5 to try: Daphne Du Maurier experiences in Fowey

Fowey, John Such

A literary tour of Cornwall, discovering Fowey’s links with the famous author, Daphne du Maurier…

Literary Centre
The Tourist Information Centre is a must visit for those on the du Maurier trail for it also houses the all encompassing Du Maurier Literary Centre. Call in and browse the detailed interpretation panels to discover the areas numerous literary links whilst picking up expert knowledge from the friendly team. The private residences of Kilmarth and Menabilly are showcased here through pictures and maps offering a peak into du Maurier’s former homes. Here you will also learn that Du Maurier isn’t the only author to be inspired by the area for alongside the works of Sir Authur Quiller-Couch, it also features Kenneth Grahame and Leo Walmsley and explores the affect they have had on Fowey but also how the town influenced their writing.

One of the best ways to discover Daphne du Maurier’s Fowey is by foot. Strike out along the South West Coast Path and follow the scenic route towards Gribben Head to pass the coves of Readymoney and Polridmouth where Du Maurier lived in Point Neptune and Menabilly respectively. Alternatively, head out in the other direction from Fowey and you will see Ferryside in Bodinnick, a whitewashed house with bright blue shutters which was the first Cornish home of Daphne du Maurier and still owned by the family today. For commentary enroute join Blue Badge Guide and Daphne du Maurier expert, Lynn Goold, who offers guided walking tour of Fowey and the area. 

Fowey Festival of Words and Music
The Fowey Festival of Words and Music celebrates the rich literature heritage of the area in eight days of talks, readings, theatre, music and so much more. Still true to its beginnings as ‘The Du Maurier Festival’, it showcases the inspiration behind the author’s stories and has evolved to become a platform for internationally renowned writers, performers and entertainers. There are creative writing workshops, reading groups, debates, guided walks and live music. 

Boat trip
Hop aboard one of the many boat trips setting off from Fowey harbour and discover Fowey River and its du Maurier links from a waterside perspective. You will pass Readymoney Cove where du Maurier once lived and experience the coastal views that inspired her. You will also get a glimpse of Point Neptune, the grand 40-bedroom house which is now owned by Dawn French. 

Afternoon Tea
Follow in Daphne’s footsteps by enjoying Afternoon Tea at The Fowey Hotel. As you fill up on delicately cut sandwiches, indulgent scones and mini cakes you will recreate Daphne du Maurier’s meetings with her mentor, the academic and writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. They regulalrly met here when the famous novelist was still a fledging writer. Du Maurier later went on to complete ‘Castle Dor’ which was begun by Sir Quiller-Couch and takes its title from a nearby Iron Age fort.  While you’re at The Fowey Hotel take a moment to seek out the photo of Sir Quiller-Couch which hangs in the public sitting room.

Do you know any other great places linked to the famous autor, Daphne du Maurier? Let us know by commenting in the Facebook box below.