Hiking the seascapes of Cornwall
Looe Travel Blog› entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
The best aspect of hiking in Cornwall was being right next to the Sea. The views were beautiful and the little villages quaint as they snuggled into the hills.
We stayed in Looe, a nice beach town with a good shopping area, a number of tasty restaurants - including many serving Cornish pasties, a few good pubs and a nice beach. We chose Looe because we wanted to see Cornwall, but did not want to spend the time getting to Pensanze, another train trip away at the tip of Cornwall. Looe is just over the border from Devon, so the very first stopping point possible from London.
Looe has a well trodden path to Polperro, a delightful artisan village nestled in the hills. We enjoyed both the hike and the great shopping & dining in Polperro. Unfortunately, if you don't hike both ways, the public transport from Looe to Polperro is erratic, which made for a long day for us as we waited over an hour for a return bus to Looe. Unusual for the UK, the bus simply didn't show up as scheduled. Since there was a huge group of tourists & locals, we figured eventually one would show up so we waited, but if we'd known, we would have hiked back and probably arrived at the same time. Hike time was about 2 hours with child & dog, easy going and great views.
Both Looe and Polperro are very family friendly - most of the restaurants have children's menus and our B&B also catered to kids.
On a second walking day, we chose to train to Lostwithiel for some inland Cornish hiking. Lostwithiel is a delightful medieval town with easily walkable streets and a few sights to see in addition to the main attraction - the Restormel Castle - the Black Prince's 11th century retreat. You can drive to the castle, but that's the easy way. We tried to find it by walking the long route, but made several false starts and wasted many hours because the path was not well marked - indeed not marked at all. We manged thanks to locals who didn't mind us ringing their doorbell and asking for directions. Thank you!! The short route is easily marked, but we wanted some adventure and got it!
After a couple more hours than necessary, we arrived at the castle, which is in a state of disrepair expected from an 11th century ruin.
If you take the long way, bring water and snacks and a sense of humor. The short route is short - passing a public bowling green and not far from Lostwithiel village center.
I have to acknowledge my niece here, who - when we were about to give up and take the easy route to the Castle, insisted that we persevere! She made it an adventurous day, with a good story, as opposed to a messed up map day that ended in frustration. Although it wasn't what we expected, it was a delightful day full of pleasant surprises, people, horses and scenery.