the classic guide

A guide to the West Country from the people that know…

Du Maurier's Cornwall

Such was Daphne's influence, they hold an entire literary festival in her name. Discover her south coast inspiration...

Day 1- Fowey and Frenchman's Creek

Daphne du Maurier's love affair with Cornwall began in Fowey. With its narrow cobbled alleyways and glittering estuary, it's not hard to see why the young du Maurier fell for the gentle south coast charm of this little seaside town.

Spend a morning retracing the steps of the author as you wend your way round town. A ferry (car/passenger) crosses the river to Bodinnick. It was here that du Maurier and her family first lived when they moved to Cornwall, in the Ferryhouse next to the slipway, (now privately owned). A footpassenger ferry will take you from Fowey to the fishing village of Polruan, where du Maurier set her first novel, The Loving Spirit.

There are plenty of shops, galleries, pubs and restaurants to happily while away the hours around Fowey, but if you have time to spare, head down to Helford, south of Falmouth, where you can walk along the Helford River to Frenchman's Creek. Immortalised in du Maurier's romantic novel, this was also where du Maurier and her husband honeymooned.

The popular Du Maurier Festival is held in Fowey each year in May. If you can't make that, the Fowey Regatta week in August is well worth a visit.

Day 2- Jamaica Inn

Brooding, rugged, wild and windswept, Jamaica Inn and its surroundings are in stark contrast to the gentle south coast landscape of Fowey and Frenchman's Creek. The infamous Jamaica Inn is now home to a collection of du Maurier memorabilia, including her famous Sheraton writing desk and portraits of her family. Stop in for a meal after a hearty walk on Bodmin Moor.


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