Memories of Looe

guest postThis is a guest post from Phil Crouch-Baker who used to visit Looe as a child some 40 years ago.

As a young boy visiting Looe for the first time some 40 years ago, my clearest memories are of the sharks.

Huge beasts suspended by thick tails for weighing at the quay side. Lifeless, but still menacing with their razor sharp grin.

Read more about Phil’s Memories of Looe

Travelling from Kent, holidays in Looe were always an adventure – Cornwall was almost a foreign land.

My brother and I looked forward to the delights of East Looe beach, with its arched sweep of golden sand and buying a buried treasure map or two.

the perfect spot for crabbing or scoffing a Mr Whippy, double flaked of course

Looe harbour, filled with brightly decked fishing boats, was the perfect spot for crabbing or scoffing a Mr Whippy, double flaked of course. With our parents, we strolled around quiet streets of East and West Looe, stopping at cafés and rock pooling on Hannafore’s rugged beach. Looe was fun.

25 years on

25 years on, I returned for a few days and, apart from a large car park, Looe town still regained its picturesque charm.

Attractive, flower adorned houses climbed the hillsides, whilst pretty twittens still encouraged you to explore for that quaint tea shop or unusual gift.

By now, I was a serious outdoor enthusiast and jumped on the Looe Valley Line to Coombe. The line follows the East Looe river, busy with small sail boats and fishermen. From Coombe station, I cut west to Herodsfoot and returned to Looe via the pretty West Looe river path. Just one of many great walks in the area.

In the evenings, Looe town would explode into a myriad of rainbow lights drawing you into the many restaurants and pubs.

In the evenings, Looe town would explode into a myriad of rainbow lights drawing you into the many restaurants and pubs. Looe is very family orientated and offers a varied menu for all tastes and wallets!

My last visit was in June, 2011. Friends who moved to East Looe a few years ago, invited me to their wedding at the Town Hall.

I stayed in a quiet B&B for a couple of days in West Looe over looking St George’s Island, known locally as Looe Island and couldn’t help smiling to myself as memories flooded back. The wedding was a lovely affair, with eats and drinks at the popular Polraen Country House Hotel at Sandplace, just outside of Looe.

The following day, my attention focussed on the walk I had planned – Looe to West Combe via Polperro leaving from West Looe. Blue sunshine accompanied me on this fantastic cliff top walk. My route is a small part of the famous South West Coast Path which stretches for 630 miles from Minehead to Pool Harbour, Dorset. Looe, being on the path, is a popular stop over point for walkers on this classic.

Polperro is a visitors delight. With its whitewashed cottages and no cars, it is just one of many charming villages within walking or driving distance of Looe, along with numerous stunning beaches such as Downderry and Seaton.

My experiences of Looe have always been pleasant, relaxing and sometimes exciting. A friendly, family town with a little something for everyone.

There is one thing though in Looe that I don’t miss. Since 1994, the sharks are no longer brought into Looe harbour for weighing. Instead, they are measured and released. One of the few changes in Looe, but for the better.

If you would like to write a post for ILoveLooe please send it to me via the contact page. I welcome any interesting stories, memories or photos from the past and I know that others will too.

Also, please comment on Phil’s post, I’m sure he’d appreciate any memories you have of Looe too.

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About iLoveLooe

Cornwall was always one of our dream places to live, so we upped sticks in 2007 and moved to Looe. I now run iLoveLooe.co.uk and various social media locations for Looe on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Say 'Hi' sometime.