Looe - is the nearest town and is full of restaurants, cafes and shops for you to explore. There is a sandy beach in East Looe and a pretty promenade along Hannafore (West Looe) which joins onto the coastal path. A popular activity is crabbing off the edge of the harbour, plus there are many boat trips to be had from the quay in glass-bottomed boats, to Looe Island or Polperro.
Polperro - is the smaller, quainter alternative to Looe with a pretty little harbour, a beach at low tide, and plenty of shops and cafes open in the high season.
Polruan and Fowey - are beautiful towns full of galleries, pretty shops and lovely cafes. (Fowey is famous for its mussels). Situated on either side of the Fowey River they offer beautiful views. The quickest way is to drive to Polruan (20 mins) and get a ferry across to Fowey. If you feel brave you can follow the Coastal Path all the way from Treargel to Polruan, about 9 miles. It has stunning views but is not for the faint-hearted.
Golitha Falls - has a lovely wooded walk along a meandering river, with ethereal moss covered trees. Inkies Smokehouse is situated in the car park and has arguably the best burgers ever! Go early, as they cook everything on-site and sometimes run out.
Other beautiful places within around half an hour’s drive.
Siblyback Lake, Cardinham Woods, Lanhydrock, Jamaica Inn, Lerryn, Eden Project, Restormal Castle, Mount Edgecombe, and Maker Heights.
South Coast beaches are calmer than those on the North and also tend to be a bit smaller and more pebbly.
Portnadler is our nearest beach on the coastal path 10 minutes down, 30 back! It is a bit of a climb down, but is very private, as there is no road to it.
Talland Bay is accessible by road or coastal path. The cliffs are made of a lovely purple and green stone. Mainly shingle, but there is a sandy beach on the second bay at low tide. It also boasts a pretty little cafe and is dog friendly.
Looe beach is sandy and next to lots of shops and cafes. It can get a little busy.
Whitsand Bay, Lansallos and Lantic Bay are around ½ an hour drive, stunning views, and steep walks from the car parks.
Millendreath and Seaton beaches are good if you need to park nearer or have a dog, in off season (the time of year, not the dog;)
North Coast beaches are huge, sandy and windy, so great for surfing.
Watergate Bay, Daymer Bay, Mawgan Porth, Perranporth Beach
Shopping in Looe
Shopping locally and in independent shops, really helps those who live in Cornwall.
For less plastic Quayside Fresh next to Buller Quay car-park, sells vegetables in paper bags. We suggest just buying their fresh produce as the rest is fairly pricey. www.quaysidefresh.co.uk
Pengelly’s Fish Shop next door, sells wonderfully fresh fish bought daily to the harbour. They often have a ‘Special’.
Rolly’s Fudge sells fresh fudge, made in front of you. Best eaten quickly and not saved, as there are no additives, (that’s my excuse anyway;)
Fish and Chips
Which is the best chip shop in Looe? There are many discussions on this topic, with a wide variety of answers. So, probably best to research this yourself, many times;)
Ditto for pasties, though Sarah’s are very nice. www.sarahspastyshop.com
Our favourite place is The Lookout www.thelookoutinlooe.co.uk mainly because we know the owners. But if you are looking for a friendly place, for a ‘proper’ coffee and amazing cake, this is the one. Look on Facebook for extra events too; which are cosy and have a community feel. Other coffee shops are available;)
The Sail loft, The Coddy Shack, Smugglers Cott, Jubilee Inn, La Bocca, Sardine Factory
Take Aways (that aren’t fish and chips)
Bridge Grill, Peking Garden, Viceroy, Chennai are all very good.
For more on Looe and Polperro and their 100 shops try welcometolooe.com
Public Transport in Cornwall
Using cars less, is a great way to help the environment. Although public transport in Cornwall is tricky, it can be done with some planning and saves on parking. Make the journey part of the adventure;)
Scenic Rail Britain writes that ‘The Looe Valley Line is full of beautiful views, from picturesque valleys teeming with wildlife to impressive views of the estuary as the East Looe River nears the sea.’
It should be noted, that it’s a 15 minute walk into Liskeard town from the station. But does connect to many other trains to Penzance, St Ives or London. If you make the right connections, there is a beautiful walk from Bodmin Parkway station to Lanhydrock House. www.thetrainline.com/train-times/looe-to-liskeard
Buses can be hailed at the request stops, on the junction by the Tencreek turning, on the Polperro Road/ A387. This is called the Wayland stop, (for some reason) and is between the stops for Pelynt Church and West Looe Fire station on the timetable.
72 - from Plymouth to Polperro, via Saltash and Looe.
73 - from Liskeard to Polperro, via Looe.
There may be changes to the route, so do check the ‘News’ section of the Go Cornwall website below as well. www.gocornwallbus.co.uk
Treargel is a great place to walk from, as we are next door to the South West Coast Path.
To find the Coastal Path see our map. Go back down our farm track to the main lane. Left up the lane 50 yards towards Talland (the opposite way to Looe) and turn left up another track. (Further up the lane is the National Trust car park.) This track will then take you to a small gate signposted for the Coastal Path. After passing a big Sheep barn and walking towards the sea, you can either go right up over the Headlands to Hore point, and then down to the Coast Path; or down the path and to the steps to Portnadler Beach. Continue on the path and you will go past the remains of 6th-century Lammana Chapel, and get to Hannafore and on to Looe.
If you need a walk but it’s raining, then Kiln Wood and Catherine Park Wood are great. You can park on the lane past Camping Caradon and towards Trelawne Mill. Kilminorth Woods is also lovely and there’s parking at the end of Millpool car park, Looe.
Places to visit nearby
Thanks to Mike Temple, for taking these pictures when he visited.