Explore south east Cornwall with our handy guide
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
Have a look below to find out more about the villages and towns found in the area before your trip to our boutique hotel.
Fowey (pronounced Foy, like boy, for those who didn't know) is a historic seafaring town, like many places you will find along the south east coast, but holds a certain charm like no other. With the narrow winding streets and breath-taking views across the harbour, there is something for everyone in Fowey. The town and its surrounding area was the home to author Daphne du Maurier and provided inspiration for many of her novels. Though Fowey is quiet during the winter months in comparison to the busy summer, it is a place that should be visited any time of the year and has excellent facilities and events held all year 'round.
There are wonderful walking routes around the town, some of which you can join from the doorstep of our boutique hotel; these can take you along the South West Coastal Path, up to Fowey Castle and even across the harbour to Polruan. For anyone who doesn't mind getting a bit wet, there is also a chance to hire a boat or canoe and journey up the River Fowey or around the estuary, taking in the sights from a unique angle. There are also fantastic beaches like Readymoney Cove and Lantic Bay, which are perfect for strolling along in the winter and bathing in the summer months.
Situated on both sides of the River Looe, is what was once two towns, East Looe and West Looe, joined together only by a bridge. East Looe contains the harbour and main shopping area for the town, and West Looe is a little quieter, but still has a lovely selection of shops and restaurants. The seven-arched bridge joining the two sides was built in 1853, and many other buildings in the town are even older than the bridge. Looe has been a holiday destination for over 200 years and is still one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the south east of Cornwall. Easily accessible by train and car it is a fantastic place for a day out for anyone staying at our boutique hotel, and a visit to the harbour quay to see the fishing boats come in with their daily catch is a colourful scene.
During the summer months, boating and fishing trips head out of the harbour to see the local sea life like dolphins, porpoise and even some sharks. In the winter, one of the best times to visit is in New Year, as the whole town is transformed to celebrate the start of the New Year and new beginnings.
Nestled in the cliffs south of Looe is the harbour village of Polperro. The village has housed a thriving fishing community for around seven hundred years, and the village is still a working fishing port today. Remaining relatively untouched by touristy gift shops, the pretty cottages on the narrow streets have made Polperro an attractive place to visit, especially when covered in flowers during the summer. The streets are also so narrow that cars can barely fit down them, so the centre of the village is best explored on foot. Polperro has a selection of fantastic art galleries and holds an Arts Festival each summer, which has attracted many artists and photographers over the years. The village is also quite infamous for its history of smuggling, which was prominent during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing overlooks the pretty harbour and has a remarkable collection of photos and items from a time when smuggling and fishing thrived. Leisure boat rides are available to take from the harbour along the coastline to Fowey, and you can enjoy hearing stories from the boatman about the village.
Getting away from the coast, the historic market town of Liskeard lies above the Looe River Valley and is easily accessible from the surrounding towns in the south east of Cornwall. Like many other places in Cornwall, mining played an important part in Liskeard's development, and there are a number of historical buildings to visit in the town. Guild Hall, the Town Hall and Stuart House in the centre of the town are landmarks of the town. Stuart House has gone under a recent renovation and is now a venue for the Arts, along with an attractive garden. The house was given its name as Charles I stayed there for a week during the Civil War. St Martin's Church is also worth a visit; one of the largest in the county, some of the parts of the building date to the 15th century.
Several murals can be found around the town depicting the history of Liskeard and the south east region, with drawings of the industrial revolution, the coming of railway and more.
Charlestown is a very pretty place to visit. With galleries, independent cafes and harbour, an afternoon spent wandering the town is time well spent. The town was named after local landowner Charles Rashleigh, who developed the town and port between 1790 and 1810 for the export of copper and china. The harbour is still in use today by the local fishermen and the town has maintained a lot of its character and has been used as a filming location for film and television, including the recent Poldark. The picturesque look of Charlestown has turned it into a thriving tourist hotspot in the South East, especially because of the stunning square-rigger ships docked in the harbour. Another worthy attraction to see in the town is the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre, which contains various exhibits relating to Charlestown's maritime past, as well as shipwreck salvage from Cornwall's coastline.
Images by: Nilfanion, DeFacto, Alan Fleming, Robin Drayton