Gaze across the Camel Estuary from Padstow on Cornwall’s north coast and you’ll spot the village of Rock. We take a walk…
Said to have been named after the local quarry that once provided ballast for ships sailing from this natural harbour, the name of Rock is somewhat deceptive.
Long stretches of fine sandy beaches line the edge of the village and the calm tidal waters make it a perfect place to sail, windsurf, water-ski and canoe. Others prefer to take it easy with a spot of fishing or bird watching from the dunes. It’s not hard to see why it’s grown in popularity in recent years.
We started our walk at the top of the village visiting Lewis’s Deli & Coffee Shop. Here you can stock up on fresh groceries, artisan bread from Da Bara Bakery, all of your favourite local cheeses and plenty of other treats including wine. Rockfish Fish Merchant across the road sells freshly caught fish plus hand-made dressed crab, potted shrimps and fishcakes. Beach BBQ anyone?
Next door, Mooch Interiors provides tasteful products for indoor and outdoor dining and utility. It’s the start of many great shops you’ll find in this small village.
Preppy and sailing-inspired fashion features large, with Seasalt, Crew Clothing, Jack Wills and White Stuff all having their own shops based at the top and bottom of the village. The independent Quay 4 Ltd also stocks favourites from Joules Clothing.
Next stop is Porthilly Cove which joins up with the beach at Rock at low tide. Glance across the estuary and you’ll see evidence of why this is a renowned area for shellfish, with produce championed by chefs and restaurants around the world, including Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw. Rock Shellfish are key growers and wholesalers of oysters, mussels, clams and samphire, so make sure you sample some seafood during your visit.
Porthilly Gallery is the working studio of ceramist Paul Jackson, while at Rock Road Gallery you’ll find beautiful paintings from Allan Caswell.
There’s no shortage of great places to eat or drink away the sunset. Nathan Outlaw’s Mariners Rock public house is home to great tasting no-fuss pub grub and locally brewed beers from Sharps. His two-Michelin starred restaurant has recently moved from the St Enodoc Hotel to Port Isaac a short drive away.
©No 1 Rock Road
No. 1 Rock Road Bar and Grill, pictured above, and the Rock Inn are a little further down the road offering food and drinks while the popular Blue Tomato café is great for laid-back family food.
And after all that, don’t forget to take time to explore the beautiful beaches and coastal paths. Take the ferry across Padstow, discover the tranquil Daymer Bay a short stroll along the estuary or the popular surfing beach of Polzeath which is a little further along.
Talk about a beach retreat.
Rock is a 25 minute drive away from our properties at Watergate Bay and the surrounding area.