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Cornwall holidays: Discovering the ‘ridiculously pretty’ village of Mousehole

Britain at its best: Discovering that Mousehole in Cornwall is, as Dylan Thomas put it – ‘quite the loveliest village in England’

  • Spend a morning on Mousehole’s secluded beach before wandering through local artist Essex Tyler’s gallery 
  • There are plenty of walking trails to choose from – such as the ‘satisfying’ route to Lamorna Cove
  • Check into one of the 14 rooms at the Old Coastguard Hotel and you’ll enjoy views of nearby St Clement’s Isle

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Not everyone agrees with Dylan Thomas, but he had a point when calling Mousehole, the small Cornish fishing village between Newlyn and Lamorna on the South-Westerly coast of Cornwall, ‘quite the loveliest village in England’.

It is ridiculously pretty, with Lamorna granite fishing cottages as the backdrop to the harbour, filled with colourful boats. The harbour entrance is miniscule and is thought to be one of the origins for the village’s name, pronounced ‘Mowzal’, the other being that it’s named after a nearby cave shaped like a large mouse.

Things have happened in Mousehole. The Spaniards ransacked it in 1595 and left only The Keigwin Arms standing.

Coastal charm: Granite fishing cottages overlook boats bobbing in Mousehole’s tiny harbour

Better times were had in the 18th century when it was a thriving port for pilchard fishing.

Sadly, Mousehole is also known for the Penlee Lifeboat disaster in December 1981 when the crew of the Solomon Browne went to aid the Union Star. Tragically both crews were lost.

Local boy Essex Tyler’s gallery is the place to go for leading Cornish artists, while Newlyn is home to the famous art school that has attracted artists since the late 19th century.

Surfers will enjoy the strong swells coming off the Atlantic at Whitesand Bay in Sennen, pictured above

Surfers will enjoy the strong swells coming off the Atlantic at Whitesand Bay in Sennen, pictured above

The circular trek from Mousehole to Lamorna Cove, pictured above, is a satisfying 4.7 miles with enough ups and downs to get a proper workout

The circular trek from Mousehole to Lamorna Cove, pictured above, is a satisfying 4.7 miles with enough ups and downs to get a proper workout

Mousehole’s secluded beach is ideal for young beachcombers, while surf junkies should head to Whitesand Bay in Sennen to enjoy the strong swells coming off the Atlantic.

This part of Cornwall is a walker’s delight. The circular trek from Mousehole to Lamorna Cove is a satisfying 4.7 miles with enough ups and downs to get a proper workout. 

Those wanting a more sedate trundle can walk two miles along the mainly paved path to Newlyn, taking in views of St Michael’s Mount.

Stroll along the path to Newlyn, taking in views of St Michael’s Mount, pictured above, as you amble

Stroll along the path to Newlyn, taking in views of St Michael’s Mount, pictured above, as you amble

Stay at the 14-room Old Coastguard Hotel on the edge of the village, which offers a view of St Clement's Isle (above). Picture courtesy of Creative Commons

Stay at the 14-room Old Coastguard Hotel on the edge of the village, which offers a view of St Clement’s Isle (above). Picture courtesy of Creative Commons 

The 14-room Old Coastguard Hotel is the perfect place to hunker down. Situated on the edge of the village with a view of St Clement’s Isle, you’re encouraged to sink into the deep sofas on the sun deck with a post-beach snifter.

This is a favourite with locals — and the Mousehole Male Voice Choir has been known to hold singalongs in the bar.

Mousehole can get busy in summer, but there is no denying that it has an invisible thread that pulls you back again and again and always leaves you wanting more. 

TRAVEL FACTS

The Old Coastguard has double rooms from £167.50 B&B and dinner B&B from £240 (oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk, 01736 731 222).

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