Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the historic fishing town of Fowey hangs off the west side of the Fowey estuary where the large, deep water harbour is a magnet for sailing fans. As visitors walk the ever narrowing streets of the old town where mediaeval and Georgian buildings cast shadows over each other, a vibrant maritime history comes to life.
The bustling small port still has a busy commercial life in addition to providing attractive moorings for leisure boats. Its harbour is flanked by fourteenth century blockhouses, one in Fowey and one on the opposite side of the river in Polruan, from which chains were once suspended to close the harbour mouth. Architectural and landmark highlights include its many historic buildings, such as the ruins of St Catherine’s Castle
Lining the main Fore Street travellers will find many small, independent shops selling unusual gifts, artwork, clothing and books, as well as galleries and restaurants.
Today the town relies heavily on the tourist season in the summer and thousands flock to Fowey from all over the country for its annual regatta and its Daphne du Maurier Festival in May, who perhaps is the most famous former resident of the town. The Daphne du Maurier Literary Centre is next to the church and contains information about all of Fowey’s literary connections. Visitors are often found immersing themselves in Du Maurier country, exploring the scenery immortalised in novels such as Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel.
Nearby beaches include Crinnis, Par Sands, Polkerris and many, many more. A ferry can be taken to the nearby fishing town of Mevagissey.
If visitors have the time and inclination to venture further afield, this is an ideal spot from which to explore many of Cornwall’s attractions. Take the car ferry to Bodinnick and discover the beaches around Looe and Talland Bay, take a 20-minute drive to the iconic biomes of the Eden Project, or explore The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
There is a full list of fabulous accommodation on Fowey’s Official Visitor Guide website. Click here for a list of B&Bs, guest houses and hotels showing availability for the Christmas market.
When it comes to eating out, prepare to be seriously spoilt for choice in Fowey, with the wide range of superb restaurants, pubs and cafés. There are cafes and bistros offering everything from award-winning ice-cream and homemade cakes to sandwiches and hot snacks.
And as you would expect from a town popular with tourists, Fowey is also well served by pubs and bars, catering for everyone from modern young couples to anglers wanting a quiet pint.
One thing you can count on is the fresh local food and drink in Fowey – most is likely to have been grown or caught within a few miles of the town. They even have their own mussel farm just offshore! Click here for a full list of Fowey’s most popular eateries.