With Autumn well and truly upon us, the Cornish landscape is undergoing an alluring change in its textures and colours. The vibrant blues and sunny yellow hues of the summer are making way for rich browns and more subtle earthy tones, and the stunning landscape is moving into its next beautiful phase, ready to be explored and enjoyed.
And there's no better place to begin an Autumn exploration of Cornwall than the heart of Padstow. With fewer boats entering a leaving the harbour, the sheltered sanctuary of the quay still offers visitors a plethora of options for a coastal getaway, whether it's an impromptu weekend break or a longer family holiday. The pubs and restaurants remain bustling and vibrant, and the shops and boutiques are ready to welcome you through their doors. You could happily while away the hours in Padstow alone, but to make the most of Cornwall in Autumn, check out our guide to the best places to visit and discover.
Crunch through the leaves in Cardinham Woods
If it's Autumn, a walk in the woods is a must. Whatever your age, the sensation of crisp leaves crunching underfoot never gets boring, so heading somewhere with plenty of falling leaves is essential for Cornwall in Autumn time. Fortunately, just down the road from Padstow, is Cardinham Woods. Footpaths running alongside gently trickling streams, stunning viewpoints and woodland vistas, and a diverse range of activities from thrillseeking mountain bike trails to family-friendly treasure hunts, October might just be the best time of year to get amongst the elements in this Cornish woodland park.
Hop on the ferry to Brea Beach, Rock
Much is made of the rivalry between two of the North Coast's most prestigious coastal retreats. But we think their proximity should be celebrated, and we'd never ignore the appeal of this small upmarket destination. Its location tucked into the side of the estuary means that like Padstow, it remains sheltered from even the strongest onshore wind, making it an excellent sanctuary during less settled weather. The pubs and restaurants remain busy during October and November, so book up in advance, then enjoy your walk along the beach knowing you've got some high-quality food and drink to replenish you on your return. Weather permitting, the Padstow to Rock ferry runs until mid-November, so it's easy to make the short trip across the river, and leaving the car behind means you can treat yourself to that extra glass of wine.
Get amongst the waves and enjoy surfing at Porthcothan Beach
If you've ever visited Padstow in the summer, you've more than likely spent some time amongst the waves. And if that's given you the bug, then Autumn is the time to take your surfing to the next level. The sea still retains some of its warmth and more consistent swells are now pulsing towards the southwest coastline, forming bigger and better quality waves for all to enjoy. Depending on the size, Porthcothan Beach just around the corner from Padstow offers a perfectly sheltered cove for surfers of all abilities to ride the best waves that England has to offer. Look out for offshore winds and generous westerly swells, and when the conditions align, grab your board and dash to the water.
Find your own food by foraging in Cornwall
This little known pursuit is another that changes with the seasons, and is a unique way to experience the landscape and connect to fresh, seasonal foods. With wild food and even seaweed foraging courses run throughout the county, these experiences are perfect for anyone who loves nature, good food, or both. Run by Rachel Lambert, a wild food Tutor, forager, award-winning author, and wild recipe creator, the chance to forage in Cornwall is an excuse for outdoor adventures, as well as quirky and labour of love investigations in the kitchen.
Cycle the length of the Camel Trail
It's a local favourite, and it pops up in many of our guides and things to do in Padstow, but that's because it ticks so many boxes. The beauty of the trail is that it changes with seasons, and a trip along the cycle track in June is completely different to a ride in October. The wildlife, landscape and colours present a contrasting picture at various times of the year, so jump on your bike and absorb the invigorating natural surroundings.
To find out more about any of the activities we've listed, get in touch. And for accommodation in the heart of Padstow, visit the Padstow Breaks homepage.