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Public Transport (Bus & Train Services)

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General information
Hambly's Coach Services
Western Greyhound Bus Services
Village horse bus, electric trolley and minibus services
Railway services


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General Information

Polperro is situated in a very rural area and if you do not have your own transport travel to and from Polperro and around the area is inevitably a good deal more difficult than if you have. Although relatively expensive, taxis may be the most convenient way to travel if you do not have your own transport, especially to get to or from Looe town or railway station or Liskeard town or railway station.

There is a guide to public transport in Cornwall called All Cornwall Public Transport Guide. Intending visitors to Cornwall can obtain a copy by visiting www.cornwallpublictransport.info

It is a fact of rural life that (a) everything is much further away than is the case in urban areas and (b) especially if you are reliant on public transport, even a simple trip is likely to be a half day, and to go to the nearest big city (Plymouth) or even small city (Truro) is a full day expedition.
In the high (summer) season, Polperro has quite a good range of bus services. Winter is, of course, a different thing entirely and you are likely to have a fairly thin and frustrating time of it if you are reliant on bus services in winter. In-between, things are in-between!

Whatever time of year, don't just go looking for the bus believing there will be one every 10 minutes, which you may be used to at home. There won't. Do your homework carefully, especially if you are travelling a longish distance (such as Polperro to Polruan or Polperro to Plymouth) as if you are not absolutely sure that there will be a return service that day you could be in for a very long walk or an extremely expensive taxi journey. ALWAYS check with the bus driver that there will be a return bus at the time you think there will be, or telephone the bus company beforehand to check.

We used to have bus timetables on this website but we found that it was almost impossible to ensure they were up to date so we now have links to the various companies' websites - if you find a link which no longer works please let us know and we will remove it. Bus timetables can change with little warning and despite the obvious commercial benefit to them of distributing information about their services, bus companies are notoriously poor at actually doing so.

Unlike mainland Europe, public transport information tends to be relatively difficult to track down and not too easy to understand even when you've got it. But it can be found and, with a little application, even understood - but don't try reading a timetable after a night out in the pub! The Post Office in Polperro is a good source of information (and often has supplies of the timetables) and if Polperro Postmaster Tony White doesn't know the answer there probably isn't one!

Buses leave from a bus stop/shelter near the Crumplehorn Inn and there are usually copies of the timetables posted in the shelter - but check to make sure they are up to date!

Hambly's Coach Services

Hambly's Coaches has for a long time run a number of local bus services serving villages and hamlets in the area and linking them and Polperro and Looe to Liskeard and Plymouth - but now (October 2006) the owner, Phil Hambly, has announced his retirement and Western Greyhound are taking over a couple of his services, and have made the following announcement on their website:

"Hamblys of Pelynt Phil Hambly will be ceasing to operate his 273 and 279 bus services on 28 October. We have agreed to run some of the services and will be extending our 573 Liskeard to Looe service to Polperro every hour. Alternate journeys will run via Pelynt. We will also be running a new Monday to Saturday 572 service between Polperro, Looe and Plymouth to replace Hamblys service. The other services are being dealt with by Cornwall County Council. We will also be running an occasional service from Looe to Truro for shopping. To view the new timetables for service 572, click here and to see the new timetables for service 573, click here"

We are not clear at present whether the other bus services which were run by Hamblys will continue - it is believed that Cornwall County Council may sponsor some or all of them to ensure the villages and hamlets have some access to public transport - check with their website - click here

Western Greyhound Bus Services

See entry under Hamblys above.

Service 572 (Polperro - Looe - Plymouth) - click here for timetable

Service 573 (Polperro - Looe - Liskeard station and town) - click here for timetable

Village Horse Bus, Electric Trolley and Minibus services

There are vehicular access restrictions to the village throughout the summer period. Day visitors should park in the main car park (charge) which is about half a mile from the village centre and harbour. It's a pleasant walk down a gentle slope to the village centre and harbour, but, of course, the return is up-hill! In the summer there are two services to take the strain:

There is a horse bus service which starts from the car park and finishes just short of the village centre. There is also an electric trolley/minibus service which starts from near the Crumplehorn Inn (just outside the car park) and goes to the village centre. Some of the minibus services also go up to Killigarth to serve the caravan sites etc there.

These village services are very frequent throughout the day. The horse bus services finishes around 6 p.m. but the electric/motor trams continue later if there are people still wanting to ride. If you will need to use the bus/trolley service back to the car park check the time of the last service back otherwise you will have to walk.

Railway services

There is a branch line railway between Liskeard and Looe and a feasible way to come to Polperro is train to Liskeard and change on to the Looe Valley line to Looe and then bus or taxi to Polperro. But check train times very carefully, before you book especially if you want to use public transport all the way. If expense is not a problem, a taxi from Liskeard to Polperro will probably save time.

A trip on the railway from Looe to Liskeard, or beyond, is a favourite outing i itself for holidaymakers as the Looe Valley line is very scenic. If you have a choice, take the trip at high tide when the river views are best (the railway line runs immediately next to the Looe river estuary for its full length) and avoid very busy times as the trains, which are only two car, can be very full with day visitors.

More information - www.carfreedaysout.com/looe.htm

This information updated October 2006

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