My day out: Looe Valley Line & Golitha Falls

Written by Lucy the Westie

During a heatwave, it’s a bother being stuck in a hot car journey when you’re a dog, so my humans and I decided to take the train from Liskeard to the busy seaside town of Looe, where we took in the lovely estuary views along the way.

Looe Valley Line has been in operation since 1901 and it was like stepping back in time once we were on the platform; the station master kindly found me a water bowl as it was a warm day. Along the scenic journey, Mummy Char, Auntie Ali and I were surprised to see that the driver had to run through the train’s two carriages to change ends while the conductor jumped down to change the points — I barked at this because it was very funny. The views through the wooded valley and alongside the tidal East Looe River during the journey meant there was lots to see.

When we arrived in Looe, my little legs were pleased to discover it was just a five minute walk away from the town centre and ten minutes from the beach. With rumbling tummies, we found a nice table outside The Cornerstone Bar & Grill and settled down to a fantastic brunch. I can highly recommend the sausages that found their way to me beneath the table.

There were lots of interesting sights and smells to take in throughout Looe, and activities available for everybody to enjoy; from wheelchair access, kids crabbing on the quay, dog-friendly shops, cafes and restaurants, to a vibrant fish market to explore.

After being fed and watered, we set off exploring the narrow streets in the picturesque seaside town. I may not be allowed on the sandy beach during summertime but we still enjoyed walking along the promenade and Banjo Pier on the seafront, as well as indulging in an ice cream. However, we were very shocked when a naughty seagull dive-bombed towards us and stole our cone!

Knowing that Looe is a popular destination, we decided to head to Golitha Falls by early afternoon, where it was much cooler and and I could paddle in the stream to my heart’s content, surrounded by beautiful woodland.

It only took thirty minutes from Looe station back to Liskeard before driving a short way to get to the falls on Bodmin Moor. There were lots of canine pals I met on the trails in Draynes Wood and we had fun exploring alongside the River Fowey before heading down to a series of cascading waterfalls. Afterwards, we made our way to Inkie’s Smokehouse located in the car park for some refreshments, where Mummy Char and Auntie Ali had some delicious looking milkshakes that went down a treat.

Top tips for visiting Looe and Golitha Falls:

  • An off-peak day return adult ticket on the Looe Valley Line is £4.50, while a child’s ticket is £2.25. Under 5s and dogs travel free of charge.
  • Park at Liskeard station to save money on parking — just £2.20 a day.
  • If you’re interested in history, download the free Looe Valley Line Heritage app on your phone to discover historical photos and stories from the train line’s past.
  • Trains from Liskeard to Looe run Monday to Saturday all year round, plus Sundays from March to October. These run roughly every hour until early evening — two dogs on leads per person are welcome.
  • You can visit Looe Island, a local nature reserve cared for by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, by boat from the quayside on certain days.
  • Wear suitable footwear at Golitha Falls — trying to climb over logs and tree roots in flip flops can be tricky.