Polperro is blessed with local shops selling local crafts and artefacts, several art galleries, many high quality restaurants, and welcoming pubs.
Food and Drink
There are a number of great places to eat, from high end dining to fish and chips or pizza. Some restaurants are closed during winter season, but food is always available in the village pubs.
Some of our favourite restaurants include The Kitchen for quality cooking, Michelle's for great seafood and more, Couch's for high end dining, and The House On The Props for afternoon tea in addition to appetising evening meals.
There are great pubs on offer, including The Blue Peter, which serves great food, and has live music at weekends. There is also the nearby Three Pilchards, famous for being the oldest pub in Polperro. Or why not try The Ship Inn, The Old Millhouse Inn, or The Crumplehorn Inn (ask for the cottage loaf special, but starve yourself for at least half a day first!), and the recently re-opened Noughts and Crosses.
You can catch a multitude of small boats from the jetty by the beach. Between Easter and November you can catch a boat to neighbouring Looe or Fowey, or simply have a half hour spin along the coast and back. It is also possible to hire a boat, either on a fishing trip, or to look for ocean wildlife, including - if you're fortunate - dolphins, porpoises, seals, and basking sharks. More information is available from Polperro Boat Trips
About 20 yards from the Cottage, there is a small beach. Explore the rock pools at the far end, and the caves cut into the rock, almost undoubtedly used during the smuggling trade, which reached a peak in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Or simply mess about or relax. Make sure you are ready to move when the tide comes in though!
There is much nearby to satisfy the walkers and ramblers among you. The village lies on the South West Coast Path, and details of many walks can be found on the South West Coast Path website.
The two main walks accessible from the village are the coastal walks, east to Looe, and west to Polruan (Fowey). The Looe walk is shorter and less strenuous. At this time there is a small section just outside of Polperro where there is a temporary diversion in place to Talland Bay, due to a landslide next to the existing path which is under repair. Once at Talland Bay, stop for a cup of tea, or, even better, a delicious ice cream, before continuing on to Looe along a coastal path offering gorgeous views. Keep an eye open for seals. It should take you about one and a half to two hours at a leisurely pace. Once in Looe, enjoy the shops and pubs/eateries. You can walk back if you're feeling particularly energetic, or catch a bus back from the bus stop near the bridge over Looe Harbour. In high season you may also have the option of catching a boat back, but they're not particularly regular.
The Polruan walk west is more strenuous, but perfectly achievable by seasoned ramblers and younger energetic people! It is just over six miles, but there are a lot of steep ups and downs so be warned! Start out early, pack some food and plenty of water (pasties are always available in the village) and make a few picnic stops to enjoy the scenery and recharge your batteries. And what scenery! It is breathtaking, and is a great reward for choosing this challenging walk. Hidden coves and beaches, dramatic rugged cliffs, its all here. Allow about 4 hours. And, once at Polruan, catch a short ferry to Fowey and enjoy this lovely town, and take a wander along the esplanade to Moneypenny Cove. There is a minibus back from Polruan in high season, or again you might be able to catch a boat back to Polperro during the Summer months.
Galleries and Museums
There are several excellent art galleries in the village, selling and exhibiting original artworks and limited edition prints by local Cornish artists. Of particular note are The Polperro Arts Foundation which is located just behind the cottage, and Gina's Art Studio by the harbour slipway. Further up The Coombes towards the main village car park is The Ebenezer Gallery containing two floors of works by the East Cornwall Society of Artists.
There is also the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing, housing a remarkable collection of exhibits and memorabilia relating to Polperro's rich history of fishing and smuggling.
The Net Loft - the large building sitting on the rocks at the entrance to the outer harbour - has recently been fully restored and is now open as a local community centre and will house exhibitions and displays. This is a National Trust property.
Within a short drive of Polperro are the delightful towns of Looe with its shops and beach, Fowey with its artisan shops, antiques and a picturesque estuary filled with yachts, Mevagissey with its enclosed fishing harbour, and Charlestown with its galleries and film sets. There are also some well known tourist attractions;
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are an idyllic peaceful haven near Mevagissey and St Austell, carefully restored over the last 25 years after a chance find in 1990, to their current glory as 200 acres of one of the finest gardens in Cornwall. See the walled productive gardens, cultivating fruit and veg using Victorian methods and tools, The Pleasure Gardens containing an unusual range of romantic structures and unexpected features, and The Jungle containing a superb collection of tropical plants.
The Eden Project
The Eden Project opened in 2001 and consists of two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes (biomes) that house thousands of plant species. The largest biome simulates a Rainforest environment, while another simulates a Mediterranean environment. There can be queues in high season, but this is an extremely popular tourist attraction.
One of the most popular National Trust properties in the UK, Lanhydrock consists of a large and renovated Jacobean house in high Victorian style, with extensive gardens, perfect for a relaxing stroll on a warm Summer's day. In addition there are surrounding woodlands and cycle trails. This is also situated in the St Austell area.
A little further (about 45 mins drive), on the North coast of Cornwall, why not hire a bike and ride the Camel Trail? The easiest and most picturesque section is from Wadebridge to Padstow, although there are extensions taking in Bodmin and Wenfordbridge. There are a number of cycle hire firms in Wadebridge who will hire a bike suited to your size, experience, etc (including trailers for infants). In high season you should ring 2 - 3 days in advance to reserve cycles.
After parking up in Wadebridge (there's a Council pay and display car park behind the Lidl supermarket), collect your cycles (assuming you haven't brought your own) and set off along the 5.5 mile route to Padstow, which is flat (its a disused railway line). Pause halfway for an ice cream from the refreshment stall before continuing on, and lock the bikes up when you reach Padstow. Then enjoy this charming and extremely popular harbour town for a few hours before cycling back to Wadebridge, burning off the calories from the inevitable fish and chip lunch.