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Domes, Docks and Dunes… a guide to South East Coast of Cornwall

The south-eastern corner of Cornwall has many delights waiting to be discovered.  All the usual charms you’d expect to find are here, such as lovely fishing villages, walking trails in plenty, wildlife and some delicious local produce.  

The town of Looe has much to recommend it, including a very pleasant sandy beach, where you can sunbathe, paddle or simply sit and watch the world go by, the harbour wall, where there is plenty of space for youngsters to spend a happy few hours crabbing, and a museum, where you can see exhibits encapsulating the history of Looe,  and the industries and pursuits that made up the daily life of its residents.

Just a few miles along the coast is the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary, which takes in rescued monkeys and apes and cares for them.  This worthy organisation is well worth a visit.

Further west, Polperro nestles among dramatic cliffs, the stark coastline conjuring up images of smugglers lurking in wait for passing ships, and fishermen bringing home their catch.  There are several enchanting beaches and coves, such as Polperro beach, Talland Bay beach, Lantic Bay and Lansallos beach, where sometimes even in the summer they remain relatively free of people, so you may find you have one to yourself!  If you enjoy walking, this area of the coast has plenty of cliff paths, beach walks and more, and many people can’t wait to lace up their hiking boots and head into the great outdoors.  

The tidal pool gives you a chance to swim or go rockpooling (though caution is advised as it is difficult to get to).  Instead, you may want to explore the town and its unique little shops, cosy cafes and charming pubs.  A local museum lets you learn about the fascinating history of the area, and the tiny narrow streets (where foot traffic is generally all you’ll see) take you past quaint cottages and even a little model village.  When you’ve worked up an appetite, you can sample freshly caught seafood and other delicious local fare.

Further west still is the town of Fowey, and the hamlet of Polruan on the riverbank opposite - you can take a ferry ride between the two, or a trip upriver on a pleasure cruise, with the scenery drifting past on either side.  Much of this region is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and from the vantage point of the river, you can see why.  Further inland, the tidal creek of Fowey River has extensive sandbanks at low tide, which allow a variety of water birds to nest and find food.  

The estuary is also dotted with sailing boats and yachts of all sizes, a testament to the lure of the sea, and fishing craft, a nod to the traditional and ongoing industry which still provides many with their livelihood, and visitors with a delicious meal!

South East Cornwall has many unique and special attractions in the area, such as the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Restormel Castle.