Pictures of Fowey
The picturesque harbour town of Fowey has a history as colourful as some of the pretty boats sailing in and out of its waters. For centuries the town has operated as a port, shipping amongst other goods, china clay. It is also a town with an illustrious sea-faring history. In medieval times, stirring deeds earned its sailors the delightful nickname 'Fowey Gallants' and, it is from here that Drake, Raleigh and Frobisher all sailed. Fowey's literary connections include Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch who lived in a house on the Esplanade from 1892 until his death in 1944. The writer Daphne du Maurier was a well known figure in the town and many local places feature in her books. Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows visited Fowey, doubtless he too drew inspiration from the beautiful scenery and fabulous Cornish light which has been the inspiration of artists for centuries.
Set around the estuary of the River Fowey, the town is indeed evocative of Carew's words, with many arms embracing the gentle rise and fall of the wooded hillside along which Fowey developed. It is a bustling town which offers an amazing variety to visitors. It is a joy to wander around the harbour where a happy holiday atmosphere pervades as people jostle for position down narrow lanes crammed with a mix-match of traditional Cornish properties, shops, pubs and restaurants. In the 18th-century, these tumbling lanes are said to have been the haunt of smugglers, certainly they were inhabited by fishermen for there are still many glorious colour-washed stone 'fishermen's' cottages to be seen, some now converted to comfortable weekend homes and holiday cottages.
Of the noted buildings to be seen St. Fimbarrus Church was founded in the 6th-century and is well worth seeing, and The Place has been the home of the Treffry family of well over six centuries.
You can take your pick of places with romantic sounding names linked around the Fowey river. Lostwithiel, Golant, Lerryn, Bodinnick and Polruan at the tip of the estuary, all have something to tempt including a few miles along, at Lostwithiel, the romantic ruins of Restormel Castle. Seaward there is magnificent Gribbin Head, du Maurier's Menabilly and Polkerris.
Worth mentioning is the fact that many places along the estuary are linked either by ferry or by a lovely scenic walk. On the Hall Walk you pass the spot where an attempt was made on the life of King Charles I, and the ruins of St. Catherine's castle can be reached via a picturesque woodland walk.
There is not much to beat the glorious sight of the English coast when viewed at distance from the sea, so why not take advantage of a sea fishing trip or enjoy a cruise along the River Fowey. However, for those who prefer 'terra-firma' there is the pleasure of sitting on the quayside, sipping a drink whilst the setting sun changes the Fowey sea from infinite shades of blue to gold.
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