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:
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.
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.
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.
Prior to the modern fishing boats now in use, most fishing was done using the famous "Looe Luggers".
The beach at Looe is popular at any time of the year for a wander, but particularly in Summer.
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.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull has been spotted on his travels in many places in Cornwall now...
Redgate Smithy B&B