We've recently returned from a wonderful and needed week away in Cornwall. My mother-in-law found a lovely house through Polruan Cottages ( www.polruancottages.co.uk ) and so we went for it even though we didn't know much about the area. We figured we couldn't do too badly seeing as a lot of Cornwall is accessible when you have a car. Using the house postcode Fowey was very easy to find (after a quick stop at Par train station to pick my mother-in-law up). There is little to no parking by the houses and I wasn't entirely clued up as to where the car park was so I dropped everyone and the bags off at the door and set off to figure it out. There are a few around the immediate area so it didn't take too long to get the car safely parked and wonder back down to the house.
The house was fabulous. Very clean and modern with a welcome basket of essentials. A day before we arrived I placed an order with ASDA to deliver some basic foods and they came nice and early so we were able to head out and see what Fowey had to offer. Seems the ASDA order wasn't overly needed as there's a little grocer down the road but oh well.
I had tried to apply for a Cornwall week parking pass (Rover Ticket) before we came out but there had been a little mix-up so I jumped into the Tourist Information shop and bought one there quickly. £35 for a week pass and it allows you parking in a number of Council Car parks including Fowey, Hayle, Newquay, Truro and more. It came in handy for sure. The ladies working the desk in the Tourist Information shop were lovely and answered a number of our questions over the holiday. The following website is also really good for local stuff and the beach guide was great http://www.fowey.co.uk/
Fowey is a lovely little fishing village with a number of shops, restaurants, pubs and ice cream parlours. It seems the perfect little place for a family on holiday at the coast. After a day of travelling we were all hungry and stopped at a restaurant on the harbour to refuel. 'The Boat House' wasn't overly packed and seemed family friendly so it was an easy decision to make. We were sat at a table and seen by a waitress rather quickly. As we were on the coast we all ordered something fishy (aside from the 3 year old who is still stuck in a world of pizza rules!). The fish soup was the best I have had in many years so highly recommended. My eldest son ordered an adult size mussels platter and did a Man Vs. Food thing when it arrived ... the chef came out to watch him defeat the platter! So proud of my son who eats like a hoover!
We didn't bother taking the Fowey Town tour ride but I'm sure the views are lovely. Fowey has a lot of hills and they are very steep but once you get to the top of any of them there will be a nice view waiting for you.
One place worth a little visit is the small aquarium on the harbour. It looks from the outside like nothing much but once you've paid your couple pounds for entry you'll realize how much it actually contains. Each tank has hidden gems found in the waters around Fowey. The man there was informative and helped to kit my son out ready to go crabbing later that day. We got some fish that was headed for the bin from the fishmonger and our crabbing day was very successful. We didn't keep the crabs as it was fishing for fun and it really was great fun!
One of our days out was planned for Mevagissey so we left early and got the Fowey-Meva Ferry from Whitehouse Quay. Adult £7 (£12 return) Children £4 (£6 return) www.ferry.me.uk The ferry was great fun. We all love the water so enjoyed every moment of it. There were only a handful of us on the ferry as it was the early trip but we were the only ones sat at the back. We couldn't care less about getting a little wet (it was a warm day so dried quickly). We spent a few hours in Mevagissey shopping and having lunch before heading back over the waters to Fowey.
The children and I were eager to visit some beaches and Readymoney is a very nice one. Walking distance from Fowey village centre and directly opposite the home once lived in by author Daphne du Maurier. The beach is sandy so my youngest was happy as he really wanted to build a castle and then be the dinosaur that knocks it all down. My eldest was happy he could climb the rocks, my husband ran off into the woods looking for St. Catherines Castle and I jumped straight into the waves and paddled out to a floating pontoon where others were jumping on and off. We had a lovely afternoon finished off with an ice cream from the vendor.
Only a 5-10 minute drive from Fowey is a lovely family owned bird and animal sanctuary called Wingz. Not in Fowey but so worth a mention! It will only take you and the family a couple hours to see what this place has to offer and then have a play and maybe a snack but I am so glad we visited. There are some lovely animals with amazing stories. Make sure to read every notice you come by. There is an indoor play area for the children with puzzles and colouring materials and there is even more information and news articles regarding the sanctuary's work in there. My boys had a lovely time playing with the owners' son on the outside play equipment. Wingz has a cheeky Meerkat that knows how to get out and roam the park. There is a sign near the office saying no matter how big his eyes get he's not that hungry. He did cross our path and OMG he is soooo adorable. We put the meal worms we'd purchased in the Meerkat area and he very quickly got back to where he was supposed to be and helped to eat them up. http://www.wingzbirdsanctuary.co.uk/ If you're planning a beach afternoon spend the morning at Wingz.
My mother-in-law took off to see the Eden Project for a day and found that although the bus system is good connects to other places easily it doesn't follow the most direct routes. Very interesting on the way out but a bit boring on the way back.
During the Second World War Fowey was the centre for air-sea rescue and one of the places from which the D-Day invasions were launched from and there are a number of plaques and reminders along the coastline. There is a lovely covered bench area donated by the US Navy in a quiet area near Whitehouse Quay.
We visited many different places during our week away but coming home to Fowey was lovely. Our little holiday fishing village home. On our last day in Fowey I woke up with a horrible sore throat. I spoke with the local surgery and they got me booked in first thing and helped me to register and a temporary resident. The doctor was really nice and gave me the needed prescription right away. I wondered from there down to the village to fill the prescription at Boots. It was only that day when the hills bothered me. I had very bad strep throat and my whole body was aching but I made it back to the house and stayed there for the day. The family took a ferry over to Polruan that day. I kept my youngest with me at the house and we juggled between watching cartoons and the Olympic highlights. Thankfully there was a nice café (The Lifebuoy Café) on the same road as the house that did soup to go so for lunch we headed that way and picked some up. They had already seen me earlier that morning as I grabbed a coffee so welcomed me in as if I were a returning local.
I probably should put this next bit as a positive but it had my husband and I laughing for hours. We were waiting to cross the road to the car park but a blind or stupid family decided to cross without looking and a motorist had to move to avoid them and it was this elderly man in a small old car who pumped his wrinkly old fist in the air and shouted f-ing tourists as he bombed down the road. Too funny!
Was there anything I didn't like??? well yes but only because I was sick. I was trying to rest and the church seemed to be having a bell rehearsal that lasted what felt like hours! The bells go off a lot and never really bothered me but that night they were driving me mental!
We had a great time staying in Fowey and think you will too!
© oioiyou 2012
I would like to tell you about a little magical place called Fowey situated in Cornwall.
We first stumbled across Fowey when I noticed a sign for St Catherines castle and as that is my name I decided to make and force my parents to drive to Fowey (we were on our way to St Austell at the time). Anyway when we got there the first thing we noticed was that we have to drive up a very steep hill to get to the main car park which was reasonably priced at £1.70 for two hours. Then we started the 15 minute walk down the hill to get to Fowey.
Fowey is an amazing little place with stunning scenery, very nice shops, very nice pubs and an equally nice harbour. It stretches for about a mile along the river Fowey and situated opposite is the picturesque Polruan. Both of these places are connected by Ferry. Fowey is a natural harbour and attracts around 7000 yachts each year. Fowey also has a history with literature due to Daphne Du Maurier writing her many famous books in Cornwall.
We decided that we were hungry but because we took our little Jack Russell Patch with us we thought that this would create a problem as it was quite cold and wet weather. Well not a problem in Fowey. The first place that we went to said oh no problem we always welcome dogs. This was called the Ship inn and it was a very comfortable and appealing little pub located in Trafalgar square. It is a very old little pub and its slogan real ales, good food, comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome was spot on. The staff were very friendly and even bought Patch a couple of dog biscuits. The food was fantastic and if you ever go I recommend the Beef burger with onions and fries which was delicious. I could have sat in there all day as it had a real homely feel.
We carried on into Fowey and spent time in some of the fantastic shops they have in the centre. With something for everyone these shops were small but adequately stocked. My favourites are a clothes shop called Wildlife which was reasonably priced and although looked like it was built for surfers they had some clothes for all kinds of people. I managed to set myself back about £30 on some t-shirts and a pair of shoes. Also I found a very charming studio which I cannot remember the name of and if someone can help me I would love to know the name as I want the phone number. It had 2 floors and the top floor contained wonderful paintings of the harbour and other seaside portraits. They also had sculptures there of various animals and my favourite was a big metal bear which despite the £500 price tag I was tempted to buy. Downstairs was filled with gifts from handmade gift tags to jewellery and to handbags. Please let me know if you know the name of the shop.
We made our way to the harbour and it was beautiful. You can take boat and ferry trips to other harbours such as at Mevagissy, Lerryn and Lostwithiel. Each trip can take up to 3 hours and costs vary from £5 - £10 for adults and £2 - £7 for children. The harbour boasts some very impressive scenery and is definitely a photo opportunity. We managed it with our rain macs on with the umbrellas up. We didnt stay at the harbour long as we noticed that many of the seagulls were bigger than Patch and he was getting a bit scared.
We braced ourselves for the steep walk back to the car but were thankful to see a town bus that takes you right to the main car park. Now take note that if you visit Fowey, the walk up to the main car park is very hard so the bus at 80p per person is worth it. Plus the dog was allowed to go on the bus too so that made the decision for us as we didnt want to tire the dog out (thats what we are telling people anyway).
Places to stay in Fowey are lovely. Every place has a great view and the prices are very reasonable for staying in such a gorgeous place. If you would like a hotel then I recommend the Fowey Hotel situated on Esplanade (+44 (0) 1726 832551). Offers stunning views of the estuary and contains its own restaurant. If you are after a B & B then try Greenbank B&B situated on Dangland road (+44(0) 1726 832137). This B & B offers stunning views of the harbour and out to sea. It is a Victorian house and has a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Also if you fancy it there are caravan sites situated in and around Fowey.
Within Fowey tickets can be bought for all of the boat and ferry trips, the Eden project and tickets for local walks. There are also many attractions and events in Fowey throughout the year such as murder mystery nights, cruises and lifeboat week.
Fowey is a magical place which our whole family enjoyed. It was a lovely day out in the rain so I can imagine it being brilliant when the sun is out. I have decided that when I go back to Cornwall, Fowey is where I will stay especially as although I saw the castle I did not go in it so want to do that at some other point this summer.
Thanks for reading.
From its beginning as a meandering trickle of water heading southward off Bodmin moor, the river Fowey gently flows past magnificent Cornish scenery on its way to the sea. Near the mouth lies the ancient port of the same name. Fowey is an ideal retreat to those wishing for a refreshing, peaceful change from today?s hectic life. Although considered out of the way by many visitors to Cornwall, it is easily accessible by land or sea. The roads are well signposted and there is a daily bus from St. Austell, which can lead you into one of Daphne du Maurier?s most beloved communities. Besides the stunning views, a noticeable thing this small town has to offer is the enormous variety in architecture. Examples of these can be found by strolling down Fore Street. Like most of old Fowey, it is a narrow road gently twisting through what seems to be a randomly assorted selection of buildings. On one side is ?Noah?s Ark?, one of the oldest constructions here, dating long before the invading French caused the fire of 1457. In contrast, the bank opposite is a structure of uniform granite blocks built with grand precision. It stands to attention as if trying to set a good example for its crooked neighbour. The local shops and businesses show the true nature of this idyllic place. Naturally for a port there are chandlers and marine shops but there is also a selection of art and craft shops. An abundance of seafood restaurants, tea rooms and fudge shops make it easy for visitors to overindulge. For those who enjoy a short walk, Bull Hill is a must. On one side, an overhanging wall is home to a collection of persistant flora. The other side looks toward the river, allowing a bird?s eye view of the town rooftops. If you are still feeling energetic, there are plenty of other paths to follow. The most obvious is around the harbour itself, sometimes known as ?Kings Walk?, for it was along here that King Charles I was fired upon by a Puritan in 1
664. If you are really keen you could always take the ?Saints Way? wich is a 26 mile trek to Padstow on the North coast. If all this sound too tiring, you could just enjoy a drink in the black and white ?Lugger Inn?, formerly a private residence which began selling alcohol in 1782. In contrast, the ?King of Prussia?, with it?s distinctly pink colour, is the probable sight of an Elizabethan poor house. Finally, the ?Ship Inn? was built in 1570 and named after the ?Frances of Fowey; which, crewed by 70 local men, helped Drake?s fleet to repel the Spanish Armada. Other places of interest include the Church of St. Fimbarus; an impressive castle-like structure partially destroyed by the French but rebuilt in 1460. It is named after St. Finn Barr who passed through Fowey in the 6th century. Above this is a fortified mansion built in 1260. You can also visit St. Catherines castle overlooking Ready Money Cove. Built in 1540 it was used in anger against a Dutch fleet of some 50 ships when they tried to damage the Virginian Fleet in Fowey harbour. Overall a day in Fowey is a pleasurable trip back through time, well worth a visit when travelling around Cornwall.
Now if you don't want to be considered an emmet by the locals you must pronounce Fowey as 'Foy. But, however you say the name of the town, you are in for a treat if you pay a visit. On a sunny day, and there are a few sometimes, you won't find a more wonderful place in Cornwall or England or anywhere else for that matter. Fowey is full of history. During the Hundred Years War the fierce Fowey seaman raided the coast of France constantly and continued to do so even after Edward IV had made peace with the French King. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. I'll start as if you are visiting for the first time. You are heading down the hill towards the town. There isn't any parking in Fowey so you will have to turn right and follow the signs to the Car Parks. Don't, however, park in the main car park that you will see on your right - keep driving. You'll come to a wonderful spot where you will be able to look left over the river and out to sea one way and see Polruan on the opposite side of the river. It really is something special. Unfortunately there is a single yellow line on the road so you can't stay too long. But do take a photo! Get back in the car, keep driving and you will see another car park. This time park and when you have done so start walking. Turn right out of the car park and head for the Esplanade, turn left and continue walking down into the town. It's quite high at first, with lovely views over the river. There will be plenty of boats to look at and maybe some larger ships heading up the river with various goods. If you don't want to head for the town straight away turn in the opposite direction when you get to the Esplanade and you will reach a small cove called Ready Money Beach. It is sign posted. It's small and sandy if you want a rest. Alongside the cove there is a footpath leading up to the ruins of St. Catherine's castle. Again great views
. The castle was built in 1536 on the instructions of Henry VIII by the local Treffrys family. Getting back to walking down the hill to the town - it's quite magical. You will pass the house that was owned by Q or Sir Arthur Quiller Couch (1863-1944). There is a plaque on the wall. He wrote several tales based on Fowey including Troy Town. He was also the local mayor for a while. Next to this house is a slip way leading to an open top passenger ferry that will take you across the river to Polruan, the village on the opposite side of the river. It's only 25p and there are some interesting walks starting from Polruan. You can walk to Polperro - about 7 miles. If you keep walking past the ferry eventually you will reach the town and harbour. From the harbour you can get a boat trip up the river in the holiday season. Or just sit and take in the atmosphere. The town itself is a network of narrow streets that climb the surrounding hills. The appearance hasn't altered much for centuries, other than new developments on the outskirts of the town. The church, St. Fimbarrus, dates back to the 14th century. The shops are mostly condensed into one road and there are a couple of fine pubs and a selection of restaurants overlooking the river scenary. Seafood is excellent but there is also the normal pasties, chips and ice-cream. If you walk through the shops and keep walking you'll reach another ferry. This time it is a car ferry (passengers as well) and goes across the river to the hamlet of Bodinnick - nice pub! Again 25p if you are on foot. Fowey is a lovely place with some great walks. My favourite starts at the passenger ferry and is about 5 miles of river views and peace - but I'd better not give details here. As I hope you may have gathered I think Fowey is special. I live about six miles away and lived there for about two months while I was waiting to move into my house. They a
re memories I'll never forget. Do give Fowey a visit - and try to do so on a sunny day - and you'll see what I mean, you won't be disappointed. P.S. I forgot to mention (along with much more) that Daphne du Maurier set several of her novels in the area and there is now a Daphne du Maurier festival held every year in Fowey.