Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


The small fishing port of Padstow enjoys a reputation quite out of proportion to its size. Its location is something special, perched on the broad and beautiful Camel Estuary, close to fantastic beaches and beautiful countryside; the village itself is quaint and well-preserved, gathered around a small working harbour. But the real reason for its latter-day popularity is its gastronomic reputation, which has grown exponentially since TV chef Rick Stein opened his acclaimed Seafood Restaurant here back in 1975. Padstow has since become ‘Padstein’ as Stein has expanded his local empire. But the town and its visitors owe him a huge debt of gratitude, because the town is now by far one of the country’s best foodie destinations, with any number of places to sample great local produce. Add to this the fantastic scenery and location, and Padstow is by any standards a truly extraordinary holiday destination.


Once known as ‘Petrock’s Stow’, Padstow was named after Saint Petroc who arrived on the shores of the River Camel in the 6th century and founded a monastery here. Padstow developed as a fishing, shipbuilding and trading port, used for the export of copper and slate as the mining industry boomed throughout Cornwall. When tourism began to overtake the stalwarts of Cornish industry, Padstow not only flaunted its craggy coastline and sandy bays to draw the crowds, but was also in a fortunate location – at the end of the direct rail route between London and Cornwall. The station closed in the 1960s, but the town’s decline in popularity was only temporary: Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant marking the beginning of the area’s revival, and the entire village and its surroundings have undergone a renaissance that sees it as one of the most popular places to visit in Cornwall.

Video tour

Watch our video introduction to Padstow

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Small fishing port, massive location – known for great seafood and an epic nearby coastline.
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