Properties in Looe
Properties in Looe

LOOE
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Looe is a small coastal town, fishing port and civil parish in the former Caradon district of south-east Cornwall, England, with a population of 5,280. Looe is divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe and West Looe meaning little cove, being connected by a bridge. The town is approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the city of Plymouth and seven miles (11 km) south of Liskeard.

The town is situated around a small harbour and along the steep-sided valley of the River Looe which flows between East and West Looe to the sea beside a sandy beach. Off shore to the west, opposite the stonier Hannafore beach, lies the picturesque St George's Island, commonly known as Looe Island.

Looe remains a fishing town, and several fish dealers operate from the docks of East Looe. With its fleet of small fishing boats returning their catches to port daily, Looe has a reputation for producing excellent fresh fish. The town is also a centre for shark fishing, and is the home of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain.

Looe's main business today is, however, tourism, with much of the town given over to hotels, guest houses and holiday homes, along with a large number of pubs, restaurants, and shops selling beach equipment, ice cream and Cornish pasties. Inland from Looe lie many camping and caravan sites, as well as a famous Woolly monkey sanctuary. Other local attractions include the beaches, sailing, fishing and diving, and spectacular coastal walks (especially that via Talland to Polperro. Several stately homes, including Antony House, Cotehele, Mount Edgcumbe, and Lanhydrock House, as well as the Eden Project near St Austell may be visited by tourists who can travel by car.


Outside the busy summer months, the town remains a centre for shopping and entertainment for local villagers. There is a tradition of the townsfolk wearing fancy dress on New Year's Eve, when the streets are thronged with revellers in inventive outfits. Looe has been on the list of the top 10 places in the UK to celebrate New Year, and ranked third on the list for 2007/08. Looe is being regenerated, like many other ports, to serve as a small cargo port. On the high ground north of East and West Looe there are many modern houses and a recreational area called 'The Downs'.

East Looe

East Looe centres on its broad sandy beach, with the distinctive Banjo Pier, creation of Joseph Thomas, a new lifeboat station and St Mary's Church. Stretching back from here is a grid of narrow streets forming the main business area of the town, packed with many small shops, restaurants and pubs, and the Old Guildhall, now a museum. Along the estuary lies the quay, with several fish dealers. Towards the bridge lies the Victorian Guildhall, and just north of the bridge the railway station. This is the terminus of the Looe Valley branch line to Liskeard (at Liskeard, the line connects with the main Plymouth to Penzance Great Western Main Line).

On the hilltop above East Looe lies Shutta, and beyond that the Sunrising housing estate and Looe Community School. Along the cliffs to the east is Plaidy Beach, and further on the bay and village of Millendreath with another beach.

West Looe

West Looe spreads west from the bridge on the Polperro Road towards Sclerder, and along the river south of the bridge, with hotels, restaurants and boarding houses along the waterfront and houses climbing the perilous cliff above, towards a cluster of shops and businesses and the Church of St Nicholas.


Further south along the coast road is Hannafore Point, marking the edge of Looe Harbour, with to the west the wide, stony Hannafore beach, facing across a narrow channel to Looe Island (officially called St. George's Island). Slightly inland is the hamlet of Portlooe. Beyond lies a coastal path leading to the hamlets of Porthallow and Talland, and from there on to Polperro. Two towers mark one end of a nautical measured mile, the other end is marked by two towers near Talland Bay.