Information about the chic south coast shopping and dining destination of Fowey, where the ferry travels to and from.
Fowey is, in this ferryman's opinion, the second most attractive small town in Cornwall and enjoys a setting and rural surroundings that it would be difficult to equal. For the day visitor, the town offers a museum, aquarium, boat hire and river trips from Town Quay, numerous pubs and eating places, a good selection of shops and galleries, great walks and a sandy beach at Readymoney Cove (approx. 400m west of Whitehouse).
The Headland Garden in Polruan should not be missed if you are visiting Fowey on a Thursday afternoon (cream teas served - proceeds to the RNLI).
The Hall Walk is reputed to be one of the finest round walks in Britain and can be started from the ferry drop-off point.
Please click to enlarge and print if needed. Walk maps will take you to a detailed description and printable map.
Fowey facts and figures
In the late summer of 1644, Fowey became the setting for one of the major setbacks suffered by the parliamentarian army during the English Civil War.
A force of 6,000 men and 2,000 horse, commanded by the Earl of Essex, fell back on Lostwithiel with the hope of escaping by sea from Fowey. A somewhat larger Royalist force commanded personally by Charles I (and, crucially, supported almost to a man by the Cornish populace) hemmed in the Roundheads from the north and cut off their escape by securing the blockhouse at the harbour entrance by Polruan.
Between 1337 and 1453 (the Hundred Years War), Fowey found favour at Court for its support at the siege of Calais and Battle of Agincourt. Privateers (small, privately financed men of war) were given licences to attack and seize French vessels in the Channel and Western Approaches.
This was a very lucrative trade and attracted other ‘entrepreneurial’ seamen to Fowey, including the renowned Dutch pirate Hankyn Seelander.
Although Daphne du Maurier was perhaps Fowey’s most famous resident, the town has been an inspiration to many others. Sir Arthur Quiller Couch (“Q”), an important and popular writer in the early part of last century, loved the town and lived for most of his life at The Haven, directly above the quay where the ferry ties up. Fowey featured as “Troy” in several of his novels.
Amongst Q’s close friends and frequent visitors were J M Barrie (author of Peter Pan) and Kenneth Graham. Both men honeymooned here and many of the descriptions in “The Wind in the Willows” are recognisably drawn from parts of the estuary around Fowey and Lerryn. (The character of Ratty is said to be based on a local acquaintance).