Things to do in Fowey, Cornwall

Things to do in Fowey, Cornwall

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Walks in Fowey

Beaches in Fowey

Things to do and see in Fowey

Events and culture in Fowey


Peaceful, ancient, and yet ever-bustling, Fowey in Cornwall is a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike thanks to its beautiful architecture, crystalline waters, and rich history.

Whether a weekend getaway to clear the cobwebs or a week-long holiday to restore the soul, there is one thing you need to know before arriving in South Cornwall’s historic port: how to pronounce its name. Spoken like joy, mispronouncing Fowey is a common mistake that can quickly out you as a visitor but say it correctly and you’ll blend in seamlessly with the locals during your stay.

cliff face overlooking the sea

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty situated in the heart of the Polperro Heritage Coast, Fowey is home to rolling fields, woodlands alive with birdsong, and the emerald green waters of the estuary where you might just spot a heron basking in the sun. Lining the estuary are the beech trees that give Fowey River (Fowydh in Cornish), and consequently the town, its name. 

Fall head over heels for paddle boarding up Fowey River (or simply fall head over heels while paddle boarding) and make the most of the local watersport activities in the balmy summer months. Or, if you prefer a cosier experience, visit in the winter and enjoy a traditional festive atmosphere at the Fowey Christmas Fair. Take a look at our guide to Christmas fairs in Cornwall here.

A wealth of breath-taking beaches, wonderous walks, and foodie treasure troves makes Fowey well worth a visit wherever you’re staying in Cornwall.

Ready to explore this ancient port? Book your stay in Fowey here


For the walkers

Fowey is a walker’s haven with its beautiful contrasting scenery that transitions quickly from grassy fields to covered woodland to the mesmerising estuary itself. Grab your walking boots, it’s time to find out why this corner of Cornwall is famed for its literary inspiration.


Hall Walk

view of fowey from polruan on the hall walk

One of the most popular walks around Fowey, the Hall Walk is a circular trek that offers unparalleled views of the estuary through shaded woodland and alongside the glassy waters of the creek. Although steep in places, your efforts will be rewarded with perfectly framed views of the water through gaps in the hedgerows and trees, which are alive with wildlife in the spring and summer months. Named after this much-loved walk, Hall Walk Cottage is the perfect place to come home to, ideal for romantic getaways and winter breaks.


Gribbin Head Walk

Views over the countryside to Gribben Head

One thing Cornwall does well is offer a variety of vistas to enjoy and this walk between Fowey and Gribbin Head certainly makes the most of each unique scene. Walk in the footsteps of Daphne du Maurier and her much-loved characters and experience golden beaches, secluded coves, speckled woodlands, and stretching fields home to a stunning array of wild flowers. If an ice cold refreshment is beckoning, you can turn this into a shorter walk by turning back inland at Polridmouth and continuing back towards Fowey through a patchwork of fields.


Covington Walk

view from st catherine's castle in fowey at sunset

A mixture of flat grassy paths and steeper trails, this varied walk is perfect for those who want to combine the joys of nature with the spoils of history. Enjoy panoramic sea views from Henry VIII’s ancient fort, St Catherine’s Castle or settle down with a picnic on Readymoney Beach before heading up the hill to sneak a peek at Daphne du Maurier’s house. This pretty and dog-friendly walk (dogs are welcome on the coves in the winter months) is ready to take you back in time to a period of romance, drama and, if we’re to believe Poldark, shirtless Aiden Turner.


For the beachgoers

From lazy days under the sun to action-packed afternoons in the crystal blue waters, it’s not a Cornish holiday without a beach day!


Readymoney Beach & Cove

View of the water from Readymoney Cove

Why travel far when you can enjoy the sheltered and sparkling waters of Readymoney Beach and Cove just minutes from the vibrancy of the town. Stretch out on the warm sand in the summer months or hire your choice of watersports equipment and embark on your very own seafaring adventure right here in Fowey (within the safety of the estuary of course). The beach is dog-friendly in the winter months so your four-legged friends can enjoy a refreshing paddle after a wintery walk in the surrounding areas. You can even treat yourself to a delicious ice cream or Cornish pasty, a must for anyone visiting Cornwall.


Polridmouth Cove

Polridmouth Cove near Fowey

Looking for something a little more secluded? Polridmouth Cove can be reached along the South West Coast Path or by car, making it a lesser-known spot perfect for escaping the crowds for some much-needed peace and quiet. Pack a picnic, swimsuit, and a good book and while away the day in perfect happiness and tranquillity at this dog-friendly haven.


Lantic Bay

The cliffs, beach and sea at Lantic Bay in Cornwall

A trip to Cornwall isn’t complete without spending a day enjoying turquoise waters amidst towering, green-topped cliffs. Although a little trickier to reach due to a steep climb, it’s well worth the effort when you’re standing on the sun-warmed sand with a bright blue vista stretching out in front of you. We recommend packing a picnic as there aren’t any amenities at Lantic Bay and it’s always nice to have an energy boost before making the climb back up the path. The beach never has lifeguards so be careful if you’re planning a swim and always stay aware of the tides and weather conditions. This hidden gem allows dogs all year round so it’s a great spot for a beach day with your best furry friend.

Discover our dog-friendly boutique cottages in Fowey.  


For the sightseers

From historic sites that provide a window to the past, to wild and wonderful gardens that make the most of south Cornwall’s balmy climate, there is plenty to see and do here in Fowey.


Fowey River Hire

A motor boat going up Fowey river

Setting sail on the river that gave Fowey its name is a must when visiting this waterside town. Whether you prefer the simplistic elegance of a kayak and a paddle or you like to lie back and have a more leisurely experience in a self-drive boat, Fowey River Hire has got you covered. You can even embark on your very own Cornish safari in a guided tour. Head up stream to enjoy stunning riverside vistas or set sail out to sea to spot a grey seal or perhaps even a dolphin or two.

01726 833627 |


Daphne du Maurier Literary Centre

Daphne du Maurier book collection

Have you spent hours curled up in a window seat getting lost in the pages of Rebecca or Jamaica Inn? Author Daphne du Maurier called this stretch of Cornish coastline home for over fifty years and drew inspiration from the surrounding scenery, and who can blame her! Every time we visit Fowey and the spectacular surrounding scenery, we certainly get the itch to write an atmospheric novel we can escape to. At the Literacy Centre you can dive into the history of the life and works of Daphne du Maurier alongside other authors who have been influenced by this picturesque haven in south Cornwall.

Daphne Du Maurier Literary Centre, 5 South St, Fowey PL23 1AR | 01726 833619


St Fimbarrus Church

Looking up at St Fimbarrus Church in Fowey

While Fowey has a collection of ancient buildings scrawled across the historic town, perhaps the most impressive is this 14th-century church, which was reconstructed in the 1500s after the original was destroyed by 6th-century French marauders. Dedicated to St Barry, who is possibly a saint unique to Fowey, this beautiful church boasts ornate stained glass windows and an intricate history that’s well worth exploring.



The biomes at the Eden Project in Cornwall

For those who want to inspire your green thumb while exploring seemingly new worlds, both the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are a short drive from Fowey. From the carefully curated tropical and Mediterranean biomes of the Eden Project to the recently rediscovered magic of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, both of these national attractions are a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. And for good reason! 


For the culture seekers

Immersing yourself in local culture is one of the purest joys when exploring somewhere new on holiday. Local festivals and events are a wonderful way to soak up tradition and experience something that has been enjoyed for years, sometimes even centuries.


Fowey Royal Regatta

Yachts during the Fowey Royal Regatta

Usually a quiet and unassuming destination, Fowey is transformed into a vibrant and bustling epicentre as thousands of people flock to the small town to celebrate the Royal Fowey Regatta. Steeped in history and with the likes of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Queen Elizabeth II amongst the notable attendees, this national event is one for the diary whether you’re a sailor at heart or you just thrive off a dynamic atmosphere and an impressive show. Live music fills the air while firework displays and Carnival processions provide visual displays that will stay with you forever. If you’re looking for a reason to visit Fowey in August, this is it. Make sure to book your stay early though as many people make the pilgrimage to the regatta every year.


Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature

An open book on a wooden table

Fowey really is intrinsically linked with the life and works of Daphne du Maurier, so visiting a festival inspired by the famed author is definitely one for the list. Cornwall’s premier literary festival, creatives from around the country come together to celebrate the written, spoken, visual and musical word. Not just for book lovers, add this nationally acclaimed festival to your calendar and join in the cultural celebration here in Fowey.


Feeling inspired? Explore more of our luxury cottages in Cornwall here.

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