Looe’s Top Annual Events
The peaceful atmosphere and quiet charm of Looe may suggest that the coastal town is just a nice place to spend a few hours, but alongside its picturesque scenery is an exciting range of Cornwall events that have led thousands of people to look forward to Looe's various great festivals year after year.
When it comes to what’s on in Cornwall, Looe is where it’s at. A number of Looe festivals are held throughout the year and here we outline the very best.
Starting things off in Looe’s event calendar is the popular 'Seaside Rock' tribute weekend held at Tencreek Holiday Park itself! Each year the event boasts a spectacular foot-tapping theme and draws the most impressive of crowds.
This year the event is back over the 13th and 14th March 2015 and will see legendary performances from Fleetwood Bac, Complete Madness and Oas-is, to name just a few. Book your accommodation soon to guarantee a spot!
West Looe May Fayre
Visitors to the Looe area can enjoy a real sample of local culture and tradition at the West Looe May Fayre, where there are plenty of stalls to browse and performances to enjoy. From local dancing schools putting on acts to folk songs and parades to join in with, there’s always plenty to do as the Fayre goes from strength to strength every year.
The fifth West Looe May Fayre will be taking place for visitors to enjoy on the 2rd of May in 2015, with plenty of fun to be had by the whole family.
Looe Lugger Regatta
This event deserves a mention, although it is held once every two years instead of annually; the regatta will be held in 2015, 2017, 2019 and so on. Luggers come from across the UK and even France to fill Looe's harbour and bay, which is quite a sight to see. Those interested in fishing and sailing will have the opportunity to talk to sailors and fishermen over the course of the regatta, which tends to last for a few days in mid-June.
This year the event will take place between the 19th and 21st June, see details of past events for a flavour of what’s in store on the Cornish Luggers website.
Festival by the Sea
This Looe festival has grown from its humble beginnings to become a favourite with both locals and visitors. Held in June and located mostly on the Quayside, it is being held by the Looe Marine Conservation Group in association with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. An ideal day out for families enjoying caravan holidays in Looe in the area, kids will love finding out how crabs and lobsters are caught while the adults can enjoy the free Mackerel BBQ and chef demonstrations all celebrating Looe’s fishing heritage and its wonderful marine life.
The 2015 Festival by the Sea is taking place on the 21st June between 11am and 4pm during the famous Looe Lugger Regatta.
The festival in this little fishing village is well worth heading to if staying in Looe around mid-June, with plenty going on for all the family. Art shows will be held throughout the week, many of which feature stunning pictures of the local countryside, and local Morris Dancers come to Polperro from across Devon and Cornwall to perform. Polperro's pubs and streets will be hosting gigs and musical performances throughout the festival, and a special day of the festival is dedicated to Cornish cuisine and drink, from Cornish scrumpy to pasties and seafood. There are lots of opportunities for visitors to get involved and try their hand at something new.
Visitors to Looe can enjoy the Polperro Festival between the 20th and 28nd June in 2015.
Looe Food Festival
Now one of the major food events in the region, the 2015 festival is again being held in and around a giant pavilion in the Millpool Car Park, West Looe, with FREE ENTRY from 9am each day.
With over 40 traders on show, it offers a whole plethora of top quality Westcountry Food and Drink to taste and purchase. Festival Organiser Danny Gill says, “This is a wonderful feast for any visitor to it. Without doubt there’s something here for everyone.”
The popular Chefs Demonstration Kitchen is always popular, where local and guest chefs delight audiences with their cooking skills. Last year even saw the likes of TV chefs and popular restaurateurs James and Christopher Tanner.
Also in the kitchen last year was TV chef and celebrity James Strawbridge of “Hungry Sailors” fame. James said, “Looe is the perfect place for a festival of food”.
This is truly a ‘tasty’ event and not to be missed. For full details see: www.looefoodfestival.com
The Looe Food Festival will be taking place over the 27th and 28th June in 2015.
Boconnoc Steam Fair
A must for any car enthusiast or Thomas the Tank Engine fan, the Boconnoc Steam Fair takes place at Boconnoc Estate near Liskeard every year and showcases a wide range of vehicles to admire. Full and miniature-size steam trains, classic cars, vintage vehicles and tractors make up the display at the fair, which is a hit with family members of all ages every year. Tickets for the event are available via the Boconnoc Steam Fair website hosted by Liskeard Steam & Vintage Club.
The Boconnoc Steam Fair is taking place between the 24th and 26th July in 2015, be sure to book your accommodation early so as not to miss it!
Port Eliot Festival
Port Eliot House and Gardens is a fantastic attraction to visit at any time of year, but it comes alive in July as the house opens its doors to the Port Eliot Festival. First and foremost a literature festival, the Port Eliot Festival showcases a celebration of words, poetry and music, but it has grown from humble beginnings to what it is today – a showcase of talent and culture. The festival has attracted the likes of Grayson Perry and Dominic West, with music from The Magic Numbers and Noah and the Whale, as well as the culinary delights of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen chefs in previous years. See the Port Eliot Festival website for more info.
Visitors to Looe and Saltash can enjoy the Port Eliot Festival between the 30th July and 2nd August in 2015.
Looe Carnival week
Held at the end of July and the beginning of August, Looe Carnival signals the start of the summer and fun times ahead for all ages. Looe Carnival is organised by the Lions Club of Looe, with events throughout the week ranging from car boot sales and vintage car rallies to choir performances and sandcastle competitions. The highlight of the week is, as always, the Grand Carnival Procession, which provides some great entertainment for a Saturday evening. Bring the whole family; there are lots of events especially for kids throughout the week.
Taking place between the 26th July and 1st August in 2015, this is a great one to see during the school holidays.
South East Cornwall Walking Festival
September is a great time to be out and about exploring Cornwall's beautiful coastline and large number of coastal paths, which is exactly what the South East Cornwall Walking Festival is all about. Experienced walkers will lead others on a number of great walks throughout the week, including around the time of the autumnal equinox that occurs on the 23rd September this year. Walkers need to bring good walking shoes and boots as well as waterproof gear and lots to drink, but many of the rambles include stops at pubs and cafes for a delicious bite to eat and a refreshing pint.
All those keen walkers can step up to the mark and head down to Looe between the 12th and 18th September in 2015 for a piece of the action.
Looe Music Festival
Holiday homes in Polperro and Looe are always booked up in September thanks to the Looe Music Festival. Thisparticular festival is one of the town’s most popular, and past acts have included The Jam, Seth Lakeman, The Stranglers, Reef and The Darkness. With acts like this headlining, it comes as no surprise that thousands of people descend on Looe at the end of September to listen to world-class music. The festival has only been going for three years and has sold out in the past, so it is well worth sorting out tickets and accommodation early for this Looe festival!
The event has shown its popularity through gaining in size every year, with 2015’s edition taking place between the 18th and 20th September and while this year’s line-up is yet to be announced, it recently received a £150k Government’s Coastal Communities Fund grant, meaning that it is sure to be even bigger and better than ever before.
New Year’s Eve
Although Looe may not have the same range of bars and impressive fireworks as London, the Cornish town knows exactly how to welcome in the New Year in style! Revellers in fancy dress come from all over the country to celebrate in Looe's pubs, dance along the streets and head to the beach at midnight for a fireworks display that has plenty of sparkle and lots of bangs.
Just a stone’s throw away…
While there are so many great festivals and events in Looe itself, we couldn’t resist including a couple of these other great activities that you can enjoy just a stone’s throw away from where you are staying.
Plymouth History Festival
Celebrating and promoting as many different aspects of Plymouth’s unique history and heritage as possible, the Plymouth History Festival running throughout May has become more and more popular over the years, with both locals and visitors to the area. With a whole host of events taking place throughout the festival, it is always enjoyed by adults and children alike.
“Plymouth History Festival is an annual celebration of the city and surrounding area’s unique history and heritage and runs from 1 to 31 May each year. The Festival features exhibitions and displays, walks, talks, tours, special events, family events and more. More information is available from www.plymhistoryfest.wordpress.com”
Plymouth Film Festival
Founded in 2013 by Plymouth University graduates William Jenkins and Ben Hancock, the Plymouth Film Festival
has gone from strength to strength since. To stay in the loop, see their website where further schedule news and other such information will be announced nearer the time.
“Initially established as a local festival it has rapidly grown to include both national and international films alongside some of the very best filmmakers based in the South West of England. The festival is a chance to come and watch some amazing short films, and for filmmakers to showcase their work and be rewarded and recognised for it.”
This year the festival has extended to be a weekend-long event; go on down to the Plymouth Arts Centre on the 16th & 17th May to catch the artistic action for yourself.
Rock Oyster Festival
Music and food festival the Rock Oyster Festival at Dinham House near Wadebridge is a hugely popular event
with families. Oysters, fish curries, pulled pork, St Moritz mussels, gourmet bangers, artisan breads and amazing wood-fired pizzas are just a few of the delicacies on offer at this great festival, truly revolutionising what you might expect of festival grub.
Festival organiser, Charlie Anderson, said “Rock Oyster is the perfect answer for festival goers who are turning their backs on the mainstream ‘bun fight’ in their droves. If you are looking for a small festival with its own identity but still offers banging entertainment and with Cornwall at its heart, you have found the right place”.
This year the event is taking place on the 11th July and boasts a line-up of Plymouth band Land of the Giants and UK professional didgeridoo player John Thorpe for starters. To get yourself in the mood check out the ROF Radio feature on their website.
As the South West’s largest free food and drink festival, it is no wonder that Flavour Fest based in the heart of
Plymouth’s city centre is always successful and thriving with people.
“Flavour Fest, the biggest food and drink festival in the South West is back for its twelfth year in Plymouth’s city centre. Over 120 food and drink traders will be lining the streets from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 August, tempting visitors with a range of local produce including home baked cakes, artisan bread and pastries, fresh fish, cheese and cider plus much more. Visitors to the event will also be able enjoy interactive demonstrations, cookery theatres and celebrity chefs sharing their tips of the trade.”
Get down to the Piazza on Armada Way this year between the 14th and 16th August to get a taste of the experience.
Showing that Cornwall can rival the likes of Worthy Farm, Boardmasters has grown immensely in size since its humble beginnings. With the likes of Snoop Dogg, Chase and Status and Plan B all having performed at the music and surf festival based across Newquay’s Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, it has established its status as one of the South West’s most hotly anticipated events.
This year’s edition will take place between the 5th and 9th August 2015 and will see Bastille and Rudimental headline with Clean Bandit, Nick Mulvey and Reef all making appearances. For those interested in getting in the water at the festival, its hosting of the World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Qualification Series will be enough to get you to make the trip.
Image credits: Looe Music Festival, Flavour Fest, Rock Oyster, Snoop Dogg – Sam Neil, Plymouth City Council (Arts and Heritage), Festival by the Sea, Looe Music Festival, Plymouth City Council (Arts and Heritage), Plymouth Film Festival Photographs courtesy of Andy Robinson, Anna Navas & Jim Elton, Boardmasters Eton Messy – Sam Neil