There are many places in the UK that are tailor made for short breaks. However, there are few places that offer as many interesting and historic sights right on their doorstep as Polruan in Cornwall. Below we have put together a short guide on some of the things you can do in Polruan and the immediate surrounding area while spending some time at The Old Watch House.
The beauty of Polruan is that it’s an old town full of history. As such, there are so many historical sites for you to visit and marvel at the ancient architecture. The first thing on your list should be the Polruan Blockhouse, which has been around since 1380 and is situated very close to The Old Watch House – just around the corner in fact!
It was a defensive structure built way back when to protect the town from any unwanted visitors. Interestingly, a large chain was hung between the blockhouse in Polruan and another one on the opposite side of the river in Fowey. It stopped ships entering the harbour without the town’s permission. This structure is a beauty to behold and perfect for couples looking to take in some of the town’s history, well worth a visit, particularly as it sits on the stunning river Fowey.
St Catherine’s Castle is one of most amazing sights in the Polruan area. It’s located a short distance away in the nearby town of Fowey, just across the estuary, and is owned by English Heritage. It was built in 1536 by Henry VIII as a means of protecting the harbour from invasion. It was altered a couple of times, most recently during WWII where it became an ammunition store.
Entry to the castle is free, and you get to wander around and take in all the amazing architecture and be immersed in history. It’s ideal if you want to kill a few hours as a family or with your partner on a nice long walk.
Again, just across the water in Fowey you will come across this historical aquarium. It may be quite small, but there’s an incredible array of fish and marine life on display. You get to see a plethora of fish, eels, crabs, and lobsters too. There’s even a section called the touch pool where you can feel some of the marine life in this beautiful place.
If you’ve got kids, then this is definitely something you need to do during your stay in Polruan. They’ll love touching the different animals and marveling at the different coloured fish in their tanks. It just might be the best thing they do during your short break!
It’s always good to learn more about the area you’re staying in on a short break. Consequently, the Fowey Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone holidaying in Polruan. It may only consist of one room, but this small museum is packed full of interesting artifacts that tell the story of this old harbour town.
If you want to appreciate the history of the old fishing town, then this is the place to go.
In the nearby village of Polperro (15 minute drive), you will find something that’s perfect if you fancy a day trip away from Polruan. The Polperro Model Village is exactly what you think it is; a model village of Polperro! It’s wonderfully fun and incredibly accurate too.
This is such a great place to take your kids if they start getting itchy feet. They will have loads of fun pretending to be giants, and there’s also a few nods to ancient Cornish Legends in the model village too.
Of course you don’t need to have kids to enjoy this attraction, this is still a great trip for couples as there is so much to do and chances are you’ll learn a fair bit about the village too!
There are plenty of long walks you can go on during your time in Polruan. But, if you were to set aside a day for one, it should be the three-mile long Hall Walk. This will take you from where you are staying (extreme right of the photo above) Polruan all the way to beautiful Bodinnick (heading left). Start at the Polruan Blockhouse and follow the walking trail taking you past some amazing sights and gorgeous countrysides.
A couple of things to look out for are the quaint Pont footbridge and remarkable Pont Pill estuary. It’s an ideal romantic walk for holidaying couples while families can bring along a picnic and allow nature to entertain their kids. After you’ve spent the entire day walking, put your feet up and gaze out onto the river estuary or treat yourself to some hearty food and a few drinks at the local pub – The Lugger Inn
You are very lucky to have a fantastic local pub within easy walking distance. The Lugger Inn is a traditional old style pub with a wide range of seafood based cuisine being their speciality. All their food is locally sourced and cooked from fresh with boats coming in daily from St Ives and Looe just along the coast.
The Lugger Inn is a great place to relax, and unwind with a great range of real ales and wines, combined with good hearty food using great local ingredients. The pub is warm and friendly and also happens to be doggy and muddy boots friendly for all you walkers out there! We guarantee you will soon become regular visitors to ‘your local’.
Head on up to the large hill that looks over Polruan and you will find what remains of St Saviour’s Chapel. Built in 1488 it was used by ships as a prominent landmark and become a great defensive lookout point to spot any enemy ships closing in on the town.
Nowadays there’s not much of the chapel left, but it’s an iconic spot to visit. Plus, the views you get from the top of the hill are unreal, make sure you head up there when the sun is setting for the best view in the whole of Polruan.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do in during your stay in Polruan. The town itself has plenty to offer, while the surrounding area also boasts loads of top class attractions and stunning sights.