Watergate Bay is all focused around relaxing, playing, eating and socialising but there is also so much to do both close by and further afield through Cornwall. Here is a list of our top ten things to do whilst you are staying at Watergate.
No trip to Cornwall is complete without a trip to the Eden Project. There is always something going on and you are also supporting a worthwhile charity and social enterprise. The Eden Project is a dramatic global garden housed in tropical biomes that nestle into the old china clay pits. But they are more than just huge, tropical gardens, Eden is a gateway into the relationships between plants and people, and a fascinating insight into the story of our dependence on plant life. Experience the sights, smells and scale of the rainforests in the Rainforest Biome, the world’s largest greenhouse; the orange and lemon trees of the Mediterranean Biome; and the 30-acre Roofless Biome flourishing under the Cornish sun. Eden is a fun, family friendly day out with themed events according to the season, workshops for adults and children, activity and educational days, music concerts and much more.
Padstow is a charming working fishing port surrounded by glorious sandy beaches, at the head of the Camel River Estuary. Its rugged coastline, quiet coves and fabulous walks make it a must-visit. For foodies, Padstow is a dream destination with fresh, locally produced food and is famous for the restaurants of celebrity chefs including Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth. Don’t forget to take the ferry over to Rock for a walk in the dunes (to discover the buried St Enodoc church) and a visit to Nathan Outlaws Fish Restaurant another Cornish Michelin stared chef. Padstow is the start and end point for the Camel Cycle Trail and makes a good base for exploring the South West Coastal Footpath.
There are over 25 National Trust properties and gardens in Cornwall, the two closest being Lanhydrock House and Trerice. Lanhydrock is a magnificent late Victorian country house with extensive servants quarters, formal gardens, walks and a wooded estate of over 1,000 acres. With so much space to roam in Lanhydrock makes a very family friendly day out.
Trerice is an intimate Elizabethan manor and a real Cornish gem with little changing with the building fashions over the centuries. Check online for the latest seasonal events.
4. Bedruthan Steps National Trust cafe
Bedruthan Steps is a hidden beach 4 miles north of Watergate Bay surrounded by dramatic coastline and stunning views over huge rock stacks. It’s one of the most popular destinations on the Cornish coast, despite having difficult access. At the top of the cliffs is a National Trust car park and café the perfect stop for a coffee and cake after climbing back up all those steps from the beach.
5. Go cycling – Cardinham Woods/ Camel Trail, Bodmin
Taking in spectacular sea views, beautiful woodland and scenic countryside, Cornwall’s cycle trails are a great way to explore Cornwall at your own pace. Why not get muddy in Cardinham Woods with the Forestry Commission’s new six mile off-road cycle trail. Designed for mountain bikers, the blue-graded (moderate) trail twists through the valleys and picturesque scenery. Refuel with coffee and cake at Woods Café.
Or, explore the Camel Trail at a much more leisurely pace as it snakes along the banks of the River Camel for 17 miles. The flat trail, perfect for families, stretches between Padstow, through Wadebridge and on to Bodmin with various cycle hire stops along the route.
6. Get sporty
There are so many different sports to try and events to take part in throughout the year. Get involved in horse riding on the beach, coastering around the coastal nooks and caves, and not forgetting all the adrenalin fuelled watersports on our doorstep with the Extreme Academy why not try surfing, kiting or even waveski? Or if you would rather a slower pace there is always fishing, golf or walking. Don’t miss the action packed events calendar on Watergate Bay this year with events including Polo On The Beach, National Surf Championships and Thunder Cat power boat racing.
7. Beautiful beaches
There are so many beaches to choose from and that is just in North Cornwall. Whether you’re into surfing, sunbathing or rock pooling, our beaches are some of the best in the world and provide the perfect playground for young and old. Get out your fishing nets or explore the 630 miles of South West coastal paths. Grab an OS map and take to the paths and styles that weave across the coast and countryside, the views are spectacular. Remember to pack a picnic!
We have some great coastal walks to the north and south of Watergate Bay.
8. Explore the Cornish gardens
Cornwall is lucky enough to see spring earlier than many parts of the country because of its sub tropical climate. Through March, April and May all around Cornwall the beautiful gardens and hedgerows are doing what they do best – showcasing a dazzling display of flowers and plants that thrive in our mild climate, but no matter what the weather Cornish gardens have a certain charm about them. Visit the Eden Project, Trebah Gardens, The Lost Gardens of Heligan as well all the wonderful National Trust properties and estates like Tregothanan, Boconnoc and Lanhydrock and enjoy a good walk in the Cornish garden.
Camel Valley has been producing world-class wines in a beautiful corner of Cornwall since 1989. On sun-drenched slopes near the Camel River, Camel Valley offer unique tours of the vineyards. They walk you through the vines and the fermentation process all the way to bottling with some tasting of their award winning wines at the end. There’s no snobbery here, just a deep and enthusiastic love of wine. A very interesting day out.
Over 40 naturally themed habitats take you on a fantastic journey from Cornish waters to exotic seas. Come face to face with freshwater turtles, watch giant octopus and jellyfish and meet amazing pufferfish! At the centre of the Aquarium is the giant ocean tank where an underwater tunnel offers incredible views of a giant Loggerhead turtle, black tip reef sharks, and shoals of colourful fish.