The day before the spring bank holiday was a perfect day for dawdling around Looe soaking up the sun, lazing in cafes and enjoying the breathtaking views. It all started at 8.30am on the coast path at East Looe, where even at that hour I met several chatty dog walkers and felt it was almost too hot to sit in the sun, even in the early morning mist.
Above: The coast path at East Looe affords delightful views toward Looe Island and the beach
At that time of day and being a Sunday the beach was deserted, almost. The sea was dead calm, and several couples were swimming away from the beach and a few families were already staking their day’s pitches in the sand. I had to have a paddle in the crystal clear water, so icy cold it hurt my feet, but so spine tingling refreshing. I sat on the sea wall for as long as I could handle the ever increasing sun strength and gave in to the desire for a coffee.
The first place that I came across (and there are many cafes in Looe) was the quirky Kitchenside Bakery, with china teacups and teapots dangling in the window and rustic nostalgic interior. Forties music added to the atmosphere. The cakes looked scrumptious and affordable so I vowed to come back for afternoon tea. As it was not a decent time for cake I settled for a coffee with cream – again not expensive, and watched the steady trickle of sun worshipers making their inevitable migration towards the beach, and reflected on how lucky I was to have experienced the peace and quiet by getting here early. By the time I left the cafe the trickle had to turned into a torrent, so I had to fight against the flow as I made my way up through town. The shops were open by then, so I browsed a few and decided to make my purchases on my way back so I need not carry them around all day in my rucksack.
Above: I explored the harbour area before crossing the bridge over to West Looe.
If you want a quieter, less hectic piece of Looe to relax in, it’s worth walking around to Hannafore (or driving, as the parking is free on the road). Most tourists don’t make it around here, so it’s a good little local secret. (Or was!) Dogs are allowed on the beach too. It is mostly rocky and seaweedy, perfect for rockpooling, bird watching and enjoying the views of Looe Island (aka St. Georges island). At very low tides twice a year it is possible to walk over to it. The flat promenade makes a perfect place to stroll even in the winter. The rest of the coast path can be accessed at the end of the road if you want to carry on walking.
From the road to Hannafore I could see how busy the beach had become
There are plenty of opportunities for watersports and fishing around Looe Bay
Above: Peace and quiet at Hannafore
Above: As promised, back at the Kitchenside Bakery tearoom to wind down the day, a delicious chocolate brownie and Cornish tea in a bone china tea cup – bliss!