Walk - Padstow and Prideaux Place

3.0 miles (4.8 km)

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

Easy -

With views over the River Camel, this short but enjoyable walk heads inland from Harbour Cove and passes the Tudor Mansion of Prideaux Place on the way back into Padstow. A good walk in autumn, when the stubble of the fields above Harbour Cove provides rich pickings for migrant birds such as bunting, wheatear and pipit. Look out for merlins hunting them, overhead, or the high-speed dive of a peregrine.

There is an Easy Access walk that covers the first part of this walk; it starts and ends at the Railway Car Park and takes you as far as Gun Point. Total length 2.6 miles.

 To download our Access guide, click here where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces and other detailed information such as parking and toilet provision.

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.

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.

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

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

Penhalonga B&B

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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, continue along the Coast Path and follow it along as it runs above the beach to Gun Point. If you want to go down onto the sand there are numerous small paths leading to the beaches along the way to Harbour Cove, but for this walk, stay with the main path around the dunes.

St George's Well, supposedly off the path above the beach, is one of many holy wells in Cornwall. In early times, sources of water were highly prized, especially by travellers, and the Celts and Roman ascribed healing properties to their springs and wells. A few centuries later, saints arriving by sea would have had cause to bless these springs and wells as welcome drinking fountains.

There is said to be another well, dedicated to St John, near the daymark tower on Stepper Point. This one is believed to have been marked by a beacon chapel, although nothing now remains of either.
Rather more recent (from the start of the nineteenth century, in fact), are the ruins of a Napoleonic gun emplacement and fortifications at Gun Point, a little further on from St George's Well.

Looking out across the estuary, at low tide the sand on this side of the water extends almost to Doom Bar. According to a traditional ballad, the Mermaid of Padstow fell in love with local lad, Tom Yeo, who mistook her for a seal (or so he said), and shot her. In the awful rage of a woman scorned, she called up a mighty storm, wrecking all the ships in the harbour and throwing a huge sandbar across the river to imperil all future sailors venturing in.

  1. From Gun Point the path turns slightly inland around the edge of Harbour Cove until it reaches a small inlet, where a track joins it from your left.

Harbour Cove known locally as Tregirls, provides a quiet contrast to the summer bustle of Padstow. The flat crescent shaped beach of golden sand can be quite secluded. At lower tides Harbour Cove merges with Hawker's Cove, to the north. Dogs are allowed at both Harbour Cove and Hawkers Cove beaches.

  1. Having explored Harbour Cove beach turn left onto the track mentioned at 3 and follow it back to Padstow, dropping onto the road southwards at Tregirls Farm and ignoring the tracks leading away on both sides shortly afterwards.

Before you reach Padstow, you pass on your right the Tudor Mansion of Prideaux Place. 
The Prideaux family origins go back to the 11th century. They are said to descend from such diverse characters as William the Conqueror, King Edward I and Queen Eleanor of Castile. Jane Austen was a close relation. Since the completion of the house in 1592, 14 generations of the family have lived at Prideaux Place . Nowadays of its 81 rooms, 46 are bedrooms although only 6 are habitable! The rest are as the American Army left them at the end of the Second World War, complete with such notices as 'Lance Sergeants' Mess'.

The gardens of Prideaux Place were first recorded in the 1730s. Edmund Prideaux landscaped hedged walks and built such buildings as a classical temple, a grotto and a small stone arbour. Today efforts are being made to restore the gardens to their former glory.

Prideaux Place has been extensively used as a film location. Among the stories featuring its classical lines on-screen are several by Cornish-born author, Rosamunde Pilcher, who started her writing career penning Mills and Boon romances under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. Using her own name, Rosamunde published her first novel in 1955. In 1987, at the age of 63, she wrote the international best-seller 'The Shell Seekers' which sold 5.5 million copies. She gained enormous popularity in Germany, where the TV station ZDF has since produced nearly 40 of her stories for TV. 

The filming of 'Coming Home' at Prideaux Place has proved to be a great draw for Pilcher fans worldwide, as have the other productions made for German television such as 'Flowers in the Rain', 'The End of Summer, The Long Weekend' and 'The Red Dress'. Prideaux Place has also been a film location for ITV's detective series, 'Wycliffe', and 'Most Haunted'.

  1. Reaching the houses, follow Tregirls Lane around to the left as it becomes Church Street and then turn right down Duke Street to reach the centre of Padstow again. 

Walking around the northern side of the harbour, take the Coast Path northwards, up the ramp, back to the start of the walk.

Parking

There are numerous car parks in Padstow, though all get busy in high season. 

Railway Car Park  has 14 disability spaces at the town end. Charges apply for all vehicles. Visit: padstow-tc.gov.ukpadstow-uk for more details. The spaces fill up quickly in the tourist season.

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