Padstow lies on the Camel Estuary, in an area of considerable natural beauty with stunning bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath. Padstow is probably best known for its celebration of 'The coming of Summer' with its 'Obby Oss' festivities on the 1st May each year,
The town is built around a small harbour that divides its facilities between the local and visiting fishing fleet and a strong maritime leisure trade. Padstow is situated on the western side of the river directly opposite the village of Rock.
Taditionally a fishing port, Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. Although some of its former fishing fleet still remains. During the mid-nineteenth century, ships carrying timber from Canada would arrive at Padstow and offer cheap travel to passengers wishing to emigrate.
Padstow was originally named Petroc-stow, after the Welsh missionary Saint Petroc, who landed at Trebetherick around AD 500. After his death a monastery was built here, which was of great importance until Padstow was raided by the Vikings in 981.