Mousehole | Cornwall

Mousehole Harbour ©VisitCornwall/AdamGibbard

Mousehole can charm the socks off anyone. Perched on the western edge of Mount’s Bay, three miles west of Penzance, this classic Cornish fishing village captures the heart of all who visit.

Picturesque fishermen’s cottages huddle around the harbour, which appeared in the record books as an important fishing port from as early as 1266. Part of the south quay originates from 1390, possibly the oldest pier in Cornwall. Today a small number of fishing boats maintain the heritage and tradition of a working harbour.

You can literally get lost for hours in the maze of narrow, winding streets, stumbling upon artists workshops, galleries, little cafes, and interiors shops selling gifts inspired by the sea.

Eventually you will find your way back to the harbour and the stunning sea vistas. St Michael’s Mount glistens mysteriously in the distance, the crystal clear waters are framed by exotic banana and fig trees made possible by the mild climate, and you can often spot seals on St Clement’s Isle, a small rocky islet 400 yards offshore from the harbour entrance.

Eat

The Old Coastguard

Listed in The Good Food Guide, the red Michelin Guide and named County Dining Pub of the Year by The 2013 Good Pub Guide, this is a traditional Brasserie menu that takes good ingredients and gives them a very simple but classic treatment. All tables have views to St. Clement’s Isle. The Sun Deck has sofas with just a pane of glass between you and the palm tree lined gardens. Or, best of all and more frequently than you might think, eat on the terrace looking down at the sun-dappled sea.

2 Fore St 

With a vibrant, continental feel, 2 Fore Street is a relaxed and stylish bistro-style restaurant on Mousehole harbour front with views across Mount’s Bay as well as a beautiful secluded garden. The menu changes regularly to reflect the freshest of local produce with an array of options from a hand-picked crab salad, to a delicious homemade burger. Perfect for Sunday morning coffee, lunch straight off the beach or to meet friends for dinner.

Rock Pool Café

Talented ceramicist Brenda Bates, of Welbeck Tiles, has opened a beautiful new seaside café, The ‘Rock Pool’ perched on a cliff above a natural rock pool and filled with her impressive collection of vintage swan teapots as well as her chic tiles. Perfect for homemade cakes and coffee, toasted sandwiches and afternoon tea, with panoramic views of Mount’s Bay.

Beaches

Mousehole Beach is a small and very safe beach located in a sheltered part of the harbour which is popular with families, particularly those with small children.

8 miles and a 25 minute drive away is the spectacular Porthcurno beach described by some as a paradise, with fine soft white sand washed by a sea that turns turquoise in the sun and high cliffs on both sides providing shelter. It’s an oasis of stunning natural beauty and popular with families.

Surf

It’s 10 miles and a 25 minute drive to Sennen Cove, a great surf spot all year round with its crystal clear water and the swell coming straight in from the Atlantic. 

Walk

Walking is a brilliant way to experience the beauty of the area, however, the walks in this stretch of coastline can be challenging. The most popular is from Lamorna Cove to Mousehole passing through several nature reserves. There are various footpaths in the area in addition to the coastal path running from Mousehole through Lamorna to Porthcurno, which is well worth exploring for the stunning views of the rugged coastline.

Stay

Nearby Porth Enys House boasts one of the most spectacular views over Mount’s Bay, sleeping up to 10 guests, and is just a stroll down the hill to Mousehole’s town centre.