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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Padstow beaches, Cornwall

About Padstow beaches, Cornwall

When looks were handed out, Cornwall certainly got all the breaks: soul-feeding scenery, some of Europe’s best beaches, epic cliffs, superb surf, and picturesque towns. It’s pretty talented too, with its superb local produce, delicious cuisine, and cultural magnetism. Padstow, having been partially colonised by super chef Rick Stein, is a pretty town that’s a must visit on any foodie agenda, while surfers and amusement fiends head down the coast to the neon lights of Newquay.

Beach:

Padstow is not only a culinary centre, courtesy of a certain Mr Stein, but it also lies between some stunning beaches. To the west lie Constantine and Harlin Bay, great for swimmers and surfers, while further along the coast is the less busy Porthcothan. On the other side of the estuary is Polzeath, perfect for novice surfers.

Beyond the beach:

For a completely different vibe, head down the coast to Britain’s surfing capital of Newquay. Set among some fantastic beaches, it has lots of surfing facilities, brash nightlife, seaside amusements, zoo, aquarium, adventure sports and Jamie Oliver’s renowned Fifteen (www.fifteencornwall.com) restaurant.

Family fun:

You can take boat trips along the Camel estuary, choosing between stately passages around the islands, or adrenaline-revving speedboat trips. There are several surfing schools that offer lessons and equipment hire, including Surf’s Up (www.surfsupsurfschool.com).

As this is foodie heaven, you can also take a one- or two-day cookery course at the Padstow Seafood School (www.rickstein.com).

Bikers will love the 24km (15-mile) riverside Camel Trail track, which starts in Padstow and runs to Poley’s Bridge on Bodmin Moor.

Exploring further:

Splashing out:

Beg, borrow or steal to bag a table at the Seafood Restaurant, Rick Stein’s flagship eatery, serving sublime seafood and dishes created from fresh Cornish produce.