Walk - Round and About Padstow

1.6 miles (2.5 km)

The Meadow, Padstow - PL28 8AG The Meadow, Padstow

Easy -

This walk is suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs.

After a stroll up to the War Memorial to enjoy the view across the Camel Estuary, take a gentle walk around the bustling town of Padstow delving into the world of lobsters, the Obby Oss and famous restaurants. 

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Tresco Farm

Wild camping farm site, pub within walking distance. 2 mile from coast.

South Quay B&B

A house on the harbourside in Padstow. 2 double rooms, the en suite top bedroom has a tiny terrace under the gable of the house.

Mariners Lettings Ltd

Mariners Lettings - seven self-catering properties in Rock ranging in size from two to five bedrooms, 500 metres from the SW Coast Path

Dennis Cove Campsite

Closest campsite to the harbour,10min walk from the Path via the Camel Trail. Serene site bordering the Camel Estuary. A perfect base to explore the Cornish coastline & beaches.

Sunny Corner

Close to the sandy beach. Double/twin bedrooms both ensuite includes full breakfast, wifi, parking. Minimum stay 2 nights

Tregella Place Camping

Basic rural site with some facilities. 10 min drive from Padstow

Parkdean Resorts St Minvers Holiday Park

Set in the grounds of an old manor house, St Minver Holiday Park, near Rock, offers plenty of opportunities to explore Cornwall and its lovely fishing ports and nearby villages. Woodland setting in close proximity to 3 glorious beaches.

Penhalonga B&B

Family run B&B, full English breakfast. Single nights. Dogs welcome. Call Liz

Lowen Lodge

Perfect dog friendly cottage for 2 between Rock and Polzeath. gweengtweevgage ggtfectCornish Traditional Cottages offer self-catering holiday homes throughout Cornwall. Find your perfect base for exploring the Cornish Coast.

YHA Treyarnon Bay

Just 50m from the sea and 10m from coastal footpath offering private rooms, bell tents, pods and pitch up. Licenced Bar and Cafe. Perfect place to rest your head.

Penlan B&B

Situated 250m from Porthcothan Bay beach close to the Coast Path, midway between Padstow and Newquay on bus route. Twin ensuite .

Macdonald's Farm Touring & Camping

Small family run Farm Park, B&B plus Campsite just ½ a mile from beautiful Porthcothan Bay, along the coast between Padstow and Newquay.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The London Inn

A traditional Cornish pub full of charm and character with a large selection of cask ales and four comfortable rooms. Situated minutes from the Harbour.

Rest A While Tea Garden

A delightful Tea Garden where you can relax enroute with outstanding views just 50m off the Coast Path. Serving hot & cold drinks & Cream Teas (traditional, savoury, vegan, gluten-free). Outside seating only. 11 am -3.00 pmsavou

The Pityme Inn

Just 1 mile from Padstow beach and incorporating a village shop and takeaway, the Pityme Inn serves up the best of local produce from 9 am each day. Garden with heating pods and 4 rooms available.

Beach Box Polzeath

Polzeath Beach Box, located right on Polzeath Beach, offers delicious food and drinks prepared in their St Minver kitchen. They have a diverse menu with vegan and gluten-free options for drinks, cakes, food, and gelato. Open year-round, i

Beach box Harlyn Bay

We offer parallel views of the bay paired with delicious fresh food and drink all year-round. We can serve up an array of amazing alcoholic drinks. We also have vegan and GF options available for our drinks, cakes, food, and homemade gelato.

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The National Lobster Hatchery

Experience pioneering marine conservation in action on the beautiful estuary in Padstow and be inspired to make a difference.

Padstow Tourist Information

All the information you need to enjoy your visit to Padstow.

Stepper Point NCI, Padstow

Situated above the Coast Path with commanding views out to sea and over the Camel river. Visitors most welcome.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From The Meadow take the Coast Path northwards, following the Tarmac path through the park to the memorial, ignoring the steps up to the left.
  2. At the memorial, enjoy the views out over the Camel Estuary. Take advantage of the seats if you wish. Return to the town of Padstow along the same tarmac path.
  3. This path (the South West Coast Path) continues past some seats overlooking the harbour down a slope.

Padstow grew up within a creek on the Western bank of the River Camel, near to where the Parish church of St Petroc now stands. The settlement was originally named Petroc-stow or 'Petrock's Place', after the Welsh missionary Saint Petroc, who, around 500AD, landed nearby.
As the port grew, the town was built on raised reclaimed land. In 1538, the Inner Quays and Strand were built. Padstow used to flood come the equinoctial spring tides. In 1988 a flood-defence scheme was built - extending the Inner Basin pier, raising some of the Quay walls and building a tidal gate. Since the gate was put in the town has not flooded.
The harbour is home to fishing boats bringing in their catches to be served in the many local restaurants. These include, of course, Rick Stein's who has raised the profile and popularity of the town. Tourists travel from long distances to eat at his restaurant or cafés.
Padstow's annual Christmas Festival in early December promises celebrity chefs, culinary delights and festive fun. Cooking demonstrations, fireworks, Santa's Grotto and a traditional Christmas market are fast making this an essential event to visit. The weekend ends with a Christmas service in St Petroc's church.

  1. At the bottom of the slope follow North Quay around the harbour. There is a short cut through the car park on your left which leads across the harbour bridge.

May Day (or 'Obby 'Oss Day as it is known outside of Padstow) is one of the biggest days in Padstow's calendar. There may be up to 30,000 people crammed into the town. Padstonians from all over the world return to their roots.
The origins of the Obby Oss produce many conflicting theories. Some say it comes from pagan times, others that it's a rain maker, a fertility symbol, a deterrent to a possible landing some centuries ago by the French or even a welcome to summer. These days the Obby Oss wearer carries on their shoulders a costume built around a six feet wide circular wooden hoop. This is covered in sailcloth draped down to the ground. Internal shoulder straps support the heavy weight and help ease the considerable strain.
The wearer proceeds through Padstow's streets, swirling and dancing and accompanied by a Teazer, who leads the dance with theatrical movements. The Teazer carries the Teazer's club which is a leather brightly painted pad mounted on the end of a wooden rod. The Teazer's leads a group dressed in white costumes which are decorated with ribbons and sprays of cowlips and bluebells. As the procession moves around the town, musicians, drummers and dancers perform a traditional gyrating dance. At the back of the procession are the young and old followers, who every year join in the singing of the traditional May Song.

  1. Keep the harbour on your left as the road becomes The Strand and then South Quay. Meeting up with the short cut, follow Riverside keeping on the pavement, past the car park and around the bend until you reach the large mass of buildings containing the National Lobster Hatchery.

The railway came to Padstow in 1899, reclaiming land at the southern end of the harbour, using one of Padstow's shipbuilding yard walls as a retaining wall. Fish was then able to be transported quickly via the railway to London's Billingsgate Fish Market. More trawlers started using the port and the present-day dock was built in 1910. In its heyday, the station was served by the famous Atlantic Coast Express bringing holidaymakers and daytrippers to the coast. The line closed in 1967. The station building now houses the offices of Padstow Town Council. The railway line to Wadebridge is now used as part of the popular Camel Trial, a flat recreational route that leads from Padstow to Bodmin. It is over 17 miles long and is used by about 400,000 walkers, cyclists or horse riders each year.

  1. The National Lobster Hatchery is in the buildings on the landward side of the large car park. 

In Padstow situated on the water's edge in the South Quay car park the visitor centre (wheelchair accessible) of the National Lobster Hatchery is worth a browse. Local fishermen bring “pregnant” female lobsters in to the hatchery, to give them a chance to release their delicate offspring in captivity, where there are no predators. The young lobsters are then raised to a size where they can be released back into the sea and look after themselves.

  1. On the return journey either follow the route previously taken (but in reverse!) OR take the first turning on your left left, St Edmund's Lane. At the top turn right into New Street. Follow this down around the corner and then right into Broad Street.
  2. At the end of Broad Street turn right into Market Place. Keep going straight on into Mill Square and then follow the road around back to the harbour at the end of The Strand. 

The local museum is located in Market Square and has exhibits related to the 'Obby Oss' custom, the Padstow lifeboat, and Padstow's railway as well as artefacts,and photographs of shipping and shipwrecks. It is also a good point of contact if you are tracing your family history in the Padstow area.
Follow North Quay parade back to the slope and up to the start of the walk.


In Padstow.


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