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Tankards and Tales

Crackling log fires, creaking floorboards, chinking glasses – what better atmosphere to hear tall tales of Padstow gone by? We’ve pulled together our list of some of the oldest, most characterful places for you to sit, sip and take in a yarn or two.

Crackling log fires, creaking floorboards, chinking glasses – what better atmosphere to hear tall tales of Padstow gone by? We’ve pulled together our list of some of the oldest, most characterful places for you to sit, sip and take in a yarn or two.

1) The London Inn

Gather around one of two log fires in this authentic, cosy haunt. Originally three fisherman’s cottages, since 1803 The London Inn has been playing host to thirsty locals and visitors alike. While the pub’s sign might be painted to show our capital city, Tim, the pub’s landlord (and one of the only live-in landlords in Padstow) explains that the pub was actually named after a visiting ship. Centuries ago, The London pulled into Padstow harbour and its crewmates propped up the very same bar you’ll see today. Weeks later, after the ship headed off to new seas, sad news of its wrecking (and loss of all crew) reached the landlord’s ears, so he named the pub after the vessel in its honour. www.padstowlondoninn.co.uk

2) The Golden Lion

Step over the threshold of one of Padstow’s oldest inns, where pints have been pulled for over seven centuries. This characterful spot plays a big part in the start of the town’s Obby Oss [link to useful links page] celebrations. Every year, some 30,000 people cram the narrow streets for a day of merriment, drinking and all-round celebration. While the festival’s roots are unknown, one thing’s for certain, as the bell tolls midnight on the last night of April, locals gather outside The Golden Lion for the annual ‘Night Singing’ tradition. Their voices then wend their way through town, singing and dancing outside locals’ houses, as they try to rouse people from their beds. This eerily magical tradition (which can go on until 4am, after visiting up to 50 locals’ houses) prepares the town’s folk for the next day’s Obby Oss celebrations, and has been filling the streets with music for centuries. www.goldenlionpadstow.co.uk

3) Prideaux Place Tea Rooms

History is woven into every corner of the grand house of Prideaux Place. Here tales tell of family connections to William the Conquerer, Civil War roundheads and former inhabitant Honor Fortescue who is said to have jumped to her death from the staircase, and now wanders the halls as ‘The Green Lady’. Quench curious minds with insights from staff and guides, and quench thirsts with craft ales and Cornish gins served up in the tearooms. If you have a big group, you can book a table before arriving to be sure of a seat. www.prideauxplace.co.uk

4) Impending Doom

Take a waterside seat at Nathan Outlaw’s gastropub, The Mariners in Rock, and savour a pint of Sharp’s Brewery’s famous Doom Bar ale. While the pub itself may have had a shiny new makeover, the namesake of the pint you’re lifting to your lips has much deeper roots. Named after the dangerous stretch of sand sitting at the mouth of the River Camel, fishermen say that in years gone by mermaids would lead ships through the sand bank to safety. But one day, when a mermaid was left heartbroken by a sailor, she conjured an almighty storm, and ever since ships have floundered on its sandy shores. The folk at Sharp’s Brewery have honoured the crew fallen prey to the Doom Bar, with their much-loved amber ale. http://www.shipwrightspadstow.co.uk/

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