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 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.

Coswarth House, Padstow

A beautifully furnished boutique hotel in a listed building with breakfast served at Rick Stein's Cafe. Each room has a luxury bathroom.

Ere-Tis B&B, Padstow

A warm welcome is guarenteed at our family run bungalow offering ensuite accommodation. Telephone 01841 532320 for details. Convenient for the Camel Trail and the South West Coast Path. 

Dennis Cove Campsite, Padstow

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.

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.

Cornish Horizons

One of Cornwall’s leading agencies with nearly 700 cottages in popular locations including Padstow, St Ives, Looe and Fowey. Book online today!

Mariners Lettings Ltd, Rock

Mariners Cottages are seven self-catering properties in Rock ranging in size from two to five bedrooms, 500 metres from the South West Coast Path.

 

Sunny Corner, Trevone

Close to the sandy beach. Double/twin bedrooms both ensuite £85 per room (£60 single occupancy) includes full breakfast, wifi, parking

Penhalonga B&B, Constantine Bay

Family run B&B with full English breakfast. Single night stay. Dogs welcome. Contact: [email protected]  T:01841 521122/ 07815833158

Carnevas Holiday Park, Porthcothan

Located in unspoilt countryside bordering the North Cornish coastline, a short distance from Padstow and wonderful beaches. Bar serving food available at certain times and shop.

Penlan B&B, Portcothan Bay

Situated 250 m from Porthcothan Bay beach close to the coast path. We have 2 double ensuite rooms and­ a room with 2 single beds and a private bathroom. Free wifi. Dog friendly and can help with kit transfer.

Old Macdonald's Farm, Porthcothan

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

Cornish Traditional Cottages

Cornish Traditional Cottages offer self-catering holiday lets throughout Cornwall. Find your perfect base for exploring the Cornish coast.

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.

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.

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