Looe Beach is found on the eastern side of town and is described as one of the best kayaking spots in Cornwall. The beach is sheltered and can be very calm and tranquil during summer while out of season, the risk of more adverse weather is ever present. Exploring the coastline around this area of Kernow is a particularly pleasurable experience – rocky outcrops and cliffs provide the perfect backdrop to your kayaking adventures.
If you choose to head up the river you can take either the west fork or the east. You can paddle along for quite a way but it’s worth knowing the daily tide times and using the ebb and flow to help with your journey. Boating traffic can be heavy during high season and staying clear of any type of vessel is advised.
Heading out of the estuary paddlers can choose to hang right towards Millendreath and even onwards to Seaton – if you have the time. Turning left, you have either the coast to explore or St George’s Island.
Visitors to Looe will find plenty of choices of accommodation, amenities, pubs, restaurants and entertainment options for après paddling. There’s even a kayak hire shop based in town meaning you needn’t take your own boat if you chose not to.
How to get there:
There are a number of transport links to Looe depending on the direction you’re coming from.The main A38 from Liskeard has artery roads leading into the town. A train station on the main line between Plymouth and Penzance is also available – great if you’re considering hiring a kayaking and not bringing your own.
A kayak hire shop can be found at Looe beach and there are plenty of other amenities in town. Also an excellent cafe nearly according to one of our site users.
Tides can be strong in and out of the estuary and paddlers will need some understanding of the phenomenon if thinking of putting in. At certain times you’ll find big swells out in the open sea – particular if an easterly or southerly wind has been blowing. Boats and fishing trawlers will need to be steered clear of.
Ins and Outs:
Paddlers can put in on either side of the estuary at East or West Looe. You then have a choice of whether to head for open sea or navigate along the river itself.
The easiest place to launch in Looe is off the beach although there are other put in points around if you have a search. There a few slipways along the river’s edge but these get busy with marine traffic.
For those who fancy a break from salty activities then a coastal path runs out of th town and is a great way to explore the area from land.
Southeast Cornwall is generally a lot sleepier than its surf battered north coast brethren. Boasting a diverse number of towns and villages Looe falls into the moderate sized category and is a great place for a spot of kayaking. Looe offers two distinct paddling locations – open sea and the tidal River Looe.
Looe itself is a fishing town nestling at the bottom of a steep sided valley split into two by and estuary. St. George’s Island (commonly referred to as Looe Island) lies offshore to the west and would make a good paddling destination. The name Looe is derived from the Cornish word Logh – meaning deep water inlet. This in itself should give prospective paddlers an idea of what to expect from a visit.
Summer is the busiest period for tourists but Looe remains buzzing throughout the year. September features a host of tuneful acts during the annual Looe Music Festival while New Year’s Eve celebrations keep the tradition of fancy dress alive.