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Spotlight on Bay Retreat Villas


Bay Retreat Villas are situated in a lovely spot on the north Cornish coast about a mile from the centre of the rural village of St Merryn, which in turn is around 3 miles from the popular harbour town of Padstow, famed for its restaurants and great eateries. Within St Merryn itself The Cornish Arms pub has rather famous landlords, Rick and Jill Stein. This part of the world really is Rick Stein country with four further restaurants in Padstow: Rick Stein’s Café, Stein’s Fish and Chips, The Seafood Restaurant and St Petroc’s Bistro. However, not to be satisfied with just one celebrity chef, the area has also attracted Paul Ainsworth with ‘Paul Ainsworth at number 6’ in Padstow.

In fact, the coastline from Padstow through to Watergate Bay is truly magnificent and Padstow is a beautiful little harbour situated on the mouth of the Camel Estuary. With so much fresh seafood at your door, it is no wonder the area is a magnet for great eateries! However, Padstow and St Merryn also offer miles of coastline with sparkling turquoise waters and some great places to visit and celebrations to join in with.

Beaches and Bays

This stretch of the north Cornwall Coastline is part of the South West Coastal path, with many areas looked after by The National Trust. Just in St Merryn Village, there are 5½ miles of coastline and no less than seven spectacular bays on offer, giving St Merryn the motto ‘Seven Bays for Seven Days.’ Take a look at our Padstow and Tintagel guide for more details.

The Camel Estuary is a haven for wildlife and it’s worth hiring bikes in Wadebridge or Padstow and meandering through the Camel Trail to make the most of it. Poet Sir John Betjeman once wrote, “The next five and a half miles beside the broadening Camel to Padstow is the most beautiful train journey I know.” Venture over the estuary to the other side and you’ll find Rock and the blue flag beach of Polzeath. Whereas Polzeath is great for novice surfers, Rock attracts celebrities and even royalty with the prestigious St Enedoc Golf Club and yachting facilities on hand.

Attractions close at hand

Overlooking the Camel Estuary in Padstow are the gardens and Elizabethan manor house of Prideaux Place, owned by the same family since 1592 and open to the public Sundays through to Thursdays in season. The manor house may be recognisable from films as it was used for the setting for some of Rosamunde Pilcher’s epics.

Padstow is also home to The National Lobster Hatchery, a programme designed to place importance on marine conservation. You can even adopt a lobster there! Other attractions include a museum and stables where you can take part in beach rides, sealife safaris and boat cruises in and around the estuary or fishing trips into the Atlantic. Perhaps more unusually, in St Merryn, you can visit a front garden resembling a mini Stone Henge!

There’s plenty to entertain little ones with Lappa Valley miniature railway, Cornwall’s Crealy and Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium on hand whilst adults can enjoy a summer evening wine tasting at the Camel Valley Vineyard.

From houses and gardens to a China Clay Museum there are a whole variety of other interesting and exciting places to delve into. Take a look at our main Attractions page for more general ideas or for those closest to Bay Retreat Villas, try our Bay Retreat Villas attractions page.


Cornish people love to celebrate and many festivals are based on Cornish myths and legends. This is reputedly the land of giants and Padstow likes to remember that with the colourful and unusual ‘Obby Oss day festival on May Day when the streets can get a bit crowded with dancers and spectators. Cornwall’s steam heritage is also important and you’ll find a great Steam Rally in St Merryn in June or for a traditional festival try Padstow’s Vintage rally and Country Fair in July. There’s usually a year-round programme of local surf festivals as well and of course, you couldn’t have an area with so many celebrity chefs without celebrating the local cuisine – look out for the Beer and Mussel Festival at The Cornish Arms in March.

Up to 2 FREE nights for stays 7 nights or more