Fowey, Cornwall, UK
Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Fowey – Cruise Port Guide
Our Fowey cruise port guide is a brief introduction to this lesser-known cruise destination that sits in one of the most instantly impressive regions of the UK.
Fowey is a relatively small and lesser-known port located at the mouth of the River Fowey in Cornwall. It’s small towns and quaint little villages are perfect for exploring and taking life at a slightly slower pace, but there are also many things to enjoy in the surrounding area, including the Eden Project.
The Eden Project is a hugely popular tourist attraction and its 2 biomes are home to a variety of plants that have been collected from many diverse climates and environments. Not only is it a great day out, it’s a chance to learn so much more about many plant species you wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact with.
Of course, this part of the UK is home to some of the countries most incredible beaches, so water sports are hugely popular. Kayaking on the River Fowey is certainly worth trying.
Don’t forget to stop by our cruise blog for updates on Fowey cruises.
Key highlights of Fowey
- Daphne Du Maurier Country
- Eden Project
- Cornish Villages
- Fowey Museum
- Lantic Bay
- Fowey Aquarium
- St Catherine’s Castle
- ReadyMoney Cove
- Par Sands Beach
- Shipwreck Treasure Museum
- Polridmouth Cove
- The Esplanade
Regular cruise line visitors
- Holland America
Fowey has a very special place in my heart not only because I was lucky enough to grow up a stone’s throw away but also because this nautical beauty couples its fascinating maritime history with a modern-day chic charm.
Before we go any further, I think the first thing to mention (and something that is taken straight from the town’s welcome sign) is that Fowey is pronounced ‘Foy to rhyme with joy’!
A joyous jewel nestled into a stretch of Cornwall’s south coast dubbed the ‘Cornish Riviera’, Fowey boasts a deep natural harbour that has paved the way for its important trading history (in particular the China Clay industry) – and nowadays allows cruise ships to drop anchor very close to the town’s Albert Quay, resulting in one of the shortest tender rides a cruiser can encounter. Once ashore, and walking through the narrow streets which are bustling full of quirky pubs and restaurants, boutique shops and galleries, and the occasional palm tree, you could easily mistake it for the Mediterranean – especially if you call in at the small tapas bar on the esplanade. Of course, the weather may not be guaranteed though!
One of Fowey’s most famous residents, Daphne du Maurier, is celebrated annually by the town and features in the town’s small museum along with many maritime artefacts. Well worth a visit, it is located close to the central quay and a short stroll from where the ship tenders land. A longer walk across town, but equally well worth a visit, and you can find St Catherine’s Castle perched above the beautiful Readymoney Cove. Managed today by English Heritage, and free to visit, this artillery fort was built on the order of Henry VIII to defend Fowey harbour in the 16th century. Today, a visitor can enjoy some of the best views of Fowey estuary from here – but be sure to wear suitable footwear for the final ascent and be aware that it can get quite muddy if the Cornish ‘mizzle’ is around.
Fowey acts as a gateway to some of the best gardens in Cornwall and many of the cruise ships calling here offer excursions to either the world-famous Eden Project or The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Both fascinating, stunningly beautiful in all seasons, and unique in their own ways mean that either is a good reason to take an organised trip further afield (and of course you get to see some great Cornish countryside along the way).
Yet, if you do fancy a day exploring by yourself, then calling at Fowey really provides a great opportunity to do so – there are some beautiful beaches such as Polkerris with its sheltered bay for swimming and many undiscovered villages such as Polruan or Golant (where you can kayak or paddle board along the river said to be the inspiration behind Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows), just a short taxi ride (or water taxi in the case of Polruan) away.
Just be sure that whatever you do, you allow time for a pasty overlooking the water before your ‘all aboard’ time!