Polperro is a hidden treasure of the Cornish coast, embodying the charming essence of a traditional fishing village. With its collection of cottages nestled into the cliffs and the presence of fish and chip shops scattered throughout the village, it offers the quintessential coastal experience.
Discover the timeless charm of the iconic fishing village of Polperro, located on the stunning South Coast of Cornwall. The historic architecture and protected harbor make for a picturesque setting for morning walks and evening dining.
As the heart of the Polperro Heritage Coast, this unassuming village has much to offer and is a must-visit for those exploring the region. Get the most out of your trip with our comprehensive guide to the top things to do in Polperro.
Why is Polperro famous?
Polperro is famous for its historic fishing village charm and picturesque setting in Cornwall, England. The village is known for its narrow, winding streets, historic harbor, and charming, pastel-colored houses.
Polperro has a rich history which adds to its unique character and attracts visitors who are interested in history and culture. Additionally, the village’s stunning coastal location and easy access to walks along the South West Coast Path make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Where is Polperro located?
It is situated on the coast between the larger towns of Looe and Fowey, approximately 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Plymouth and 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Bodmin. The village is surrounded by cliffs and rolling hills, making it a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the rugged beauty of the Cornish coast.
Why is it called Polperro?
The origin of the name “Polperro” is uncertain, but it is believed to be of Cornish origin. Some sources suggest that the name comes from the Cornish words “porth” (harbor) and “perro” (pirate), which would make the name mean “pirate harbor.” This fits with Polperro’s history as a center for pilchard fishing and smuggling, which would have attracted pirates and other seafarers to the area.
However, the exact etymology of the name is uncertain, and there are several other theories about its origin. Despite this, the name “Polperro” has been associated with the village for many centuries and has come to represent its unique history and character.
Where to stay in Polperro?
There are many hotel options in Polperro, Cornwall, England. Some of the best places to stay are:
- The Blue Peter Hotel: This charming hotel is located in the heart of Polperro and offers a range of rooms, many of which boast stunning sea views. The hotel has a restaurant serving locally sourced seafood and other traditional dishes, as well as a bar serving local ales and ciders.
- The Old Sail Loft: This traditional B&B is located in the heart of Polperro and offers comfortable and affordable accommodation in a historic building. The B&B serves a hearty breakfast each morning and is within walking distance of the village’s shops, pubs, and restaurants.
- The Lobster Pot: This hotel is located in the heart of Polperro and offers a range of rooms, many of which have sea views. The hotel has a restaurant serving locally sourced seafood and other traditional dishes, as well as a bar serving local ales and ciders.
- The Smuggler’s Rest: This B&B is located in the heart of Polperro and offers comfortable and affordable accommodation in a historic building. The B&B serves a hearty breakfast each morning and is within walking distance of the village’s shops, pubs, and restaurants.
- The Stable: This B&B is located in the heart of Polperro and offers comfortable and affordable accommodation in a historic building. The B&B serves a hearty breakfast each morning and is within walking distance of the village’s shops, pubs, and restaurants.
Things to do in Polperro – in short
Polperro is a picturesque fishing village located in Cornwall, England, and there are many activities and attractions to enjoy in the area. Here are some popular things to do in Polperro:
- Explore the Village: Take a walk around the narrow streets and lanes of Polperro, admire the charming fishermen’s cottages, and visit the small shops and galleries.
- Visit Smugglers’ Coves: Polperro was once a hub for smugglers, and there are several coves and beaches in the area that are said to have been used by smugglers to bring contraband ashore. Some of the most popular coves to visit include Talland Bay and Lansallos Cove.
- Walk the South West Coast Path: The South West Coast Path runs along the coast near Polperro, offering stunning views of the coastline and the chance to spot local wildlife, including seals and seabirds.
- Visit the Heritage Museum: The Polperro Heritage Museum is located in the heart of the village and provides an insight into the history of Polperro, including its smuggling past.
- Enjoy Fresh Seafood: Polperro is a fishing village, and there are several restaurants and cafes in the area that serve fresh, locally-caught seafood.
These are just a few of the many activities and attractions to enjoy in Polperro. Whether you’re looking to explore the history of the village, enjoy scenic walks, or sample fresh seafood, there is something for everyone in Polperro.
The harbor is surrounded by narrow, winding streets and traditional houses, and is a popular tourist destination. The harbor has been used for fishing for centuries, and has a long history as a center for pilchard fishing and later as a center for smuggling.
Today, the harbor is home to a small fleet of fishing boats and is also used by recreational boats and visiting yachts. The harbor is a picturesque and charming location, and is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops. Visitors to Polperro can enjoy walking around the harbor, watching the boats, and taking in the views of the surrounding coast.
Is there a sandy beach at Polperro?
No, there is not a sandy beach in Polperro. The village is located on a rocky coastline, and the nearest sandy beach is several miles away. However, there are several small coves and rocky beaches in the area that offer scenic views and opportunities for coastal walks.
If you’re looking for a sandy beach, you may want to consider visiting one of the nearby beaches, such as Looe Beach or Talland Bay, which are both within a short drive of Polperro.
Can you swim in Polperro Beach?
Polperro does not have a designated beach for swimming, as the coast around the village is rocky and the water is generally not suitable for swimming. The nearest beaches for swimming are several miles away and can be found at nearby villages and towns, such as Looe, Talland Bay, and Whitsand Bay.
These beaches offer sandy shores and relatively safe conditions for swimming and other water activities, but you should always be aware of local conditions and any safety warnings that may be in place. If you are interested in swimming, it may be best to visit one of these nearby beaches instead of Polperro.
The surrounding cliffs and coastline are home to a number of caves, which were used for smuggling and other illegal activities in the past. Some of the most notable caves in the Polperro area include:
- Smuggler’s Cave: This is one of the most famous caves in the area and is said to have been used by smugglers to hide their contraband. Visitors can still see the remains of an old landing stage, which was used to bring goods ashore from waiting ships.
- The Hole in the Wall: This cave is located near the Smuggler’s Cave and is named for a large hole in the cave wall, which is visible from the sea. The cave was used to store smuggled goods, and it is said that the smugglers could access the cave through the hole in the wall.
- The Spouter Hole: This is a large cave located near the harbor and is known for its unique shape, which resembles the spout of a whale. The cave was used by smugglers to store their goods, and it is also a popular spot for visitors to explore.
There are a few pubs that are popular with both visitors and locals, and offer a place to relax, socialize, and enjoy a drink in the charming atmosphere of the village. Some of the most popular pubs in Polperro include:
- The Blue Peter Inn: A historic pub located in the heart of the village, the Blue Peter Inn offers a traditional atmosphere, real ales, and local ciders.
- The Fisherman’s Arms: A family-friendly pub located near the harbor, the Fisherman’s Arms is known for its warm atmosphere, great food, and selection of beers and wines.
- The Ship Inn: A traditional pub located in the center of the village, the Ship Inn offers real ales, live music, and a large beer garden.
These are just a few examples of the pubs in Polperro. Whether you are looking for a quiet drink, a lively atmosphere, or a place to enjoy a meal, there is a pub in Polperro to suit your needs. Each pub has its own unique character and atmosphere, and visitors are encouraged to explore the different options and find the one that best fits their preferences.
Can I drive in Polperro?
Driving in Polperro can be challenging due to the narrow, winding streets and limited parking. The village was originally built for horse-drawn vehicles, and the streets have not been altered to accommodate modern traffic. As a result, it can be difficult to find parking, and driving within the village is not recommended for larger vehicles or those unfamiliar with narrow, winding roads.
Visitors to Polperro are encouraged to park in one of the designated car parks outside the village and walk in, as many of the streets are pedestrianized. This not only helps to reduce traffic but also allows visitors to fully experience the charm and atmosphere of the village.
The village is home to a range of restaurants, offering a variety of dining options for visitors. Some of the most popular restaurants in Polperro include:
- The Rusty Anchor: A seafood restaurant located near the harbor, the Rusty Anchor is known for its fresh seafood, locally-sourced ingredients, and friendly service.
- The Smugglers Haunt: A historic pub and restaurant located in the center of the village, the Smugglers Haunt offers traditional pub food, real ales, and a cozy atmosphere.
- The Anchor Inn: A traditional pub and restaurant located near the harbor, the Anchor Inn is known for its hearty food, local ales, and warm atmosphere.
Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner, a family meal, or a light lunch, there is a restaurant in Polperro to suit your needs. Each restaurant has its own unique character and menu, and visitors are encouraged to explore the different options and find the one that best fits their preferences.
Which is bigger Looe or Polperro?
Looe is larger than Polperro. Looe is a small town located in Cornwall, England, with a population of around 5,000 people. It is a historic fishing port and a popular tourist destination, known for its charming harbor, sandy beach, and traditional architecture.
Polperro, on the other hand, is a smaller village located just a few miles along the coast from Looe. While it is also a historic fishing village, it is smaller in size and has a more intimate, picturesque atmosphere. Polperro has a population of around 800 people. Both Looe and Polperro offer unique experiences for visitors, and the size of each location can be a factor in deciding which one to visit, depending on personal preferences and interests.
Can you walk from Polperro to Looe?
Yes, it is possible to walk from Polperro to Looe. The two villages are located in Cornwall, England, and are separated by about 5 miles (8 kilometers) of coastline. There is a footpath called the South West Coast Path that runs between the two villages, offering a scenic and enjoyable walk along the coast.
The walk takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete and passes by several small coves, cliffs, and beaches, offering stunning views of the coastline. This is a popular route for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, and provides an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Cornwall while connecting two historic villages.
The area offers a range of walks and hiking trails that showcase the natural beauty of the area, as well as its rich history and cultural heritage. Some of the most popular walks in the Polperro area include:
- South West Coast Path: This 630-mile long-distance trail runs along the coast of South West England, passing through Polperro and offering breathtaking views of the coast and countryside. Visitors can walk part or all of the trail, taking in the stunning scenery and learning about the local history and wildlife along the way.
- Smugglers’ Way: This circular walk takes visitors through the countryside and along the coast from Polperro, following the route that smugglers once used to transport their contraband. The walk takes in Smugglers’ Cove and other historic sites, as well as offering panoramic views of the coast and countryside.
- The Saints Way: This ancient trail runs from Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall to Fowey on the south coast, passing through Polperro. The trail follows the route of an ancient pilgrims’ route, taking in the scenic countryside and historic sites along the way.
- The Polperro Heritage Coast: This short walk takes visitors along the coast from Polperro to the nearby village of Talland, offering panoramic views of the coast and countryside. The walk takes in the historic Smugglers’ Cove and other sites, as well as showcasing the rich heritage of the area.
All of these walks offer a chance to get out and explore the stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage of the Polperro area, while getting some exercise and fresh air. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, the Polperro area has something to offer for walkers of all levels.
How long is boat Looe to Polperro?
The length of a boat trip from Looe to Polperro can vary depending on a number of factors, including the speed of the boat, the sea conditions, and any stops along the way. On average, a boat trip between the two villages is likely to take around 20-30 minutes, depending on the conditions.
However, this is just an estimate and you should check with the boat operator for more accurate information and a more specific time estimate. Boat trips between the two villages are a popular way to explore the Cornish coastline and offer a unique perspective on the local scenery.
The village is home to a range of independent shops, offering a variety of items for visitors to purchase. Some of the most popular shops in Polperro include:
- The Polperro Gift Shop: A souvenir shop located in the center of the village, the Polperro Gift Shop offers a range of local souvenirs, including postcards, magnets, and other items to help visitors remember their visit.
- The Polperro Art Gallery: A local art gallery located near the harbor, the Polperro Art Gallery showcases the work of local artists, including paintings, sculptures, and other pieces.
- The Polperro Fisherman’s Co-op: A local shop selling fresh seafood, the Polperro Fisherman’s Co-op offers a range of seafood caught by local fishermen, including lobster, crab, and other seafood.
Polperro tourist information
Polperro is a historic fishing village located in Cornwall, England, and is a popular tourist destination. Here is some tourist information about Polperro:
- Location: Polperro is located on the south coast of Cornwall, near the mouth of the River Fowey.
- History: Polperro has a rich history, and was once an important port for the export of local pilchards. Today, the village is a popular tourist destination and is known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and traditional fishing boats.
- Food and Drink: Polperro is known for its seafood, and there are many restaurants, cafes, and pubs serving local cuisine. The village is also home to several traditional fish and chip shops.
- Beaches: Polperro is surrounded by several beautiful beaches, including Talland Bay, Looe Beach, and Whitsand Bay.
- Accommodation: Polperro offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages.
- Walks and Hikes: The coast and countryside surrounding Polperro offer many opportunities for walking and hiking, with several coastal paths and trails to explore.
- Fishing: Polperro is a traditional fishing village, and visitors can join a fishing trip to experience this aspect of local life.
Polperro is a village. It is a small, historic fishing village located in Cornwall, England. Polperro is known for its narrow, winding streets, traditional harbor, and charming pastel-colored houses, which give it a unique character and atmosphere. While it is a small village, it attracts many visitors each year who come to experience its history, coastal location, and local culture.
Is Polperro worth a visit?
Yes! Many people do find it to be a charming and picturesque destination. Polperro’s historic fishing village atmosphere, narrow streets, and traditional harbor are unique features that can make for a pleasant visit. Additionally, the village’s coastal location and easy access to the South West Coast Path offer opportunities for scenic walks and enjoying the natural beauty of Cornwall.
If you’re interested in history and culture, you may also enjoy exploring the village’s rich heritage, including its association with pilchard fishing and smuggling. Overall, if you enjoy charming, historic villages, scenic coastal walks, and exploring the local culture, Polperro is worth a visit!
Best places near Polperro to visit
Polperro is a charming fishing village located in Cornwall, England, and there are many nearby attractions that are definitely worth a visit. Here are 10 of the best places to check out:
- The Eden Project: This unique attraction showcases the relationship between plants, people, and the planet.
- Padstow: This fishing port is famous for its seafood and has a charming harbor, great restaurants, and interesting shops.
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan: This is a restored garden set within a 200-acre estate and is home to a variety of plants and wildlife.
- Tintagel Castle: This legendary castle is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur and offers breathtaking coastal views and historic ruins.
- St Ives: This charming seaside town is famous for its beaches, galleries, and seafood restaurants.
- The Minack Theatre: This open-air theater is carved into the cliffs and offers panoramic views of the ocean.
- The Camel Trail: This is a beautiful trail that runs along the Camel Estuary and offers great opportunities for walking, cycling, and birdwatching.
- Looe: This is a charming fishing village with a beautiful harbor, a great beach and a lively community.
- Land’s End: This is the westernmost point of mainland Britain and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- The South West Coast Path: This is a 630-mile trail that runs along the coast of South West England and offers stunning views of the coast and sea.
These are just a few of the many great places near Polperro that are well worth a visit.