The Tamar Valley in East Cornwall encompasses the area between Launceston, Tavistock, Callington and Saltash. Often referred to as ‘Cornwall’s forgotten corner’, this part of the county is dotted with cosy villages, a wild and craggy coastline and some utterly breath-taking countryside. The quaint coastal area of Looe is a little further south, not far from the historic town of Liskeard. Straddling the River Looe, the town has been a beloved holiday resort for more than 200 years and offers a true taste of the Cornish seaside. It’s also close to where the Cornish Motorhome Hire team are based, so it’s safe to say that the area holds a very special place in our hearts!
The Tamar Valley is home to some of the county’s most untamed landscape. The area around the River Tamar is a designated area of natural beauty and is home to steep gorges, ruins and tidal flows that give the terrain a uniquely historic appearance. The river almost completely divides Cornwall from the rest of the country and is the home to a huge variety of wildlife, such as the little egret and avocet.
For many people, Looe and the surrounding areas are what they picture when they think of Cornwall. A quaint seaside town dotted with ancient stone cottages, fish and chip shops offering the day’s catch and plenty of quirky attractions, Looe’s beach is famous for its golden sands and Victorian bridge. The scenic villages of Polperro and Portwrinkle are within easy reach of Looe and the Tamar Valley and are the perfect place to while away a summer afternoon.
Read on to discover more about Looe and the Tamar Valley and the places we recommend visiting.
Freathy Beach, Freathy
At low tide, Freathy Beach is a picturesque sandy shore, perfect for relaxing on. However, when the tide comes in, it completely transforms. The beach is split into a series of sheltered grottos, craggy inlets and sandy coves that are ripe for exploring!
Accessed via a narrow and winding cliff path, the beach is a short distance from the village of Freathy, at the mid-point of Whitsand Bay. Perfect for snorkelling and swimming, this wild and idyllic beach is the place fit for adventurous types. With remarkable views and picturesque surroundings, Freathy Beach is a great spot to visit all year long.
Freathy Beach: Grid Reference – SX 3974 5200 – Postcode: PL10 1JT
Holmbush Mine, Stoke Climsland
The oldest mine in the Tamar and Looe area, Holmbush was active between the early 1600s and 1890s and is a part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. A once busy and bustling mine, the old buildings have now been overtaken by nature, leaving a woodland trail and a network of ivy-clad ruins to explore.
The woodland trail is home to a network of pathways (designed for cycling and walking) and a wide variety of wild fungi, trees and local wildlife. In the spring, the woodland is home to a stunning blanket of bluebells. The mine underwent extensive restoration work in 2007 to make the buildings safe and preserve their historic status for decades to come.
Holmbush Mine: SX 35642 72353 – Postcode: PL17 8PS
The Giant’s Hedge, Kilminorth
Nestled amongst the mature oak trees of Kilminorth Woods nature reserve, you’ll find the remains of the Giant’s Hedge. This ancient earthwork is one of the largest in the UK and is thought to have been built in the 6th century to mark the boundary of a Celtic chief’s territory.
Spanning around nine miles along the West Looe river, the majority of the Giant’s Hedge can be followed along a series of spectacular woodland pathways. Local wildlife is abundant, with egrets, herons, cormorants and sparrowhawks all calling the area home. Some of the pathways include some steep climbs and steps, so be sure to choose your route wisely!
The Giant’s Hedge: Grid Reference: SX 25314 53672 – Postcode: PL13 2AF
Rame Head Chapel, Rame
Wild, windswept and dramatic, Rame Head Chapel is located on a rugged hilltop at the highest point of Rame Head. Dating back to the 14th century, the tiny hermitage of St Michael’s delivers phenomenal panoramic views across Whitsand and on a clear day, you can even see as far as the Lizard and the famous Eddystone Lighthouse in Plymouth.
Taking in a 2-mile circular walk, there’s a steep climb up to the chapel, though the rest of the circuit is relatively flat. Home to some rare and endangered plant species, budding botanists will be able to see early meadow-grass and slender bird’s-foot-trefoil. The headland is also a fantastic place for bird-spotters to see a huge variety of wildlife, including peregrines, short-eared owls, merlins and hobbies.
Rame Head Chapel: Grid Reference: SX 418 483 – Postcode: PL10 1LG
Explore Cornwall at Your Own Pace
If you’ve decided to explore the wild and rugged Tamar Valley and Looe region, the best way to do this is in a motorhome. Giving you all the comforts of home with the freedom to roam, hiring a motorhome means you can explore Cornwall at your own pace. From watching the sunset at Queen Adelaide’s Seat, to taking an early morning walk around Siblyback Lake or leisurely exploring Cothele Quay, you can set your own itinerary whilst travelling in comfort and style.
Here at Cornish Motorhome Hire, we have a fleet of airy, modern and well-appointed motorhomes and campervans for hire. So, no matter what kind of vehicle you’re dreaming of for your holiday around Tamar and Looe, you’re sure to find it here.