Planar polarisation of tissues is essential for many aspects of developmental patterning. It is regulated by a conserved group of core planar polarity proteins, which localise asymmetrically within cells prior to morphological signs of polarisation. A subset of these core proteins also interact across cell boundaries, mediating intercellular communication that co-ordinates polarity between neighbouring cells. Core protein localisation subsequently mediates changes in the actin cytoskeleton which lead to overt polarisation. In this review we discuss the mechanisms by which the core planar polarity proteins become asymmetrically localised, and the significance of this subcellular localisation for both intercellular communication and downstream effects on the cytoskeleton.