Thursday 27th September 2012
Toilets: East Looe Beach; basic compost toilet on Looe Island.
We spent a lovely week in Looe, Cornwall, and were lucky enough to take a boat trip over to Looe Island, also known as St George’s Island. The boat trips aren’t 100% regular, but if you walk down to Buller’s Quay (near the beach at East Looe), there is a noticeboard advertising the next sailing time, along with a little notebook where you can write your name down to reserve your place. The boat trip costs £6 per person, and you also pay a landing fee of £2.50 upon arrival. There are sometimes guided walks around the island, but you need to book well in advance.
I’m not usually a huge fan of going on boats, but it was a calm day and the boat didn’t go too fast, so it was fine. Once or twice a year, during exceptionally low tides, it’s possible to walk across from Hannafore. I didn’t manage to get a decent photo from the boat, but here’s one I took a couple of days later, standing just west of Hannafore.
We landed at a small beach, where were welcomed by one of the wardens and given a short talk about the history of the island. Owned for many years by the Atkins sisters, it was bequeathed to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 2004. There are now six people living there. Two of them are the wardens, and there are two other couples who were originally friends of the Atkins sisters and used to visit them on holiday.
There was a small hut where we could buy books about the island and pick up a few leaflets about the wildlife there. There was also apple juice and raspberry jam available, both made with fruit grown on the island.
We were given a leaflet with a circular walking route, designed to be easily achievable within our two hour visit. The length of the route was approximately 1km, and it could be walked in fifteen minutes if you walked briskly round the whole thing without stopping to look at anything, but we took a very leisurely pace and it took about an hour. We passed various buoys and fishing baskets, mainly used for decorative purposes.
The wardens had a garden, in an effort to move towards self-sufficiency. Amongst other things there were raspberries, courgettes and runner beans.
The wardens live in this amazing house!
We passed a flock of sheep. Further along our walk was this bird hide, from which we could quietly observe the wildlife.
There were beautiful views of the sea everywhere.
Nearly back at our starting point, we had views across the sea to Hannafore.
We eventually found ourselves back at the beach, and had a relaxing time waiting for our boat back to Looe. It was a beautiful and peaceful place to visit.