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From the Blog

A local's guide to Rock in North Cornwall

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Updated on

While away the days in one of Cornwall’s most prestigious neighbourhoods

With its string of boutique shops, beachfront cafés and exclusive restaurants, the Cornish village of Rock occupies an idyllic location on the Camel Estuary. Its long sandy beach and sparkling sea views make it a beautiful holiday destination, so we’ve rounded up our favourite things to do in the area. From fine dining and food festivals to wild swimming and sailing races, there’s plenty to accompany a South West getaway.

1. Book a table at The Mariners

The latest addition to Paul Ainsworth’s Cornish collection, The Mariners Public House overlooks the turquoise water and is widely considered the best restaurant in Rock. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but not forgetting that obligatory cream tea, it champions the very best local ingredients sourced within the county.

Our favourites include the Porthilly Oysters and Margherita on grilled toast, while after a long day on the beach, the indulgent dessert options may prove all too tempting. A must visit for holidays in Rock, The Mariners is the perfect place to enjoy a drink on the terrace as boats glide past. Tasteful interiors, an exciting menu and a warm welcome await.

Explore our guide to the best restaurants in Rock for more of our foodie favourites. 

2. Learn to wakesurf with Camel Ski School

The UK’s largest waterski centre, Camel Ski School are based off the pontoon in Rock. They offer tuition and hire for wakeboarding, wake surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and inflatable rides, so are a great fit for holidaying families. There’s also an island café where you can arrive by boat for coffee and cake after an exhilarating morning on the water.

3. Soak up a calendar of festivals and events


Whatever the time of year, Rock and its surrounding towns and villages are bursting with festivals and events by the water. Lovers of Cornwall’s tides will relish the one mile open water swim from Padstow to Rock in July, while the return of the Rock Oyster Festival promises local performers and fantastic seafood by the bucket and spadeful.

A long weekend of sailing races and seaside suppers await in September for Autumn Shrimper Fest. If you’re visiting during the festive season, we recommend popping across the water to see the twinkling lights at the Padstow Christmas Festival in December.

4. Set off on the Sir John Betjeman Walk

A soft and sandy route that promises incredible sea views, the John Betjeman walk is a must for history-lovers in Cornwall. Start from the beach at Rock and walk towards Daymer Bay, Brea Hill and Trebetherick, to see where the great English poet was laid to rest in 1984. After stopping at St Enodoc Church to take in views over the estuary, loop back across the fairways of St Enodoc Golf Course.

Keep an eye out for the coast path signs and you’ll soon find yourself back at the Quarry car park, where coffee at Four Boys café promises to soothe beach-weary walkers. This route is particularly peaceful at sunset during the summer, where shimming water is almost always guaranteed. 

5. Pick up quality Cornish produce at Fee’s Food


A holiday in Rock simply isn’t complete without a visit to Fee’s Food – a deli selling everything you need for the perfect Cornish picnic. Located on the way into Rock, the shop stocks a wide range of fresh pastries, local cheeses and homemade lunches, from salads and sandwiches to quiches and chutneys.

If this year’s holiday is cause for celebration, pop in for a few bottles of fizz to accompany supper, or speak to our Concierge Team to arrange an evening of in-house fine dining with Fee herself. From intimate birthday dinners to unique themed lunches, her handcrafted menus and expert culinary knowledge will add an extra special touch to any occasion.

6. Shop local

If shopping’s on the agenda, Rock is home to a handful of lovely independent stores. At the bottom of the village towards the beach and pontoon, you’ll find Lower Deck for sailing and leisure clothing, and The Beach House for beautiful homeware pieces from local Cornish brands like St Eval Candles and Love Liga. Further up on Rock Road, The Juice Collection is well worth a visit for accessories, jewellery and gifts. 

7. Relax with a boat trip across the water


If an idyllic Cornish cruise sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon, enjoy the ride from Rock to Padstow on the Black Tor Ferry. Catch the boat from the slipway on Rock Beach and enjoy a leisurely 10 minute trip across the River Camel, before spending an hour or two in pretty Padstow. Home to some of the UK’s best restaurants, we’d recommend booking ahead for lunch at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant or Paul Ainsworth’s Number 6.

After lunch, wander through Padstow’s charming streets, dangle your legs over the harbour wall with a Roskilly’s ice cream in hand, or take in the view from Stepper Point. After an afternoon well spent, hop back onto the ferry and enjoy an evening ride to Rock as the sun sets.

8. Retreat to Trehayl in the heart of Rock


Having recently undergone a phenomenal transformation, Trehayl is the perfect setting for an unforgettable stay in North Cornwall. With its twinkling sea views, vibrant interiors and heated outdoor pool, Trehayl sleeps up to 10 guests and makes an idyllic base for family getaways and special occasions.

Watch the sunrise over breakfast from the elevated terrace, slip into the pool for a tranquil evening swim or walk down to the beach to while away hours on the sand. Ideal for foodies, Trehayl has an abundance of cafés, shops and restaurants nearby. 

If you're hoping to holiday with four-legged friends, don't miss our guide to the five best dog-friendly walks in and around Rock.


Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for a roast by the coast, Sophie loves exploring with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.

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