What to See in Padstow: Off the Beaten Track
Returning to Padstow year-on-year, we often uttered “I wish I’d known about that sooner”
The area around Padstow is teaming with treasures that only the locals know about, but we’re here to let you in on a few secrets to make your stay in Cornwall so much more than just a week by the seaside. Whether you’re a first timer or an old timer, some, if not all of these peaches will be new to you.
Trevose Headland Walk
Arguably one of the best short walks of the Cornish coastal path, Trevose Headland can often be overlooked by visitors. This dog-friendly & child-friendly 3 mile circular route leaves from the Boobys Bay car park and circles the headland, taking in stunning panoramic views across the Camel Estuary towards Polzeath and south towards Newquay and beyond. If you fancy something a little longer, continue along Constantine Bay to Treyarnon Bay and relax with a drink in the local (and friendly) YHA cafe. The walk has everything – wildlife is abundant with the flittering of wheatears and the swoop of kestrels. Seals and dolphins can often be spotted from the headland and in the surrounding bays. The Trevose Lighthouse provides an imposing foreground against the backdrop of the churning Atlantic Ocean and the ruined foundations of wartime munitions create a strong sense of what went before.
The Camel Trail (Wadebridge – Bodmin)
Everyone ‘does’ the Padstow – Wadebridge section of the Camel Trail, and it is undeniably pretty as it shadows the estuary’s journey to Wadebridge. By Wadebridge, most visitors for little more than a Barnecutts pasty and the ride home, neglecting the next, and arguably, prettier section between Wadebridge & Bodmin. Next time, avoid Padstow’s parking melee and head straight for Wadebridge. If you’d prefer to ride, pick up a bicycle from Bridge Bike Hire and a trailer for the children.
This section of the Camel Trail snakes through the wooded Camel Valley, following what at sections is little more than a rocky stream. Deeper & stiller water holes along this trail offer a great opportunity for a dip in warmer weather. Although we all start with good intentions of making it to Bodmin and beyond, it is often the case that no-one makes it beyond the majestic and award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard. Stopping to sample the produce and views, it is perhaps unsurprising that the return leg often seems much shorter.
If you’re biking, look for Lidl when you enter Wadebridge and park nearby. Bike hire companies line the roundabout outside Lidl and healthy competition keeps the price in check. If you’re walking the trail, head through the town, turning right at the Regal Cinema and park up nearby.
This Forestry Commission site is located just outside Bodmin, 30-40mins drive from Padstow. Cardinham (car-din-em) Woods offers a family friendly day out with lots of variety. Car parking is cheap, bike hire is available on site and walking trails and a variety of mountain biking trails make for hours of fun for all abilities. The 12km ‘Bodmin Beast’ trail offers the a great mountain biking challenge for all riders riding to a moderate level or above.
After a morning on the trails, return to the children’s play area and BBQ area with BBQs provided for your use. During the school holidays, the Badger Forest School hold outdoor activity sessions in Cardinham Woods for youngsters. For more information or to book your place head here.
Rough Tor (Row-Ter) & Brown Willy
These names perhaps mean little to all but the most dedicated walker. As the two highest points in Cornwall and situated as they are on the rugged Bodmin Moor, they offer a scenic view of the Cornish countryside which is second to none. Overlooking the ruined iron age settlements between the two, these short summits are a great way to spend an afternoon. Take a picnic, sit atop the craggy peaks and admire the view over windswept moorland.