PADSTOW attracts nearly as many holiday-makers as Newquay, but has a very different feel. Enclosed within the estuary of the Camel – the only river outlet of any size on Cornwall’s north coast – the town has long retained its position as North Cornwall’s principal fishing port, and can boast some of the county’s best seafood restaurants. The harbour is jammed with launches and boats offering cruises in the bay, while a regular ferry carries people across the river to ROCK – close to the isolated church of St Enodoc (John Betjeman’s burial place) and to the good beaches around Polzeath. Padstow is 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.

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