The River Fowey rises high on Bodmin Moor and winds its way across Cornwall to where it meets the sea on one of the most beautiful and un-spoilt parts of the south coast, much of which is owned and protected by the National Trust.
The port of Fowey has been in constant use since pre-Roman times when ships came to trade for the tin that was panned throughout Cornwall. The old castles which still guard the entrance to this lovely harbour were built following a raid by a Spanish fleet in 1380 and formerly housed the mechanism for raising and lowering a protective chain barrier stretched between them.
The village of Polruan on the East side of the harbour
The town of Fowey on the West side of the harbour
Nowadays, the harbour is used by several thousand yachts and pleasure boats which provide a fascinating spectacle with their multi-coloured sails and constant movement. Some 600 ships from all over the world visit each year and are seen moving sedately, guided along the deep water channel by the pilot boats and tugs. The many quiet creeks and inlets are easily explored by boat and have been a source of inspiration for authors such as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and Dame Daphne du Maurier who lived at Ferryside at Bodinnick for many years.
On the eastern edge of the harbour, the stone faced cottages of Polruan climb in untidy tiers up the steep sides of the valley. The two friendly pubs, few shops and strong local community help to maintain Polruan’s independence from its larger neighbour just across the harbour. Fowey on the western shore is a fascinating small town with a jumble of colour-washed houses, numerous quaint shops, pubs and restaurants centred on St Fimbarrus Church and Place House - two of its many historic buildings.
Fowey's popular beach Readymoney Cove
The passenger ferry landing at Polruan
The passenger ferry provides a vital link between Polruan and Fowey and allows easy exploration without the use of a car. Narrow winding streets, old buildings and country lanes provide a picturesque setting and whether you want an active holiday or just a few days in the sun the area is ideal. There are plenty of places to eat out and numerous lovely walks which are a superb way to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the area. The Hall Walk, Saints Way and South West Coast Path are the most popular and with a good map the possibilities are endless.
Sailing at Fowey
The sheltered harbour is an admirable base for the sailing enthusiast and the local waters abound with bass, mackerel, whiting and pollack to provide sport for the fisherman. Swim in one of the dozens of coves or just relax on the shore and enjoy the scenery.Back to about the area