In British English the word loo is a colloquial term for the toilet, so when my sister and her husband announced that they were moving to Looe—pronounced in the same way—they received a few sniggers and giggles.
My initial impression of their new home was not very flattering, but their photographs soon convinced me that the name did not in any way reflect the place, for ‘Looe’ derives from the Cornish word ‘Logh’, meaning deep water inlet, and Looe is a jaw-droppingly pretty fishing village located at the mouth of a gorgeous turquoise water inlet.
Looe was to be the final destination on my trip around Europe, and immediately following after my visit to Lake Bled in Slovenia, had an incredibly hard act to follow.
Located far from London, Cornwall is not on the itinerary of most of the visitors who flock to the UK every year. This is a huge shame, as the rugged Cornish coast easily rivals the most spectacular scenery that I saw along Croatia’s Adriatic coast - and many other places, besides.
It is true that England is not blessed with the sun-drenched summers enjoyed by the rest of Europe, but low clouds, mist and leaden skies only intensify Cornwall’s mystique. And if you’re lucky, you might be treated to a glimpse of tantalisingly clear turquoise waters, as stunning as anywhere in Greece, when the sun does show its face.
With archaeological evidence indicating that the village has been inhabited as far back as 1000 BC, Looe has had centuries to develop a reputation for pirates, smugglers and ghosts throughout the ages – tales that are easy to believe when thick sea mists swirl across the ancient grey stone cottages – and a visit to the tiny Guildhall Gaol Museum is the perfect place to indulge an active imagination.
Visiting Looe is like stepping back in time to childhood holidays, long gone. Young children sit by the side of the water with buckets and a line for catching crabs—the air buzzing with their excited squeals when they make a catch. Boats bob on the white crests of waves racing from the sea into the harbour, shop windows display delicious looking cake and ice-cream selections, while greedy seagulls scream loudly overhead waiting to swoop in on an unsuspecting tourist.
I haven’t explored Looe anywhere near as much as I would like to, but shortly after my sister and her husband moved there, the rest of my family did also, so I get to go and visit this lovely seaside village every time I go back to the UK!
I can’t wait to indulge in salty chips doused in vinegar as I walk along the seafront on a cold and misty winter day, or to huddle in a tiny teahouse enjoying a traditional Cornish Cream Tea, and I’ve heard that the New Year festivities are worth a visit, so if you’re planning to visit the UK soon, maybe you should make the effort to visit Cornwall too?
Have you ever visited Cornwall when you’ve been in the UK?