• Tiny, picturesque fishing village
  • Famous for its Christmas lights

Mousehole is one of the most beautifully picturesque fishing villages in Cornwall between Penzance and Landís End. It has remained largely unspoiled by the developments of the 20th Century and it continues to present the image of the classic Cornish fishing village of bygone days.

It was plundered by the Spaniards in July 1595 when the entire village, apart from one house, was burnt to the ground. That house still stands today. A hundred years ago Mousehole was a bustling port, crowded with local fishing boats, landing pilchards by hand.

Each year, early in November, timber beams are laid across the narrow harbour entrance, to protect the village from the worst of the winter gales. Even so waves can still be seen breaking over the harbour wall at high tide.

Mousehole today has retained much of its old world charm. Its narrow streets are filled with small shops, galleries and restaurants. Local cottages built from finely grained Lamorna granite, huddle together around the inner edge of the harbour. The area is protected from the force of the sea by two sturdy breakwaters. Dylan Thomas described the village as the loveliest in England, but there are many Cornishman who would dispute that this part of the world can be classed as England!

The small village was devastated by the loss of the Penlee lifeboat, the Solomon Brown, just before Christmas 1981. Most of the crew were from Mousehole. Penlee Point, from where the lifeboat was launched, midway between Mousehole and Newlyn, is now a memorial to those who lost their lives.

Car parking in the village is extremely limited and the roads are very narrow. Visitors are encouraged to park on the outskirts of the village and to walk in. There is a regular bus service from Penzance to Mousehole.

For places to stay in Cornwall, as a base from which to visit Mousehole and the surrounding area, please see: Country House Hotels in Cornwall , Coastal Hotels in Cornwall , Spa Hotels in Cornwall , Bed & Breakfasts in Cornwall or Self-Catering Cottages in Cornwall

In the middle of December, the Christmas lights are switched on in the village. These are famous throughout Cornwall and are worth visiting. There are even helicopter flights from Penzance to see the lights from the sky. They remain on, from 5pm until 11pm each evening, until the end of the first week of the New Year except for one hour, on the anniversary of the Penlee Lifeboat tragedy when they are turned off as a mark of respect to the 8 crew who died whilst trying to rescue the crew of the Union Star off Lamorna.

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