Padstow is a north-Cornish coastal town deep in Britain’s west country, just past Port Isaac but before Newquay and St Ives.
The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Newquay’s airport, where flights from London and other parts of the UK (including Newcastle, Manchester and Jersey) land. Exeter Airport is a two-hour, Dartmoor-skirting drive away. It’s over four hours by car from London Heathrow, but you do get a fair few Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty thrown in along the way.
Hop on a South Western Railway service from London or Exeter to Bodmin Parkway Station, and you’ll be a 40-minute cab ride away from the hotel.
The nearest big town is Bodmin, a 40-minute drive away. There’s a free on-site car park, but spaces are limited so try to nab one early. Otherwise, there’s paid-for parking nearby.
Worth getting out of bed for
This is the great British seaside at its very best, and you can see all of the harbour action from the hotel windows – order a bottle of Cornish fizz and watch the boats moving up and down the estuary. And, on the off chance that you haven’t over-indulged elsewhere, take afternoon tea at the Harbour Kitchen. If contemplating life as an 18th-century prisoner isn’t going to put too much of a downer on your holiday, call in at Bodmin Jail; join one of the late-night ghost walks if you’re not prone to the willies. It’s due to reopen after a refurb in May 2020. Reclaim the Lost Gardens of Heligan with a trip to the formerly bramble-shrouded estate, or take little Smiths along to Blue Reef Aquarium down the coast in Newquay. You won’t be short of gorgeous golden sands in this part of the world, but move the dune-backed Harbour Cove to the top of your list: at low tide, you’ll be able to walk along this shipwreck-causing stretch of shore for a mile and a half. Trainspotters will love tracing the route of the Camel Trail, which follows the erstwhile tracks of a disused railway that once ran between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.
If you want to know whether it’s a good idea to fry fish and chips in beef dripping (spoiler: it definitely is), head to Stein’s chippy along the quay. See what all the fuss is about by trying to snatch one of the 24 covers at the Prawn on the Lawn, the sister restaurant of which can lay claim to having once been London’s top-rated restaurant despite basically being a tiny fishmonger. The menu changes daily (depending on what the fishermen bring in, natch), but you can expect tantalising tapas-style plates and, of course, super-fresh seafood. Fans of TV chefs who’ve already completed the Stein circuit will enjoy Paul Ainsworth’s Padstow offerings: try his namesake No 6 for something special, or head to The Mariners for some posh pub grub.
Combining two of life’s great uppers, Bin Two is the place for you if you enjoy mainlining both coffee and great wine. Sit out on the harbour-facing terrace and nibble on lobster rolls, dressed crab and Cornish coppa ham.