It has a magical atmosphere that draws people back here year after year.
Padstow itself lies on the Camel Estuary, about seven miles from Wadebridge. The area is one of considerable natural beauty with beautiful bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath.
At the top of Padstow is Prideaux Place, built in the 16th century and has one of the oldest deer parks in the country. This house is still occupied by descendants of the Prideaux family, and is open to the public on some afternoons. Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Padstow when he was Warden of Cornwall, and his Court House on Riverside was the central office for the collection of dues and taxes.
Padstow's importance as a port developed from earliest times and in 1565 Sir John Hawkins took shelter here while returning from the West Indies, as did Sir Martin Frobisher while returning from his search for the North West Passage to China in 1577. At that time Padstow was well used as a fishing port, and during the 17th century, when mining in Cornwall was expanding, shipments of copper ore were made to Bristol and slates were exported, many of them from the Camel quarry.
The town has a beautiful harbour surrounded by restaurants, shops and inns, which cater for all tastes and budgets. Beyond the harbour you will find a quieter atmosphere in the narrow streets filled with colour washed cottages and houses.