Cornwall is the gift that keeps on giving in England, with plenty of treasure in its trove for tourism. Next up in our Cornwall series is another must-visit destination – Polperro. 

Located on the River Pol in a sheltered ravine, Polperro is a quaint port village. The best thing about Polperro is that it still has that old-school Cornish fishing village vibe and is lined with cute little gift shops and cafes.

The cottages here in Polperro are dotted with an abundance of flowers which are particularly beautiful in summer. The narrow streets of this village are inaccessible to cars, making it easier to explore Polperro on foot, perfect for that summer stroll. 

Despite being a small village, Polperro has a lot of places to see and activities to do. So let’s get on with this list of the best things to do in Polperro, Cornwall.

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Polperro Cornwall Itinerary
Polperro Cornwall Itinerary

Best Time to Visit Polperro, Cornwall

If you want to visit outside of the busy tourist season but still have pleasant weather, the ideal time to visit Polperro is April/May or September/October. The temperatures won’t be super warm but will be pleasant enough for exploring. This is also when the place will be less crowded.

However, if you want the best chance of gorgeous, summer weather and to experience the village in full swing, visit in the height of summer, from June to August.

As is the case in England, the weather can be unpredictable all year round, so there is always a chance of rain. Make sure to carry an umbrella or pack a raincoat!

Cornwall is based along the rugged South West of England. As such, Polperro shares in the dramatic coastlines and quaint vibes that Cornwall is famed for. In this guide, we will discuss the best 12 things to do in Polperro as well as the following:

Table of Contents


What is Polperro Famous for?

Polperro is known as one of the most beautiful Cornish villages with a captivating old-world charm. The town is also famous as a great place for souvenir shopping!

This fishing village is also renowned for its food, serving the best locally sourced seafood dishes. This undoubtedly makes the pubs here the best places to eat in Polperro.

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Best Things to Do in Polperro

Stroll Around Polperro Harbour

Located in the heart of the town, Polperro Harbour is one of the oldest tourist sites in the region. It is still a working harbour and is quite different from others as it is surrounded by pubs, cafes, and bars. 

Even today, the harbour works as a fishing port. You too can do a spot of fishing here and bring back a bucket full of different fish.

Visit Tidal Beach and Chapel Rock Tidal Pool

One of the most serene and beautiful places you’ll visit is located on the outskirts of the village, in the spot where the land meets the sea.

Hugged by steep cliffs and fragrant flowers in springtime, at tidal beach you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax. 

At the foot of the cliff, there is a small tidal bathing pool, also known as the giant rock pool. However, it is advisable to be cautious before visiting and check the tide times. 

Go Hiking at Talland Bay and Talland

Talland Bay in Polperro is best covered by foot. It is a group of a few beaches, dotted with cool cafes, along the coastal path. Near to the bay, Talland Village is another key attraction here which boasts beautiful Cornish architecture, including a towering church that can be seen for miles across the bay. 

One of the beaches in Talland Bay is home to some incredible marine wildlife. Located in the heart of Talland Bay, its definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall. 

As you go further down, you will be treated to pebble beaches where you can go paddling. It’s also a great spot to search for sea creatures in the many rock pools. 

Once you’re done exploring the bay and its beaches, replenish with a tasty lunch at one of the beachside cafes which, as mentioned, are in abundance in this part of the village.

Polperro Model Village 

A gem of an attraction, Polperro Model Village is one of the most fascinating things to do in Polperro, Cornwall. It is an actual miniature replica of the village!

For more than 60 years, this tourist attraction has drawn in people of all ages. The model village uses lights, animation, and sound to bring miniature Polperro to life. It even has moving trains cruising around the model track, it’s definitely not to be missed.

Boat/Fishing Trip From Polperro to Looe

No trip to Polperro, Cornwall is complete without a boat or fishing trip to Looe. These tours are organised throughout the day from the quay. However, that is only if the weather conditions are suitable. 

The tour is run by two locals who you can find by the quay. All you need to do is find the boat, “The Smuggler”. Despite the name, rest assured you’re in safe hands!

This 2-hour fishing or boat trip is perfect for those looking to spend some quality time off the coast with friends and family or even alone. People also do sightseeing tours on the boat trip to Looe or Fowey, as they have separate tours for that as well. 

The trips from Polperro are more affordable than the neighbouring city of Looe, where the boat tour prices are slightly higher.

Enjoy Scones and Jam in Museum Tea Room

Are you even in England if you don’t indulge in jam and scones? The Cornish village of Polperro is the perfect place to enjoy this classic combination. If you want to do it correctly whilst in Cornwall, remember to put the jam on first! 

Museum Tea Room and Cafe is known offers traditional scones and jam along with an array of other snacks. Why not indulge while sipping a hot drink. 

Why not go for the whole experience and sit outside with your treats and soak in the breathtaking views of the village and harbour. It makes for a perfect sunny day!

Eden Project 

Approximately a 40-minute drive from Polperro, the Eden Project is probably the best-known attraction in Cornwall. It is a theatre of exotic and rare plant species from across the globe. 

Being an educational charity and an environmental research and protection centre, Eden Project works as a sustainable place to educate people about horticulture and ecosystems. 

There are huge huge greenhouses, known as biomes, that are climate controlled. However, the two main biomes are – the Mediterranean and Rainforest. Both of them are built of smaller domes that are connected together. 

The Mediterranean Biome takes you to the ecosystem of California and South Africa where you can see orange and lemon trees along with gnarled vines and olive grooves. Whereas, the Rainforest Biome lets you experience the sights and smells of rainforests and discover the tropical flora.

Discover Cornwall’s history at the Heritage Museum 

One of the major attractions in the region, the Heritage Museum, teaches you all about the fascinating smuggling and fishing history of the village.

On display, there are photographs dating back to the 19th century along with a wide collection of ship models. The Heritage Museum is located in the downtown village where you can also learn about the history of the village’s vicar – who danced on the clifftop to distract people during the time when smugglers broke the law!

Explore Shell Cottage

If you are looking for a place to capture some unforgettable pictures for your Instagram, Shell Cottage is it. 

There is no doubt that Shell Cottage is one of the most stunning and quirky architectures to be found around Polperro. It is part of a line up of 19th-century fisherman’s cottages, beautifully decorated with seashells. Included in this amazing display is a depiction of Eddystone Lighthouse. 

This is no natural phenomenon, the whole display was strategically created by Samuel Puckey, a retired sailor, during the 1930s. It took five years to complete the project and stands today as the most photographed building in Polperro.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Just south of Polperro, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is the largest garden restoration project in Europe. It is a fascinating place, left to succumb to brambles in the wake of WWI, not to be disturbed until its discovery in the 1990’s. 

As with most estates during the war, they were left to ruin when their workforce went off to fight in the trenches, many sadly not returning. Unlike most other estates though, Heligan was never sold on or re-developed. It lay like a ‘sleeping beauty’ until its discovery.

Sprawling an area of over 200 acres, this Victorian Garden and Pleasure Ground is beautifully laid out in winding paths and is more than two centuries old. Heligan was once the family seat of the Tremaynes for more than 400 years. 

If you are a wildlife buff, a nature lover or someone who loves to romanticise in nature, this is a must-visit place near Polperro.

Visit One of the Village’s Five Pubs

Pubs are a big part of England’s culture. But when in Polperro, you have just a few options. That fact alone makes visiting one of these pubs a must-do thing in Polperro. 

Of course, a visit the pub is also to enjoy a pint of Cornish Ale with a scrumptious, hearty meal. The Blue Peter is probably the most popular pub here. 

Located right next to the beach and harbour, you can either choose to spend an amazing evening under the stars in the outdoor seating area or enjoy the classic wood interior of the beer garden. 

There is another pub, The Three Pilchards, which is located nearby to the Blue Peter and is also one of the highly reviewed options in the village.

Visit Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary 

A great place not just to learn about the wildlife, but also to have fun, is the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary. The place is home to more than 40 primates who have been rescued. You can also learn about the various wildlife species here at the sanctuary, including butterflies, moths, Cornish bugs, insects, and birds. 

From the large woolly monkeys to the mischievous capuchin monkeys (yes, like Marcel from Friends) and marmosets, there are many different species of primates to see. The surrounding wildlife gardens and nature reserve complete the charm of this place. 

If you’re exploring Polperro with your kids, this place is definitely one to visit. There are plenty of kid’s activities and workshops to keep them engaged and impart all the information on how the sanctuary is run. 

Before You Leave for Cornwall

Before you head off on your trip to Cornwall, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include what to pack, where to stay and what travel insurance to book.

How Do I Get to Cornwall?

Cornwall is located in the southwestern tip of England. It is easily reachable by public transport, including train and bus, with routes that take you from major cities directly to Truro. If you are flying into the country, the closest airport will be Newquay Airport, however, you can still easily reach The Cornwall by bus and train from any other part of the country.

Where to Stay in Cornwall?


What Should I Pack for Cornwall?


What you need to pack for Cornwall will rely highly on when you make your trip there. During the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures and weather patterns vary wildly between beautiful sunny skies and freezing rain.

The temperatures generally vary from 5 oC to 15 oC during these months, with a mixture between cold, winds and warmer temperature. There are some rainy days, with maybe 10 in 16 days receiving rainfall, which might be more comfortable to have rain jacket with yourself.

During the Summer months in Cornwall, temperatures tend to range from 12oC to 19oC, with some days topping 22oC.  

If you need more inspiration on what to pack for your trip, check out our full packing guides for all-weather conditions over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you will see in Cornwall, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.


What is the Best Travel Insurance?

I know tavel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, a guide to Cornwall. If you have visited Cornwall recently, let us know what you thought of the activities and beautiful buildings in the area. If you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.

As always, sharing is caring so make sure to share this photo guide with your family and friends and inspire them to head off on their own English adventure. If you are planning the trip for yourself, make sure you have a look at the rest of our England content for more inspiration to our beautiful home country.

When you set off on your own adventure, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and we will share them with the rest of our community. In the meantime, why not follow us over there to see what we are currently up to and keep up with us on our Instagram Stories.

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Polperro Cornwall Itinerary
Polperro Cornwall Itinerary

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