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Things to do in Fowey

Holiday activities in and around the region

A scenic setting on the south coast not only makes the estuary town of Fowey an unbelievably beautiful Cornish holiday destination, but it has also made it an incredibly important trading port throughout the years, with a fascinating and colourful history to explore.

Whether you're seeking seaside scenery, amazing attractions or an exploration of British history, you will find all kinds of holiday fun. Here are a few recommendations for the best things to do in and around Fowey.

Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature

Cornwall's premier music and literature festival offers an amazing array of workshops, events and performances in key locations in and around Fowey in the springtime.

Previously known as the Du Maurier Literary Festival, after the famous novelist who lived in Fowey, previous years have seen the great and the good of the literary world and there are few better festivals for bookworms!

Fowey Regatta

One of Britain's best-loved and most beautiful sailing events, the annual Regatta in August offers fun and spectacle on sea and shore.

A Carnival procession, fireworks display, crab catching and pasty eating competitions plus fireworks and plenty more activities await (previous years have included the Red Arrows). Then there's the scenic sailing too – it's perfect summer fun in Fowey!

Fowey River Hire

Enjoy messing about on the river by hiring a kayak, paddleboard or self-drive boat. This estuary attraction also offers group bookings and tours, for the ultimate exploration of Fowey's waters.

No matter your level – from novice to aqua-expert – there are plenty of ways to get out on the water and start having fun. There are few better ways to experience Fowey's beauty.

Padstow May Day

Also known as 'Obby 'Oss Day, this nearby event is one of Britain's most famous folk festivals. Two processions of 'osses' walk through town and meet at the maypole as revellers sing and dance.

Padstow is another fantastic seaside location on the north coast and well worth making the journey for this unforgettable event.

Fowey Christmas Market

It's not all about spring and summer, Fowey at Christmas offers a magical experience to visitors. So if you fancy an enchanting Xmas then there really is nowhere better to go than this amazing Xmas market.

Stalls, carols, festive food and plenty of goodwill, it's the best way to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy a Cornwall holiday with a difference.

Roseland Festival

This fantastic festival offers folk and jazz, history and art, films and photography, choirs and quartets plus walks and talks across all kinds of venues across the across the Roseland peninsula, just a short distance from Fowey.

There are few better ways for culture fans to explore their gorgeous surroundings whilst enjoying all kinds of amazing events. This is an event not to be missed.

Cornwall Flower Show, Wadebridge

The largest horticultural show outside London is often described as 'Chelsea of the south west'. But whatever you want to call this fantastic celebration of flora, it is a must visit and a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Cornwall's climate and southerly location provides the perfect conditions for a whole host of beautiful flowers and themed gardens to grow. What's more, with origins in the 19th Century, it's also a perfect way to explore some of the region's heritage.

Royal Cornwall Show, Wadebridge

Also taking place in Wadebridge, this huge early summer event offers something for everyone, with displays and avenues alive with music, song and dance. There are hundreds of animals exhibited along with demos, stages and stalls.

You will find perfect family fun at the RCS, and it really does offer an amazing day out for everyone. Though with three days available, you might want to come back to see it all.

Fowey's famous faces

Fowey's history is filled with all kinds of amazing tales. Exploring them for yourself is half the fun of a holiday, but here are a few introductions to start with.

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch: Although largely forgotten outside Cornwall these days, Quiller-Couch was a towering figure of the literary world for almost half a century and had a profound influence on many writers.

Many of his literary friends were frequent visitors, including Peter Pan author JM Barrie and Kenneth Grahame, whose first edition of The Wind in the Willows is inscribed 'To Foy'.

Mary Bryant: The remarkable and lucky life of Mary Bryant reads like a novel, but it's not a work of fiction. She was the only female convict to escape from Botany Bay, spent 69 days at sea before she was recaptured and sent back to England to face almost certain death.

But she was saved by the noted 18th century lawyer and biographer James Boswell and later returned to Cornwall and married a local farmer.

The Fowey Gallants: The 'Fowey Gallants' were rewarded with privateer licences to seize and plunder French ships in the English Channel. A huge raised chain was installed to allow the port to be protected from reprisals, and the pirates continued to plunder for two decades afterwards.

The 'Fowey Gallants' were rewarded with privateer licences to seize and plunder French ships in the English Channel. A huge raised chain was installed to allow the port to be protected from reprisals, and the pirates continued to plunder for two decades afterwards.

Hugh Peter: Instrumental in founding one of the world's leading universities and Oliver Cromwell's favourite chaplain, Hugh Peter was born in Fowey in 1598. In 1635, he sailed to New England where he became a minister at Salem, and one of the first governors of Harvard College.

Peter returned to England in 1641 as an agent of the Massachusetts government, and actively supported Parliament against King Charles I. Charles II ordered his arrest on the charge of treason, and he was later executed in 1660.

Robert Jeffery: This young sailor was marooned for bad behaviour in the West Indies. Presumed dead, he survived for eight days eating limpets and bird's eggs, before being picked up by an American schooner.

Eventually he was found and brought home to a hero's welcome. Jeffery went on to appear in theatre, talking about his experience, and there is an artist's impression of "Jeffery The Sailor" in the National Portrait Gallery.