Fowey is a thriving commercial seaport and holiday destination, situated on the west bank of the River Fowey (pronounced foy, as in joy) on the south coast of Cornwall, between Looe and Mevagissey. It is a haven for sailing yachts and all classes of pleasure vessels, as well as a commercial port exporting china clay and is a popular town for cruise ships to visit. This is not surprising, as the town is beautiful, with quaint cottages and narrow steep winding streets, giving glimpses of the river below, alive with sailing dinghies. In summer, the cottages are a mass of colour with flowers hanging from baskets and window boxes. It is an attractive destination for holidaymakers in all seasons, with quality shops, galleries, restaurants and riverside pubs.
There are many lovely walks around the Estuary with its quiet waters and variety of wildlife. There is lovely open countryside, much of which is owned by the National Trust in a location designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
On the opposite bank of the River, is the village of Polruan, reached by a passenger ferry. Further up the River, there is a car ferry between Fowey and Bodinnick. From Whitehouse Quay on the Esplanade, there is a regular ferry to Mevagissey, which takes about 35 minutes.
Dame Daphne du Maurier spent most of her life in the area and a festival is held in the town every May, celebrating her work. Copies of her works may be purchased from the Daphne du Maurier Literary Centre and Gift Shop, including “Rebecca”, “Don’t Look Now” and “The Birds”, all of which have been made into films. “The Birds” was made into a famous scary film by Alfred Hitchcock, who also directed the 1940 Oscar winning film, “Rebecca”, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. In 1926, Daphne du Maurier arrived on the Bodinnick Ferry and discovered the house “Ferryside”, which later became her home. In 1943, she rented another house, called “Readymoney” at Readymoney Cove, Fowey, and lived there whilst her husband was away during the Second World War. She later moved to Menabilly near Fowey, a village on a beautiful headland, giving dramatic views across St. Austell Bay. The house and scenery provided inspiration for much of her writing until she left in 1969.