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Looe - Cornish Gem & Lost Gardens of Heligan

Looe - Cornish Gem & Lost Gardens of Heligan

An 8 day tour of traditional Cornwall


An 8 day tour of traditional Cornwall


Looe is a small coastal town and fishing port in south-east Cornwall. Looe is divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe and West Looe being connected by a bridge. The town is approximately 20 miles west of the city of Plymouth and 7 miles south of Liskeard. The town is situated around a small working harbour and has an interesting mix of traditional craft & souvenir shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants on either side of 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.



This Cornish village and fishing port situated approximately five miles south of St Austell, nestles in a small valley and faces east to Mevagissey Bay. The inner and outer harbours are busy with a mixture of pleasure vessels and working fishing boats, the remains of a once major industry. However, tourism has supplanted fishing as the dominant industry in recent years. Mevagissey village centre consists of narrow streets with many places to eat and shops aimed at the tourist trade. The outer areas are built on the steep slopes of the surrounding hillsides and are mostly residential.


The Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The gardens are typical of the nineteenth century Gardenesque style with areas of different character and in different design styles. The gardens were created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family from the mid-18th century up to the beginning of the 20th century and still form part of the family's Heligan estate. The gardens were neglected after the First World War and restored only in the 1990s, a restoration that was the subject of several popular television programmes and books. The gardens include aged and colossal rhododendrons and camellias, a series of lakes fed by a ram pump over a hundred years old, highly productive flower and vegetable gardens, an Italian garden, and a wild area filled with sub-tropical tree ferns called "The Jungle". The gardens also have Europe's only remaining pineapple pit, warmed by rotting manure, and two figures made from rocks and plants known as the Mud Maid and the Giant's Head.


Plymouth, on the south coast of Devon, is situated between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony – the second English settlement in what is now the United States. Plymouth Hoe, known locally as the Hoe, is perhaps best known for the probably apocryphal story that Sir Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls here in 1588 while waiting for the tide to change before sailing out with the English fleet to engage with the Spanish Armada. The Barbican is an essential first port of call for your visit to Plymouth. Where Drake and Raleigh once weighed anchor, today you can find a bustling community of specialist shops, restaurants, cafés and world-class attractions, all in a picturesque harbour setting.


Polperro, a spectacular few miles along the coast from Looe, is a different kettle of fish. Sheltered from the ravages of time and tide in its cliff ravine, it's an enchanting jumble of cottages, each one unmistakably the work of a Cornish fisherman.


Truro is an historic Market Town full of richness and diversity. In the centre of town, the Pannier Market is the largest of Truro's indoor markets and offers a huge range of goods, with something of interest for every shopper. Cornwall's only city, wander through the streets and opes to discover independent retailers but also national chains. Truro also has two markets open 6 days a week as well as regular Farmers Markets. The river Fal offers boat trips to Falmouth and Truro Cathedral dominates the skyline, hosting  lunchtime recitals, evening concerts and plays. The Victoria Gardens are near the City centre and provide a haven of peace among the award winning floral displays - a lovely setting for an alfresco lunch, popular with locals and visitors.



A town and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, Padstow is situated on the west bank of the River Camel estuary approximately 10 miles northeast of Newquay. Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. Although some of its former fishing fleet remains, it is mainly a yachting haven on a dramatic coastline with few easily navigable harbours. The influence of restaurateur Rick Stein can be seen in the port, and tourists travel from long distances to eat at his restaurant and cafés.

Day 1

We leave Cumbria in the morning for the journey south to Looe and our hotel the Portbyhan, situated on the harbour. A welcome drink is served on arrival. Dinner at the hotel.


Day 2

Following breakfast we head via St Austell to the fishing village of Mevagissey, where the colourful harbour is very popular with artists. On our return we visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, neglected after WW1, these famous gardens were restored to their former glory at the end of the 20th century and are now one of the most popular gardens in the UK. Dinner at the Portbyhan.

B, D

Day 3

A day at leisure to explore the quaint seaside resort of Looe, full of character and charm it is still a bustling working fishing port, the harbour is steeped in history and you can watch the boats come and go throughout the day. The town centre has an interesting mix of traditional souvenir, arts and crafts shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants, many of which are located in buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

Morning at leisure, afternoon visit to the traditional Cornish fishing village of Polperro which enjoys traffic free narrow winding streets and lanes, tiny fisherman’s cottages, a picturesque harbour along with interesting shops, cafes and restaurants. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 5

A full day excursion to the vibrant waterfront city of Plymouth. On arrival we include a short guided tour to include the Barbican, Plymouth Hoe, Devonport Naval Dockyard and Brunel’s Magnificent Royal Albert Bridge. We then have time at leisure for lunch and to explore this historic city. Dinner on our return to the Portbyhan Hotel.

B, D

Day 6

After breakfast we head to Truro, Cornwall’s city where centre stage is the impressive cathedral, surrounded by back streets with an abundance of independent shops. In the afternoon we have an included boat trip along the banks of the beautiful River Fal. We return to Looe and dinner at the Portbyhan Hotel.

B, D

Day 7

Coast to Coast today, as we head via Bodmin and Wadebridge to Padstow on the Camel Estuary, time for lunch in this popular seaside resort, with its bustling narrow streets and quaint harbour. Dinner on our return to Looe.

B, D

Day 8

We leave our hosts at the Portbyhan Hotel in Looe for the return journey home to Cumbria.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

The Portbyhan Hotel


The Portbyhan Hotel is situated in an unrivalled position, right in the heart of Looe. A large number of the rooms offer superb views over the harbour and town. The hotel was purchased in June 2013 and since then has had an investment £1.2 Million in a full refurbishment plan for the property.


The standard double and twin rooms offer everything you would expect from a modern hotel room. All rooms are en suite and have tea / coffee making facilities, a hair dryer and Freeview TV.


The newly refurbished riverside restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a Full English Breakfast, something from the light bites menu or an evening meal in style.


Enjoy a quiet drink in the Crow’s Nest Bar.


Looe is a busy and vibrant fishing town and the Portbyhan Hotel is your perfect base in the heart of the town.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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19 Sep 2022 £819.00 Loading
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