Mousehole epitomizes an old Cornish fishing village, it is unspoiled and has retained its traditional charm with its colour-washed and granite and slate cottages that surround a small attractive harbour, crowded with colourful fishing boats and draped with nets. Quaint narrow and undulating cobble streets and historic buildings add to its bygone charm. Positioned on the edge of Mount's Bay there are spectacular views over Mount's Bay and St Michael's Mount.
Located along the rugged south coast of Cornwall the village has a long history. In July 1595 the Spaniards attacked the village and burnt it to the ground all except for one house with that house still standing today. It was a bustling port with pilchards being the main industry along with tin and copper exports.
The village is still open to attack but these days from the weather. Each November, timber beams are laid across the narrow harbour entrance to protect the village from the fierce winter gales.
Just offshore from the harbour is St Clement’s Isle, a small cluster of rocks where it is said an ancient hermit lived. A few hundred yards along the coast from the village is an enormous cave which is believed to give rise to the unusual name of the village.
There is a small sandy beach by the harbour that is exposed at low tide, it is sheltered and very safe making it popular with families with small children.
With no shortage of places to eat and drink you will find everything from light bites to gourmet meals. Charming shops and delightful galleries dot the narrow walkways and sell the work of local artists, you might pick up an unusual present or souvenir. The local residents are extremely friendly and happy to have a chat with you.
On 23 December it is Tom Bawcock's Eve, a festival to celebrate a local man who ventured out in ferocious weather to fish and save the village from starvation. A monstrous stargazy fish pie, with the fish heads sticking up through the pastry, is baked and eaten and children take part in a lantern procession through the streets.
Christmas' lights are a must-see here, hundreds of lights illuminate and transform the village into a glittering spectacle, the lights are switched on in mid-December. These stunning array of lights are famous throughout Cornwall and affectionately referred to as Mouse Vegas by locals. There is an option to see the lights from the sky in a helicopter, the trip departs from Penzance.
Walk west along the Coastal Path to Lamorna Cove with its crystal clear waters, looking down on Tater Du Light on the way. These waters provide the perfect opportunity for diving, fishing, sailing and many other water sports.
Walk from Mousehole to Newlyn, along the cliff road, it is a pretty walk and not too strenuous. It is the best way to discover this stunning area and countryside. Follow the Newlyn Trail to see parts of the village that you might not otherwise see.
Newlyn is a charming harbour side town known for two entirely different occupations, art and fishing. The town continues to be an important fishing port in England, being home to the country's largest fleet of fishing boats in the South of England, with a fleet of more than 200 vessels in over 40 acres of harbour. All types of fishing vessels can be seen in the harbour, beam trawlers, long liners, crabbers and even small open boats used for hand-lining for mackerel in the Bay.
Newlyn came to prominence in the late 19th century when painters who trained in Paris and Antwerp came to paint here. Artists such as Stanhope Forbes, Frank Wright Bourdillon and, in later years, AJ Munnings arrived for the spectacular scenery and continually-changing clear light. A location where the natural surroundings control the light. Today it is home to the renowned Newlyn School of Art which, was established in the late 19th century.
Newlyn has a long and interesting history with some important events taking place here such as the Mayflower which stopped here at the old quays in 1620 and the Newlyn riots during the 1800s. The port was ransacked and torched by a Spanish raiding party in the 16th century, then later rebuilt. Today, very little of old Newlyn remains.
Newly is a seafood nirvana, you will be assured the freshest fish seafood on the menus of the local restaurants. There is a great choice of eateries where one can indulge in delicious local produce, artisan goods and craft ales as well as natural wines. Make time to stop for an ice cream, the best place is Jelbert's Ice Cream but is only open in the summer months.
Newlyn is the home of the Tidal Observatory. The observatory was established to determine the mean sea level that forms the starting point for levelling in the entire United Kingdom. There is a brass bolt in place here and it is the benchmark for all the country with, all heights referenced from this point.
To determine the height for this benchmark, the water levels were closely surveyed and recorded using a tide staff every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day throughout the entire year for a period of six years between 1915 and 1921. The data assembled during this time was then used to calculate the mean sea level and this vertical level was copied to the head of the brass bolt.
On the Newlyn side is Sandy Cove a small pebble and stone beach, ideal for shell hunters or sea glass collectors. There is also a rustic outdoor sea filled swimming pool, in addition to a further smaller stony beach on the other side. These beaches tend to be much quieter than other beaches nearby as many visitors to the area are not aware of their existence. For the more adventurous take the coastal path and head west out of the village there are some rocks that make excellent launchpads for sea swimming.
The annual Raft Race and fundraiser is held on the beach each August, in addition to the raft races there are bouncy castles, stalls and games, refreshments and live music. Other events include the Newlyn Fish Festival in August with market stalls, culinary demonstrations, music and exhibitions. Trawler Race, Gig racing and more.
The waters surrounding the town offer their own entertainment with boat and fishing trips available. You might even spot some dolphins or other interesting visitors to these waters.
Newlyn lights up at Christmas time with a wonderful display of Christmas lights which, transform the town and harbour into a glittering spectacle of illuminations.