Jamaica Inn was made into a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Discover Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall.

The main setting for Frenchman’s Creek is 50 miles to the west on the Helford River, where Daphne spent her honeymoon on the motorboat Ygdrasil. News, photos, videos and full episode guide, Where is Doc Martin filmed? Thanks! "The Birds" is a horror story by the British writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree. I look around, baffled because there’s no sign of any pub – just a war memorial. The mansion was the inspiration for Rebecca, her most famous novel.

There must be 50 yachts out racing, their spinnakers a blaze of colour as they gybe downwind towards the harbour. “Believe me young friend,” says Ratty to Mole, “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” I have to agree, and I’m sure Daphne du Maurier did, too.

Helen Luther, the curator of Fowey Museum, is one of the lucky few to have visited the house.

Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed, Daphne du Maurier is best known for her books about Cornwall, Daphne with her three children at Menabilly, the house that inspired Rebecca.

"The Sun", "Sun", "Sun Online" are registered trademarks or trade names of News Group Newspapers Limited. We spend the remainder of our holiday exploring the beaches at Polkerris (which is Poldrea in Rule Britannia) and Polridmouth, where Daphne stood on the beach for the last time before she died in 1989. Daphne du Maurier was a popular twentieth-century novelist and playwright who lived from 1907 to 1989. I’m looking at the people and saying ‘the swans thrash their way out to sea’, and just as I did the swans on the lake took off.

She is classed as a "romantic" novelist, but most of her novels have sinister endings and paranormal themes. She married Major Frederick Browning in 1932.


It wasn’t until her family bought a holiday home in Boddinick, overlooking the River Fowey, that she discovered Cornwall.

Fowey is picture-book Cornwall. That was in 1981.

When did Daphne du Maurier move to Cornwall?

It’s not until I emerge on the cliff by St Catherine’s Castle that the bay reappears, glistening turquoise below. Sadly, what lies behind is not actually Manderley, but Dawn French’s house. Author Ingrid Seward claims the prince had an "emotionally intimate" relationship with Daphne and visited her "full of doubts" before his wedding to the Queen. She was a prominent literary name in England and was the grand-daughter of the famed cartoonist, George du Maurier. Already have an account with us?

On our last day in Cornwall, there’s just one more place to visit, though I have misgivings when we pull off the busy A30 and arrive at the same time as a coach tour. Though I’m glad to have finally seen Jamaica Inn, it’s Menabilly – or Manderley – that I’m in love with. But the kids are restless, so we take tea in the garden instead where they run wild while we enjoy the Cornish sunshine. She was a prominent literary name in England and was the grand-daughter of the famed cartoonist, George du Maurier.

We stop for a coffee at the pretty village of Lerryn then head back, spotting herons, kingfishers and an abandoned settlement from the days when Cornwall was built for passage by sea.

For more information on holidays in Cornwall see visitcornwall.com.

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A seagull eyes my scone, and the moment we leave he snatches it from the table, reminding me of du Maurier’s story The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock adapted into film, only he used crows instead of gulls. If you try to grow them you’ll fail; but if you don’t want them, you’ll have a whole cluster of them in your garden. Her mother was a maternal niece of journalist, author, and lecturer William Comyns Beaumont. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

Daphne du Maurier was a famous English writer and playwright. Daphne was born on May 13, 1907, in London, but most of her famous works focus on Cornwall. The fascinating Fowey Museum is a must-see for du Maurier fans, as are several other sites in Fowey, which I discover with Blue Badge tour guide Lynn Gould, who does walks at the annual Daphne du Maurier festival.

Her best-known works are ‘Rebecca’ and ‘The Birds’, both of which have been adapted into films by Alfred Hitchcock.

She obviously worked out what was here at the time and used it,” she says. Did Daphne du Maurier have a happy marriage? By the time Daphne wrote the House on the Strand – the book most people ask for in Fowey – the places are exactly as you find them today. Both are tantalisingly close to Menabilly, but the nearest you can get to the house is by renting Polridmouth Cottage, which was the inspiration for the boathouse in Rebecca. To book a holiday or for more information, please call 0345 268 9424 or visit radiotimes.com/cottages. Her best known works are Rebecca, a Gothic novel published in 1938, and "The Birds" (1952), which formed the basis of Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds (1963). Her grandfather was author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier, who created the character of Svengali in the 1894 novel Trilby. As My Cousin Rachel arrives in cinemas, Ali Wood explores the charming little town where she lived and is entranced by the real Manderley. In Frenchman’s Creek, the heroine Dona, dressed as a cabin boy, knocks on the front door to summon Rashleigh to his ship in Fowey Haven. Early life. Jamaica Inn, a 45-minute drive from Fowey, is the setting of Daphne’s fourth novel, a sinister tale of murder, shipwrecks and smuggling.
I don’t make it as far as Frenchman’s Creek, but the following day I experience a similar landscape, “hidden from the eye’s of men”, while kayaking with Encounter Cornwall in Golant. These days it’s a tourist attraction with hotel rooms, a gift shop, museum, and “photo opportunity” with wax figures of Mary Yellan and the albino vicar of Altarnum.

A week in a Par Sands static home starts at £225. Her body was cremated and her ashes scattered off the cliffs of Fowey. Her husband worked as the Prince's private treasurer, but claims of an affair are unproven. For other inquiries Contact Us. Enjoy a family photography shoot for just £25!

She wasn’t always a countrywoman, though.

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When did Daphne du Maurier write The Birds? In the museum there’s a copy of the House on the Strand, in which he appears as the doctor. “As a guide, I feel I’m not interpreting Daphne du Maurier’s books, but interpreting the countryside to make people aware of what she’s writing about,” says Lynn. What is Daphne trying to tell me?

Fowey’s streets were clearly designed before the motorcar, as on more than one occasion I’m forced to leap for safety into someone’s doorway as a Landrover Discovery trundles by.

This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. Daphne du Maurier was born in London, the middle of three daughters of prominent actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont. For details see parholidays.co.uk. Here, just a few miles north of Fowey, the estuary is tranquil and perfectly still, except for the ripples from my paddle as we row past miles of ancient woodland, once used for shipbuilding. We continue along the Esplanade, passing the former private school where her daughters went, and walk towards the centre of the village.

Expect talks, walks, and live music. Who was she married to and did she have children?

A 2017 book claims that Philip's roving eye saw him embark on several affairs when he was younger - and one of his mistresses was Daphne. There’s the Fowey Hotel, where she met with writer and academic Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and his home, the Haven, where he lived with his daughter Foy, a friend of Daphne’s. Thankfully, there’s not too much traffic because there’s a large car park on the outskirts of town. Daphne signed the book to him: “with much love from your schizophrenic and devoted friend”.