Archive for looe valley line

New Year in Looe

New Year in LooeI love this time of year. When you live in Cornwall, you just have to scratch the surface to find there are so many things to do – and in Looe, there are so many events and festivities in the build up to Christmas and the New Year.

What’s On December 2017

Dec 1-2:  Looe Festive Weekend. Over the weekend of Dec 1-2, Looe will be full of festive spirit. The weekend starts with a lantern procession and an open air carol service on Friday evening on the quayside. Santa arrives in Looe by train on Saturday at 2.55 pm with an afternoon of stalls, children’s entertainment and live animals, food, drink and Santa’s grotto with carols in the evening. And on Sunday, there’s a Santa Fun Run in costume.

Dec 9-10: Christmas Fairs at Mt Edgcumbe and The Lost Gardens of Heligan provide a perfect opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts from artisan producers of food & drink, arts & crafts with entertainment and Christmas Carolling

See more events at Looe Tourist Information Centre

New Year in Looe

New Year Fireworks in LooeOf course, New Year in Looe has become famous for its fancy dress and fireworks display. We’ve got some late availability at Polraen Country House over the New Year in Looe.  A superking room for a 3 night minimum stay for 2 people at £333.  So if you haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve and fancy a short break away, come and join us in Cornwall. Book here.

Looe’s fancy dress and fireworks tradition turns the whole town into one brilliant party. You really are a bystander if you’re not in costume. There are two firework displays set off from the Banjo Pier. One at 6 pm to cater for families and of course the big one at midnight. Looe Beach is the busy venue due to its proximity to the town but one of the best vantage points is at Rock Towers at West Looe overlooking the river mouth and bay. We recommend booking a table at a restaurant so you have somewhere in town as a base and booking taxis in advance. Of course, Polraen is the perfect place to relax if you prefer to see in the New Year quietly.

If you want to keep up with the latest information on New Year in Looe and what’s going on,  we recommend you like the Love Looe Facebook page

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10 Reasons to Visit Looe in May and June

1. Best time to visit Cornwall

One of 10 reasons to visit LooeWe’ve selected 10 Reasons to visit Looe in May and June as they’re among the best months to visit Cornwall and Looe is the perfect touring base. Come ahead of the crowds. The hedgerows are full of wild garlic and campions. If you’re quick, be dazzled by carpets of bluebells in early May.  Visit historic houses when their gardens are bursting into colour. It’s also a key festival time when Looe celebrates its connection with the sea at the Looe Festival of the Sea and the Lugger Regatta. Come and savour the wonderful fish and seafood landed on Looe Quay.

3. Cornish Bluebell Walks

Looe Valley Dog WalkCome in early May to see bluebells everywhere! They’re spectacular in the Looe Valley, especially between Sandplace and Duloe. Follow a Looe Valley Walk from Polraen and return for a light lunch or afternoon tea in the new Conservatory Tea Room & Bar now open at Polraen Wed-Sun 11 – 4 pm. 

4. Cornwall beaches without crowds 

Enjoy it all ahead of the crowds – Just by avoiding the school holidays, you can escape to deserted beaches at Whitsand Bay, enjoy a leisurely lunch in some great seafood restaurants. Relax and listen to the birdsong. No queues. No stress.

5. Cornwall Gardens at their best

Polraen country house garden LooeAs May progresses to early summer, the gardens at Lanhydrock, Cotehele, Anthony and Mt Edgcumbe become a profusion of colour. Azaleas and rhodedendrons tower over exotic herbaceous borders. Be sure to visit Caerhays Castle – as it’s only open till the end of June. And the house on the Port Eliot Estate at St Germans only opens in the early part of the summer.

6. Visit Poldark Film sets

Loving the Poldark TV drama?  Come and see the REAL thing in Cornwall! Visit the filming locations.  A walk on Bodmin Moor is guaranteed to provide a sense of solitude and amazement – this is the country for those seeking views and wild walks and a sense of history and folklore. While the familiar Poldark backdrop of the Georgian port of Charlestown harks back to the times of wreckers, smugglers and merchants, when tin and copper were loaded on to tall ships.

7. Rockpool Rambles in Looe

Join expert volunteers from the Looe Marine Conservation Group to discover where to look, how to find and identify some of the wonderful and beautiful creatures and seaweeds that inhabit Looe’s amazing rockpools. May 28th 1.30 to 3 pm on Hannafore Beach. A free event suitable for all ages. There’s no need to book.

8. Festival of the Sea June 4 – The Lugger Regatta 9-11 June

Photo Courtesy of Looe Festival of ood and DrinkCelebrate Looe’s connections with the sea. Alongside the Raft Race on June 4, the Festival of the Sea is an educational day of fun filled family activities and entertainment which takes place on Looe’s quayside. We show our respect for the sea and the livelihood it provides to a fishing community like Looe. So join us to celebrate the sustainable fisheries of Looe and its wonderful marine life.

With the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Looe Marine Conservation Group, find out how crabs and lobsters are caught, have a go at mackerel line fishing and learn about the wealth of environmentally friendly seafood available in Cornwall. Chef demos, BBQ, stalls, a crabbing competition, puppet show, dancing etc Lots of marine organisations take part including the National Marine Aquarium, the Fishermens Mission, RNLI. And the heritage continues the following weekend with famous Looe Lugger festival when historic fishing vessels return to Looe. 

9. Looe Island Visits

Book a trip across to Cornwall’s only island nature reserve, just off the coast of Looe. See the seals. Spot the nesting birds. Escape to an island for a few hours……….Boat trips can be booked along the quayside and guided walks are bookable in advance via the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

10. Come by train – get a free cream tea

Top quality guest accommodation in chocolate box historic houseCome to Polraen Country House by train with Great Western Railway in May and June and get a complimentary cream tea in the new Conservatory Tea Room & Bar at Polraen. It’s easy to reach Polraen – just a 300 metre walk from Sandplace Station on the Looe Valley Line – a branch line from the main London-Penzance service to Liskeard. Then you can explore Cornwall using cheap day returns to St Ives, Truro, Plymouth, Falmouth or Penzance. Polraen has both bus and train links so you can leave the car behind in our car park!

Tempted?

Check Availability Polraen Hotel Looe Cornwall

 

Cornwall by Car, Bus and Train

Printed on the back of our breakfast menus, our Top Ten Day Trips from Looe have proved so popular with guests staying at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley that we thought we’d share our recommendations so you can plan ahead.

Cornwall With and Without a Car

Explore Cornwall by trainBe adventurous!  Why not explore Cornwall by car, bus and train.  It’s rare to find hotel accommodation in Cornwall in such an idyllic rural location enjoying the convenience of both bus and train services.  Our suggestions include days out from Looe with and without the car using Polraen Country House near Looe as a touring base for Cornwall and Devon. At Sandplace in the Looe Valley, Polraen Country House benefits from Bus Route Number 73 – an hourly bus service which honours senior citizen bus passes, and the scenic Looe Valley Line train giving easy access to Looe, Polperro, Liskeard and beyond.

Touring By Car

Whitsand Day out from LooeWithout negotiating any narrow back lanes, it’s a direct route from Polraen’s car park to the A38 via Morval on the A387. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll be on a fast road heading east to fantastic beaches at Whitsand, the Rame Peninsula and Devon or west into deeper Cornwall.

Exploring By Looe Valley Line Train

Just a 2 minute stroll to Sandplace Station, guests really appreciate our proximity to the scenic Looe Valley Line. 5 minutes to Looe or use it to connect with the mainline at Liskeard. It’s perfect for day trips by train to St Ives, Falmouth, Truro and Plymouth. Cheap day returns and group/family discounts make the journey easier, faster, and far more relaxing than by car. It’s less costly too (no fuel or parking charges).  A year round service Mon-Sat and from May 17, a Sunday service too.

Travelling By Plymouth CityBus 73

Polperro Harbour Explore Cornwall by busPlymouth Citybus 73 runs from Polperro via Looe and Sandplace through the Looe Valley to Liskeard and beyond to Pensilva up on Bodmin Moor. It stops on request right outside the hotel and honours senior citizen bus passes so if you qualify, enjoy ‘free’ trips too. We’re happy to assist with directions, timetables & loan Ordnance Survey maps.  New for 2015, a bus service from Liskeard to Padstow, so you can now easily reach the north coast without taking the car!

Top Ten Day Trips from Looe

  1. Looe to Polperro Cliff top walk (on foot and by bus)
  2. Eden Project via Bodinnick Ferry and Fowey (by car)
  3. Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Victorian port of Charlestown (by car)
  4. Lanhydrock – a gem in the National Trust portfolio of historic houses (by car)
  5. Days out by train to St Ives, Truro, Falmouth, Penzance, Plymouth (by train)
  6. Whitsand Bay & the Rame Peninsular – the beaches & villages of Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner’ (by car)
  7. North Coast to King Arthur’s Tintagel, Boscastle and Rick Stein’s Padstow (by car)
  8. The contrast that is Bodmin Moor, granite formations, ghosts and Bodmin Jail (by car or by bus)
  9. Discover grey seals and amazing wildlife on  visit to Looe Island (by bus/train and boat)
  10. Go on a mackerel or deep sea fishing trip from Looe (by bus/train and boat)

Full details and a print friendly download available here.  At Polraen, we know that a little bit of local knowledge can go a long way in making the difference between a good holiday and a great one. We are more than happy to assist you during your stay, with suggestions on things to do, places to visit and how to get there. Why not book your holiday in Looe now?

Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line

For the last two Sundays, 11th and 18th November, the Looe Valley has reverberated to the sound of steam hissing, engine pistons clacking and whistles blowing as a steam engine (Great Western Society’s 104-year-old Steam Railmotor 93) has plied the journey from Liskeard to Looe and back. Walking our dog May, up past Sandplace Station, Tregarland Bridge and Plashford on Sunday morning before the rush of Sunday lunch at Polraen, the smell of sulphur from the burning coal filled my nostrils as the steam hovered above the track as the little engine disappeared down the single track toward Looe leaving a plume of white as its signature.

Fortunately, both Sundays were blessed with lovely sunny weather.  The Looe Valley was a picture, dressed in its autumn glory with its tree lined banks saluting the passing of the little train . This little video captures a day in the life of the little train from all angles and from most stations along the route. Enjoy….

 

 

Looe Food Festival Accommodation – Special Offer

LOOE FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND DRINK: 23 AND 24 JUNE

Check availabilityA great weekend for foodies to take a shortbreak in Looe and we have two rooms available at Polraen Country House at short notice!

This year sees the very first Looe Festival of Food and Drink open it’s gastronomic doors to Looe and South East Cornwall. Whether it rains or shines, you’ll be able to sample delicious Cornish food and drink, talk to local food producers and learn how to cook something new and delicious with cooking demonstrations from top chefs from our best restaurants. Everything will be under cover in a custom designed marquee on the Millpool car park beside the Looe River.  The festival is free to enter and there’ll be plenty of tasters.

Photo Courtesy of Looe Festival of ood and DrinkAt Polraen Country House, we have a double and a king available over this weekend (£87 – £96 per night with extra nights available). So you can enjoy our quiet location with free parking and free WiFi at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley, waking up to our full range of breakfast choices using local produce relaxing in the conservatory overlooking our award winning garden. Then you can head into town to literally ‘graze’ on tempting tasters from land and sea in the marquee tents at the Festival throughout the day (Sat & Sun).   We’re just 5 minutes from Looe and the sea with convenient bus and train links on the Looe Valley line so if you fancy sampling some of the local beer and cider, you don’t need to worry about taking the car.  You can add extra nights for a  longer break with optional evening dinner Mon-Fri.

So don’t wait, don’t hesitate, don’t bother to look up the weather forecast, just BOOK NOW now before it’s gone

 

Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line in September

Victorian Railway Fayre at Polraen in the Looe ValleySteam trains return to the Looe Valley Line on 19th and 26th September, commemorating 150 years of the Looe Branch Line and the 175th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway. We’re thrilled to have chance to see them passing Polraen Country House four times each Sunday. It will be the first time since 1961 that steam trains have travelled on the line between Liskeard and Looe .

The Looe Valley Explorer trains will feature steam locomotive GWR designed Hawksworth Pannier Tank No. 9466 hauling in one direction and a classic  1960’s English electric Type 3 (Class 37)  diesel in the other. The four departures on the two consecutive Sundays 19th and 26th September, will leave Liskeard at 10.50, 12.55, 14.55 and 17.10 stopping at Looe for approximately 10 minutes. Return tickets are £25 each with further details available from Vintage Trains including booking information. 

Victorian GirlsCelebrations to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Looe Valley Line will also be centred around the weekend of 11 and 12 September when a variety of events get underway with a Victorian fare, organized walks, a real ale trail and much, much more. It reminds me fondly of the time about 7 or 8 years ago when we held a Victorian Fayre in our garden to celebrate one of the railway centenary events.

If you are looking for accommodation, B&B rates at Polraen are from £82 per room per night.