Padstow is a buzzing Cornish fishing village in summer that attracts large crowds who all come to sample the flavours, sights and sounds that this part of Cornwall is famous for. Picturesque scenery, great weather and some fantastic eating and drinking establishments makes this part of Kernow extremely popular.

For the kayak enthusiast; the Camel Estuary offers a large expanse of water to explore – be that heading over to Rock for a spot of lunch, round the corner to Daymer Bay or Iron Cove for a picnic, or heading inland with the current and exploring further upstream.

If you get bored of flat water, you could always hit Constantine Bay for some wave action or Harlyn for another picturesque paddling experience and/or shelter from SW storms. Be aware though that Harlyn is a bad weather bolt hole for local surfers – don’t be surprised if you’re met with a mass of board riders during blowy conditions.

Getting to the drop in point in the centre of Padstow can be tricky in summer as car parking is limited. If you’re looking at launching from the harbour slipway then it might be an idea to get there early. If Padstow is too busy then heading elsewhere might be a better option.

For après kayaking there’s plenty to keep you entertained, not least the high end eating establishments you’ll find here. Walking or cycling the Camel Trail is also worth a punt as the route is described as one of the prettiest in the UK. You can hire bikes in Padstow and take time out for some exploring which could be the perfect respite to paddling adventures.

If all this activity isn’t to your liking then relaxing on the harbour wall with a pot of cockles and taking it all in is also perfectly acceptable.

How to get there:

Follow signs for Wadebridge before hanging a left onto the A389. Padstow is then well sign posted.

Facilities:

There are plenty of amenities in Padstow although car parking options get limited through high season. Several camp sites with the usual facilities around too.

Hazards:

The estuary of the river camel is incredibly tidal. On spring tides in particular, the water can move far faster than you can paddle a kayak. Locals advise to restrict paddling to 2 hours either side of high and low water.

Fishing trawlers, ferries, other water users and changeable weather all need to be considered too.

Ins and Outs:

The slipway in the harbour is the easiest point of access from the centre of town. You’ll have to carry your boat from one of the car parks, which is a bit of a mission. Launching and landing along the length of the estuary is fairly easy.

Denis Field camp site has it’s own slipway straight down into the estuary. At high water its just a case of carrying the kayak a few feet down in to the water.

Notes:

The slipway in the harbour is the easiest point of access from the centre of town. You’ll have to carry your boat from one of the car parks, which is a bit of a mission. Launching and landing along the length of the estuary is fairly easy.

Overview:

Padstow is home to the famous TV chef Rick Stein and food lovers, particularly with a taste for fish and shellfish, will enjoy a visit to this little town in the heart of Cornwall. Boasting a myriad of restaurants, pubs, fish and chip shops, pasty outlets, fudge retailers, cream tea peddlers; and it isn’t a bad spot for kayaking either.

The Camel Estuary is a tidal stretch of water that splits Padstow and its neighbouring town of Rock across the water. You also have the ‘seven bays for seven days’ beaches in the area featuring the more exposed locations of Harlyn and Constantine. Polzeath is back across the bridge to the north of Rock and is another noted Cornish surfing beach.

A variety of put in spots lie along the banks of the Camel and your experience will no doubt change from day to day depending on weather and tides.

Note: The Camel Estuary has a particularly strong current and you’ll need a good grasp of how tides work to make the best use of the area for kayaking.

Location:

Padstow

IMAGES COURTESY OF AND COPYRIGHT TO

LOCAL INFORMATION WEBSITES