With lots of staycation spots to choose from in Cornwall, it can be difficult to decide where to stay. A small coastal town and working fishing port situated on both sides of the River Looe, East Looe and West Looe are joined by a bridge across the river. This seaside town is close to popular attractions in Cornwall and is home to lots of hidden gems, making it an ideal base for your next staycation.
To help you plan your Cornish getaway, we have put together some facts about Looe to make your break extra special.
Everything you need to know about Looe
A 30-minute drive away from Siblyback Lake on the edge of Bodmin Moor, Looe offers both seaside and forest views, but don’t let that limit you. East Looe offers views of the harbour quay where you can observe fishing boats coming in to unload their catches. It is a busy and vibrant scene and a must see if you’re in the area at the arrival of the fishing fleet. East Looe is also where the main shopping centre can be found. West Looe is quieter, but also has shops and restaurants to explore.
One of Looe’s oldest buildings is the Old Guildhall in East Looe, which dates back to around 1500. Formally home to the town hall, it now houses a popular museum. Expect to learn all about fishing, boat building and smuggling! The building retains many of its original features including ancient cells and the raised magistrates’ bench making it a marvel in itself.
Cornwall is renowned for some of the best beaches in the UK, offering clear blue waters, deserted coves, and a lively surf scene for the thrill seekers out there. Home to a lovely sandy beach, Looe boasts a range of spectacular beaches all within driving distance. East Looe Beach is a traditional bucket-and-spade beach offering an expanse of golden sand and shallow water making it great for children of all ages. Likewise, Plaidy Beach is ideal for families with rock pools that will keep the kids entertained for hours. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly beach, Hannafore Beach is just a mile away from Looe featuring beautiful views of Looe Island.
Looe Island is situated about one mile off the coast and is open to day visitors in the season. The beautiful island covers an area of 22.5 acres with two beaches, a natural rock swimming pool, coves, caves and woodland walks making it a popular tourist spot.
Looe restaurants: where to eat
A place like no other, Cornwall has so much to offer! After a day of exploring you may be looking for a quick bite to eat. Support local and head to The Kitchenside Bakery, a cosy independent tea room in the heart of Looe. Enjoy seasonal drinks and traditional Cornish Cream Tea or stop off at The Court Yard for freshly made sandwiches and light bites.
No trip to Cornwall would be complete without indulging in the popular Cornish pastie. The Cornish Bakery is your go to place if you’re looking for proper local pasties, hand-roasted coffee and speciality breads. Handmade and baked daily these award-winning pasties are the perfect Cornish treat available to eat in or takeaway at your leisure. We recommend the ‘The Award-Winning Traditional’ pasty for a true taste of Cornwall.
Looe also has a variety of restaurants on offer, perfect if you’re dining with the whole family or that special someone. The Old Sail Loft is on the harbour-side at East Looe and is one of the oldest buildings in the area, still largely preserved in its original form, a real treat for the eyes. Enjoy locally sourced dishes like seared scallops and catch of the day, fresh from the quay. Alternatively, head to the Smugglers Cott, serving quality seafood, prime steaks and the best carvery around.
Pubs in Looe: our top picks
From traditional pubs with log burners and real ale, to modern bars with sports and live music, Looe has many pubs to choose from. One of the oldest pubs in the UK, The Jolly Sailor offers real ales, food and music, as well as quiz nights and comedy nights throughout the year.
In the centre of Looe you will find The Ship Inn, a classic market town pub serving up draught beers, regular cask ales and soft drinks. Popular with the locals, expect live music on weekends and if you’re feeling peckish there’s also food available.
Serving a selection of draught beers, range of real ales, wines, and spirits as well as soft drinks The Fishersman Arms is a great pit-stop for that afternoon tipple. With its open fire and cosy seating this friendly pub has a great atmosphere, a fantastic place for people of all ages. There is also a beer garden, great for those warmer evenings and let’s not forget the excellent live music weekends that take place. Pop in and experience this great atmosphere for yourself.
Looe cottages: plan your staycation
From homely guest houses to self-catering cottages there are lots of places to stay in Cornwall, but only one place you can sleep in the middle of the forest. Just a 20-minute drive from Looe, our log cabin location at Deerpark is hidden deep in a wooded valley, beside an ancient millpond. Book your break in a cosy cabin with a hot tub and make the forest your sanctuary from the busy world.