Places to visit around Althea Library
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Padstow is ideally situated for touring the many places of interest in Cornwall. Here are just a few examples:

Area of natural beauty
The natural beauty of our area is, of course, its main attraction - the rugged beauty of the coastline, with its amazing cliffs, golden sands washed by the Atlantic surf, and the enormous variety of walks.

On the face of it, Padstow and its surrounding area would appear to be very quiet compared to larger holiday resorts, and yet in many ways we have far more to offer our visitors and have something to suit everyone.


Image of Bodmin Moor

Away from the coast and striking deep into Bodmin Moor, the villages of Blisland, Bolventor, Temple and Altarnun allow you to feel the welcoming stillness. Bodmin, standing proudly on the Moor's western edge, is the perfect place to recoup after a foray into the foothills. With excellent leisure facilities, including an indoor tennis centre and superb swimming pools, Bodmin's pleasant facade betrays a turbulent past, which you can explore in the town's two museums. And history is re-lived on the annual Riding and Heritage Day - a pageant of mock battles and medieval crafts. From Bodmin you can take in the grand houses of Pencarrow and Lanhydrock, follow the nature trails in Cardinham Woods, or enjoy a heady blast of nostalgia on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

The Coastal Footpath
The footpath westwards starts at Padstow harbour's North Quay just beyond the Shipwright's Inn, runs beside the river Camel out to the sea and then along the cliff tops and across the beaches.

Padstow nearby beach imageThe total walk from Padstow to Porthcothan is around 20 miles and offers the most lovely views.

Along the walk you will pass the following: The War Memorial, St Georges Cove, Harbour Cove, Daymark Navigation Point, 200ft cliffs, wild scenery of the Atlantic coast, Tregudda Gorge, marble cliffs, Harlyn Bay, across headlands, Padstow lifeboat, lighthouse (open to visitors), Trevose Head, Booby's Bay and much much more.

Harbour entertainment
Padstow harbour image Naturally the focal point of Padstow is its harbour, and this is the centre of a variety of activities. Brass band concerts are held on Sundays and on some weekdays during the season, providing a variety of music. A variety of entertainers appear from time to time, including Punch and Judy shows, minstrels and Morris Dancers. Many events are well advertised locally and you are welcome to join in.

Royal Cornwall Show
The Royal Cornwall Show is held in Wadebridge in early June, and Padstow Lions Carnival Week takes place in July or early August, with a number of different events being held during the week, finishing with the Carnival procession on the Saturday evening.

A trip on the pleasure cruiser which runs from the harbour gives a superb view of the coastline and nearby islands. The trip lasts about 1 hours and details of departure times are displayed on boards around the harbour. For those who like a little more excitement there are speedboat trips in the Camel Estuary.

Fishing trips are offered by some of the local fishermen and many enjoy a day out on one of the fishing boats.

Situated overlooking the sea, Trevose Golf Club offers both a 9-hole and 18-hole course, and the Club also has tennis courts and a swimming pool as well as an excellent restaurant. Padstow tennis courts, situated at the Lawn Car Park, are also available for use by the public.

A Krazy Golf area, with its mini marina and putting course, is situated close to the harbour off North Quay.

There is also an excellent golf course situated on Rock, a short ferry trip across the estuary from Padstow.

Cycles can be hired from both Padstow and Wadebridge. The main attraction for cyclists is the Camel Trail which takes you from Padstow through Wadebridge to Bodmin or vice-versa. It offers 17 miles of off-road riverside and woodland cycling all the way to the foothills of Bodmin Moor. A variety of cycles are on offer for both adults and children, ranging from conventional bicycles to tandems or tricycles equipped with seats for the toddlers.

The Camel Estuary
Map of the Camel Estuary Click on the map to see a larger version.

The Camel Estuary has provided happy memories for generations of visitors. Some stay for a week or two and others return on a regular basis thoughout the year. From small children gleefully catching small crabs by the Inner Harbour at Padstow, to the accomplished yachtsman completing a difficult passage from South Wales, the estuary can provide a range of experiences, including a safe berth in the harbour and a welcome shower in our new facilities.

During the summer months, sails dot the seascape over the high water and many hundreds of visiting yachtsmen, many taking part in sailing competitions under the guidance of the Rock Sailing & Water Ski Club.

Windsurfers are challenged by the difficult - and sometimes dangerous - conditions of Daymer Bay, being careful of the families enjoying the beaches and rocky outcrops near Trebetherick Point.

The whole estuary provides excellent "spectator sport" - returning fishing boats, water-skiers, racing gigs etc.

For nearly 100 years people have travelled from Wadebridge to Padstow. In 1899 the steam train from Waterloo first travelled along the estuary carrying visitors.

Houses and Gardens
Cornwall has an abundance of magnificent gardens due to the mild and moist conditions which allow sub-tropical species to survive. Two of the main attractions are gardens through the National Trust and the English Heritage.

The Eden Project

Image of inside the Eden Project

The Eden Project is home to a dramatic global garden guaranteed to take your breath away.

Cornwall's newly opened, spectacular Eden Project is an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking epic location. Eden is a gateway into the fascinating world of plants and people and a vibrant reminder of how we need each other for our mutual survival.

Its home is a dramatic global garden the size of thirty football pitches, nestling like a lost world in a crater overlooking St Austell Bay. One of its giant conservatories is a majestic rainforest cathedral; the other is host to the fruits of the Mediterranean and the flowers of South Africa and California. Outside, in the landscaped grounds you will find tea and lavender, sunflowers and hemp.

It's a place to tell a hundred plant stories, from cocoa and coffee to bananas and rubber. From plants and medicine to plants used in construction. From paper to wine and from perfume to brewing.

The stunning architecture and breathtaking living plant collection is like no other.

To see further information about the Eden Project, please visit their website at www.edenproject.com.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

The award winning Lost Gardens of Heligan lie within the most mysterious estates in England. At the end of the 19th Century, its thousand acres were at their zenith, but just a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this 'Sleeping Beauty'.

Now beautifully restored to its former glory, Heligan is truly a garden for all seasons and firmly established as a world famous 'living' museum of 19th Century horticulture, a must for all garden lovers.

To see further information about The Lost Gardens of Heligan, please visit their website at www.heligan.co.uk.

Image of Prideaux Place

Nearby is Prideaux Place, the Elizabethan Manor House open to the public with Deer Park and easy access to beautiful walks with lovely views of the Camel Estuary.

To see further information about the Prideaux Place, please visit their website at www.prideauxplace.co.uk.

The nearest beach is St. Georges Well (20 minutes walk) with Trevone Bay just 2 miles away (5 minutes drive).

A short ferry trip from Padstow harbour to Rock will bring you to where there is another safe family beach, offering windsurfing and sailing. From here a short walk will take you to St Enodoc Church where the Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, is buried. His artefacts are on show at the Betjeman Centre, Wadebridge.

Railways Cornish railway image
The railways in Cornwall and Devon offer some of the most scenic journeys in Britain, if not Europe. From stunning coastal views to rolling green countryside, heavily wooded valleys to fine river crossings and the almost lunar landscape of the Cornish china clay industry. Lines go to and from the following:

Tamar Valley Line - Plymouth to Gunnislake
Looe Valley Line - Liskeard to Looe
St. Ives Line - Penzance to St Ives
Truro to Falmouth
Par to Newquay
Exeter to Paignton
Exeter to Exmouth.

For those who wish to travel on the railways, they are open 7 days a week all year round. Special rates are available for day returns and families. For those who wish to explore more of the railways there is a 'Railrover' or a 'Freedom of the South West Rover' available.

Pubs and Restaurants Rick Stein image
Padstow has a wealth of good restaurants including The Ebb, The Estuary, The Basement Cafe, Margots, No.6, Pescadou, Rojano's (Pizza and Pasta), Ripley's (St Merryn) and also the famous Seafood Restaurant owned and run by Rick and Jill Stein, also their Deli, Cafe, and St Petroc's Bistro. Early booking is advisable at any of these.

Pubs include the London Inn, The Shipwright's Inn, The Old Custom House, Golden Lion, Harbour Inn and The Old Ship Hotel to name but a few. Many sample menus can be found in the bedrooms of Althea Library.

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