Explore the west coast of Cornwall, with a holiday cottage in Mousehole. Tiny streets and a pretty harbour make Mousehole one of the cutest villages on this stretch of coastline. We will help you find and book a self-catering holiday cottage that is just right for you.
Our holiday homes in Mousehole have been handpicked and selected for their luxurious feel and beautiful interior design. Cornwall holiday homes, don’t come with a more friendly and welcoming village than here in Mousehole.
Situated south of Penzance on the west coast of Cornwall is Mousehole. Mousehole’s history is that of a bustling fishing port up until about a hundred years ago. Today, Mousehole welcomes tourists to its quaint village streets that invite you to explore what is around the next corner. Your Cornish cottage will be the perfect place to discover Mousehole and its surrounding neighbours from.
If you enjoy eating out then you will want to sample the locally sourced food at 2 Fore Street, who pride themselves on using the freshest Cornish seafood. Or if you prefer to cook at home in your self-catering cottage then why not forage your own ingredients with Wild Walks Southwest, who will guide you to the very best in local wild foods.
For those who have found their sea legs why not hop on board with Cormorant Cruises to explore the coastline of Mousehole from another perspective? If the sea isn’t your thing, then your holiday cottage is the perfect place to get ready for a day at the beach and there are plenty to choose from. Mousehole Beach is sandy and within the harbour walls, or a short drive out can find out Newlyn Tolcarne Beach, Penzance Promenade Beach, Wherrytown Beach or Battery Rocks Beach.
Every Cornwall holiday calls for a spot of gift shopping and Mousehole’s small back streets offer plenty of galleries and shops. Check out Sandpiper Gallery, where you will be sure to find a print to remember your holidays with.
Your Mousehole holiday cottage is also a perfect point to plan a trip to the Scilly Isles from and when you are tired after a hard days fun, your self-catering cottage is the best place to come back to, to rest weary bones and relax.
If you are planning a winter getaway, then it is well worth considering visiting in December when the village puts on a wonderful display of Christmas lights. The harbour has floating light displays and opening night usually sees the local choir singing festive songs, a lantern parade and much more besides.
If picture postcard scenes are for you, then Mousehole (pronounced Mouzl) is a gorgeous fishing village with narrow streets and a working harbour, though Newlyn is now more dominant in the fishing industry. It was described by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas as ‘quite the loveliest village in England’.
Mousehole’s history is one of tragedy caused by harsh winter storms, which makes it a poignant place to visit. In the 16th century, villagers faced starvation when the fishing boats could not leave the harbour. They were saved, local legend has it, by a courageous, heroic fisherman called Tom Bawcock who braved the storms catching enough fish to feed the village. His achievement is still celebrated on Tom Bawcock’s Even Feast Day held on 23rd December each year where Star Gazey Pie is served in The Ship Inn.
The village was also invaded by the Spaniards in July, 1595, when galleons appeared out of the sea mist and 200 men attacked the village. They reached as far as the nearby village of Paul up the hill above Mousehole, looting and burning buildings, in an act of reprisal for the sinking of the Armada. It is worth a walk up the hill to the Parish Church of Paul, its centrepiece. The 15th century church is also a popular year-round concert venue, so it is worth checking what is on.
More recently, the village was devastated by the loss of the RNLI’s Solomon Browne in the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster on the night of December 19th, 1981. All 8 of the crew were lost as they tried to rescue the stranded Union Star, a coaster on her maiden voyage, whose engines failed in ferocious seas during a Force 12 gale with 18 metre (60 foot) breakers. The current Memorial Hall in Duck Street is a memorial to the Solomon Browne crew who died carrying out an act of the greatest courage and heroism. The RNLI awarded a posthumous Gold Medal to coxswain Trevelyan Richards and Bronze Medals to the crew. So, as you look out over a peaceful harbour, spare a thought for the power of the sea.
Well, with such a sad history, you may well wonder if it is a good place to enjoy a holiday, and the answer is yes. The Mousehole community is made of strong stuff. Today it is a pretty village, which nonetheless will never forget the Penlee lifeboat disaster. Every year, on December 19th, the famous Mousehole Christmas lights twinkling around the harbour, are dimmed between 8pm – 9pm in memory of the 16 people in total (including coaster crew and passengers) who lost their lives that day. The famous lights attract 30,000 people annually, with the 7000 bulbs creating a fairytale spectacle.
More uplifting history lies in the tale of Dolly Pentreath, recorded as the last person speaking only Cornish in 1768. She died aged 102. Her grave is in the churchyard at Paul.
There is also a colourful smuggling history, where fishermen supplemented their income with a touch of ‘free trade’ alcohol and tobacco. While this friendly village is pretty, with the harbour fronting the tiny back streets with their characterful houses, the parking is difficult, with only 40 places near the harbour, so be prepared to park at Paul and walk down if you are visiting. If you are a serious walker, try the strenuous but rewarding Lamorna circular walk.
Mousehole still retains the flavour of an old Cornish fishing village, with colour-washed, granite houses, draped around the boats and nets of the harbour. Wander the harbour walls and in summer, relax in the natural sea pool. If you love birds, check out the Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital
Mousehole is not awash with shops and cafes but one which offers fine views is the dog-friendly Rock Pool Café which sits above the sea pool looking out to sea while serving lovely snacks, drinks and cakes. The Ship Inn, home of the famous Star Gazey Pie, has a fine buccaneering history, is beloved by locals and affords fine views with fine ale. The poet Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin honeymooned in Mousehole, frequenting The Ship, where part of the bar remains dedicated to him.
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