10 Things to Do in Mousehole

Take in a Mousehole Harbour View

10 Things to Do in Mousehole

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Close your eyes and imagine the most perfect, dream-like Cornish fishing village. The cottages teetering over the perfect curve of harbour. Boats bobbing at the glistening water’s edge. The sound of spade tapping bucket.

What you’re imagining exists just a hop and a skip from Penzance at the legendary village of Mousehole (prounounced Mowzul). Once the centre of a fishing trade that saw scores of ships catching and exporting pilchards to France, this ridiculously pretty spot is the Cornish harbour other destinations look on with envy.

There’s plenty to keep you busy. But don’t forget the most important activity of all: leaning on the railings overlooking the harbour and soaking up the atmosphere. You are in a Cornish dreamland…

Here’s our top 10 things to do in Mousehole.

1) Hang out on Harbour Beach

This is a perfect, family-friendly beach right in the heart of the action amid the tethered boats of Mousehole harbour. How does a harbour beach have sand that soft? Well, here’s a scoop: it’s brought in annually to ensure soft-sand-between-the-toes perfection and is even cleaned daily during the season!

2) Explore the streets

Labyrinthine is a word that definitely applies to the wiggly maze of streets around Mousehole Harbour. From winding alleys to hidden nooks and crannies where sleeping cats laze in sun-trap yards, these slender streets are definitely worth an explore. Keep winding upwards and you’ll soon find yourself looking down from a fair height to the town below. The view over the rooftops is glorious.

3) Trek to Lamorna

From the top of steep Raginnis Hill in Mousehole, you can walk to Lamorna. This picturesque hike takes in cliffs, enchanting woods and finishes in the neighbouring (and much smaller) coastal village. Newlyn and Mousehole people traditionally took this walk on Good Friday, but it’s perfect any time of year – especially if you finish at Lamorna Wink pub for tea or a tipple.

4) Get arty in the galleries

Mousehole being Mousehole, local galleries offer arts and crafts that are a step above printed tea towels and coffee mugs. From impressionistic seascapes to beautiful pottery and sculpture, you can discover pieces that will be a lasting reminder of your visit. Exploring arts and crafts in the cobbly lanes is one of loveliest things to do in Mousehole. Enjoy.

5) Set sail!

Take a one-hour coastal trip, circle the Mount or head down the coast to view the Minack Theatre from the seaward side. You can also take wildlife cruises searching for porpoises, seals and dolphins, and sun fish, or leisurely fishing trips in some of Cornwall’s most scenic spots.

6) Have a drink with the locals

The Ship Inn, overlooking the harbour, is one of those pubs with an unmistakably authentic feel. Dog friendly, with an open fire, it’s the perfect place to settle in after a hard day reclining on Harbour Beach. The Old Coastguard Hotel is another great spot: in summertime, take a pew in the garden as the day draws to a close and watch the Scillonian glide back into harbour at Penzance. If the weather’s right, the boat glows a beautiful gold in the evening light.

7) Take a dip in Mousehole Rock Pool

So noteworthy that a few years back it warranted a double-page spread in National Geographic, Mousehole Rock Pool is a tidal swimming area just below the village. Sat atop the rocks and shored up with cement, this pool is a great spot for swimming with kids away from the waves and currents. There is a pleasant café situated a few convenient steps away, too.   

8) Visit the Harbour Lights

The Christmas Harbour Lights are a famous fixture in the town’s calendar and one of the most enchanting things to do in Mousehole on a winter trip to west Cornwall. Warm your hands and belly with a mulled wine, amble across the harbour and spot giant Christmas puds, Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and more, all lit up in lights and gently bobbing in the harbour.

9) Experience Tom Bawcock’s Eve

Another winter highlight, Tom Bawcock’s Eve is an annual festival held on 23 December remembering the efforts of a legendary resident who saved the village from famine by going out to fish in a storm. Sample stargazy pie (a fish, egg and potato pie with protruding fish heads) and look our for the lantern procession. About as local as a festival gets.

10) Walk to Dolly Pentreath’s Grave

Just a half mile up the hill in the pretty village of Paul, you’ll discover the final resting place and monument dedicated to Dorothy ‘Dolly’ Pentreath (1692-1777), reputed to be the last monoglot Cornish speaker. It’s a lovely walk up and, as well as this fascinating Cornish landmark, you’ll be treated to a quintessential Cornish village scene: church, graveyard, and welcome pub just over the road.

Penzance: an ideal base for your Mousehole visit

If you’re taking inspiration from our things to do in Mousehole list and planning a trip, why not base yourself in Penzance. This picturesque port town offers fabulous places to stay, some of the finest dining in Cornwall, and a lively shopping and pub scene. It’s also perfectly situated for big days out in Cornwall to some of the county’s most beautiful spots – St Ives, Falmouth, St Just, The Lizard and more.

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