50.5411° N, 4.9367° W
Padstow, north Cornwall’s fishing centre
Padstow on the north Cornwall coast has a reputation for seeing some wild weather rolling in from the Atlantic and is home to a tradition of fishing with pots and nets that goes back many years before the port’s present status as a holiday centre – which also attracts travellers who like to spend time checking out the local delicacies
That reputation for foodie excellence has its roots firmly in the fresh seafood that comes across Padstow’s quaysides.
As the fishing fleet has changed, Padstow has changed with it and today it is home primarily to a fleet of day boats fishing for shellfish, as well as being the home port of several of the Waterdance netters that operate off the south-west of England, fishing across grounds from the Channel to deep south of Ireland to target hake and other prime species.
Padstow no longer has its own beam trawlers, but is a popular port for visiting vessels to land catches, especially during the first few months of each year when there is a strong fishery for flatfish off the north Cornwall coast. As Padstow no longer has a fish auction of its own, catches are trucked to Newlyn, Plymouth or Brixham for sale, and refrigerated trucks that carry live shellfish direct to markets in Europe are a regular sight on Padstow’s quays.
While there is no auction in Padstow, the port has one of the most modern flake ice plants in the UK on its quay, which supplies ice for fishing vessels, processors and retailers.