Padstow TV Chef Hot Spot!
Traditionally a fishing port, Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. Although some of its former fishing fleet remains, it is mainly a yachting haven on the dramatic north Cornwall coastline.
The influence of restaurateur Rick Stein can be seen in the port, and tourists travel from long distances to eat at his restaurant and cafes. More recently TV chefs Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw have set up Michelin starred restaurants in Padstow and Rock consolidating Padstow as Cornwall’s Foodie hot spot. Click here to see our eating out guide!
Cornwall: Britain’s New Foodie Capital
The Guardian: Wednesday 20 February 2013 19.00 GMTBefore Rick Stein, the godfather of Cornwall’s burgeoning food movement, first started in Padstow, many restaurants simply shut down outside the main tourist season. That made it hard for them to attract permanent staff, and for their suppliers to build quality businesses. Now, the combination of a healthier local economy and an almost year-round season – driven at least partly by Cornwall’s newfound status as a foodie destination – has created a kind of virtuous circle in which high-profile chefs like Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth, and top local producers can prosper. “Quality local produce is massively important,” says Ainsworth, who won a star at Number 6 in Padstow this year, “and Cornwall is now second to none. The last couple of years, artisan producers of all kinds have really come into their own here. Once, for example, I’d use peaches from France. Not now. Cornish fruits and berries are exceptional.”
This is an extract from The Guardian Click here to read the full story.
Below is a beautiful video of Padstow by Tom Mckie
Footpaths, Walking and Cycling
The South West Coast Path runs on both sides of the River Camel estuary and crosses from Padstow to Rock via the Black Tor ferry. The path gives walking access to the coast with Stepper Point and Trevose Head within an easy day’s walk of Padstow.
The Saints’ Way long-distance footpath runs from Padstow to Fowey on the south coast of Cornwall.
The Camel Trail cycleway follows the course of the former railway (see above) from Padstow. It is open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders and suitable for disabled access. The 17.3 miles (27.8 km) long route leads to Wadebridge and on to Wenford Bridge and Bodmin.
Coasteering in Cornwall
Get a different perspective on the world and see the beautiful North Cornwall coastline up close. With a guided tour you will have a fantastic time and get some great memories as well as a good dose of excitement in safety. See the video below for a taste of the excitement!
Sea Kayaking in Cornwall
Enjoy the amazing scenery or try your luck at kayak fishing it’s a great day out on a summer’s day. Padstow area has an abundance of wildlife to enjoy and the peace and quiet at sea that all fishermen love. Give sea kayaking a try it could change your life forever!
Padstow May Day
Padstow is best known for its “‘Obby ‘Oss” or May Day festival. Although its origins are unclear, it most likely stems from an ancient fertility rite, perhaps the Celtic festival of Beltane. The festival starts at midnight on May Eve when townspeople gather outside the Golden Lion Inn to sing the “Night Song”. By morning, the town has been dressed with greenery and flowers placed around the maypole. The excitement begins with the appearance of one of the ‘Obby ‘Osses. Male dancers cavort through the town dressed as one of two ‘Obby ‘Osses, the “Old” and the “Blue Ribbon” ‘Obby ‘Osses; as the name suggests, they are stylised kinds of horses. Prodded on by acolytes known as “Teasers”, each wears a mask and black frame-hung cape under which they try to catch young maidens as they pass through the town.
Throughout the day, the two parades, led by the “Mayer” in his top hat and decorated stick, followed by a band of accordions and drums, then the ‘Oss and the Teaser, with a host of people – all singing the “Morning Song” pass along the streets of the town, never meeting. Finally, late in the evening, the two ‘osses do meet, at the maypole, before returning to their respective stables where the crowd sings of the ‘Obby ‘Oss death, until its resurrection the following May Eve.
Padstow May Day 1932
Padstow May Day 2012
Padstow on Boxing Day
On Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, it is a tradition for some residents to don blackface and parade through the town singing ‘minstrel’ songs. This is an ancient British midwinter celebration that occurs every year in Padstow and was originally part of the pagan heritage of midwinter celebrations that were regularly celebrated all over Cornwall where people would guise dance and disguise themselves by blackening up their faces or wearing masks. (Recently the people of Penzance have revived its midwinter celebration with the Montol Festival which like Padstow at times would have had people darkening or painting their skin to disguise themselves as well as masking.)
Padstow was originally named Petroc-stow (Petroc-stowe, or ‘Petrock’s Place’), after the Welsh missionary Saint Petroc, who landed at nearby Trebetherick around AD 500.
In the medieval period Padstow was commonly called Aldestowe (as the ‘old place’ in contrast to Bodmin the ‘new place’). The modern Cornish form Lannwedhenek derives from Lanwethinoc and in a simpler form appears in the name of the Lodenek Press, a publisher based in Padstow.
The church of St Petroc is one of a group of three said to have been founded by the saint, the others being Little Petherick and Bodmin. It is quite large and mostly of 13th and 14th century date. There is a fine font of Catacleuse stone which is 15th century: the pulpit of ca. 1530 is also of interest. There are two fine monuments to members of the Prideaux family (Sir Nicholas, 1627 and Edmund, 1693): there is also a monumental brass of 1421.
Padstow Maritime Traffic
During the mid-nineteenth century, ships carrying timber from Canada (particularly Quebec City) would arrive at Padstow and offer cheap travel to passengers wishing to emigrate. Shipbuilders in the area would also benefit from the quality of their cargoes. Among the ships that sailed were the Barques Clio, Belle and Voluna; and the brig Dalusia.
The approach from the sea into the River Camel is partially blocked by the Doom Bar, a bank of sand extending across the estuary which is a significant hazard to shipping and the cause of many shipwrecks.
For ships entering the estuary, the immediate loss of wind due to the cliffs was a particular hazard, often resulting in ships being swept onto the Doom Bar. A manual capstan was installed on the west bank of the river (its remains can still be seen) and rockets were fired to carry a line to ships so that they could be winched to safety.
There have been ferries across the Camel estuary for centuries and the current service, the Black Tor Ferry, carries pedestrians between Padstow and Rock daily throughout the year.
From 1899 until 1967 Padstow railway station was the westernmost point of the former Southern Railway. The station was the terminus of an extension from Wadebridge of the former Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway and North Cornwall Railway. These lines were part of the London and South Western Railway (LSWR), then incorporated into the Southern Railway in 1923 and British Railways in 1948, but were proposed for closure during the Beeching Axe of the 1960s.
The LSWR (and Southern Railway) promoted Padstow as a holiday resort; these companies were rivals to the Great Western Railway (which was the larger railway in the West of England). Until 1964, Padstow was served by the Atlantic Coast Express – a direct train service to/from London (Waterloo) – but the station was closed in 1967. The old railway line is now the Camel Trail, a footpath and cycle path which is popular owing to its picturesque route beside the River Camel. One of the railway mileposts is now embedded outside the Shipwright’s Arms public house on the Harbour Front.