|Distance : 5 miles||Grading : +++||OS Sheet : 201|
This walk starts from the popular small town of Looe. The walk takes you round the harbour entrance onto the coast, with excellent view of Looe Island nearby. Then the path rounds the coast, past the National Trust beach at Portnadler and through the small village of Talland, before arriving into Polperro. Polperro is a pretty place and so is very popular with tourists. There are reasonable beaches on this walk, and there is a small amount of road walking in Looe.
Looe is on the A387 which connects with the A374 from Torpoint (for the ferry to Plymouth). The A374 is also a short distance from the A38. There is a small car park near the town centre in East Looe. Across the river, there is a much larger car park, but this is a little distance from the town centre.
There is a station in Looe, on a branch line from Liskeard. This is a very scenic route, following the line of an old canal with the result that the line sometimes has water on both sides. Trains on the line run a little less than hourly, and connect with most main line trains at Liskeard. The line runs Monday - Saturday all year round and also on Sundays in the summer. For more information call National Rail Inquiries on 08457 48 49 50. There are also frequent bus services from Liskeard to Looe and also some from Plymouth. There are a variety of routes, so for more information on the services call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 or see the links below.
Both Looe and Polperro have plenty of accommodation, with a good range of Hotels and Self Catering. The Looe Accommodation site has a good listing of places to stay in Looe. For information on accommodation in Polperro, see Polperro.org.
Looe is a pleasant seaside resort and fishing port. There is a visitor centre near the north of the town, which has information on what to see and do in the area. There is also a small sandy beach, but unfortunately, in my experience, it is often covered with piles of rotting seaweed, so is probably best avoided.
The coast path to Polperro starts (as you would expect), on the west side of the river. There is a road crossing in the town, or nearer the coast there is a seasonal ferry service across if you are starting in East Looe. The path follows the road initially, though there is a footpath on almost all of it. The road gives good views of the banjo pier and the surrounding coast, before turning out onto the coast. From here you will have good views of Looe Island, just off the coast.
At Hannafore Point the coast path leaves the road. Here there is small picnic area overlooking the island. The path continues past a small stream and then round to the National Trust beach at Portnadler Bay. Sadly this is a mostly shingle beach and also has a lot of seaweed. The headland at Hore Stone offers good views back towards Looe. Once round the headland, the path approaches the pretty village of Talland. The beach here is also good, with quite a lot of sand at low tide. There is also a church and cafe here.
On leaving Talland Bay, the path follows the road briefly before climbing out of the village. The path passes Downend point, then comes into Polperro. Polperro is a pretty fishing village, with the stream passing through the village. The cottages here are pretty and the streets very narrow. It is very popular with tourists though and so does get very crowded in the summer months. If you're returning to Looe, the buses leave from the main road near the top of the town.
A bus service, which runs approximately every hour and a quarter during the day. For details of these bus services, see the links below.
Here are some photos of the walk. Unfortunately, when I did this walk, the weather was not especially good, so some of the pictures are a little misty and dark. Click a picture for a larger version and description.
Ordnance Survey Landranger map 201 covers this area of the coast path and is available from most book shops nationwide. It is also stocked at the tourist information centre in Looe.
Streetmap is a web site which provides maps of the UK, including around around Looe, Talland and Polperro. The links below will be of most use to the coast path from Looe to Polperro. These maps join to provide the complete coast path between the two points.