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Surrounded by high cliffs, the beach at Readymoney Cove lies to the south of the harbour town of Fowey.
Known in Cornish as Porth Mundy, meaning mineral house cove, Readymoney Cove is situated close to the mouth of the River Fowey Estuary, the cove is bounded on one side by the medieval part of the town of Fowey and, on the other, by sixteenth century St Catherine's Castle which was built on the orders of the formidable King Henry VIII as a defence against invasion and is now owned by English Heritage. Its name derives from the rocky headland at the entrance to the River Fowey estuary on which it stands, which is known as St Catherine's Point.
The castle was built by Thomas Treffry of Place (who was also responsible for the construction of St Mawes Castle. It has two storeys with gun ports at ground level. Steep slopes fall away from the blockhouse walls to a curtain wall and bastion which meets the cliffs either side.
The castle can be accessed via the South West Coast Path which provides attractive walks overlooking the Fowey estuary and harbour. Enthusiastic walkers may enjoy walking from Fowey to nearby beaches such as Polridmouth and Polkerris along the path.
The gently sloping sandy beach can be covered during spring tides, at low tide there are rock-pools which abound with interesting sea life. A bathing platform is moored in the bay. There is reasonably safe bathing within cove, but not in the Fowey Estuary, no lifeguard service is available at Readymoney Cove . Dogs are banned from the beach between Easter and 30 September. A car park and toilets are situated near to the beach. A good selection of cafés, shops and more can be found in Fowey's town centre.
Above the cove is the former coach house which was the home of author, Daphne du Maurier, for a few years during the Second World War, du Maurier moved here in 1942, and wrote Hungry Hill while living in Readymoney Cottage.