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Fowey: A Real Cornish Gem!

Fowey (pronounced ‘Foy’ as in ‘toy’) is a beautiful sheltered port on the Cornish coast and has grown in popularity over the years. The harbour welcomes both leisure and commercial traffic but can get very busy during the summer months, so do be prepared to have to raft up. According to the Fowey Harbour website they get 6000 visiting yachts and motor cruisers each year and around 450,000 tonnes of cargo each year, but the harbour is very well run and the helpful staff are always on hand to help accommodate you.

Fowey Quayside

After a rather uncomfortable sail from Plymouth it was nice to tie up to one of the non walk ashore pontoons at the mouth of Pont Pill, on the eastern side of the harbour, and enjoy some calmness. The nightly rate was £2.10 per metre (June 2022) and the fees are collected either in the morning or evening via the harbour master. Alternatively you can pay at the harbour office on Fowey quayside or via their website. They also offer a loyalty card scheme where every 7th night is free, good if you are planning on staying for a week or returning again at a later date. Further visitor pontoons are available slightly up river and there are also a number of mooring buoys to choose from.

Showers are available at the Royal Fowey Yacht Club and cost £2 for the first 3 minutes, 20p per minute afterwards. Alternatively there are showers at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club which are available 24 hours a day and you will need £1 coins. Fresh water is available on the pontoons at Albert Quay, Berrills Yard and Penmarlam Quay. Rubbish can be taken to the waste pontoon or there are bins available on the visitor pontoons, although these can get full quite quickly during peak times.

Scenic Eclipse Cruise Ship and yacht at water facility at the Albert pontoon

Going ashore we often left the dinghy at Albert Quay, on the inside of the pontoon. It can get very busy here, so be prepared to have to push your way in or climb over others! The RNLI have provided lifejacket lockers at this quay; you will need a £1 coin which is refunded. Otherwise try the pontoon at Berrills which is usually a little quieter. Alternatively there is a water taxi service available.

Fowey itself is a very picturesque town, full of quaint little shops and independent eateries. Make sure you grab yourself a traditional Cornish pasty at Quay Bakery; delicious, but beware they sell out fast! Or try Niles Bakery further along; their bread was so good! For fresh meat and produce pop into Kittows of Fowey, a popular family butchers that have been operating since 1974. There are no ‘supermarkets’ as such in Fowey so bear this in mind before visiting. There is a small Spar shop which sells basic essentials and has a small frozen food section plus alcohol and tobacco, but the shop closes at 7pm so stock up early!

A nice walk takes you along the coast to Readymoney Cove, a sheltered, sandy beach. There is a lovely little beach shop/cafe here – Readymoney Beach Shop which did great ice-creams served in reusable recycled plastic mugs; just what you need on a hot day!

The estuary is well worth exploring but do remember to check tides as many areas do dry out. We only ventured as far as the moorings at Wiseman’s Reach, just past the china clay docks, as this is where the river starts to dry out. However it is possible to go as far as Lerryn and Lostwithiel, but exceptional care should be taken. Ideally jump on one of the boat trips, much less stressful than worrying about tides and charts!

Over on the eastern side of the estuary is Polruan, an attractive little village with a small store and a couple of pubs, including the colourful looking Lugger Inn!

Lugger Inn, Polruan

During our visit the Hapag Lloyd cruise ship MS Europa and the 6 star Scenic Eclipse visited Fowey. All vessels entering Fowey in excess of 37.5m require a compulsory pilot and vessels over 92 metres must turn around near the entrance and are tugged into place by the tug boats; quite an impressive sight to see!

Europa Cruise Ship in Fowey

Also during our visit we not only came across the yacht we learned to sail on some 6 years ago (now owned by someone else), and just a few hours later the previous owner of our yacht moored up in front of us…synchronicity, who knows?

Sadly with a band of unsettled weather coming in we wanted to push a little further along the coast and take shelter, so unfortunately we only enjoyed a couple of days in this magical little place. But hopefully we’ll return again soon as it really is a Cornish gem!

VIDEO: Exploring Fowey

Check out our short video of our time in Fowey, and please remember to subscribe and hit that notification bell to be the first to hear of any new videos from us🙏🏻

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