A trip to THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay in Cornwall is not all cream teas and beach days. Read Muddy Stilettos 10 unmissable things to do within 30 mins of the hotel, including seals, surfing and beach saunas.
Saunas By The Sea, Harlyn Beach
3 mins by car, 13 min walk
Embrace the hot/cold whatever the Cornish weather and book a spot in the wood-fired sauna on the white sands of Harlyn Bay beach. Book for high tide and your run to the sea will be a little shorter, or just sit back and enjoy the warmth in the sauna while watching the waves roll onto the shore. It’s also a top spot for people watching. Each session is an hour long, and costs £17 for a single booking, or, splash out and hire the whole sauna (for up to 10 people) for £110.
Four Boys, Rock
20 mins by car and ferry
Take the ferry over the water from Padstow to Rock and just by the landing place is Four Boys. It’s the hot new café on the block and located where the Blue Tomato used to be, if you’ve been in previous years. Named after the four sons of local food legend, Fee, you’ll find George front of house and Alfie in the kitchen, working alongside head chef Matt Wadsworth. Bringing some London-style restaurant styling to the seaside, there’s not a nautical vibe in sight, just excellent breakfasts and lunches with an amazing view straight over the Camel Estuary. Walk ins only, dogs welcome on the terrace – Rock resident Gordon Ramsay visited with his son over Easter when they opened, if celebrity chef endorsements are your thing.
Want a meal out that’s nearer? Duchy Grub at Higher Harlyn Park, St Merryn, is just round the corner and is another small plates place from a talented team of young chefs.
Vineyard tour, tasting and lunch
12 mins by car
English wines are getting better and better, and there’s not one but two of Cornwall’s finest vineyards just inland from Padstow. At Trevibban Mill, pictured, Liz and Engin Mumcuoglu planted their first vines back in 2008 and now make both still and sparkling on-site. Head over for a tasting or tour of the vineyard and cellars and then tuck into lunch at Barnaby’s pop up from the team behind popular restaurant, Prawn on the Lawn.
Want to see the vines that grew the Brut Reservé or Bacchus that you just drank with your PIG lunch? It will take you slightly longer than 30 minutes, but cycle the Camel Trail to Wadebridge and then onwards where half-way to Bodmin is Camel Valley, the first English wine producer to be granted a royal warrant in 2018. Tours and wine to sip on the terrace are available, before you wobble back to Padstow.
Tarquin’s Gin Distillery tour, Wadebridge
12 mins by car
Not really into wine? Here’s a little ginspiration for a day out. Local gin distillery Tarquin‘s offers distillery tours, tastings and has a shop just nearby at Higher Trevibban Farm where you can even help make your own personalised bottle to take home.
Climbing at Tide, Nr Padstow
11 mins by car
One for a rainy day is the indoor climbing facilities at Tide. From bouldering to wall climbs, toddlers to adults, there’s sessions for everyone – with 100 bouldering problems for you to try, as well as 22 lines and 4 auto belay points. Tasting sessions and lessons are available, and there’s also an on-site yoga studio. Other local sporting options if climbing doesn’t appeal include golf at Trevose Golf & Country Club and go-karting at St Eval, although you will get wet if it rains!
Retallack Aqua Park, St Columb Major
18 mins by car
One for the tweens and teens, especially if you can wangle Dad to supervise so you can head to the onsite spa. Alongside the pool there’s both a total wipeout style aqua park and also a flow rider – handy for practising your surf moves before trying them out on the real deal. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, Romeo Beckham was spotted there a couple of years ago. (If you’ve younger kids / water slides are more your fam’s bag, there’s a four lane slide nearby).
Trerice National Trust, Nr Newquay
30 mins by car
It’s not the biggest or more grand NT property you’ll find but this bijou Elizabethan manor house makes for a lovely afternoon out. The interiors are charming and the gardens delightful – the roses and lavender in the knot garden are a summer favourite and the orchard lovely in spring and autumn. NT cream teas available in the courtyard. If gardens are your thing, then other options locally include the Japanese Garden at St Mawgan and another Elizabethan house and garden at Prideaux Place in Padstow – look out for the new walled garden restoration project that opens 1 July then Weds – Sat 10am/4pm selling flowers, produce and preserves.
11 mins by car
The PIG-at Harlyn Bay is set moments from the gorgeous Cornish coastline and there’s some fine walks to be had straight from the door. Get the PIG Land Rover to drop you in Padstow then take the coast path out of the town towards the war memorial and on to Stepper Point and round to Trevose Lighthouse. Refreshments can be found at the Rest A While Tearoom (essentially a fine hatch near Hawker’s Cove).
Or, head to the beach, where there are the seven bays to explore – all sandy, like Booby’s Bay and Constantine (above) – as well as the tidal pools at Trevone and Treyarnon. For a (much) longer walk, the Saints Way starts at Padstow, crossing the whole of Cornwall and ending up at Readymoney Beach in Fowey (previously home to Dawn French, and a lovely place for a dip).
Sea Safari, Wavehunters, Padstow
10 mins by car
The harbour at Padstow has many boating options you could choose if you just want to get on the water – from the ferry over to Rock, vintage speedboats to a more sedate sightseeing voyage on the Jubilee Queen, but our money’s on the sea safari trips Wavehunters run in zippy ribs driven by expert crew. Book the whole boat and they’ll take you to find places to swim and picnic, or just a couple of seats and they will take you out to the best hidden spots in search of wildlife. Last time we went we saw seals and dolphins. Magical.
Camel Creek, Tredinnick, Nr Wadebridge
14 mins by car
Again, one for the families, as it’s probably a little too tame for thrill-seeking adults, but there’s plenty of thrills for teens and kids who want to ride the roller coasters and enjoy the 5D cinema experience. If you’ve proper littlies, look out for the character days out – everyone from dinos to Peppa appear occasionally. For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, the ever-popular Animal Attractions provide a whole day’s worth of entertainment. From Crocodile Corner with caimans, lizards, snakes and frogs, to the Shire Horse enclosure where you can get up close with these gentle giants and not forgetting the emus, pigs, meerkats and deer… the Camel Creek creatures are an essential part of any trip to the park.
All content is thanks to Muddy Stilettos.
Why not get your next trip to Cornwall in the diary and book a stay at THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay here.