Favorite thing: Here's a nice shop for you to visit. Plenty of cream cakes and other goodies for the beach, and on the way back to your car, pop in for a takeaway cream tea, consisting of six scones, jam and Cornish Cream, all for about £3.60.
East Looe War Memorial
Favorite thing: A picture of the War Memorial, which seems to be in a particularly attractive setting, with the Looe River and Bridge as the backdrop. The Quayside Car Park is adjacent, to the left of the photo. Notice, too, the obligatory Gull, perched atop the memorial!
Favorite thing: Looe can get very congested in the peak visitor season, from June until September. If you enter the town from Plymouth or Liskeard direction, as you enter the town limits, on the right is the small railway station, with a car park. You may be lucky here, as many visitors won't notice it until they have passed it. The next car park is at the Quayside, and here again, it will almost certainly be full, and there will (usually) be a sign saying so. Go across the Bridge, and you will find a very large car park up the hill and to the right. Parking fees vary, but you will pay something like £1 for 2 hours. And, you will find that 2 hours isn't long enough!
Favorite thing: The Harbour, as far as the Bridge, often presents a busy scene, with several vessels loading or discharging simultaneously. In the not too distant past it was not unusual to find fishing vessels 2wo or three abreast along the quayside, as Looe was one of the principal fishing ports of Cornwall. Today there is rather less activity, and even the sometimes controversial shark fishing seems to be on the decline, more people being interested in shark watching, than catching!
Favorite thing: Unlike many seaside towns, Looe does have an attractive collection of shops. Many, of course, are of the gift and novelty kind, with 'Kiss me Quick' type hats, but there are many attractive shops too. My relatives couldn't keep out of them, and we had to return to the car park to put more coins in the meter, LOL!
West Looe Quayside
Favorite thing: West Looe is not that picturesque, but it still has a wonderful quayside, where one may wander and stare across the Looe River at the enchanting sights of East Looe. Above the quayside you will find most of the commercial hotels and guest houses, almost all of which afford spectacular views over the town and harbour, and many more have stunning views of the coastline.
Above the Bridge
Favorite thing: Above the Bridge the valley widens, and the waters, calm and placid, have the appearance of a lake. This feature is generally supposed to have imparted its name to the town; for the Cornish Looe has a similar signification to the Gaelich Loch and the Erse Lough. The steep hills, clad from summit to base in verdure, are reflected in this natural mirror and present a picture of great beauty.
The woods on the steeply rising ground at the point of confluence of the two rivers is known as Trenant Woods. I recall in the early 1960's that the landowner wished to cut the mature trees for timber, and there was in the town a campaign and a petition to prevent him from doing so. I believe the actions failed, but 40 years on, and the trees have once again matured, creating a really beautiful backdorp to the rivers.
Favorite thing: To the right of the beach is the stone pier, known from its shape as the 'Banjo,' which forms a breakwater and eastern arm of the harbour entrance. The Banjo provides an agreeable lounge and look-out. Hours can be spent here, just sitting and watching the boats passing in and out, the water flowing swiftly through the narrow channel, making a wonderful picture before the rocky cliff along which the tree-shaded Hannafore road is carried on viaducts with battlemented turrets.
And So To The Beach
Favorite thing: The beach at East Looe is particularly fine, with soft, golden sand. However, it isn't really that large, particularly when the tide is on its way in, and there are hundreds of holidaymakers looking for a vacant spot in odrer to do some sunbathing.
Interesting Buildings, Old and New.
Favorite thing: Looe is one of those quaint old towns where the old and interesting buildings are to be found amongst the more modern shops and other small buisnesses. Of special note is the Old Guildhall, with its stone stairs and wooden balustrade leading up to the large room where the free burgesses of East Looe formerly deliberated and where may be seen the ancient stocks and the beautiful silver gilt maces of the old East Looe Corporation. This place is now a museum and is open to the public. Today, on our visit, the doors were locked at 4.30 pm.
Lots to see in Looe
Favorite thing: A picturesque grantie bridge of seven main arches, widened in 1960, crosses the harbour and connects the two towns, incidentally providing a superb view, both up and down the river. A hundred yards below this bridge stood an earlier bridge of fifteen arches, with an oratory to St. Anne in the middle, which was erected in the early years of the fifteenth century, and was only superseded in 1855.
Fondest memory: This is a photo of the river bridge, taken from the west side, and near to the main car park. The picture is also of my Auntie Jean and Uncle George, from New Jersey, USA, who were returning to Cornwall for the first time in 50 years.
Favorite thing: Another picture of Looe's beach, because surely that's one of the reasons for coming here? The coastline in the distance is running up towards Plymouth, some 15 miles away.
The Modern Guildhall
Favorite thing: Between the Bridge and the Old Guildhall stands the 'modern' Guildhall, with its charming clock tower, built in Victorian times, and now referred to as the Town Hall.
Favorite thing: A picture of the East Looe Quayside, from the bridge. You will notice the fishing boats alongside, and the imposing 'modern' Town Hall, with its tower and clock.