The East and West Looe Rivers merge at Looe and divide the town into two parts. The town is connected by a bridge which was built in 1853. East Looe is the larger side of the town, and it is here that you will find the harbour. You can see the fishing boats unload their daily catches, a good viewpoint to watch the boats returning is the Banjo Pier. A lot of the catch is used in the town’s many restaurants, Looe is Cornwall’s second largest fishing port and the daily market gives the town a busy maritime feel.
Behind the harbour is the old town, with tall buildings, narrow streets and passageways and houses painted in a variety of colours. West Looe is smaller and has lovely views across to the harbour in East Looe.
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Things to see and do in and around Looe
Looe Beach is situated in East Looe, within easy walking distance of the town’s car parks. This sandy beach is sheltered by the famous Banjo Pier and is very popular with families.
Hannafore Beach is near to West Looe it is much quieter and mainly shingle with great rock pools to explore at low tide. It is also popular with dog walkers as it is one of the few dog friendly beaches around Looe.
In Looe’s museum there is a fascinating display of the town’s history from smuggling to fishing and boat building. The museum is housed in the oldest building in Looe, the Old Guildhall which dates back to 1500.
There are plenty of boat trips and fishing trips from Looe Harbour. Take a boat trip to Looe Island, this privately owned island is just off the coast. It is about 1.5km wide and covers an area of about 22.5 acres. It is a beautiful partly wooded island and from its highest point there are views to the Lizard Peninsula and Prawle Point in Devon. The island is open to day visitors; there are no roads, no shops and no cars.
Kilminorth Woods on the west bank of the West Looe River are delightful ancient woodland that are easily accessed from the main carpark in Looe. The marked paths lead through the oak woods and along the river which are rich in plant, insect and bird life, there are herons which nest on the opposite bank and Roe Deer which are very shy.
The Looe Valley Railway links the bustling market town of Liskeard to Looe, it is a very scenic route through the wooded Looe Valley and then past the Looe Estuary, where at low tide the river is full of wading birds, such as Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Oystercatchers and Curlews.