Cornwall Life visits Looe and Polperro... Our town

PUBLISHED: 17:51 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 20 February 2013

West Looe harbour

West Looe harbour

Although neighbours, the typical Cornish fishing villages of Looe and Polperro are two quite different kettles of fish. Both, though, have plenty of attractions and are great places to visit, writes Ian Wilkinson

Although neighbours, the typical Cornish fishing villages of Looe and Polperro are two quite different kettles of fish. Both, though, have plenty of attractions and are great places to visit, writes Ian Wilkinson

The town of Looe and the small village of Polperro have links going back many centuries. Fish of course is the catalyst both are famous for the quality of the catch and for hundreds of years their prosperity depended solely on the fruits of the sea. Polperro, while retaining a fleet of smaller boats, relies far more on tourism than its neighbour.
It has narrow streets, lime-washed cottages, a picturesque harbour and a bustling waterfront where there is always something going on.

Looe is quite different. This is a thriving working port where fish is landed by local day boats. The fish market supplies the wholesale food trade, as well as many of the regions top restaurants and hotels. At the markets heart is Pengellys, a family-run fish merchant that has been selling to the public for five generations. Other great attractions in Looe include a nice family beach, good shops, restaurants and pubs and, of course, the wonderful Looe Valley line that connects the town with Liskeard.

Sandra Foster moved to Looe in 1989 and says that she wouldnt want to live anywhere else. She works in Nannas Traditional Sweet and Bear Shop on Fore Street. Weve got lovely walks with great scenery and a really nice beach for children.


"I just like walking around the town and perhaps sitting and watching the fishing boats and I always meet someone to have a nice chat with!

People like to watch all the activity in the harbour and you can go on a boat trip, or you can just visit some of the traditional shops in the town. For traditional cream teas you cant beat Miss Marples Tea Rooms. To relax I just like walking around the town and perhaps sitting and watching the fishing boats and I always meet someone to have a nice chat with!

Claire Kelly is receptionist for the Looe Harbour Commissioners and works in the harbour office on the quay. We have some really good attractions nearby for visitors, particularly if they have children. Theres Dobwalls Adventure Park, the Eden Project isnt far and theres the Caverns at St Neot. People like to visit Polperro just a few miles away, or some of the beaches.


People like to visit Polperro just a few miles away, or some of the beaches

Looe itself is a lovely town with lots of activities. Its a very close-knit community. We moved here ten years ago and people have always been really friendly. For a drink its nice to go to the Angling Club (Billys) that has good entertainment, and close by is the Bullers Arms and The Ship, both of which are really good.

Sisters Jackie Provost and Angela Harrison, together with sister-in-law Sheena Pengelly, run Pengellys fish merchants on the Quay. Jackie says: Visitors spend hours watching the fishing boats coming and going and unloading, and of course thats good for business!


Where else is there better to live than here? Weve got everything nice scenery, a stunning coastline and some wonderful walks

Sheena says: We have some really good restaurants in Looe and I particularly like the Sail Loft and Trawlers on the Quay. Angela, who was born in Looe, says: Where else is there better to live than here? Weve got everything nice scenery, a stunning coastline and some wonderful walks.

Edythe Coles is a tourist information officer in Looe. I love to walk on the coastal path to Polperro. Its so beautiful and you can always get the bus back, or theres a beautiful boat trip back if the times right. Nearby attractions include the Monkey Sanctuary just along the coast, and inland is Porfell Wildlife Park, which is wonderful for families with children.


A nice way to travel is by train
on the Looe Valley Line

For something a bit different there is Magnificent Music Machines at St Keyne, which has a wonderful collection of pianos, organs, gramophones and musical boxes in a lovely setting. A nice way to travel is by train on the Looe Valley Line.

Sharon Trew has been the manager of the Polperro Horse Bus Company for the last five years. Polperro is a lovely quaint little village with a great atmosphere. To relax I love to ride in the surrounding countryside. For a drink after work I like to go to the Crumplehorn Inn, which is just across the road from the car park.


Polperro is a lovely quaint little village with a great atmosphere

Its a good pub with excellent beer and food. This is the last year I will be working for the company because at the end of this season the horses and the owner will retire. The company has been taking visitors down to the village for 40 years, so make sure you take a trip with them when you come and visit.

Graham Roberts is the owner of the Polperro Gallery, which he opened three years ago. In most peoples minds, Polperro defines the archetypal Cornish fishing village, with its narrow streets and whitewashed cottages and, thankfully, little modernisation. Its a very friendly place; theres a good community spirit with lots going on.


My favourite walk is the coastal path going westward towards Lansallos and Polruan. Its undulating and has gorgeous scenery

For a drink with friends I would recommend the Blue Peter down by the harbour. It has good beer and nice fresh local food. My favourite walk is the coastal path going westward towards Lansallos and Polruan. Its undulating and has gorgeous scenery.

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