Looe is a Cornish fishing port and bustling holiday centre at the mouth of the River Looe some 7 miles (11 km) south of Liskeard. The river divides the port into East and West Looe, the twin towns being linked by a Victorian bridge with seven stone arches. Just off the harbour mouth lies St George's Island (known locally as Looe Island), once the site of a monastic chapel but now uninhabited and preserved as a nature reserve.

Looe River

Looe began life as twin fishing villages but the building of a canal link to the Liskeard area in the 19th Century transformed the growing communities into a successful commercial port. Copper and granite delivered by canal were exported and lime and coal imported. A large quay was built at East Looe to facilitate these operations. Later a railway line was built along the tow path which once carried only freight but these days conveys happy holiday makers down the pretty valley to Looe.

Today the major activity is welcoming holiday makers. East Looe with its fine sandy beach and distinctive Banjo Pier seems the major partner in this, its busy streets supporting shops selling everything from beach equipment to ice cream and the ubiquitous Cornish pasty. East Looe leans more towards the fishing trade. A small fleet of fishing boats still operate from the docks but the town is known mainly for shark fishing and is, in fact, the home port of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain.

Content by Steve B

Places of Interest in Looe

The Giant Hedge and Kilminorth Woods

The Giants Hedge can be found in Kilminorth Woods just to the north of West Looe. It is a prehistoric earthwork that once stretched from Looe to Lerryn, marking out the kingdom of some long forgotten Celtic warlord. It has always been a bit of a mystery; Cornish mothers used to tell their children: "One day the Devil with nothing to do built a great hedge from Lerryn to Looe". There is an ancient stone circle nearby and the woods have many sign posted public walks.

The Woolly Monkey Sanctuary

The Monkey Sanctuary is home to a colony of rescued Amazonian woolly monkeys. Here visitors can enjoy the antics of the monkeys as they forage and play in several large enclosures. There is also a bat cave with an infra red CCTV link permitting a glimpse into the habits of a resident colony of rare horseshoe bats.

Talland Bay

Talland Bay to west of Looe is known as the Playground of Plymouth. There are two sheltered shingle beaches and some spectacular seascapes. The Bay was a notorious haunt of smugglers and the scene of many shipwrecks.

Map of Looe


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