Discovering Lovely Looe, Cornwall

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.

Looking across at the village from the pier
Looking across at the village from the pier

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. Stunning Cornish Coast

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.

The inlet from which Looe gets its name
The inlet from which Looe gets its name

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. Looe Harbour

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?

The beach at Looe
The beach at Looe

Have you ever visited Cornwall when you’ve been in the UK?

Post Author
Runaway Brit


  1. posted by
    Chris Halls
    Sep 24, 2013 Reply

    Hi… just wanted to say what a super post and to let you know that the New year’s Eve celebrations in Looe are fantastic. The fireworks from the end of the Banjo Pier are amazing but it’s the 1000s people in fancy dress who make it so special. There are hundreds of photos on my site about Looe ( if you’d like to see them 🙂 Happy travels and great blog.
    Chris Halls recently posted..Looe Sunsets

    • posted by
      Runaway Brit
      Sep 28, 2013 Reply

      That sounds amazing, I think I’ll definitely spend New Year there this year. Now I need to work on my costume! Love your site 🙂

  2. posted by
    Feb 6, 2014 Reply

    I work with your dad an he told me about your website. I’ve been reading through a few things an it’s brilliant! You have done Looe justice with these pictures 🙂

    • posted by
      Runaway Brit
      Feb 23, 2014 Reply

      Thank you very much! He told me about you too, but I was not home for very long last time. Maybe I’ll bump into you in the summer!

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