252 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type


Date of travel

April, 2016

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

A minimum car park charge of £4 suggests Polperro in the present has retained the freebooting spirit it celebrates from its smuggling past. Five minutes into the four hours this fee allows and you realise why the village needs to discourage an excess of motoring visitors. Our visit was in April and the car park was almost deserted: the number of cars and coaches it can accommodate – and no doubt does in summer – tells the story.

The narrow streets were already clogged enough with residents’ cars and tradesmen’s vans. You have to be prepared to pay for the privilege of walking about, and to take the time to do justice to the attractions of Polperro, not to mention its pubs, fudge and curio shops and restaurants.

It was our last day in Cornwall and as we arrived the rain began. There was a sharp wind with it. Nonetheless we enjoyed the stream running down towards the harbour, and the cottages and gardens. A number of cottages are let to holidaymakers who may, presumably, bring their cars into the village. There are shops to provide for their needs, as well as cafes and the aforementioned pubs and restaurants. Prices, as in most of Cornwall, are reasonable.

Late afternoon is no time to learn whether or not the fish market still operates; boats in the harbour suggest it does, perhaps to send the fish on to shops elsewhere. A notice forbidding the entry of dogs into the market seemed to offer post-health-and- safety confirmation.

Even – or perhaps especially – on a grey day the harbour cottages banked up against the cliff are striking. There was spray whipping across the harbour wall, with breakers on rocks either side of the narrow inlet. Not at all difficult to imagine the smugglers coming in under cover of darkness. There were plenty of places nearby to hide their contraband too. The cave offers atmosphere but seems too obvious to give security.

Although the road down appeared the only one we found another on leaving the harbour. Confusing for the excise men perhaps. Today, though, just an alternative route to tea shops. A cream tea anywhere else in the country seems expensive; here it’s cheap.

We could have spent time in shops or cafes but there would still have been the walk back through rain that threatened to become heavy. Just enough time to buy some fudge: a disappointment in the end, with too much “curiosity-value” flavour and not enough real fudge experience. We had a fine fish meal to look forward too, however, so little was lost.

As we returned to the car park a local bus demonstrated why Polperro guards its traffic-free environment. The thought of having to reverse for who knows how far on meeting that head-on is better acknowledged in the breach than in reality.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.