Set on the south coast, Fowey is a maritime lover’s paradise. The smart nautical town hugs the west side of the Fowey estuary, where deep waters attract sailing fans. The town itself is a mix of enchantingly narrow streets and a mix of architecture including historic medieval, grand Georgian and Victorian buildings.
First off get to know your surroundings by walking the length of the town and exploring the Quay. From there you might like to check out Fowey museum – it’s tiny, but it packs a punch. Housed in one of the oldest buildings in the town it’s full of interesting artifacts including the contents of a medieval garderobe (lovely)!
If you’re an avid reader of Daphne du Maurier be sure to check out the Literary Centre. It includes a small exhibition and film about her life, detailing how her writing was influenced by her surroundings on the south coast of Cornwall. If you time it right you might make the annual Literary Festival, Regatta Week or the very festive Christmas market.
Nature around Fowey
The best way to enjoy the estuary is to get on it! Sailing, kayaking, boating or paddle boarding are all options. Around the local area you’ll find two yacht clubs and two sailing training centres plus a calendar packed full of races and regattas.
Another way to enjoy the scenic surroundings is to put your walking boots on. Hop on the South West Coast Path and make your way along the Polperro Heritage Coast to Polridmouth Cove where you can discover one of Fowey fan Daphne du Maurier’s favourite haunts – Menabilly. Alternatively, get the ferry over to Polruan and walk along to Lantic Bay. It’s beautiful whatever the weather and, thanks to the walk required to get there, it’s usually fairly quiet.
Places to eat and drink
Given the waterside location of Fowey, it’s no surprise fish features heavily on the menus here. If that thought fills you with joy then get yourself to Sam’s Bistro; it’s an institution! The classic bouillabaisse is a firm favourite among regulars. For something lighter or a bit different, eat at Pinky Murphy’s. This quirky cafe serves up great veggie plates, paninis, soups and delicious cake. Want to warm your cockles? Fill your belly with delicious south Indian food at Sunny Spice – the dosa’s always go down well here.
Best shopping spots
Fowey is a fantastic shopping spot for quirky jewellery, clothes and gifts from independent retailers. Pink Lemon stocks a range of gorgeous modern boho womenswear. Or for something more fitting to your surroundings try Quba & Co – they make jackets reclaimed from canvas sailcloth! Fowey is also a treasure trove of interesting homewares and decorative items ranging from rustic French to typical English countryside inspired - Reed’s is great for unusual garden and outdoors items.
photo by Paul Watts
Visit the opposite village of Polruan and revel in quiet Cornish village life with views across to Fowey. Music fans might like to visit Golant, it’s four miles away and the nearest village to Sawmills Studio. Established in 1974 the residential studio attracted bands including Oasis, The Stone Roses and Muse. Poldark viewers might like to travel the seven miles it takes to get to Charlestown where much of the series is filmed. Lastly, Lerryn, the village which is said to have inspired Wind in the Willows is only five miles away (if you take the ferry).