Looe and Liskeard in South East Cornwall have shopping, places to stay and plenty to do including their annual festival


The pace of life may be a tad slower in South East Cornwall, but there’s still plenty to do! Head for the fishing port of Looe and its sandy beaches, great walking routes and quality restaurants. And check out the market town of Liskeard, which offers a wide range of shops, services and facilities.

Where to eat

High on a hill with stunning views over East Looe River is the award-winning Barclay House. Set in 6 acres of gardens and woodlands, this Victorian villa is just minutes from the historic town of Looe. It has a 2 AA rosette restaurant offering brasserie-style dining with a reputation for serving the best of what is caught and grown in Cornwall, including fish, meat and vegetables.


Liskeard’s Hayloft Restaurant aims to offer visitors the best of both worlds – fine dining and generous portions! The Italian-British menu puts fresh twists on traditional dishes and uses seasonal ingredients and local produce whenever possible. This family-run business is located in a building and stables that date back to the 19th century and are full of character.


The view is guaranteed at Talland Bay Beach Café in Looe. Known for its cream teas and fresh crab sandwiches, you can also enjoy pasties, baguettes, coffee and cake. There is on-site parking and all food and drink is available to eat in or takeaway. Sit outside or head indoors should the weather take a turn for the worst.


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Set in two acres of gardens is the luxurious Pencubitt Country Guest House. It’s in a great spot for exploring South East Cornwall, and Liskeard town centre and railway station are both within walking distance. Some of its nine en suite rooms have views of the gardens, the surrounding countryside, and the valley. A hearty breakfast, made from locally sourced ingredients, is also on the menu.


Where to stay

A father-and-daughter team have recently taken over the helm at Dovers House Bed and Breakfast near Looe. Their aim is to offer a friendly and relaxing break to single travellers, couples and families (with children over 6). The light, airy rooms are all en suite and the price includes breakfast. All dietary requirements are catered for. The B&B is a short drive from the town.


Where to shop

Shopping in the small coastal town of Looe is a great experience if you like independents selling unusual items. One example is The Old Mill Gift Centre, which offers quality and unique gifts – 6,000 of them in fact! Find everything from collectible ceramics to recycled aluminium bowls in the centre, which is situated beside the river, on the walkway between the Millpool car park and Looe bridge.


If you like good-quality clothes but don’t like the price tag that usually goes with them, then Liskeard’s New 2 You will make a perfect shopping experience. Its pre-loved stock is in great condition and on offer at less than half what the outfits would cost new. We’ve spotted items by Joules, Zara, Seasalt, Boden and Levi’s in store.

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What to do

An attraction with the definite “ahhh” factor is Looe Monkey Sanctuary. The flagship project of the charity Wild Futures, it cares for a range of different species of rescued monkeys. Visitors will get to learn all about these intriguing primates from the expert keepers. In addition there are wildlife gardens, a children’s activity room, workshops, a gift shop, a café and picnic areas.


For an all-weather, family-friendly attraction try Carnglaze Cavern near Liskeard. This former slate mine is part of Cornwall’s mining heritage. Find out about the miners’ ingenuity and skills, and how slate roofed the Industrial Revolution. Go underground to learn how the mine was worked. The temperature is a constant 10°C, so wearing a jumper and sensible footwear is recommended. There is also an easy woodland walk with enchanted dell.