The bustling town of Looe is divided by the ever-changing river that separates quieter West Looe from the absorbing waterfront of East Looe, with its diversity of shops, restaurants and pubs, Banjo pier and sandy beach.
The pace and routine of life in Looe follows the ebb and flow of the tide and the movement of boats returning with their catch of fresh fish. Local boatman can ferry visitors to and from either quay, or alternatively, you can enjoy a pleasant cruise along the beautiful and rugged coastline, keeping an eye out for the schools of dolphins that can often be spotted in the bay.
A guided tour will draw you deeper into the labyrinth of ancient buildings, clustered together in the narrow streets and courtyards that make up the old town of East Looe. Visit the 16th century Old Guildhall museum with its interesting exhibits detailing the town's diverse history, or relax and just while away the hours on the wonderful sandy beach, separated from the river mouth by the Banjo Pier.
The South East Cornish coastline is dotted with lovely beaches, hidden coves, and pretty seaside villages to explore. You can also join the magnificent South West Coast Path to enjoy bracing cliff top walks with spectacular views.
For a different kind of day out, the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary is just outside Looe, providing vital refuge for primates in need, and a fascinating family activity whilst supporting a great cause.
A holiday cottage in lively Looe offers a convenient base for enjoying the diverse range of things to do in the seaside town and the surrounding South East Cornish coastline.
Owned by the East Loose Town Trust, the Looe Museum is managed by a small community of volunteers, and gives a delightful insight into the history and character of the area. It’s an opportunity to develop your knowledge of the town and locality whether you’re a first time visitor or frequent tourist. They frequently house new exhibitions and take part in local events, acting as a supportive part of the community. In 2016 they celebrated the 150th anniversary of the lifeboats in Looe for example, by loaning some of its objects to the RNLI for a dedicated exhibition. Admission is £2 for adults, £1 for children, and £4.50 for families.
(1)View all Reviews
The kids loved this compact museum especially the lady in the prison! We kept our tickets as you can return for free and they did, twice!! ????????
Linking the bustling market town of Liskeard and the picturesque fishing port of Looe, the Looe Valley Railway Line takes you on a journey through an abundance of landscapes from heavily wooded valleys teaming with wildlife to glorious estuary views as the river meets the sea. See the river full of wading birds such as Litte egrets, Grey herons, Oystercatchers and Curlews, before stopping in Looe to explore the beaches, restaurants, shops and pubs. Take a peek at their online journey planner for prices and timetables. Dogs go free (up to two dogs per person).
On an island just off the coast of Looe, the aptly named Looe Island Nature Reserve is brimming with marine wildlife. The island provides a variety of habitats including woodland, maritime, grassland, sand, shingle and rocky reef, and is part of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone. Trips run from Easter until around the end of September, although all visits are weather and tide dependent. The crossing via a passenger boat named Moonraker takes 20 minutes and you will then have about two hours to explore. The return boat fee is £7 per adult and £5 per child, and then there’s a landing fee of £4 per adult and £1 per child. You can then book guided walks online in advance, which are £25 including the boat and landing fee. What makes the island so beautiful is its ruggedness and as such there are not any cafes or refreshments available, and dogs are not permitted. However, there is a compost toilet should you need it.
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No trip to Looe is complete without this experience . Had a wonderful few hours on the island . The wardens were lovely and very informative . It really was a special place and a must for anyone interested in wildlife .
Nicely refurbished but a bit too much towards a wine bar rather than a "traditional pub" as quoted. Beer was fine but we skipped ordering food as menu aimed more at "trendy" options. Disappointing considering it is within a hundred yards of Looe fish quay, and it is the fresh fish and seafood that Looe is noted for.
Award-winning bistro serving the freshest local fish, shellfish, meat and farm produce with its seasonally changing menu. A wonderful place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply a coffee and a slice of cake. Al fresco dining available in the Mediterranean garden. Restaurant open seasonally.
The Courtyard, Fore St, Looe, Cornwall, PL13 1AE (T: 01503 264494)
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Great chowder in a lovely setting.
This place is an absolute gem and is a must for anyone who enjoys high quality scrumptious food. Initially we popped in for lunch of crab sandwich and prawn salad - what a delight indeed - I can honestly say it was the best crab sandwich I have ever eaten in my sixty years - and I have eaten a lot over that time! We were both so impressed we booked for dinner that same evening and were treated to a gastronomic delight of various fish, seafood and steak dishes accompanied with good wine and backed up by excellent service standards. The evening was topped off with an excellent selection of desserts - a most enjoyable evening indeed! Highly recommended.
Excellent food, good pint of Doom Bar, nice log fire. What more could you want?
Very pet friendly pub with great food.
Loved this pub, atmosphere great, food a must. Booking is essential though which we did after trying to get in twice before
The beer is good and the food good value pub food. I had fish pie on a cold day and it was warming and wholesome. The best thing about the pub in poor weather is the roaring open fire. It must be the best pub fire in Cornwall. Dogs love it. On one visit our dog didn’t want to leave.
Warm and comfortable, good food, friendly staff and good atmosphere.
Former quayside warehouse, reputed to be a former haunt for smugglers and sea faring men in the 16th century. Today the Old Sail Loft is one of the top restaurants in Looe, specialising in classic/modern cuisine serving delicious steaks and fresh local fish from the quay, overlooking the pretty harbour.
The Old Sail Loft, Quay St, Looe, Cornwall, PL13 1AP (T: 01503 262131)
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Always fab food
We were seated upstairs on a Thursday night around 7.45pm. The meal started well. Nice starters. Took a while for our plates to be cleared. When the mains did arrive they were tasty, but a bit on the small size. Desserts arrived before our plates had been cleared. Nobody came back after we had finished eating. Felt like we were completely forgotten about. After 25 mins or so, one of us had to go downstairs and ask for the bill. After waiting another 10-15 mins, nobody had given us the bill so we all got up and went downstairs to pay. We were told sorry, but they had been busy changing a pump, or something, on the drinks. For the prices of the food we had expected better service to be honest. We would not go back again. Either more staff are needed or some staff training is needed. It was actually very quiet by the time we were half way through our meal and we were one of the last tables to leave. So they were not rushed off of their feet. A real shame as we went there after reading some good reviews.
Amazing food and service. The only thing that annoyed me was the late table. Our reservation was for 7:45 and we had to wait in the bar for half an hour before our table was ready.
Pretty, retro style café in the heart of east Looe serving all day breakfasts, soup, jackets, large daisy shaped scones in five different flavours, cornish pasties (including gluten free options) cakes and much more. Open six days a week all year round, and seven days a week bank holidays and school holidays. Welcomes kids, dogs and muddy boots.
Daisy's Café, Castle St, Looe PL13 1BA (T: 07988 803315)
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Daisy cafe does the BEST breakfast in Looe, very tasty & proper doorstep toast!
It's brilliant already given it glowing review on TripAdvisor.
Really lovely place. Loads to look at. Tucked away but worth finding. Beautiful food.
We visited Daisy's twice during our week's holiday. A delightful quirky, retro little café, wonderful friendly service (well you can't fault a lady from the East Midlands!) and delicious food .... never had better scones!
Small, cosy and (dog)friendly........perfect.
Good food and good service love it
In East Looe, the beach sits directly in front of the old town, sheltered by the Banjo Pier and overlooked from the east by the hillside of Mount Ararat. A good family beach that has something for everyone, at low tide the sandy location is safe for swimming although it’s recommended you steer clear of the river mouth beyond the pier. The beach backs on to a seafront walkway which runs its length all the way to Second Beach to the east, where it tends to be less busy and it’s good for snorkeling. As it’s in the centre of the town there are lots of facilities and cafes nearby, but in the summer it’s a very popular spot and parking can be tricky, with traffic prohibited during these months, so be prepared for a bit of a walk.
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Lovely beach and even when it was busy didn't feel overcrowded
Really good! Good sand and sea. Activities for the kids too. Difficult to get to cos no parking nearby.
Looe beach and seafront is cleaned every day (in season?) and looks good. A joy to sit and watch the sea and people passing by.
Half a mile west of Looe, stretching along the coast, Hannafore Beach is a sandy, shingle bay with a rocky reef and views of St George’s Island. At low tide it’s brimming with rock pools, making it fun and games for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s a wonderful sun trap in summer months thanks to its south east facing position. Because of its location over the river, the beach never really becomes too busy, but equally there aren’t any facilities nearby. It’s popular with dog walkers as it’s amongst the few dog-friendly beaches in the area, and having explored you can extend your excursion to a stroll along the promenade or a potter around the coast path to the wonderfully scenic Talland Bay. There is roadside parking along the sea front above the beach, but it can be difficult to find a space. Alternatively, there is a large car park in West Looe, around 10 minutes away on foot.
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One of the many dog friendly beaches we visited lovely coastal walks to Talland Bay the nature reserve island is very interesting great refreshments available and not forgetting the free parking available all day which is very useful.
Great beach. Good view of looe island. Loads of shells to collect. Lots of dog walkers tho!
An interesting beach, but beware the incoming tide !
A small and pleasant grey sand beach with rocks exposed at low tide, Plaidy Beach is simply a nice place to visit and take in the scenery. There aren’t any facilities, and there’s no parking nearby so it’s one to reach on foot. There’s a slipway to the beach, but you will have to access it by walking along the coast path, parking at Millendreath or Looe and it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s quite steep from both directions. Millendreath is closer and the walk should take around 20 minutes. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, so it’s a charming place to take them for a walk while you’re in the area.
Millendreath Beach is a south facing beach at the foot of a wooded valley, in a sheltered cove with soft sand and lots of rock pools to explore at low tide. It’s connected to other nearby beaches by the South West Coast Path. Dogs aren’t allowed on this beach at any time of the year, and there is a reasonably sized car park a few minutes walk away. The beach is popular with families on holiday in Cornwall, and most of the surrounding area is occupied by a holiday park, so there are lot of facilities open to the public.
A small, quiet beach between Looe and Polperro, Talland Bay actually comprises two beaches, one of which has sand both at low and high tide and is good for swimming all the time, while the other is less sandy and is easiest to swim from at high tide. There is a ramp for launching boats from the main beach and there are lots of small coves and tidal pools to swim in as well, so it’s a delightful area to explore in the water. Parking is limited, but there is a small, free car park by the beach and paid parking at The Beach Café, all of which provide easy access to the sand. Thanks to the nearby café, visitors can also benefit from the accompanying facilities, on-site shop, and tuck into Roskillys Cornish Ice-Cream as well.
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Great beach pet friendly beach with rock pools etc for the dogs to explore
Brilliant. Bit seaweedy. Wear beach shoes incase of weever fish stings.
An interesting beach at low tide and lovely views.