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Situated on the South coast at the mouth of the River Fowey, a very popular destination for visitors of all nationalities.
It has an ancient charm all its own with medieval and tudor cottages set in steep narrow lanes with spectacular views across the river.
The town has strong connections with Daphne Du Maurier who spent most of her life in this area. A festival is held during May of each year.
The town also holds the Fowey Regatta Week in August, it attracts visitors and locals alike, this is highlighted by a display by the Red Arrows.
The estuary is one of the most picturesque and unspoilt area on the South Coast, much being owned by the National Trust. To really appreciate the fine scenery it is necessary to walk, explore the many little inlets and woodland walks that both visitors and locals enjoy all year round.
Fowey, with its narrow little streets and quays provide all essential shopping plus craft shops, excellent restaurants and pubs.
Boat trips from the town quay, passenger ferry to Polruan, car ferry on the eastern edge of town.
Summary: A very popular town, lovely walks. Nearest beaches at Polkerris and Par. Both sandy and safe, good pub on the beach at Polkerris. Many return visitors.
A picturesque old port with a long seafaring history. It has steep narrow streets and alleyways that lead down to one of the best natural harbours on the south coast.
Fowey has a mixture of architectural styles ranging from Elizabethan to Edwardian.
Fowey was an important port in the middle ages, once known to have been used by the Romans. The town lies on the trade route between Ireland and continental Europe which crossed Cornwall via the River Camel estuary. Today, it is a long distance footpath called the 'Saints Way'.
As a busy port, Fowey was also home to its own pirates. The 'Fowey Gallants', not only preyed on ships in the English Channel but also along the French coast.
In the 19th century Fowey became an important China Clay port and its harbour was filled with sailing ships. The sailing ships have long since disappeared but it is still a busy place with large clay boats, fishing boats and pleasure craft which make full use of the deep water. There are approximately 7000 visiting craft during the summer months and 1500 resident craft.
Around the town's main square there are several interesting old buildings, these include the 'Toll Bar', which dates from the 14th, 15th, and 16th, centuries.
In the town is St Fimbarrius Parish Church. The church was built on the site of the 7th century chapel St Goran. A Norman church took its place in around 1150, this was rebuilt in the 14th century after a raid by pirates. The town's museum is an excellent place to discover Fowey's colourful history.
Fowey and the surrounding area have many literary connections, next to the church is the Daphne Du Maurier Literary Centre. There are two main literary connections, Daphne Du Maurier 1907 – 1989 who lived at nearby Bodinnick. Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, whoe lived for 50 years at 'The Haven'. Sir Arthur, who wrote as 'Q' was a Cambridge professor, the sometime mayor of Fowey, editor of the Oxford Book of Verse and author of several books connected to Fowey.
To the south of Fowey and at the entrance to the estuary is Readymoney Cove. This is the only beach that can be described as being in the town, it is sheltered and quite small, it is not recommended for bathing as there are strong estuary currents.
Next to the beach are the ruins of St Catherine's Castle. This is one of a chain of fortifications along the south coast. It was built by Henry Vlll to protect the harbour and is now owned by English Heritage.
To the west of Fowey lies the 7' tall 'Tristan Stone', not in its original position is a 6th century monument.
Just across the river from Fowey is Polruan, information on Polruan can be seen on the Polruan page. A passenger ferry regularly runs to the village.
There is also a car ferry approximately half a mile up the river that crosses to Bodinnick. Close to the slipway stands the house which Daphne Du Maurier lived in before her marriage and when she wrote her first novel 'The Loving Spirit'.
The actual centre of Fowey and the shopping area consists in the main of one street. There are numerous minor allyways and side streets winding up steep hills and along the estuary frontage.
The shops, cafes and restaurants are all steeped in character that only age brings. It is a very popular destination during the summer months, both with visitors staying locally or with the many sailing boats that use this safe anchorage.
Although Readymoney Cove is the only beach actually in Fowey there are others close by, these include:
A full description of these can be seen on our beach pages.
Events and Attractions in and around Fowey:
The Fowey Lifeboat Week - mid July for 1 week
Headland Gardens - 1 ½ acres of cliff top garden with magnificent views over the river and sea. Cream teas available – no dogs.
Entry - £2 50p - children £1 00p
All proceeds to the RNLI
Open every Thursday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Historical Guided Walks:
Every Tuesday at 11.00 a.m. from the town quay, duration 2 hours - £3 50p per adult
The Fowey Regatta Week: www.foweyroyalregatta.co.uk
Held in August this includes boat races, firework display, carnival procession, red arrows display team, gig and boat racing. There is a very full an interesting itinerary, for full details please visit the above site.
Daphne Du Maurier FestivalWeek:
Held during the early part of May this is concentrated around the Fowey area.
Please see www.dumaurier.org/festival.html for full up to date details.
Major attractions nearby include:
The Eden Project
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Wheal Maryn Clay Museum
Charlestown Tall Ships
The accommodation in Fowey is quite spread out as the town itself is quite small.
In the town centre there are primarily:
Fowey guesthouses - these are often quaint little fishermen's cottages converted into small guesthouses.
Fowey self catering - these are split into two categories:
Fowey apartments - not many of these, most of the self catering in Fowey tends to be fisherman's cottages, these are quite numerous, many are basically second homes being let out when not in use by the owners. Unfortunately, like most popular places in Cornwall this tends to increase the cost of property putting it out of reach of the local population.
The hotels in Foweyare not numerous considering the town's popularity but they tend to be of excellent quality.
Many of the hotels in Fowey are to be found on the approach roads.
The Fowey camp sites and caravan parks are all on the outskirts in the surrounding countryside. The main one is at nearby Par.
One problem that Fowey has during high summer and it could be said is a victim of its own success, is that of parking. There are 2 main car parks for the town.
One is approached via the backroad into Fowey, going down Passage Lane signposted Bodinnick Ferry. There are 2 car parks here more or less side by side, it is an approximate 10 min reasonably flat walk into the town centre.
The other main car park is immediately above the town, it is well signposted. It is about a 5 minute walk into the town but be warned, the hill is very steep, especially coming back?
There is an additional car park that is worth mentioning, this is the seaward side of the main car park. Follow the road (Hanson Drive) beyond the main car park to the very end. A pleasant 10 minute walk into the town.