Things to do in Fowey

Here are some of our favourite things to do in Fowey.

While the town remains a bustling commercial port today, its history spans hundreds of years, so there are plenty of things to do during your stay. Whether you prefer a quiet weekend of coffee shops and galleries or a fun packed family holiday, Fowey’s beautiful setting and friendly atmosphere will leave you with long lasting memories. The historic town of Fowey is situated on the Fowey Estuary on the South coast of Cornwall.

Things to do in Fowey - Hall Walk

Take in the scenery

The Polperro Heritage Coast in which Fowey is located is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With beautiful woodlands, hidden coves and undulating coastal paths to be explored it is the perfect destination for nature lovers and hikers.

If you are a fan of coastal walks, venturing East across the river to Polruan will take you towards the town of Polperro, with many hidden beaches to be discovered along the way. Alternatively to the West there is a circular route taking you along the coastal path to Polridmouth beach.

The Fowey Estuary provides a picturesque walk mapped out by the National Trust taking in points of interest along the way. Further inland take in the beautiful woodlands of ancient oaks, and explore up the Fowey river, discovering the villages of Lerryn, Penpoll and Golant.

St Catherine’s Castle

Discover the history of Fowey

For history lovers, Fowey’s medieval past can be glimpsed in the buildings and ruins that still remain, throughout the town centre and beyond, along the stunning backdrop of the estuary.

In Tudor times the mouth of the Fowey river was a strategic vantage point for preventing a potential French Invasion. St Catherine’s Castle, situated on the headland, was one of a number of fortresses built by Henry VIII along the Coast and its remains can be visited today. The fort was used during the Crimean War and the Second World War, but today is managed by English Heritage. It can be accessed by a footpath leading up from Readymoney Cove beach below and offers a superb view of the harbour and across the Channel.

Also of interest are the twin blockhouses, built on either side of the river, with one in Fowey and the other in Polruan. During the 100 year war a chain was suspended between the two blockhouses to prevent French ships from entering the harbour.

Fowey Town

Browse the town centre and waterfront

If you are looking for things to do in the rain, Fowey’s town centre is a hub of bijou gift shops and independent cafes. Here you can while away a relaxing afternoon soaking up local artwork, culture and cuisine.

The waterfront is lined with pubs and restaurants, allowing you to sample locally sourced seafood, meats and cheeses, whilst enjoying a view of the harbour. If you are interested in the long history of Fowey, there are guided walking tours available through the town, or you can check out the small Fowey Museum housed in one of the oldest 15th century buildings in the town, exhibiting an array of local artefacts.

Fowey Harbour

Explore the harbour and heart of Fowey

The water is an important part of Fowey life, and many of the things to do in Fowey centre around boats and seafaring activities. As a popular sailing destination, Fowey hosts a sailing regatta every summer.

Boat tours of the harbour leave regularly from the quay and allow you to enjoy the harbour from a different vantage point. For the more adventurous traveller, you can hire a boat to enjoy the water at your own pace, or try paddle boarding or other watersports on the estuary.

A short ferry ride will take you across the estuary to Polruan, the town on the opposite side of the river mouth, and home to the second blockhouse that is twinned with Fowey. Enjoy the view back towards Fowey from across the water as you explore another of Cornwall’s charming villages.

Daphne Du Maurier’s house

Enjoy the local arts and events

The annual Fowey Festival pays tribute to the town’s literary and artistic roots. Taking place in May each year, this eclectic festival celebrates local music, literature and artwork through exhibitions, workshops and tours and is an event not to be missed for the art lover.

Fowey is famed for its link with the author Daphne Du Maurier, who lived and wrote her first novel here, first visiting with her family in a house on the waterfront and later rented the Menabilly estate nearby. Memorabilia and details of her life can be found in the Fowey Museum, and her legacy is felt throughout the town.

Cornwall is home to many artists and Fowey’s shops and galleries offer a range of local artwork to be purchased and enjoyed.

A visit to Fowey is a perfect way to experience some of the best things Cornwall has to offer. Breath-taking scenery, seafaring lifestyle and art and culture surround the life of this quaint port town. Fowey’s charm will remain with you long after your holiday ends. Click here to see the top 10 B&B’s in Fowey.

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