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Tours > England's West Country > Padstow

Padstow - Cornwall

Padstow harbour and quayside Wikipedia photo

Situated on the wide Camel estuary, Padstow is a small fishing port famous for its annual ritual of the Hobby Horse ("Obby Oss") when an old fertility rite, similar to the one at Minehead is re-enacted mostly for the benefit of the tourists (it may be the oldest surviving festival of its kind in Europe). Up on the hill, overlooking the town is St. Petroc's Church, dedicated to the patron saint of Cornwall, and full of monuments to the Pridaux family, whose nearby mansion shows how a wealthy family lived in the days of Elizabeth I. The church is the traditional starting point for the Saint's Way, an old pilgrimage route between Padstow and Fowey. Along the Way points of interest include neolithic burial chambers, medieval churches, high tors, and Wesleyan chapels.

Padstow is surrounded by small bays, rocky inlets and little beaches. The slate outcrops known as Bedruthan Steps constitute one of the county's most dramatic beaches. An excellent cycle track has been formed out of the old railway line that is part of the so-called Camel Trail.

Next Stop: Newquay

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