Enclosed within the estuary of the Camel, the diminutive town of PADSTOW is North Cornwall's principal fishing port and a hugely popular tourist destination. The town has a great reputation for seafood, especially at celebrity Rick Stein's several restaurants in the town, and is within easy reach of excellent beaches, notably across the river at ROCK and around Polzeath. It's also known for its annual Obby Oss festival, a May Day romp when a local in horse costume prances through the town preceded by a masked and club-wielding "teaser", in a spirited re-enactment of an old fertility rite.
The coast on the west side of the estuary has more beaches and some terrific walks. Round Stepper Point you can reach the sandy and secluded Harlyn Bay and, turning the corner southwards, Constantine Bay, the area's best surfing beach. The dunes backing the beach and the rock pools skirting it make this one of the most appealing bays on this coast, though the tides can be treacherous and bathing hazardous near the rocks. Three or four miles further south, the slate outcrops of Bedruthan Steps were traditionally held to be the stepping-stones of a giant called Bedruthan; they can be readily viewed from the cliff-top path and the B3276, with steps descending to the broad beach below (not advised for swimming).
Padstow is also the start of an excellent cycle-track converted from the old rail line to Wadebridge, forming part of the Camel Trail, a fifteen-mile traffic-free path that follows the river up as far as Bodmin Moor.