Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean Padstow is any less magical…
Stroll Amongst Twinkling Lights
From 29th November our beloved Padstow will transform into a bright spot of festive glow. Visit before 6th January and you’ll see not only the harbour but Padstow’s higgledy-piggledy streets twinkling in the night sky.
Don’t miss: the five candles, angel and tree above Rojano’s.
Soak Up Some History
Take a stroll around the historic mansion, Prideaux Place, that sits on the hill above Padstow harbour and discover the story of 14 generations of Prideaux. The house is a treasure trove of Cornish life and history, Elizabethan aesthetics and a wealth of Strawberry Hill Gothic interiors. Rest your feet in the tearoom and enjoy a Cornish cream tea while looking out over the ancient deer park and Camel estuary. If you feel like bracing the cold, the grounds feature a Gothic Double Dairy, fully restored 18th Century Temple and Stable Courtyard which are definitely worth exploring.
Padstow is somewhat of an expert when it comes to Christmas cheer, with the Christmas Festival (3rd-6th December) providing Yuletide entertainment including the arrival of Santa – not on a sleigh, but on his horse-drawn Victorian bus, as well as a spectacular fireworks display, live music, carol concerts, Santa fun run, and a lantern parade. Food lovers will delight as Padstow comes alive with celebrity chefs, culinary treats and cookery demonstrations. Local producers will be selling an array of gifts at the traditional Christmas market while ales and ciders from Cornwall’s favourite breweries will be tempting you in, including a beer selection from the festival’s sponsor, Sharps. View the festival timetable here.
Take a Scenic Winter Walk
Take the Sir John Betjeman Walk along the opposite side of the estuary from Padstow, where you can enjoy the Christmas lights glittering on the harbour from across the water.This gentle walk takes you through the dunes beside the golden beaches on the eastern bank of the River Camel. Mostly flat and through sandy grassland, this easy walk allows you to take in Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman’s grave in the churchyard of St Enodoc Church, as well as the site of Bronze Age burial mounds and a Roman encampment at Brea Hill. If you fancy, take a detour to the holy well used by the Welsh hermit Enodoc to baptise his converts. Afterwards, hop over on the ferry that runs year round to Padstow and enjoy a pint of Doom Bar to warm your cockles, while looking out at the very place where the ale got it’s name. View the route here.
Visit Sea Creatures
Visit the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow and learn how science is helping to conserve the fishing tradition in Cornwall and beyond. Discover baby and giant lobsters as well as crabs – you can even adopt your own!
Glide Across a Winter Wonderland
Visit the Winter Wonderland at Retallack, only a 10min drive from St Merryn Park. Discover a spectacular Alpine village complete with glittering lights, snow topped surroundings, a magnificent Christmas tree, and – best of all – a festive ice skating rink. Glide along to your favourite Christmas tunes, warm up with delicious snacks or hot chocolates, and browse the Christmas stalls for gifts.
Don’t miss: Santa visits Retallack Winter Wonderland every weekend in December to wish a Merry Christmas to good little girls and boys.
Explore Constantine Bay
Constantine bay is one of the most popular of St Merryn’s seven bays, so take a walk across this dog friendly sandy beach that becomes deserted in the winter months For those willing to brave the cold, Constantine and its neighbour Booby’s are great bays for experienced surfers. If you’d rather stay out of the water, explore the village or see if you can discover the Holy Well dedicated to St Constantine.
This bizarre little festival takes place in Padstow on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day where the townsfolk take to the streets to celebrate the ancient Pagan tradition of midwinter festivals.