Why a rib tour is one of the best things to do in Fowey this summer

Why a rib tour is one of the best things to do in Fowey this summer

Victoria Clark

Some of our team recently had THE most fun afternoon out on the water courtesy of the Cornwall Seafari team. Read on find out more about our fantastic trip and how you can plan one for yourself this summer, it really is one of the best things to do in Fowey this season.

A yellow & black speedboat with 8 people on board on the Fowey estuary


Why should I visit Fowey?

Fowey is such a beautiful place, if you've not previously visited you won't fail to be wowed by the colourful higgledly piggledy buildings, the narrow streets winding through the town centre and the brilliant array of independent shops, cafes and places to eat. However, as most Fowey fans will tell you, the very best way to enjoy our wonderful town is from the water.

Fowey sits right on the Fowey estuary on the south coast of Cornwall. The river leads inland towards Lostwithiel and Lerryn, past the china clay docks, past the world famous Sawmills recording studio and the riverside village of Golant. As the river widens out towards the harbour mouth into St Austell Bay there's always something to see from the landmark Prime Cellars building with its Grade II listed wonky roof (top right corner of the photo above), past the lifeboat pontoon and out towards the vista of the village of Polruan on the opposite side of the river (no, it's not an island I promise) with its historical blockhouse

Just before the harbour mouth is our brilliant little Readymoney Cove beach with its iconic turrets (read more about the history of Readymoney here). And in our view, one of the best things to do in Fowey is hop on a rib ride with Cornwall Seafari

The view of Fowey, Cornwall as seen from the water. The river with boats moorings and buildings behind

Where do I find this amazing rib tour of Fowey?

Cornwall Seafari operate out of their offices at Caffa Mill, also a converted toilet block, much like our own little shop. Caffa Mill is a 20 minute walk from Readymoney Cove so easy to tag a boat trip onto your day at the beach in Fowey. There is a carpark at Caffa Mill and another just further along at Old Station Yard so usually plenty of places to park (although in peak periods you may need to consider Main carpark or even the overflow car parking on the Fowey River Academy site).

Cornwall Seafari run a number of trips throughout the season, from a 40 min quick tour right through to a two hour wildlife seafari. Our team were lucky enough to be treated enough to a 40 minute tour but will definitely be going back for a longer wildlife seafari very soon! 

A Fowey River wooden sailing boat with an orange black & yellow sail

What can I expect to see?

After collecting our lifejackets and signing the paperwork at Caffa Mill basecamp we took a short walk around the corner to the old slipway on Passage Street for our safety briefing. We then boarded "Bumblebee" under the expert tutelage of Captain Ben Pearce and headed out on the river. Ben is an excellent tour guide and even if you live in or regularly visit Fowey and think you know all there is to know don't be surprised if Ben's fascinating commentary throws up a new fact or two!

We took our trip on a sunny April Saturday afternoon as the local sailors were preparing to race and headed out through the harbour at a sedate pace (there is a strict 6 knot speed limit inside the harbour). It's once you get past Punches Cross at the mouth of the harbour that the fun really begins: Bumblee packs a 600 horse power punch and a cracking set of speakers and we flew out of the harbour mouth heading towards the beautiful Lantic Bay.

A lot of rain had preceded our trip so the sea at Lantic wasn't as stunning as usual but it really is one of Cornwall's most stunning coves although not quite as much of a hidden secret as it used to be. Vanessa had rowed out to Lantic earlier that day in a training row for the World Pilot Gig Championships, a rather more ardous way of getting to know the Cornish waters!

The view of Lantic Bay Cornwall from the water as seen from a yellow & black rib boat

After a blast around Lantic Bay we headed over towards Polridmouth Cove for a great view of the Gribben and the beaches at Polridmouth and Coombe. Sadly we didn't see any dolphins (mainly because I am an absolute anti-dolphin magnet, I've never seen a live one here in Fowey) but booking one of the longer trips far increases your chances (although possibly not if I'm on the boat with you!).

After some fun showing us quite what Bumblebee is capable of (check out this video on our YouTube channel) Ben slowed the speed and we headed back into the harbour, checking the activity at Readymoney as we came back in. It's always great to see lots of lovely people enjoying ice-cream and coffee at the beach in Fowey and the swim line has recently been reinstalled, a sure sign that summer is around the corner.

The views towards Readymoney Cove from the water
We really did enjoy our rib ride and all three of us agreed that it really is one of the best things to do in Fowey. The Cornwall Seafari team at Fowey River Hire are getting ready to launch their newest rib "Hornet" very shortly so do give them a follow on social media to keep up with what's available and when, there are some exciting new trip destinations being added to the website this season and we can't wait to give them a try!


Oh and when you head back to Caffa Mill to drop your lifejacket and collect your bags don't forget to pop up to their takeaway hatch next to the boat hire office and grab a delicious piece of cake from Kerry who now bakes for us via Kerrys Cakes Cornwall. You might have seen my recent Reel showing Kerry (who is married to Captain Ben) delivering one of our cake orders by boat, that's how we roll around here!

Finally, if you're looking for other things to do in Fowey, either as part if your holiday planning or day trip when why not check out our How To Spend The Perfect Day in Fowey blog post. And don't forget to come and see us at Readymoney Cove, we'd love to hear how you get on with a rib tour, although perhaps don't tell us if you do see dolphins!

Victoria, Vanessa & Barnaby selfie on board Cornwall Seafari's Bumblebee rib boat
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