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Offbeat Places to Visit Near Fowey

There is so much to see and do in beautiful Cornwall, but many people end up sticking to paths well worn by tourists, missing some unique Cornish sites. Staying in Fowey, a charming maritime town on Cornwall’s south coast, puts you within easy reach of some of the most beautiful spots in the county and when offering Fowey exploration tips, we recommend seeking out some of the offbeat places Fowey has to offer. By making the most of the opportunity to delve into some of the lesser-known places this gorgeous, history-rich region, you may stumble upon some secret gems in Cornwall .

Cornwall, in General

You really cannot go wrong visiting Cornwall, whether you are taking in the same thing every tourist sees or looking for Cornwall’s hidden attractions. This peninsula, bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, is an absolutely gorgeous place to explore, with long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, idyllic rivers, colourful gardens, quaint fishing villages, and much, much more. Nowhere in Cornwall is more than 20 miles from the sea, and the county features more than 400 miles of coastline. No matter how you want to spend your time, you will find something to hold your interest in Cornwall. We could tell you to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, or wonder at the Eden Project, but those are spots that every tourist hits. Instead, we will look for some slightly less well-travelled spots that you will be glad you visited. 

·        Golitha Falls: If you are looking for an ancient woodland wonderland, this is the place to explore. Cascading waterfalls, babbling, brooks, secluded plunge pools, and emerald green lagoons await, amidst paths and trails, and clearings full of wildflowers. If you are a foodie, we have even better news for you. Within this extraordinary location is also a hidden gem of a restaurant called Inkie’s Smokehouse. There, you can delight in barbecue, burgers, mac and cheese, s’mores, and sundaes, in a rustic, al fresco setting.

·        The Hidden Hut on Porthcurnick Beach: Tucked away in a spot that is easy to miss, along the coast path, this foodie haven is, nonetheless, unmissable! During daylight hours, there is a small menu of simple lunches and lighter fare to be enjoyed on the beach. The thing that makes it truly special is that the menu is sourced from local ingredients and prepared fresh every morning. At night, it is a different world, with open-air feasts cooked outdoors, and each event built around a signature dish.

·        Gwennap Pit in Redruth: This unusual site was turned into a preaching pit in 1762, by John Wesley, but the original pit was probably caused by a natural depression, possibly  a  partial collapse into an abandoned mine below. It never collects water, and in the early 1800s local miners cut 12 terraces into the pit. Now , it is still used for religious events, particularly the annual gathering on Whitsun.

·        Goldiggins Quarry, at Bodmin Moor: This hidden, crystal clear quarry lake is about a 20-minute walk from the Hurler’s car park, and it is the perfect place for a wild swim. There are shallow spots and a waterfall, but also plenty of ledges for more adventurous swimmers. The surrounding area is perfect for a picnic, and overall, it is an ideal place for a family outing.


·        The Manacles off the Lizard Peninsula: This treacherous area for boaters is ideal for divers, because of all the vessels it has claimed over the years. One of the most famous wrecks in the area is that of the Mohegan, a Victorian passenger steamer that sank on its second voyage in 1898, in a wreck that was a true tragedy. Today, divers still occasionally find new artefacts in the wreckage. 

Fowey, In Particular

Just as Cornwall is a wonderful place to explore, Fowey is a lovely little town you will not regret visiting. Nestled into the banks of the River Fowey, this charming maritime town is one of the county’s most beautiful location. This town has strong literary ties, as it can claim ties to several famous authors, including both Daphne du Maurier and Rosamunde Pilcher. Stroll its streets, have a pasty or some fish and chips, explore the many shops and eateries, spend time appreciating the beauty of Fowey Harbour, spend a beach day at Readmoney Cove, visit St Catherine’s Castle, and do all the things that delight tourists and locals alike, and you are sure to have a fine time. However, if you are looking for something a little bit quirky to do in Fowey, we have some suggestions: 

·        Lantic Bay: A two-mile walk from Fowey, along the South West Coast Path, you will find this astonishingly beautiful hidden cove. Along your walk, you are sure to see some stunning views, and there are viewpoints and benches along the way, where you can stop and appreciate the breathtaking surroundings. The real reward comes when you take a footpath through an unassuming field to find a gorgeous view of the Bay’s emerald water. This beautiful, secluded, and often empty beach is only accessible by a steep climb, 20-minute climb down the cliffside, but it is well worth the effort. If you are not keen on making the walk from Fowey to Lantic Bay, you can also reach it by taking the Bodinnick Car Ferry, then driving to the National Trust car park opposite the Lantic Bay footpath.

·        Fowey’s Lanes: While you will find plenty to keep you occupied in the bustling centre of town, including shops, bakeries, restaurants, a small museum, and a little aquarium, one of the best things to do is simply explore the town’s charming lanes. Winding passages and ancient alleyways will take you to some impressive views and hidden waterfront spots, and along the way you will enjoy an interesting mix of medieval and Georgian buildings.

·        The Quiet Garden: On the grounds of the Old Grammer School, along the Esplanades in Fowey, is this beautiful little garden, which is completely free to visit. It is a tranquil escape from the bustle of town, and has been an oasis right in the heart of Fowey since 1692. While in the garden, you will enjoy the gorgeous plants, but you will also be treated to uninterrupted views of the waterfront that you will not find anywhere else in Fowey.

·        The Ferry to Polruan: The tiny fishing village of Polruan sits just across the estuary from Fowey, and it is easy to reach by ferry or boat. It features steep, sloping hills, winding backstreets, and ancient fisherman’s cottage, with a simpler ambiance than Fowey, but the best part is the view. Make your way to the top of the village, and you will be rewarded with a view of Fowey from a completely different perspective, especially gorgeous at sunset.


·        Exploring the Estuary: The Fowey Estuary is certainly not a secret, but discovering it for yourself is an absolute must when you are looking for hidden gems in Fowey. Rent a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak, and you can get a close look at the local wildlife as you move through the gorgeous estuary at your own pace. You will see Fowey in an entirely different way, and perhaps find some secret spots of your own, to which you will want to return time and time again. 

Base Your Fowey Adventure Around the Old Quay House Hotel

Which of these offbeat places sparks your imagination and piques your interest? You can explore them all from The Old Quay House Hotel. This is the perfect place to launch your adventures, and after a long day, you can come back to relax and get ready for the next part of your holiday. For more information about our accommodation, special offers, or our spectacular restaurant, call +44 0172 683 3302, email [email protected], or contact us through our website. 

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