Lovely things to do in and around Looe
PUBLISHED: 10:32 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 01 March 2019
The pace of life may be a tad slower in South East Cornwall, but there’s still plenty to do! Head for the fishing port of Looe and its sandy beaches, great walking routes and quality restaurants
Head to the Monkey Sanctuary and support this incredible centre dedicated to the rescue of woolly monkeys and their eventual return to the Amazon. Established in 1964 it has become a great day out.
Who hasn’t dreamed of owning their own island (second choice: hollowed out volcano). Well, back in 1965 sisters Babs and Evelyn Atkins achieved that dream when they bought the 22-acre island which lies one mile off the Cornish coast in 1965 and lived there and wrote books on their life.
More than half a century later St George’s Island (aka St Michael’s Island) but better known as Looe Island is owned and managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust charity where access is carefully managed for the benefit of wildlife and landing is only possible via the Cornwall Wildlife Trust authorized boatman. Find out more about visiting at cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk
So many beaches - and so little time! Head to East Looe Beach for a traditional sandy beach with a terraced promenade and lovely pier that offers great views of the two towns which sit in rows above the estuary that splits the two Looes
You can also head to nearby Kingsand Beach and Cawsand Beach which are east-facing beaches of sand and shingle and offer great views of Plymouth Sound. More importantly they are dog-friendly all year round. Great places for storm watching - but stay safe!
There’s also Hannifore Beach offering views of St Michael’s (or Looe) Island. This rocky beach is great for walks and climbing adventures.
Head to the little fishing village of Portwrinkle and discover favourite surfer beach Portwrinkle - known as Finnygook beach to many. Take your camera and capture some stunning views across Whitsand Bay.
Talland Bay Hotel
This beautifully quirky boutique hotel is filled with unique decorations and friendly staff. A very short hop, skip and jump from the South West Coast Path and two miles along from Looe, the hotel has incredible views over Talland Bay which is equalled only by its menu featuring fine dining, afternoon tea and a more casual brasserie dining experience. Rooms in the hotel are individually decorated - or there are self catering cottages - and they are dog-friendly too. Head to the beach at low tide and see if you can spot the remains of the boiler from the Marguerite, a French vessel that ran aground in 1922. tallandbayhotel.co.uk
Looe sits in the middle of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - alongside more than a quarter of the county - and as part of the South East Cornwall section is home to some of the richest marine wildlife in the British Isles. It’s worth taking advantage of the many sea and coastal boat trips available to fully appreciate what is on offer. cornwall-aonb.gov.uk
The Old Sail Loft restaurant is housed in a quirky building on Quay Street and features fab seafood.
Almost synonymous with Looe is the heavenly harbour town of Polperro. Here there are fishing trips, a rich history of smuggling perfectly explored in the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing (polperro.org/museum).
Snuggled into a secret corner of Cornwall, the twin towns of East and West Looe are split by an estuary but joined by old world charm. There’s the marvellous tidal pool at the foot of Chapel Cliff on the small sandy beach at Polperro lies a small tidal bathing pool which has been the site of many first swims.