A sense of adventure
Polperro may look like a typical Cornish fishing village, but it has a bold and adventurous past.
In the 13th century the town grew around the small fishing harbour – houses lining both sides of a twisting, steep valley. For centuries, Polperro thrived on the catches of the fishing fleet. But when the industry hit hard times in the 18th century, the fishermen used their skills to land a different catch of the day, smuggling alcohol, tobacco and tea to avoid duty. It brought the might of the revenue men down on this small community and might go some way to explaining the independent nature of today’s residents.
Polperro thrives in the 21st century. It still has a fishing fleet, but the main source of income is tourism. Visitors are drawn by the sense of history and the charming quirky shops in the narrow streets. There are lovely places to stay and eat and Polperro has a rich cultural life with an annual arts festival.
This is a pedestrians’ paradise with no cars during the summer months. Mind you, the narrow streets were designed for horse and cart and taking a car through the village is a struggle at the best of times. Good parking at the top of the village.
Wander down to the harbour to watch the fishermen land their catch. You can take boat trips from here, or even go shark fishing.