From the Blog
Immortalised by Sea Rat in 'Wind in the Willows' as 'the little grey sea town I know so well, that clings along one steep side of the harbour. There through dark doorways you look down flights of stone steps, overhung by great pink tufts of valerian and ending in a patch of sparkling blue water. The little boats that lie tethered to the rings and stanchions of the old sea-wall are gaily painted as those I clambered in and out of in my own childhood; the salmon leap on the flood tide, schools of mackerel flash and play past quay-sides and foreshores, and by the windows the great vessels glide, night and day, up to their moorings or forth to the open sea. The town of Fowey is steeped in salt air and literature. As well as Kenneth Graham (who holidayed there) it was also the home of Daphne duMaurier who set several of her novels here including 'The Loving Spririt' and 'Rebecca'.
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this pretty harbour town is situated on the west side of a deep estuary, where the Fowey River reaches the sea. Yachts tack back and forth across the river, searching out a mooring. The gulls cry overhead and herons nest in the wooded banks opposit. As you walk the ever narrowing streets where mediaeval and Georgian buildings cast shadows over each other, a vibrant maritime history comes to life. Lining the main Fore Street you will find many small, independent shops selling unusual gifts, artwork, clothing and books. If you’re a foodie then Fowey is home to many bistros, cafes and restaurants where you’ll find menus offering the best in local produce – Fowey River mussels are a highlight.
Boat trips can be taken out to sea or up river to Lostwithiel or Lerryn, depending on the tide. You can explore the Hall Walk from Polruan to Bodinnick on the east side of the estuary or take the South West Coast Path out to the Gribben daymark and onto pretty Polkerris.
- Get an overview of the town and the beautiful harbour with a stroll out along the Esplanade passing the grand parade of Edwardian and Victorian houses to the medieval St Catherine’s Castle which looks out over the harbour entrance and Readymoney Cove.
- See the town from the water with a trip on board one of the pleasure boats that regularly depart from the Town Quay steps. Cruises take you upriver past the docks, where you will see huge china clay ships being loaded with cargo, and out to sea taking in the best views of the town
- Fowey Museum in the town centre holds an interesting collection recording Fowey’s rich and varied history. Includes the Daphne DuMaurier collection, Mayoral Regalia, costumes, old photographs, models of old sailing ships and postcards
- Dedicated to St Finbar who passed through Fowey early in the 6th century, the magnificent St Fimbarras church was rebuilt in 1460 by the Earl of Warwick after being destroyed by French marauders. Situated in the heart of the town it is generally open to visitors during the day
- Pop into the charmingly old fashioned Fowey Aquarium on the Town Quay where you can literally get in touch with local sea creatures in the petting pool. A great nostalgic fishy fix
- Visit the town in May when the annual Fowey Festival takes place or August when the Royal Regatta fills both the town and harbour with people.