If you are searching for a self catering holiday in Looe, Cornwall then look no further than our hand-picked selection of Looe Holiday Homes & Cottages.
Looe is a bustling fishing town situated on the south coast of Cornwall. It is divided into South Looe and East Looe by the River Looe, connected by a bridge for vehicle and foot traffic.
Stepping out from your Cornish holiday cottage in Looe, there are plenty of shops to browse, pubs to drink in and restaurants to dine out at. Nearly all of the local tea shops and restaurants offer fresh locally sourced fish and you can purchase fresh fish from the local fishmongers on the quayside. Perfect to take back and grill on the BBQ at your holiday home. If you fancy something from the Cornish land though, The Smugglers Cottage offers up steak and carvery specialities.
It isn’t a holiday until you have spent some time on the beach. In East Looe there is a beach beside the Banjo Pier and in West Looe is Hannafore Beach, from which there is a view across to Looe Island. You can even try to find your sea legs with a little stand up paddle boarding or just enjoy a traditional picnic on the sand, while the children paddle in the sea.
A trip to Looe Island is a fun day out, it is is noted for it’s particularly mild climate and variety of wildlife. There are no shops or pubs on the island and no cars allowed, but there are two beautiful beaches and plenty of woodlands to explore. The island is accessible on foot at low tide and by foot ferry at a charge when the tide is in.
If you are interested in history, then swing by The Old Sardine Factory where you can learn all about Looe’s past or take a ride on the Looe Valley Line. The Looe Valley Line is runs out to Liskeard along the East Looe river valley and has magnificent views. There are also lots of different birds to see including Little Eygrets, Grey Herons and Curlews.
For something slightly more indulgent, take some ‘you time’ at the Hannafore Point Hotel and Spa. Relax in fluffy white towels, book a treatment and lunch and then soak up the bubbles in the hydrotherapy pool before returning to your holiday home for a quiet night in.
Just a short drive from Looe, you will find lots of other attractions in the area including Talland Bay, beautiful Fowey and its’ neighbour Polruan, the busy fishing harbour village of Polperro and the bustling village of Padstow with its harbour shops, pubs and splendid walks along the Camel estuary.
Your Looe Cottage is a great base from which to get to know this stunning part of Cornwall.
Looe’s popularity surely tells us something because people flock to this vibrant town. Back in medieval times, Looe was two separate towns. East Looe is now the site of the harbour and the buzzing main thoroughfares, while the west is quieter but still with a selection of shops and restaurants. The town has relied heavily on tourism since the 1960s when its pilchard canning factory closed. Therefore, it Is well-equipped for visitors all year round.
Discerning visitors may want to visit the harbour quay to watch the fishing boats still using Looe to bring in their catch, providing stacks of local colour and of course, fresh fish used by the local restaurants. The iconic banjo pier is a popular viewing spot (though to be avoided in bad weather.) On a rainy day, the Old Guildhall in East Looe is well worth a visit – it now houses the Museum. Obviously, Looe has a smuggling past (find out more in the town Museum, which also has a genuine cat-o’-nine-tails whip and a magistrate’s’ bench along other artefacts).
If the sight of all that water makes you want to go out to sea, then try a boat trip or a fishing trip out from the harbour during the season. You can even go shark fishing (tagging your catch). You may enjoy a visit to Looe Island which has a fabulous climate and tremendous views. It is also a natural bird sanctuary, accessible by glass-bottomed boat, with landing fees used to help conserve its natural beauty – an escape to a world with no roads, no shops and no cars, but with a natural rock swimming pool, caves, coves, beaches and woodland walks. Water sports are also the thing here, especially canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.
Looe is nestled within a hilly landscape at the mouth of the Looe River, so test your crab-catching skills here. East Looe beach is lively but gently shelving so relatively safe, while also being close to the old town, with lunch and ice cream not too far away… If you are a beach aficionado, then Talland Bay nearby is worth a visit on the Heritage Coast, as is Millandreath Beach, reaching top marks for kayaking.
Other shoreside ideas include rockpooling on the craggy shore at Hannafore Beach in West Looe. The Looe Marine Conservation Group has lots of tips for rockpooling excursions.
Looe is home to the Monkey Sanctuary which is open in summer, a humane home to rescued monkeys, from marmosets to Capuchins. Small and intimate enough to really find out about the individual animals, it is a must for animal lovers. The Old Sardine Factory, quayside in West Looe, reopened as a heritage centre in 2018 with an immersive exhibition which is well worth a visit. For walkers, try Trenant Woods, ancient broadleaf woodland between East and West, owned by the Woodland Trust. It is packed with bluebells in spring and other wildflowers in early summer.
For adrenaline thrill seekers, then Adrenalin Quarry a few miles north of Looe offers exhilarating activities such as the 50-metre-high, 40mph, zip wire, a giant swing, and a Wipeout aquapark. There are also guided activities such as axe throwing and coasteering.
For celebrating, why not try Looe Music Festival (near the beach) in September, or the New Year fireworks.
Looe is packed with places to eat and drink to suit all tastes. For fabulous plant-based food at very reasonable prices try the friendly, unassuming Kind. Meanwhile, The Old Sail Loft is in a beautiful historic building on the quayside overlooking the harbour, one of the oldest places in the town, specialising in fish dishes and steaks. For a cream tea or a ‘well posh’ milkshake try Daisy’s Café, a retro gem of a café in the heart of Looe. For good seafood cooked in a contemporary style, the Sardine Factory is recommended.
One way to approach lovely Looe is to walk there via picturesque Polperro with dramatic clifftop scenery all the way, but most people arrive by car, and the town caters for this with some large car parks on the west side. Another option is via the scenic river train route from Liskeard – the station is but a short walk into the centre. If you are lucky and arrive in winter, then you may be able to park quayside on the east. Looe is a popular town and rightly so, with plenty of shops, cafes, beaches, and things to do. Divided in half by its river, the two sides are reunited by its bridge, built in 1853.
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