10 Reasons to Visit Fowey
The first sight of Fowey, with its jumble of Georgian houses and pastel-coloured cottages running down to the busy river below, has captivated visitors for centuries. This medieval port lies at the mouth of the river Fowey – pronounced ‘foy’ like ‘soy’ – about half way between St Austell and Polperro in south-west Cornwall and still has an important maritime presence, trading in china clay. It is fascinating to see little fishing boats and ferries jostling with the big ships heading up river to the deep-water quays. And, like all ports, Fowey is bustling, lively and cosmopolitan, made up of pretty winding streets filled with quirky shops and restaurants, studded with architecture that nods at its ancient past. It’s the perfect playground for a family-friendly holiday or for those who need an interesting base to explore the nearby Cornish jewels on offer. Here are 10 reasons to visit.
Please check opening times before visiting any attractions and venues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. It has the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature
The literati have flocked to Fowey for hundreds of years, drawn by that sense of life on the river. Poet Robert Bridges said it is ‘the most poetic-looking place in England’ while Peter Pan author JM Barrie wrote that ‘it is but a toy town to look at, on a bay so small, hemmed in so picturesquely by cliffs and ruins, that of a moonlight night, it might pass for a scene in a theatre’. Fowey’s most famous fan was Daphne du Maurier, who wrote in her diary that ‘the place has taken hold of me’, when she first spent time there. It comes as no surprise that this fascinating little port has its own annual literary festival. The Covid-19 pandemic means that the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature won’t be on until May 2022, but the presence of its most famous resident is everywhere – Ferryside, by the quay in Bodinnick, was where du Maurier wrote her first novel and the author later lived at nearby Menabilly, the model for Manderley in her best-selling novel Rebecca. Find out more about du Maurier’s Cornwall here.
2. You can see the sights on a boat trip
3. It has its own aquarium
4. There are plenty of independent shops …
5. … and a plethora of art galleries
6. It’s a great base for exploring
7. Fresh fish is served in lovely restaurants
8. You can kayak to 'Wind in the Willows' Creek
9. You can walk in Daphne du Maurier’s footsteps
Fowey’s lovely Hall Walk includes two ferries: one from Fowey to Bodinnick and back over from Polruan. You could extend and go to beautiful Lantic Bay, too. Amble from Polruan up to Lanteglos to the small church where Daphne du Maurier married her handsome young major.