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Discover Daphne Du Maurier in Cornwall

Cornwall’s beautiful landscapes, natural scenery and way of life have attracted many writers, artists and musicians over the decades, and it became the home of the renowned writer Daphne du Maurier and inspiration behind many of her novels such as Rebecca and Frenchman’s Creek.

Originally from London, the du Maurier family took many holidays in Cornwall over the years and in 1926, they bought a holiday home in Bodinnick near Fowey called Ferryside. It was here at Ferryside that Daphne wrote her first book The Loving Spirit.

During the Second World War, Daphne, her husband Tommy Browning, and her young children briefly lived in a large house called Point Neptune (now owned by comedian and writer Dawn French), and the family moved to Cornwall permanently in 1943 and rented Menabilly house, which was where the writer created many of her famous novels and short stories.

Today, during your cottage stay in Cornwall, you can visit many of the sites that inspired some of Daphne du Maurier’s work, from Frenchman’s Creek, to Readymoney Cove.

While you won’t be able to visit the homes of the du Maurier family, there are many places where you can walk in their footsteps, from the Fowey Hotel where Daphne used to have afternoon tea with her mentor Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, to the Jamaica Inn near Bodmin, which was used as the setting for her famous Jamaica Inn novel after she took shelter there from the fog while out riding with a friend in 1930.

Take a boat across the river in Fowey and enjoy the scenery that became the setting for Daphne’s work, or walk along the footpaths that lead to Readymoney and Polridmouth coves, and catch glimpses of her former homes like the Ferryside in Bodinnick or Menabilly.

One of the best times of the year to celebrate the success of Daphne de Maurier and enjoy a classic cottage stay in Fowey, is May when the annual Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature takes over various venues across Fowey town and the surrounding villages. Inspired by Daphne du Maurier, the festival is full of talks, walks, arts trails workshops and musical events that celebrate the writer’s ongoing success.