22+ Best Things to do in Looe with Kids + Day Trips

 Divided into two parts by the Looe river running through its centre, Looe is a small coastal town and fishing port on the south coast of Cornwall. East Looe is the main tourism centre with a collection of narrow streets lined with shops and cafes, all with amazing views around every corner.

Looe is a top-rated family holiday destination with a long history and many fun tourist attractions, museums, independent local shops, lovely sandy beaches and beautiful cafes and restaurants.

Here is a list of the top things to do in Looe with your kids and nearby attractions to help you plan your holiday in this wonderful town.

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looe harboir, sea in looe, looe with kids

Best Things to do in Looe with kids

Here are the very best things to do in Looe with kids:

#1 Swim and relax at East Looe beach

east looe beach, beaches in cornwall
East Looe Beach (Credit: Robert Pittman)

East Looe is a well facilitated, family-friendly sandy beach only a short walk from Looe. The beach is easily accessible, especially for children, it has safe swimming, and it’s ideal for kids to have a worry-free paddle.

Amenities:  Parking at East and West Looe, toilets close to the beach, shops, refreshments and other facilities can be found in the town.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#2 Take a boat trip to Looe Island

Looe Island (Credit: Jooliarg)

Owned by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Looe Island, known as St George’s Island, is a small nature reserve a mile from the mainland town of Looe, United Kingdom. It’s one of the best attractions in the town if you have a sense of adventure or just want a bit of peace to visit. You can explore the island and admire the fantastic sea views back to the mainland.

The island is managed to benefit a variety of wildlife habitats; that’s why organised trips, access by foot and craft such as boats, kayaks and canoes are not allowed, but boats from Looe Harbour to the island are available most days throughout the tourist season. 

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#3 Go Shopping on Fore Street

Looe Cornwall things to do are not only about tourist attractions and museums. Whether you’re after local shops, antiques and souvenirs, or great deals on big brand products, shops in Looe have everything you need from clothing to food and gift outlets. There are also some fantastic shops lined on Fore Street.

Looe shops will provide you with an intimate and friendly atmosphere and have a range of food outlets offering homegrown vegetables to luxury hampers. Many eye-catching gift shops sell affordable items or gifts to remind you of the great time you had.

#4 Explore Looe Harbour

Looe Harbour (Credit: Ian Lee)

Looe Harbour is surrounded by various restaurants and cafes with stunning views across Looe Beach and offers one of the best Fishing trips in Looe.

You can visit the harbour quay to watch the fishing boats coming in to unload their catches, or if you are looking to add some adventure to your holiday in Looe, you can book one of the boating and fishing trips setting out from the harbour during the season including a fun mackerel fishing trip for a great family day out, and the most famous shark fishing trip for a memorable experience.

#5 Walk a Section of the South West Coast Path

#6 Visit the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary Looe

Based in Looe, Cornwall, UK, the Monkey Sanctuary is one of the most famous places to visit in Looe. It’s home to different species of rescued monkeys, including woolly and capuchin monkeys, giving visitors a chance to tour the monkey enclosures to meet and learn more about these fascinating animals.

The Sanctuary is not just about meeting monkeys; your kids will love the wild play area where they can learn about the environment around them. You can take a gentle stroll around the beautiful Wildlife gardens or visit the fantastic gift shop.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#7 Visit the Looe Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol

Visiting the Old Looe Museum is one of the best things to do in Looe on a rainy day. It’s a small local history museum showcasing fascinating displays about historic Looe, focusing on fishing and boat building, smuggling, the Courtroom regalia, World War 2 memories and the Looe Valley Railway Line.

The museum is spread over two floors. The upper floor is where you will find the main collection of historical objects, including toys and domestic equipment. Downstairs you will find more ancient exhibits with several prehistoric artefacts from the area.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#8 Ride on the Looe Valley Line

The Looe Valley Line (Credit: Matt Buck)

The Looe Valley Line is a community railway Line that links Looe with the market town of Liskeard. Taking this train journey is one of the best things to do in Looe to enjoy the picturesque landscapes over the wooded valleys teeming with wildlife and opening up to the stunning estuary views.

The last two miles are an excellent opportunity to spot some local birdlife. Liskeard itself is a beautiful Cornish destination with interesting shops, safe beaches, and good restaurants.

#9 Discover Looe’s maritime history at the Old Sardine Factory Heritage Centre

Located on the quayside in West Looe, the former Sardine Factory reopened to the public as a heritage centre in 2018. It’s one of the first things to do in Looe to know more about its maritime story, the fishing industry and smuggling activity and the story of the harbour. 

There are plenty of family activity workshops to choose from, in addition to an exhibition with a large map of Looe’s coastline, an activity centre with a climbing wall, a virtual reality station to experience a lifeboat shout, a coffee and tea room and a restaurant overlooking the stunning Looe harbour.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

Best Things to do near Looe with kids

#10 Walk from Looe to Polperro on the South West Coast Path

Distance from Looe: 5.4 miles moderate coastal walk 

Polperro Harbour

In addition to all the amazing things to do in Looe, there are plenty of nearby attractions and activities to do, and Looe to Polperro walk is one of the most famous things to do near Looe. It’s a popular walk between two Cornish coastal villages following the South West Coast Path. You can view more things to do in Polperro with kids here.

You can extend your walking to Polruan through a delightful area designated as a coastal Site of Special Scientific Interest or follow the Looe River to the stunning Kilminorth Woods Nature Reserve. Finally, You can catch a boat from East Looe to Looe island and enjoy a guided walk.

#11 Discover the beauty of Talland Bay 

Distance from Looe : 2.5 miles, 7 min driving time

Talland Bay (Credit: Alison Day)

Located midway between Looe and Polperro, Talland Bay is a picturesque spot with two of the best beaches near Looe. Talland Sand, the main beach, is an ideal well-equipped family beach with a car park, toilets, shops, and an amazing café. It’s safe for swimming at both high and low tides. On the other hand, Rotterdam Beach is much quieter, and access is a little more difficult.

Talland Bay is one of the best places to visit near Looe Cornwall, It’s an area of outstanding beauty, and both Looe and Polperro are within easy walking distance via the South West Coast Path.

Why not stay at the Talland Bay Hotel doe quick access to this fantastic beach. Read our full Talland Bay Hotel review here.

#12 Spend a great day out at the Rame peninsula

Distance from Looe :  16.3 miles, 33 min driving time

Kingsand, Cornwall (Credit: Alison Day)

Locally known as Cornwall’s forgotten southeast corner, the Rame Peninsula is one of the best places to go near Looe. Bounded by the Rivers Lynher, Tamar and Plymouth Sound, It’s an area of great natural beauty with historic fishing villages, magnificent landscapes and spectacular coastal walks overlooking quiet, beautiful beaches.

There are also plenty of quality shops, galleries, restaurants and tourist attractions waiting to be discovered, including Rame Head, Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park and Antony Woodland gardens.

If you are looking for peace and tranquillity, planning a visit to the Rame Peninsula is definitely one of the best things to do in Cornwall for a truly unforgettable experience with your kids.

Website: visitrame

#13 Go on a Day Trip to Plymouth, Devon

white and blue boat on sea under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Nikolay Loubet

Plymouth is located just outside of Cornwall in neighbouring Devon, separated from Cornwall by the River Tamar. The city of Plymouth has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to great attractions and rich history.

If you have teens, they’ll enjoy the vast range of shops, 4D cinema and booming food scene. Let loose in the biggest aquarium in the UK, or visit the Mayflower Steps, where Francis Drake set out on his voyage to America.

#14 Visit The Eden Project

Distance from Looe | 21.6 miles (34-minute drive)

Eden Project, st austell things to do

As one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions, The Eden Project is a great day for families. The site is nestled in a huge crater with massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity. Stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events. The Eden Project provides innovative play equipment and a warm welcome for kids of all ages.

Website | edenproject.com

#15 Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Distance from Looe | 30.6 miles, 56-minute drive

Lost gardens of heligan, flowers growing around a large pond, things to do near Mevagissey

Set in one of the most mysterious estates in England, the gardens were lost under thick overgrowth after being abandoned by workers during WW1.  Their accidental discovery in 1990 led to the largest garden restoration project in Europe.

Now, this 200-acre paradise is home to 150-year-old rhododendrons and camellias, over 20 kinds of fruits and vegetables, a tunnel of bamboos, and rare wildlife.  If you’re feeling extra brave, cross the 100 feet tall Burmese Rope Bridge, which hovers over a jungle of tree ferns and other subtropical plants.

Website: www.heligan.com

#16 Visit the impressive Lanhydrock house and gardens

Distance from Looe: 16.5 miles, 28 min driving time

Lanhydrock house and gardens, Cornwall. Grass backed with a large manor house.

Visiting Lanhydrock house and gardens is the best thing to do near Looe Cornwall for anyone interested in historic houses. It’s an impressive late Victorian country house with colourful gardens, a wooded estate, riverside walks and family-friendly cycle trails.

There are loads to see whenever you visit  Lanhydrock. The house is really worth visiting and has many interesting rooms, including historic kitchens. The garden has a huge plant collection that links to the Victorian theme, including magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias. There’s also a wonderful play area built outside one of the two cafes and a cycle trail circling Lanhydrock.

Website: nationaltrust

#17 Visit Carnglaze Caverns for a unique underground experience

Carnglaze Caverns (Credit: Shando)

Suppose you are passionate about nature, history and heritage. In that case, you should definitely plan a visit to Carnglaze Caverns, a series of underground man-made caverns made up of three principal caves. It showcases Cornwall’s mining heritage throughout the year, and it is definitely one of the best things to do in Liskeard.

You should start your trip in the first cavern named the Rum Store cavern because it was used as a safe storage of rum during the second world war, but now, it has been changed into an auditorium and a concert venue. Then you should venture deeper into the lowest cavern, which has an underwater lake with crystal clear blue and green water, offering a magical experience for Liskeard’s visitors.

Website: carnglaze.com

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#18 Visit Fowey

Fowey, south cornwall

Fowey is a beautiful historical harbour town situated at the River Fowey’s mouth in South Cornwall. This small town is best known for its coastline, countryside and river estuaries.  It enjoys the status of being a busy commercial port and a popular tourist spot. Visit the Fowey Aquarium, learn about the history of Fowey at the local museum or go on a picturesque boat ride to Polruan. View more things to do in Fowey with kids here.

#19 A Day Trip to Mevagissey

mevagissey day trip

Mevagissey is the quintessential Cornish fishing village – quaint, unassuming, and decidedly delightful. Every corner exudes rustic charm, from the fishing boats bobbing on the sea to the narrow lanes weaving through higgledy-piggledy hillside buildings.  

As well as seeing the village itself, there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy, including the Mevagissey Aquarium, The Mevagissey Museum and the Model Railway centre.

To see more of the Cornish coastline, there are plenty of amazing walks starting from Mevagissey, including a walk to Kings Woods and Pentewen, a short walk to Portmellon and a beautiful walk to Gorran Haven. Head to the delicious Fisherman’s Chippy for some fish and chips by the sea to finish off the day.

Best Places to eat in Looe with kids

Daisy’s Cafe: If you wonder where to eat in Looe, Daisy’s café is an excellent cafe to stop and recharge batteries. They provide a fun and family-friendly environment to enjoy a crazy variety of tasty food and video gaming entertainment. View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

Smugglers Cott restaurant: From locally caught seafood to famous hand-cut chargrilled steaks, Smugglers Cott is one of the best places to eat in Looe for local cuisine with fantastic hospitality, historic buildings and a cosy, family-friendly atmosphere. View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

The Old Sail Loft Restaurant: Tucked away in one of the town’s oldest buildings, The Old Sail Loft is among the best restaurants in Looe, where you can enjoy a great selection of fresh local fish while admiring the stunning view over the harbour. View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

Best Places to Stay in Looe with Kids

Looe Bay Holiday Park

Located in the picturesque fishing village of Looe and surrounded by idyllic beaches, Looe Bay Holiday Park is a great place to spend your Holidays in Looe Cornwall and enjoy the walks around the beautiful countryside. 

Your kids will love the Looe bay attractions and facilities, from the indoor swimming pool to the adventure play area and Kids’ clubs. You can explore the rock pools on nearby Looe Bay Beach, and there are plenty of things to do, including a range of great caravans and lodges for you to choose from.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#13 Enchanted valley yurts, Looe

Based on a working farm in Looe, Enchanted Valley has two family-sized Mongolian yurts, fully furnished with comfortable beds, futons and log burners. Each yurt is accompanied by a nearby log cabin with a private shower and toilet facilities and another log cabin with the main kitchen and dining areas.

The farm has a great location with plenty of walks and trails to follow. You can visit the famous Porfell wildlife park and sanctuary, visit the nearby Carnglaze Caverns or the town of Liskeard and enjoy a unique underground experience, head to Bodmin Moor or enjoy the stunning beaches of Looe. 

Location: Tregrove Farm, Lanreath, Looe PL13 2NY

Type of Glamping: Yurt

Budget: £

Website: enchantedvalleyyurts

Holiday Cottages in Looe

Holidaycottages.co.uk have an excellent range of family-friendly cottages in Mevagissey. Accommodation can often be hard to come by, especially in high season, so make sure you book in advance.