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Cornwall Marine Directory

Fowey

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The narrowest of gaps in the sea cliffs hides the historic fishing port of Fowey from passing shipping but the discerning visitor will not regret spending a bit of time in this jewel-in-the-crown of Cornish ports.

The harbour is not only beautiful, it is packed with history and interest and offers one of the friendliest welcomes you will find anywhere in Cornwall. That friendliness makes Fowey the ideal venue for superb entertainment events that take the town by storm.

Aerial photograph of Fowey River Estruary 

One of which is Fowey's annual Regatta Week, which falls on the third week of August. The town becomes a riot of colour with boats arriving from south, east and west to take part in fun and festivities on the water and in the town.

It's one of the few occasions where the RAF's Red Arrows display team performs a show, then touches down before coming along to join in the fun. The festivities take on a life of their own towards the end of the regatta when the visiting fleet of Falmouth Working Boats go head to head in the confines of the town's main basin for The Harbour Race.

Spectators line the waterside bars and clubs to watch this amazing spectacle. These boats, many of them antique and weighing as much as eight tonnes, race within inches of each other as they thunder around tightly spaced race marks, each eager to win.

fowey_qtr_yachtFowey has a good range of facilities and services available to the visiting yachtsman. Whether you need a marine engineer or to restock your water and food supplies, you could not pick a better place to rest your weary sea legs while you do it. The facilities for visiting yachtsmen are fantastic in Fowey. Visiting boaters are welcome to a hot shower at either the Royal Fowey or Fowey Gallants Yacht Club. Each club also serves good food and beers.

The Fowey River threads its way through a picturesque wooded valley - the ideal spot to explore in a boat or canoe hire in the town. Then you can row or paddle your way up the river exploring the wealth of lush woodland and wildlife. The further up this peaceful creek you get, the more you notice the abundance of birdlife. All manner of winged creatures, from the garden birds in the wooded valley to the sea and estuarine wildlife of the river itself, can be seen if you stay quiet and patient.

Outside in the bay, the sailing and watersports opportunities are of a very high quality - where it is often possible to spot marine wildlife including dolphins and porpoises. Regular species include the bottlenose dolphin, the white-beaked, common, striped, Atlantic white-sided and Risso's dolphin. These waters also play host to visiting basking sharks.

 fowey_main_shark
Image courtesy of Mevagissey Ferries

Every May, the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature attracts thousands of visitors as it takes place in a tented village on the lawns of the Fowey Hall Hotel, which has commanding views of the harbour below. The festival is a sparkling mix of well-known names, guided walks, talks, drama, community events and free entertainment. Fowey was the setting for Daphne du Maurier's real-life love story. It was while living here that her first novel, The Loving Spirit, so captivated Major Tommy Browning that he sailed to Fowey to meet the author - they fell in love and got married in 1932.

But du Maurier is not the only literary icon from Fowey, erudite links abound here - it's said that when writer Kenneth Grahame stayed here he gleaned the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows which was largely inspired by excursions up the River Fowey. It is also said that the Fowey Hall Hotel is the likely inspiration for the author's Toad Hall.

it's said that when writer Kenneth Grahame stayed here he gleaned the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows

If staying on a mooring in the river at Fowey prepare to be amazed by the size of commercial shipping that manages to navigate the river to serve the china clay wharves just upriver of the town. The staff of Fowey Harbour Office are very friendly and ever-ready to offer assistance and advice to visiting yachts.

 

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