Following our overnight stay at Crealy we drove down to Wadebridge to Bridge Bike Hire where we had pre-booked bikes to cycle along the Camel Trail to Padstow. Wilf is fine on a two-wheeler but Megan is not so keen to let go of her stabilisers so I hired a tagalong bike and she promised to help me pedal!
The trail follows an old railway line so is flat and easy for 5 ½ miles alongside the tidal River Camel. The area is an AONB protected site for wetland and wading birds – there are always hundreds of them here. It was lovely to cycle along with so few people. In the summer it can be chaotic with dog walkers, pushchairs and toddlers on bikes who can be unpredictable with their lefts and rights!
There are cycle stands to lock your bikes onto at the end of the trail, so we left our bikes here and walked through the car park towards the town centre. We decided to visit the National Lobster Hatchery – a marine conservation, research and education charity which helps conserve the vulnerable lobster population and preserve coastal marine biodiversity.
The hatchery is relatively new and has some really interesting displays with fully grown lobsters as well as the mums laden with eggs and the tiny baby lobsters still in their nursery tanks. We spent a good hour in here and felt heartened that the work they are doing will ensure the survival of the lobster in Cornish coastal waters.
We then headed over the road as the scent of Rick Stein’s fish and chips was beckoning us in. A short wait for ours and then we sat on some mooring stones to gobble them up. Delicious…
Padstow is always lively and there was a brass band playing on the quay. There are some lovely shops and galleries here and if you have more time there’s a great trip across the estuary to Rock on the passenger ferry. It’s also fun to follow the coast path out to Stepper Point where you get a fine view of the infamous Doom Bar, where many a ship has come to grief.
We had a quick look round and found ourselves a good spot for a bit of crabbing – I had brought crab lines and smelly bacon in my rucksack. We managed to catch just one in the time we had, but it was better than nothing!
The bike shop closed at 5pm so it was back to Wadebridge with slightly less enthusiasm from Megs than on the way there and me doing most of the pedalling. I can’t wait for her to learn to ride her own bike!
The National Lobster Hatchery is open from 10am every day (except Christmas Day), and well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Admission is £3.75 for adults, £2.50 for seniors, £1.50 for children (free for under 5s), or you can buy a family ticket for £8.
If you’re interested in supporting the work the National Lobster Hatchery does, you can adopt a baby lobster for just £2.50. Not only do you get to name your lobster, they’ll also send you personalized certificate. All the lobsters reared in the hatchery are released around the coast of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly when they’re about three months old, and you can check where and when your lobster was released online.
For a flavour of Padstow, take a look at this digital postcard from Visit Cornwall.
From Bosinver, it’s approximately 40 minutes’ drive to Wadebridge. One of the best places to park is the long stay public car park in Piggy Lane. Postcode for SatNavs: PL27 7AP. Alternatively you could drive straight to Padstow and park in the Harbour Car Park, PL28 8AQ.
Have you visited Padstow during your holidays in Cornwall? What else would you recommend doing? Drop us a line, tweet @Bosinver or post a comment below – we’d love to hear your suggestions.