenery, and the areas of Wadebridge, Bodmin and Blisland. Padstow to Wadebridge section is just 5 miles long, with glorious views across the Camel Estuary and more. The easy level terrain makes it a safe route to enjoy some off-road terrain.
From Padstow, hire bikes from here.
If you want to be indoors on a rainy day, who can blame you? It gives you a chance to try the award-winning visitor centre the Lobster Hatchery, a charity which was set up to support the Cornish fishery and local lobster population.
Lobsters are nurtured from egg through their most vulnerable stage of their life cycle and released back into the wild. The visitor centre is here to teach visitors all about it. Open seven days a week from 10am-4pm, a family ticket costs £19.95 and is valid for 12 months.
History-lovers should visit Prideaux Place and deer park, built in 1592, a fine Elizabethan House overlooking Padstow. The Prideaux family dates back to the 11th century, and are said to descend from William the Conqueror, King Edward I and Queen Eleanor of Castile.
This historic Tudor mansion offers visitors a real experience, from ghost stories to showcasing an ever growing collection of Teddy Bears. Visitors will also get to see England’s oldest cast iron canon and the wonderful gardens here. Tours of the house are guided and do not need to be booked in advance.
A boat trip on the water is a must when in Padstow. Have an unforgettable journey with Padstow Sea Life Safaris, offering a variety of boat tours guided by experienced skippers who are all local seamen with a wealth of maritime knowledge.
Perhaps you fancy the two hour safari visiting 25 miles of coastline, to a one hour seal-watching trip, or even chartering a skippered boat for a bespoke trip, options to suit all tastes are available. You may even be lucky enough to see porpoises and dolphins. Get your cameras ready. Don’t forget sea birds, too, such as the clown prince of birds, the puffin. If you are really lucky you may even see a basking shark.
On the subject of water… Just across the river sits the town of Rock, which can reached by boat, using the Black Tor passenger ferry is the town of Rock, with its own attractions. The crossing takes around 10 minutes, and allows you to appreciate the beauty of this stretch of Cornwall on the water.
If you’re an avid rambler, heading to Rock opens up plenty more walking opportunities without having to walk for miles on end. Join up with the South West Coast Path at Rock and a ramble along to Daymer Bay (1.4 miles) and Polzeath (3 miles), affording fabulous views.
Padstow beach activities don’t get much hotter than this. Just outside of Padstow, Harlyn Bay is home to a glorious beach, and new for 2022 Saunas by the Sea launched a new coastal sauna experience, where you can recharge after a swim or surf in a hand-built wood-fired saunas. Available in 50-minute slots, they must be pre-booked online, with prices starting from £15.
If you’re looking for things to do in Padstow of an alcoholic nature, then beer lovers are well taken care of with the Padstow Brewing Company. Offering genuine local craft beer – made just minutes away from Padstow – its legendary Tasting Flights allow you to samples numerous styles of beer over an afternoon or evening. Or, join the guided tasting our passionate and knowledgeable Tasting Room Staff as they take you on a tasting tour through six of Padstow Brewing Company’s craft beers.
The volunteer run Padstow Museum is small but beautifully packed with local artefacts about the history of the area. Located close to the harbour, the museum is open four days a week (Monday and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday 10:30am – 1pm), and is a great way to spend a few hours, particularly on a rainy morning.
Looking for something different to do in Padstow? For the perfect rainy day out for competitive families, prepare to get soaked at Retallack Aqua Park just 7 miles outside of Padstow. Choose to surf the perfect wave whatever the weather on Cornwall’s only FlowRider. With safe and easy to ride waves, it’s the perfect set to learn to surf in safe surroundings without braving the sea on a rainy day. Or how about the challenging inflatable Aqua Park? Featuring separate inflated islands, giant trampoline, ‘stepping stone’ climbing obstacles, tough balance beams and lots more. The race is on with a ‘total wipeout’ style set up.
And new for 2023 is an additional wake station for budding wake boarders, if that floats your boat. Retallack makes the perfect rainy day family day out!
An option for things to do near Padstow, has to be some local sampling. Wine lovers might like to take a tour of award-winning winery, Trevibban Mill Cornish Vineyard or book a wine tasting here. A tranquil setting, it’s tucked away down a Cornish lane which is a ten-minute drive from Padstow.
A family-run working vineyard, winery and events venue, it’s historically the home of a miller and his family, the land is now the home to vines, apple trees and native English Southdown sheep. In 2023 Barnaby’s – sister to the hugely popular Prawn on the Lawn – know for its delicious seafood, meat and veg sharing plates, joined Trevibban Mill Vineyard’s offering making it an even tastier option!
Dreaming of booking a holiday in picturesque Padstow? We have brought together our favourite luxury holiday cottages in Padstow, to inspire your Cornish escape.