While away a week in Looe with our day-to-day holiday guide
Bustling boutiques, beach fun and a banjo pier
Found in a picturesque pocket of the south coast, Looe is coveted for its rugged rockpools, cobbled streets and diverse arts and music festivals. With pretty beaches, a quaint harbour and plenty of vibrant local life, it’s perfect for serene weekends or action-packed weeks by the sea.
Unpack, settle in and suss out your beautiful surroundings.
With tired eyes from the long journey, start your holiday in true Cornish style with a portion of fish and chips from The Coddy Shack, just a short drive from Looe. After tucking in, delight in a harbourside glass of fizz in one of the local pubs or bars dotted along the waterfront.
© Baz Richardson via Flickr
A relaxed Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a saunter through the narrow and cobbled streets. Slip into independent boutiques to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts before stopping off at a local café for a light and refreshing brunch. The first wholly plant-based hotspot in Looe, Kind is perfect for sampling tasty vegan dishes, whilst Daisy’s is a firm favourite with the locals.
For an afternoon of harbourside crabbing, pop into a nearby shop to pick up a kit, complete with net, bucket and bait. Keeping a close eye out for the prime tide to catch, watch the hours fly by as you get lost in Looe’s crabbing scene.
Famed for being the home of Daphne du Maurier, its annual Regatta and a beautiful harbour, Fowey is a much loved South Cornwall destination around the coastline from Looe. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, embark on a day trip and delve into Fowey’s rich maritime history with a walk along the deep-water harbour or a peaceful sea cruise with Fowey River Trips.
Nearing its grand opening on 1st March, book a table at Appleton’s. Pairing Italian favourites with a distinct Cornish flair, this rustic restaurant and bar is tipped to make one of the best brunch, lunch or dinner spots in Fowey.
Surrounded by a collection of unique and characterful beaches, it can be hard to choose which beach to dedicate the mandatory beach day to. From the rugged rockpools at Hannafore and the soft sands at Millendreath, to the secluded bays of Talland and Rotterdam, each destination brings something different.
Spend afternoons exploring the south coastline with a watersports experience. Discover the hidden charms of Millendreath’s waters by kayak, sea scooter or stand up paddleboard, with Sea Explorers on hand to guide the way. As the children get stuck into learning a new skill, adults can take advantage of the Bistro on the Beach, tucking into a jam-first Cornish cream tea.
Packed with personalities, Looe’s Monkey Sanctuary is a must-visit. From Capuchin, Woolly, Barbary and Marmoset, learn the traits and quirks of each species. From their life stories and origins to an average day in the life of a monkey, this fun day doubles up as an educational experience for the whole family.
After finding your new favourite monkey in soft toy form in the gift shop, finish the day with dinner at Smugglers Cott in Looe. Steeped in Spanish history with a menu for the little ones, this restaurant pairs local produce with deliciously rich wines.
If you’re looking to explore the south coast further, venture out for a family day trip to Charlestown. With an unspoilt Georgian Harbour at its heart, this small fishing port is often selected for film and television productions, including the much loved Poldark and Mansfield Park. Treat everyone to ice-creams from the Tall Ships Creamery then stretch your legs with an amble along the South West Coast Path towards Porthpean.
As evening falls on the classic tall ships and gorgeous beach, start heading back to Looe. Along the way, stop off at Polkerris and watch the sunset over the idyllic sandy cove. After working up an appetite walking around Charlestown, hunker down for a wood-burned pizza from Sam’s on the Beach.
As departure day nears, dedicate your Friday to a touch of pampering at St Mellion International Resort’s Elemis Spa, which is about a half an hour drive from Looe. As the adults take it in turns to unwind in the treatment rooms, steam room, jet pool, sauna and jacuzzi, little ones can splash around in the fountains in the warm leisure pool. When the time comes to leave the fluffy robes behind, freshen up with a luxurious bubble bath.
Naturally, the final evening calls for one last family dinner. Overlooking the harbour, The Sardine Factory is a beautiful spot for watching Looe’s lights sparkle across the water. As you indulge in fresh local seafood and the children delight in the ‘Little Sprats’ menu, toast to the final night of a wonderful week.