Welcome to this week´s edition of Cornwall Sunday.
Along the Cornish coast are Looe and Polperro. Once known for shipping, fishing and piracy, today they are merely two enchanting little villages with narrow, winding streets, lively harbours and picturesque cottages, many with those delightfully ancient low doors and windows.
Looe is actually two Looes, as it were: East and West Looe, connected by a cool Victorian footbridge. There´s a small beach, sandcastle-building gear for sale and heaps of quirky shops and tea-rooms.
As we walk along East Looe harbour eating ice cream, a particularly aggressive sea gull hones in on Alexandra, my oldest. He dives, slappes her face with a wing, pinches her entire ice cream cone and flies off triumphantly. When the cheeky bird is spotted by his brothers, an airborne battle over ice cream ensues. He loses! Karma.
Back on the ground, that is small comfort to Alex. She normally talks a mile a minute. Now she is stunned into silence. The look on her face… priceless! Like a good mum, I suppose I should show concern. But li´l sis and I just can’t help laughing our heads off. She hasn’t looked at sea gulls in the same way since.
Mugshots of possible culprits:
Looe. And Alex, pre-trauma:
Probably a safer bet:
We adore Polperro at first sight. Like Looe, it’s a pretty village with a bustling harbour and adorably quirky, old houses. But Polperro also seems to offer a more vivid picture of interesting Cornish smuggling history.
In the late 1700s, Britain had wars to fight – with France and with the pesky American colonies, you know. These wars were financed in the normal way, by raising taxes.
Feeling taxed half to death, the local fishermen had to make a living somehow. Smuggling and privateering seem to have been especially prolific in Polperro, perhaps because of its isolated location and the opportunity to stack the goods in the numerous secluded coves along the sea shore.
It wasn’t as frowned upon as one would think either. In the late 1700s, seafaring smugglers even had their own banker in town, a Mr. Zephaniah Job. Today, there’s a Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing. Unless you’re a customs officer, how can you not love a place like that?
From Polperro’s beaches, the contraband was quickly dispersed, much of it brought inland across Bodmin Moor, where smugglers often stopped off at Jamaica Inn.
Next time, I´ll have a look at the smuggler museum. And I hear Polperro have the most terrific sunsets! I can easily see myself hiring a cottage and staying a while. There is even a job opening…
Love the sign and the colour of the houses in the villages. They look like fun places to explore.
They really were fun to explore, Leigh – just like the rest of Cornwall.
So cute! Reminds me of Astoria, Oregon. 🙂
ps: that’s a mighty big ice cream cone!
Really? I´ve heard a bit about Oregon lately. Didn´t know it (or parts of it) resembled Cornwall. Interesting…
That sign is awesome! Did you ask about the job opening just to see what it was really for? Was it a joke? Love it! Great post as always! The photos of the village make me want to visit!
Haha, no, I didn´t enquire further.
Weird I was chatting to my girlfriend this weekend about Looe – I went there as a kid so have some fond memories – The job opening made me laugh.
great stuff – Will share on Twitter.
Must have been lovely to be a child in such a beautiful place!
I love the sign! I could send my application!! 🙂 the shot of the ice cream is so weird! Neve r heard about this villages , but look great as most of English spots!
England is full of jewels…
The job opening is just hilarious. I don’t know if that thing is really serious or not. Was there anyone applied for the job? That would be hilarious! I must say that both places are just so lovely. Wanna go there in the future. Thanks for sharing how beautiful these places are!
Not sure if they received any applications 🙂
That sign is hilarious!
Such lovely Cornish villages – well except for the criminal seagulls!
Lovely, indeed! Could get used to the gulls, I suppose.
I was getting ready to send photos of my car and boat but couldn’t see where to send. Fascinating post, Sophie!
I think I´d like to see photos of your car and boat 🙂
I have never been to Polperro or Looe but this makes me think to really plan and go to this place..Thanks for the idea..
Both are very much worth a visit 🙂
I see I ought to go to Cornwall. Seems so nice and old fashioned British.
It really is!
A place with its own Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing. I guess a lot of people learned their trade in that place. At the very least, they might have been inspired by the place and its history.
Love the idea of a smuggling museum. So irreverent.
Lovely fishing villages, I bet fish there is delicious!
Oh, it was!
I’ve never been!! They look enchanting though!
I think you’d like them 🙂
Polperro looks absolutely spectacular. It looks so peaceful too but you have to watch out for those sea gulls because they seem like they’re on a mission to disturb your peace!
I think if you throw food at them, even just once, you – and everyone else – is sold. Persistent creatures, sea gulls.
Can’t say I’ve been to either of these but I appreciate the charm and humour! Looks so pretty from the water (I thought that was Scandinavia at first glance!)
There are certain similarities.
LOL I laughed so hard at the job post…man, they ask for a lot from a woman over there…must have everything XD
It looks like a cute little town there though, reminds me when I was living in New Zealand.
Tough being a woman in a fisherman’s world.
When I saw the first picture, I thought it was Dublin… There are some places in Ireland which look really like these.
Not surprising really. It’s not that far away.
one of my regrets from my time living in England was not making it down to Cornwall. Nice to get a vicarious tour!
Cornwall is my faourite part of England 🙂
I’ve visited twice and can’t wait to go back in the summer!
It’s almost like travelling through a fairy tale.
And the people are lovely.
Thanks for the fond memories. <3
Thanks for stopping by, Wendi. I’m hoping to find time for a visit in Cornwall this summer as well 🙂
If we time it right…I’ll be there the last weekend of June through the first weekend of July. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! Have a reunion and a birthday to celebrate in that span. How nice if we could do tea somewhere along the way…. 🙂
We’ve usually travelled in Britain right around that time. The beginning of July usually works very well, as school isn’t yet out there. Meeting for tea would be very nice.