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Fowey Town & Harbour

If we were to pick our favourite place on the coast of South East Cornwall, it would perhaps have to be Polruan and Fowey, and the beautiful Fowey harbour and estuary, where we love to sail. The area around Fowey, Bodinnick and Tywardreath is very much "Daphne du Maurier" country, and for nothing better, view the harbour from the top of Polruan, or from the Old Ferry Inn at Bodinnick, opposite Daphne du Maurier's old house "Ferryside". For views of Ferryside, see the Bodinnick page.

Fowey takes its name from the river that it lies at the mouth of - the River Fowey, or in Cornish, the river of "Fow-wydh" or beech trees. Fowey should be pronounced FOY (as in boy), and most definitely not, as some may think, as FOU-Wee (as in now!). Say it like that, and you won't get served the best pasty!

Fowey from the Hall Walk
Fowey Harbour and the Town Quay, and the harbour entrance, as seen from the Hall Walk

Kenneth Grahame spent much time in Fowey, indeed was married here, and his wonderful story "The Wind in The Willows" was inspired by Fowey, and the riversides up to Lerryn inspired the Wild Wood. He liked nothing more than just "messing about in boats", just as Ratty did, and then of course there is Sea-Rat's famous description...

"...the little grey sea town I know so well, that clings along one steep side of the harbour. There through dark doorways you look down flights of stone steps, overhung by great pink tufts of valerian and ending in a patch of sparkling blue water. The little boats that lie tethered to the rings and stanchions of the old sea wall are as gaily painted as those I clambered in and out of in my own childhood; the salmon leap on the flood-tide, schools of mackerel flash and play past quaysides and foreshores, and by the windows the great vessels glide, night and day, up to their moorings or forth to the open sea."

A short look around Fowey

Fowey Harbour and Town from Polruan
Fowey Harbour and Town seen from Polruan

Sailing in and around Fowey Harbour (Fowey used to be called Foy or Foye) is wonderful. It can be summed up in no better way, than in the little quirky verse by Arthur Quiller-Couch (known as "Q"):

"Oh the harbour of Fowey
Is a beautiful spot
And it's there I enjowey
To sail in a yot;
Or to race in a yacht
Round a mark or a buoy -
Such a beautiful spacht
Is the harbour of Fuoy!"

Entering Fowey Harbour by boat
Entering Fowey Harbour by boat

Fowey Town from the harbour
Fowey Town from the harbour

Fowey harbour front
Fowey harbour front

The Ship Inn in Fowey
The Ship Inn in Fowey, a favourite pub!

"The King of Prussia" (old colours!)
"The King of Prussia" (in her old colours) harbour-side pub - named after a famous smuggler!

"The King of Prussia" (new colours!) and Town Quay
"The King of Prussia" (in her new colours!) and Town Quay

St Finbarus Church in Fowey
St. Fimbarrus Church in Fowey (a Latinised version of St Finn Barr,
who crossed Cornwall from Cork on pilgrimage to Rome, and built a small church here)

St. Finbarus Church in Fowey
St. Fimbarrus Church

"Q"'s House in Fowey
"Q"'s House in Fowey

Looking upriver from Fowey, past the China Clay berths to Mixtow and Penmarlem Quay
Looking upriver from Fowey, past the China Clay berths to Mixtow and Penmarlem Quay

Fowey Harbour still maintains the traditional feel
Fowey Harbour still maintains the traditional feel

Rod and line fishing in the harbour
Rod and line fishing in the harbour

Fowey harbour entrance and the wide blue yonder
Fowey harbour entrance and the wide blue yonder

Visit the Fowey Harbour page for more photographs in and around the harbour,
or the Fowey Shipping page for China Clay and other shipping in the harbour.

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