An interesting town in its own right, Looe is situated on the southeast Cornish coast and is actually separated by a river that runs right down the middle of it. According to local legends there was a time when East Looe and West Looe were fierce rivals and many local families would not cross the river and set foot on the other side.
Today there is a bridge and people pass freely from one side to the next – though expect to see duplicates of local tradespeople on either side such as bakers, grocers, and butchers. If you want to do more than explore the picturesque streets of Looe itself, there are several interesting places you should visit nearby:
- Monkey Sanctuary
Located a bit east of Looe is the Monkey Sanctuary that is home to 37 unique monkeys including capuchins, woolly monkeys, and barbary macaques. The center itself dedicates itself to the task of rescuing these monkeys and rehabilitating them, and always puts their needs first.
When you visit you’ll not only get to meet some of these unique creatures, but will also be able to find out more about what goes into caring for them, and how they ended up at the sanctuary. On top of that you can learn more about other Cornish bugs and wildlife in the wildlife room, bat cam area, and spectacular gardens.
- Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol
Within East Looe itself, the Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol will providing an interesting glimpse of Looe’s past, and is housed in the 15th century guildhall building itself. In it you’ll find many displays that cover the fishing, boatbuilding and smuggling that used to take place at one time.
For quite some time the Old Guildhall was used as a town hall, magistrates court, and prison. Today you can still see all of that, including the original raised magistrate benches and the prison cells. Some of the exhibits go even further back to prehistoric times, with a mastodon tooth that is around 2 million years old probably being the oldest.
- Adrenalin Quarry
Although it is a bit further afield, the Adrenalin Quarry is worth a visit – especially if you want a more active day trip. Originally it was known for being home to the UK’s maddest zip wire that was 50 meters high and close to 500 meters long, and would send you hurtling down over an old quarry lake at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Today there are tons of other adrenaline-filled activities at the quarry as well, including a giant swing, unique type of coasteering, axe throwing, and even camping. In short if you want something a bit different that is bound to get your blood flowing, the Adrenalin Quarry should be on your list.
Make no mistake there are many other things to do in Looe and its surrounding areas, and you’re bound to find some activities that pique your interest. While you explore what Looe has to offer you should also find time to take in its picturesque setting, and all the natural beauty that surrounds you.