Hiking with Dad: Polperro to Looe – 30/06/2019

Dad came with Emily and me for our recent coastal hike. A while ago he mentioned to us that he wanted to do the Polperro to Looe stretch as customers he takes on that bus route frequently tell him how beautiful it is. So, getting up early on Sunday morning, we drove to Looe and grabbed a breakfast before jumping on the Number 73 bus to Polperro. Nice for him to not be working for a change! Walking through the village it is easy to see why it is a favourite tourist destination in Cornwall. It’s a proper seaside town.

The tide was out as we arrived

Polperro is known today for being a fishing village and smuggler’s caves – all of this is on show as you climb the path towards Talland Bay. The view is spectacular. It isn’t too far to Talland either. 1.4 miles of fresh air and cliff walking later you make the descent down to Talland beach. For us this meant a drink and watching the sea. A Cornish beverage of course – St Austell Brewery and Cornish Orchards. You can’t go wrong.

The fishing fleet heads out

Once fully satisfied with the view and beer, we set off again. The route to Looe from Talland is some of the nicest I’ve walked so far on the coastal path. Over 3 miles with no towns or villages. Just winding up and down cliffs and past beaches. Perfect. As we neared Looe we found a point with a stunning view of St. George’s Island (or Looe Island, the name varies according to who you ask). According to local legend, Joseph of Arimathea landed here with the child Christ. It seems a bit of a trek from Judea though! The island is now owned and managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust charity who offer boat trips to see seals. While we couldn’t see any seals from our spot, we did enjoy the view with our pasty lunch. Not a bad trade off.

Viewpoint out to Looe Island

Leaving our viewpoint behind, we ambled downhill along the coastal path back towards Looe. Within a mile the path gradually becomes more built up as we passed Hannafore Beach and into West Looe. We passed Nelson the Seal, a statue of the one eyed grey seal who took up residence on Looe Island and would swim over to the harbour for over 25 years. Sadly passing away in 2003, he is now permanently memorialised. So I suppose we saw at least one seal!

Nelson the seal

After a coffee and a mooch around Looe (Emily was thrilled to discover an American import shop!) we headed back to the car and home. A lovely hike and not too strenuous. I’m really glad my dad got to see more of the coastal path where he has spent the past couple of years working. And as this might be mine and Emily’s last South West Coast Path hike for a while it was great to share that with him. Anyway, after those 5 miles it takes us to 39.4 miles total now. Plenty more to come, no matter when it is!

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Looe looking stunning as always