Looe
~

Looe is not to be missed, and is a lively fishing port, and shopping and eating out haunt. Pilchards and fishing, mining and copper export, and smuggling have all played a part in this busy port's history, and to that can now be added beaches, lifeboats, fishing trips, and festivals.

Looe itself is more than amply described by Wilkie Collins in his "Rambles Beyond Railways" of 1851:

"At each side of you rise high ranges of beautifully wooded hills; here and there a cottage peeps out among the trees, the winding path that leads to it being now lost to sight in the thick foliage, now visible again as a thin serpentine line of soft grey. Midway on the slopes appear the gardens of Looe, built up the acclivity on stone terraces one above another; thus displaying the veritable garden architecture of the mountains of Palestine magically transplanted to the side of an English hill. Here, in this soft and genial atmosphere, the hydrangea is a common flower-bed ornament, the fuchsia grows lofty and luxuriant in the poorest cottage garden, the myrtle flourishes close to the sea-shore, and the tender tamarisk is the wild plant of every farmer's hedge. Looking lower down the hills yet, you see the houses of the town straggling out towards the sea along each bank of the river, in mazes of little narrow streets; curious old quays project over the water at different points; coast-trade vessels are being loaded and unloaded, built in one place and repaired in another, all within view; while the prospect of hills, harbour, and houses thus quaintly combined together, is beautifully closed by the English Channel, just visible as a small strip of blue water, pent in between the ridges of two promontories which stretch out on either side to the beach."

And the pasties aren't bad either! And for a splendid old-fashioned hostelry, and good food, you would do far worse than to visit the fine establishment that is the "Olde Salutation Inne" in Fore Street.

~

The harbour at Looe
The harbour at Looe

Looe is made up of the contrasting twin towns of East Looe and West Looe. On the east side is where the main shops are, the famous Banjo Pier, sandy beaches, and the terminus for the Looe Valley Line - now a very pretty train link from Liskeard (where you can use the "Park & Ride" scheme), that is all that now remains of the old Liskeard and Caradon Railway that linked Looe with the mines and quarries on Bodmin Moor. On the west side, there is the quieter and very pretty sea-front along towards Hannafore, where you can park and walk along the front, or go down amongst the rock pools on the shore. Here there are views directly over to St.George's Island half a mile off-shore (known locally as Looe Island), which was made famous by the two Atkins sisters ("We Bought an Island" by Evelyn Atkins), and which is now a Cornish Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

Looe Bridge and an empty Fish Quay (gone fishing!)
Looe Bridge and an empty Fish Quay (gone fishing!)

The Fish Quay in Looe is a busy one, as most of the fishing done here is done by "day fishing" only, and by working the tides in and out of the river. Consequently, fish bought in Looe, especially when bought directly from the Fish Quay, will be among the freshest and best fish you will ever get. 

The Fish Quay at Looe
The Fish Quay at Looe

Looe Fishing Boats
Looe Fishing Boats

More fishing boats and fishing trips from the busy little Fish Quay
More fishing boats and fishing trips from the busy little Fish Quay

Prior to the modern fishing boats now in use, most fishing was done using the famous "Looe Luggers".

Looe Luggers
Looe Luggers

The beach at Looe is popular at any time of the year for a wander, but particularly in Summer.

Looe Beach
Looe Beach

The Banjo Pier

The Banjo Pier was built to protect the busy port of Looe in the nineteenth century - there was previously only a wooden groyne there - from where copper and granite was exported from the heights of Bodmin Moor. The ore and minerals were brought down to Looe by canal from Liskeard, and later by the Looe, Liskeard and Caradon Railway.

Banjo Pier Calm
Banjo Pier Calm

Contemplating the Sea on the Banjo Pier
Contemplating the Sea on the Banjo Pier

Jonathan Livingston Seagull has been spotted on his travels in many places in Cornwall now...

Jonathan Livingston visits Looe
Jonathan Livingston visits Looe

~

Back to PhotoFile Cornwall South East Cornwall ~ Coast.
Back to PhotoFile Cornwall
Home.

 

Redgate Smithy B&B
Come and visit us in South East Cornwall for a night or two, or stay for a week - we are open all year!
E-mail: enquiries@redgatesmithy.co.uk (opens a message/enquiry to us)
Redgate Smithy, Redgate, St.Cleer, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 6RU ~ Telephone: 01579 321578
Visit the Redgate Smithy website

Redgate Smithy Bed & Breakfast in South East Cornwall