Proudly straddling the estuaries of the wooded East and West Looe river creeks, the bustling quaysides of Looe are linked by its imposing 7 arched bridge, and when the tide is in, by a short ferry ride across the river divide.
East Looe has a holiday resort feel, with a reputation built upon since Victorian times, when the arrival of the railway in 1879 brought the towns new found fame, including the first ever bathing machines. Over in West Looe there is access to quieter beach walking along a rocky foreshore, dominated by views of offshore Looe Island, a protected marine reserve and reached by the cliffside path known locally as the Khyber Pass (you will see why.) For those who want to end their walk with a dip, East Looe Beach is the centre of the town's waterside activity. The main beach can be rather crowded, but the second (or Saunders) beach offers both swimming and rock pools without the crowds. For those with time it is an easy place to take to the water, with regular boat trips to Looe Island, offshore to fish for mackerel or inland up the wooded estuary all start from the quay.
For the hungry walker Looe is large enough to offer some high-quality dining experiences around the harbour, as well as the usual array of salty pubs – and of course a plentiful supply of fresh fish. A labyrinth of narrow lanes by the harbour provides a mix of shops, cafés and facilities and you can also take in the Old Guildhall Museum, based in the old magistrates court and cells.
The Harbour itself is stacked high with lobster pots and the trappings of a small scale fishing fleet that plies in and out of the river mouth. Back from the coastline are the wooded river creeks of the West and East Looe valleys which provide a quieter home to an array of local wildlife, a tranquil spot for a picnic or an easily accessible evening amble.