Planning a trip to the UK’s lesser-known and less touristy areas? Have you considered a holiday in Looe, Cornwall? It’s a quaint, seaside town with a rich history in fishing that still influences the daily lives of the roughly 5,000 locals to this day.
Long ago, Looe (translated from the Cornish “deep water inlet”) was actually two separate towns on opposite banks of the (aptly named) Looe river. Today, the town is a single, unified body connected with a bridge that spans the river.
Tourism drives much of the economy of modern Looe, which makes plenty of room available to vacation/holiday homes and guesthouses. Visitors are encouraged to visit the thriving “downtown” area of Looe which offers a large variety of shopping (particularly for beach equipment), as well as a large number of restaurants and pubs. Be sure to check out the latter for a taste of local ice cream and Cornish pasties.
If you’re keen to step out of town for a bit more interesting sight-seeing, the inland areas of Looe offer plenty of caravan and camping sites for the nature-centric traveler. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities here including diving, sailing, fishing and beachcombing … pretty much anything related to the water is on offer. (Bonus: don’t miss the Woolly monkey sanctuary – a unique, nearby diversion that’s well worth the trip).
If you’re planning a trip during low season (outside the hustle and bustle of summer), the town is still alive with entertainment and shopping for area locals. Every year in September, Looe offers the annual Looe Music Festival which virtually takes over the town in various venues throughout the harbor and the town itself.
Lastly, if you haven’t yet decided on when to go, we highly recommend a visit during New Year’s Eve. Even though the area gets a bit quieter in winter, the town goes all out for this annual holiday celebration. Locals (and travelers in-the-know) flood the streets bedecked in “fancy dress” – a long-held tradition that virtually the entire town happily and proudly takes part in. Festivities kickoff after sundown in town and progressively move to the waterfront, where everything commences in a spectacular fireworks event and the ringing in of the new year!