Top places to live in Cornwall Fowey
Fowey (to rhyme with joy and it really is) is more than just a yachtie harbour tucked into Cornwall’s south coast - it’s fast becoming a highlight on the Cornish foodie scene and continuing to attract creatives and artists. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Sheltered in one of Cornwall’s many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the deep water harbour at Fowey was once an important trading hub. It now attracts all manner of maritime vessels (and it is still has a busy commercial port, the main export being China clay from St Austell). Culturally rich after novelist Daphne du Maurier made Fowey her home, and with more literary associations plentiful, there’s beautiful and often period property to be found – but waterside living, like most places in the Duchy, will cost you.
During the summer season residents and holiday makers alike are spoilt for choice, with Fitzroy and sister establishment North Street Kitchen leading the foodie charge alongside Italian inspired restaurant and bar Appleton’s from husband and wife Duo ex-Fifteen head chef Andy Appleton and Lindsay. Fowey Hall Hotel, the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame’s Toad Hall, offers afternoon tea and you’ll also find a plethora of cafes, bakeries and ice cream shops.
In the winter months look out for Grale Frit pop up restaurant from Fitzroy’s head chef Ethan and his wine loving brother, Joel – they make use of the Fitzroy building to host supper clubs and deli-style takeaway days.
The pink pub King of Prussia sits on stilts in the middle of the quay and has been take over by the team behind Fowey farm shop. If you’re swayed by royal visits, Prince William once stopped for a pint at The Royal British Legion. Sailing fans like the drinks at the Royal Fowey Yacht Club, which as you’d expect has a great view, or head upriver to nearby Golant where you’ll find the waterside pub the Fishermans Arms, perfect to while away a sunny Sunday afternoon watching the gig rowers from the nearby club.
Fowey’s bijou high street is packed with independents for all your shopping needs including groceries and butcher Kittows, ethical and sustainable clothes from Pink Lemons, interiors from LIGA. Leopard & Goat Farm is an eclectic chocolate farm with its own shop, which stocks all manner of chocolates, and can be found next door to Any Old Lights, which is exactly as it sounds.
During the summer Fowey has enjoyed the fortnightly markets in the grounds of Fowey Hall Hotel, which have drawn to an end for the season, but look out for the Christmas market, and for its return next summer.
Fowey itself has an aquarium and museum as well as a really quite fascinating bus tour of the town. Locals love to swim at Readymoney Cove (where Dawn French had a place until she put it on the market last year). With a swimming platform and swimming area, it is a fab little beach, with it’s own beach shop and cafe, Walk round the corner to St Catherine’s Castle and on to Polridmouth. It’s also fun to catch the little ferry boat over to Polruan on the opposite bank of the river Fowey, where you’ll find nice pubs and a couple of cafes, and a beautiful walk to Lantic Bay beach.
Further afield you’ll find the Eden Project or head in land to Lostwithiel where there’s more lovely shops including antiques and interiors.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Prices were up a massive 69% in Fowey last year costing an average of £578,399 with detached properties a more punchy £797,990 – but the biggest waterfront places sell for far north of £1m.
As always in Cornwall the choice of schools is limited – Fowey and Polruan primaries are both Ofsted rated ‘Good’, and there is a local secondary academy Fowey River Academy. Sadly if you’re after independents, you’re going to have to travel – the nearest are in Truro, Launceston or Plymouth, all a decent drive away.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Daphne du Maurier fans have their very own festival, which takes place every May, inspired by numerous works set in and written around Fowey. It attracts speakers such as Oxford prof and du Maurier expert Dr Laura Varnam. Also look out for the Thrussell’s Rook with a Book sculpture on the quay.
Fowey is probably the kind of place that you want to have work in or nearby, as it’s a reasonable distance from any kind of decent sized road. That said, you can be in St Austell in under 30 mins where there’s a mainline station, from where you can be in Plymouth in an hour, or London in 4 and half hours.
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