A Vist to Looe Island
Looe Island is located just a few miles from the mainland, it is also known as St George’s Island, and has a fascinating history, it was formerly owned by two ladies, the Atkins sisters. Today it is run by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
You can view the island from Millendreath beach. Looe Island is small about 22 acres in size and 1.6 km in circumference, so is easy to get around. The island is accessed via a small passenger boat; boat trips are from East Looe harbour, and it is a brief journey to reach the island. You simply sign up for the trip by writing your name on the board down by the harbour. Trips are dependent on the tides. It is a fun and scenic trip, make sure to look out for the shipwreck just off of Looe Island.
Access beyond the beach is restricted unless you have booked.
You are dropped off on the beach, where you will be met by a friendly team who live here and take care of the island on behalf of the Trust. They provide a brief history of the island and show visitors how to navigate the laminated trail guide, which contains interesting pointers, whilst directing you to the start of the well-maintained grass path; you are then free to explore. The wardens are extremely informative and friendly so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.
The boat trip allows you about 2 hours on the island to investigate; it takes about half an hour to walk the perimeter of the island, so you have plenty of time to discover this unspoilt island, relax and take photographs, the island is very photogenic. It is a good idea to take along a pair of binoculars.
Additionally, there is the option to take a guided walk with the wardens. These guided walks must be booked in advance and take around three and a half hours. Spring and summer walks are available and offer different opportunities to observe nature. They take place in the afternoon and cost £25 per person plus a small booking fee.
You are required to climb over the side of the boat, and there are some steep steps and a sloping path when you dismount the boat, so may be unsuitable for some visitors. Additionally, note that some paths are steep, uneven and slippery so appropriate footwear is recommended.
The island is a protected nature and marine reserve so only a few groups are allowed on the island at one time, so you pretty much have the island yourself.
Found on the island are a visitor centre, bird hide and small jetty. Walking round there is plenty to see, you will encounter lots of wildlife like nesting birds, butterflies, sheep grazing in the fields and wandering hens. The surrounding waters are known for their marine life, particularly seals. They are frequently sighted from point 7 on your trail guide. The views are undoubtedly something else, simply incredible.
If you are a bird watcher then a visit here is definitely for you.
If you are looking for something different to see and do, we recommend a visit to this charming island. It provides a lovely escape from the crowds and hustle and bustle. Despite it being so close to the mainland it feels a million miles away.
A return boat trip is £10 per adult and £5 per child (paid to the boatman), there is a landing fee for the island of £4 per adult and £1 per child (paid on the island).
There are no refreshments available on Looe Island, so it is recommended to take along your own and please make sure to take your waste home with you. There is a small barn shop that stocks books of the island history as well as the story of the ladies that owned and lived on the island for many years.
For more information on Looe Island, please go to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website