Peel back the layers of time with a trip around some of the most beautiful castles near Padstow.
A land of giants and saints, Cornwall has a rich, fascinating history. Home to a huge number of ancient monuments and sites, you won’t have to go far before you stumble upon an incredible relic whispering of the county’s long-gone yesteryears. Ranging from ‘fogous’ to imposing standing stones to formidable castles, you are invited to trace the passages of time and discover all that has made Cornwall, Cornwall.
One of the best ways to learn about the area’s history is through castles. True masterpieces, Cornwall is peppered with both military and domestic constructions, some of which are near to Padstow. Whether you are here for a flying visit or well-deserved long break, no trip to this magical part of the world would be complete without visiting a castle or two. With year-round appeal come rain or shine, take a look at some of the nearest castles to Padstow and look forward to a day filled with history, intrigue and nostalgic romance.
The birthplace of King Arthur, the legend-shrouded Tintagel Castle is one of the most famous castles in the UK. Perched high above the cliffs, the remains of this 13th century Norman castle are truly awe-inspiring, although it’s possibly not the first of its kind. Following excavations in the 1930’s, beautiful Mediterranean pottery circa the 5th and 6th centuries were discovered, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of those who lived there over 1,000 years ago. At 22 miles from Padstow, Tintagel Castle should definitely be one for your bucket list; head forth and see why this mystical castle has inspired so many artists, historians and story-tellers over the years.
Once providing a strategic viewing point over the River Fowey, these days the ruins of the magnificent Restormel Castle (29 miles from Padstow) offer the perfect spot to while away an afternoon. One of the most remarkable shell keep castles in the country and surrounded by bucolic countryside, Restormel Castle is particularly beautiful in spring when bluebells, rhododendrons and daffodils weave a multi-coloured tapestry across the landscape. Looked after by English Heritage, you are invited to tread the castle wall walk and, if you are feeling up for it, stroll further along the Restormel walking trail too; the perfect way to dose up on fresh country air and admire the picture-perfect sites.
28 miles from Padstow, St Catherine’ Castle is one of a pair of artillery forts built by Henry VIII in a bid to defend Fowey Harbour from potential invasion. Adapted in the 19th century during the Crimean War and later in the Second World War, it is an architectural patchwork and boasts an anti-aircraft gun and an ammunition store – something Henry wouldn’t have had to worry about! These days, if you would like to visit, the castle is open most of the time in daylight hours and is accessed via a short path from Readymoney beach. Bundle up a picnic and enjoy the beautiful views over the water, imaging what it would be like to spy French ships peppering the horizon.