Posted by: brigid benson | January 23, 2011

Cornish pasties & almshouses: among the pleasures of Padstow

The characterful fishing port of Padstow on the north Cornwall coast is a favourite haunt, though my visits are always out of season.  That’s when I like it best.

In this ancient land our prehistoric ancestors thrived and left their mark, even before the formation of the Camel estuary where Padstow’s fishing fleet shelters safely in harbour, just beyond the perilous Doom Bar.

Today fish and chips, pasties and great seafood are essential to Padstow’s business success, but since 2500BC this little port had important trade links with Ireland and distant Mediterranean countries.

It’s a delight to stroll around the harbour out of season and I love the wavy  ocean blue windows of the almshouses in Middle Street.  Built in 1875 they are distinctly seaside gothic!  How the families who first lived there would be amazed to see the quayside now, warehouses have become chic restaurants and  shops selling Cornish pasties, once part of any Cornish miner’s staple diet,  jostle for position.    On the quayside, the fishermen have had fun with the scrap net depot, see for yourself in the photo below.

Find plenty of inspirational tips for a great weekend on the north Cornish coast in my award winning book 52 Weekends by the Sea, one of Britain’s top 5 lifestyle books, British Book Awards 2010

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