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Secret Padstow - Little Petherick

This gorgeous little hamlet is found just two miles down the road from Padstow in the wooded valley of Little Petherick Creek, a tidal tributary of the River Camel. The name Little Petherick comes from the ancient name for Little Padstow - Pedroc-stowe which means 'Petroc's Place'. 

Steeped in history

Petroc was a 6th century Celtic Christian saint who was associated with monasteries at Padstow and Bodmin. The Grade I listed church in Little Petherick is dedicated to St Petroc and was originally built in the 14th century.

Starting in Padstow, The Saints' Way is a 27 mile footpath that passes through Little Petherick and follows river valleys, cutting right across Cornwall to Fowey in the south. All along the footpath will be found historic remains, ancient footbridges, old tracks and fascinating churches, evidence of its use by early saints and missionaries. 

However, The Saints' Way was almost certainly first used by Celtic traders even before the Iron Age. Gold was traded in the Mediterranean and would have passed through Cornwall on its way from Ireland and it is thought that Egyptians, Greeks and Phoenicians journeyed to the west coast of Britain to trade in gold. 

From Little Petherick, walkers can access the Camel Trail via footpaths alongside the creek. The trail follows the route of an old railway and is ideal for family cycling as it is fairly level all the way. It passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in Cornwall, with views of moorland, woodland and the estuary all of which are spectacular.

Little Petherick used to have several mills and there was a tidal gristmill at Sea Mills in St Issey. The remains of the mill's old sea wall that trapped the tides are still visible and both the Old Mill and Mellingey Mill still have working waterwheels today.