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Top places to live in Cornwall Wadebridge

This old market town offers the best of all worlds - on the doorstep are some of Cornwall's most beautiful beaches, the town is full of thriving independent shops and property is still affordable - as well as being handy for the airport. Not all areas are pretty though, so choose carefully. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.


Another Cornish town with some lovely period properties that is on the up – it was voted one of The Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live’ in the UK earlier this year. The River Camel runs through the middle and heads out to the sea, forming the beautiful Camel Estuary with Rock and Polzeath one side, Padstow the other. Properties include period homes and more modern riverside living (as well as the usual suburban sprawl) mostly with views of the surrounding countryside, so you can enjoy all the benefits of being close to the gorgeous coastline without some of the tourist and price-related downsides.


The Tiny Thai serves authentic modern Thai street food for takeaway Weds-Sat and when lockdown 3.0 ends, the Salt Box street food complex with curry, pizza and coffee will be back. In the centre itself, Relish coffee shop and deli usually serves posh brunches but currently offers takeaway from the deli as well as their own roasted coffee. Local chef Tim Spedding (ex-Ledbury, Clove Club and Coombeshead Farm) and his partner Louise are currently offering home delivery of a restaurant meal in a box and collaborate on supper clubs and food nights locally.

Just up the A39 towards Newquay the award winning Strong Adolfos is, when not closed for lockdown, a Scandi cafe crossed with roadside diner. Foodies will enjoy being close to Padstow, with its plethora of more gourmet options including Prawn on the Lawn, Stein’s Seafood and Paul Ainsworth’s No 6 (of the bunch, only Stein’s fish and chips is currently in operation).

Wadebridge has its share of more traditional pubs, including The Ship Inn, but when lockdown is over you’ll need to travel to one of the outlining villages to find a gastro-pub (The St Tudy Inn, The Mariner’s at Rock and the St Kew Inn are all favourites), as well as other more traditional village pubs offering Sunday roasts.


The high street in Wadebridge is packed with independents, including the excellent health food shop Elixir (doing sterling lockdown work offering local delivery), bookshop, butchers and greengrocers as well as some lovely indie clothes and gift shops (including Muddy-award winning Winifred & Mabel). Jo & Co home and interiors is just up the road at Hawksfield, alongside Finisterre and posh deli The Arc. Wadebridge also has several large supermarkets and the holy grail of Cornish petrol stations with a small M&S on site.


Wadebridge is on the Camel Trail so you can easily walk, run or cycle to Padstow (or indeed Bodmin) and the beaches on both sides of the Camel Estuary are just stunning – choose Polzeath for surfing, Rock for sailing and water-skiing. Padstow is a short drive away, and beyond Padstow are the Seven Bays – a line of spectacular coastline with seven sandy beaches and sheltered coves. Wadebridge has an independent cinema, tennis courts and several sports clubs as well as a leisure centre. Bodmin Moor is nearby and it’s also easy to get up the coast to Boscastle and Tintagel and down to Newquay.


£283,839 (that doesn’t include the coastal villages on the way to Padstow and Rock) – detached houses in the town itself cost an average of £370,973 but for a family house with garden you will be looking at a bit more than that. Flats cost an average of £204,368 and terraced properties £235,793.



Wadebridge School (Secondary) and Wadebridge Primary Academy (Primary) were both rated ‘Good’ by Oftsed, as was St Breock Primary School. A number of the surrounding villages also have ‘Good’ rated primary schools including St Minver School near Rock. Sadly if you’re after independents, you’re going to have to travel – the nearest are in Truro or Launceston.


The excellent wood-fired gourmet Wild Bake pizza trailer can be found in the town centre on Monday nights.


In normal times, Wadebridge is surprisingly handy for flying as Newquay airport is 20-mins drive. It is less well connected for rail, with the nearest mainline station the other side of Bodmin, a 45-minute drive away. The 1 hour 30 minute drive to Exeter is probably the quickest non-flying route to London, as you can pick up a fast train to London taking just over 2 hours (the train from Bodmin takes the more scenic coastal route up to Plymouth first, adding nearly 2 hours onto the journey). If you’re planning on driving to work anywhere outside of Wadebridge (or doing the school run down to Truro) you’ll want to pick your side of the town carefully. Despite the bypass bridge that was built in the early 90s doing sterling work diverting the A39, the gorgeous old bridge in the centre of town can be a bottleneck.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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